21 Things I’ve Learned in My 21 Years

Welcome back for a special birthday post 🙂

I wrote this after reading a post by Abbie and I’ve also seen a lot of these kind of posts on various other blogs. So, I thought seeing as I’m turning 21 today I should add my thoughts to the mix!

When I actually sat down to write this post, I realised 21 is a lot of things to come up with, so a few of them are short but sweet.

1. The busier you are, the more you get done

I genuinely believe this. I am always more productive when I have more things to get done, as I set myself tighter deadlines. While stress can get out of control if not handled well, some pressure can help to get tasks done.

And so when you are busier, you definitely get more done.

2. Everyday is a skincare battle

I have very acne-prone skin, and so I have to accept that some mornings when I wake up my skin will have break-outs worse than others. I’m starting to accept that everyday is a real skincare battle for me.

It’s great to find supportive people online who really understand the struggles of dealing with constant acne, and I’m slowly accepting this about myself.

3. Always prioritise your mental health

This is definitely important to remember whatever stage of your life you are in. Mental health is so important as it’s the centre of everything to do with your well-being. You need to find out what helps your mental health- whether that’s time with others or time alone. And then you need to do it.

Remember to take time for yourself, and know how to make yourself feel mentally strong and capable.

4. It’s okay to disagree with people- even when it’s unpopular

It can be hard to disagree with people when it seems like you have an unpopular opinion, but this is slowly something I’m starting to realise. It’s okay to disagree with people as long as it’s well-informed and not just for the sake of it.

5. Peppermint tea can solve anything

I love peppermint tea, and I always pour myself a cup for any ailment- physical or mental. I find it has very calming properties, and I would definitely recommend it for period pain or if you’re having a cosy night in.

6. Family is the most important thing

Family is so important. And this isn’t just people you’re related to or that you live with. It could be housemates, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, or extended family. Anyone who has an important impact on your life, or makes you feel happy, or supports you.

Those people should always be kept close. I am a true believer that it’s not about where you are, but about who you’re with.

7. Gilmore Girls is the best series

It really is! Me and my family love this series, and it provides endless hours of entertainment and conversation among me, my family, and my friends. I really recommend it.

8. Fitness and health can be a real mood boost

It’s only since the pandemic started that I’ve started working out, and exercise can be a real mood boost. I know this isn’t new information, but for me I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

photo of woman doing yoga

9. Pizza is just as good the day after

This is universally acknowledged, surely? I love pizza a lot, and if you have never ordered a pizza and then saved some of it for later- or even for lunch the day after- you need to now.

10. It’s okay to say no to socialisation

Even when you love someone to bits, sometimes you need time by yourself. And sometimes you want to be surrounded by people. It’s okay to appreciate both states of mind, so don’t be afraid to tell the people you love that you fancy some time alone.

11. Social media can be toxic

I no longer use Facebook or my personal Instagram account- and I’ve really felt the benefits. I used to compare myself a lot to others on social media, so I think (while social media can be great) it’s worth checking some unhealthy, toxic habits related to using it.

12. Social media can also be a very lovely place

I love using social media for my blog, even if I don’t use it in my personal life. It’s such a great place to talk to other bloggers and promote my posts. I love the Twitter community, and so I’m not completely against the use of social media- just as long as it’s being used for good!

13. People filter their photos!

As someone with constant break-outs, it can be annoying when it seems that everyone has perfectly clear skin. So I think it’s important that I’ve learned that people filter their photos.

It’s not necessarily a positive or negative thing, but it’s something you have to accept- and you have to understand that everyone has flaws. And in the age of social media, not everything is as it seems.

14. Not everything in life is black and white

I think this is one of the most important things I’ve learned in my 21 years. It’s so easy for people to view issues in the world as black vs. white, good vs. bad. But there are so many grey areas in life, and with current topics we always have to remember that there are two sides to many stories.

I’ve also learned that having an open mind is about accepting other opinions and not shutting yourself off to opinions other than your own. It can be hard to do this, but life wouldn’t be interesting without differing opinions.

15. Cheese makes everything better

On a physical and mental level, cheese makes everything better. I love adding cheese to most meals I eat, and it definitely improves everything!

appetizing baked sliced seafood pizza with mushrooms
Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV on Pexels.com

16. I am bad at doing my hair

I can do about 4 different hair styles, and they’re very basic. I find hair styles very difficult to do, and this is something I have definitely learned in the past 21 years. And I’m okay with that, maybe in the future I’ll follow YouTube videos and perfect some more complicated hairstyles!

17. I experience the photic sneeze reflex

This basically means that when I look at bright lights or I’m sat in the sun, I often have the instinct to sneeze. This isn’t a big deal or anything- it just means I’m likely sneeze when I’m sat next to a very sunny window, for example.

But it’s only this year that I realised only 18-35% of the population have this reflex- after almost 20 years thinking everyone experienced this!

18. I’m good at cooking- but only easy recipes

I’ve spent the past few years at University, and so I’ve been cooking more meals for myself. And I can cook well, as long as the recipes are easy. I love making spaghetti bolognaise, chilli, fajitas, roasted veggies and rice… And I enjoy it. But I’ve definitely learned that easy recipes are my favourite.

19. I love to sing- even badly

I love singing, and I annoy everyone by constantly singing along to lyrics- especially seeing as I’m not particularly good, and I rarely know all the lyrics. But I genuinely think that singing can be good for you, and I’ve found it’s a good way to let out some emotion during lockdown.

There’s nothing like listening to music and getting lost in a good song.

20. Its okay to not know where you’re going

Maybe this isn’t something that I’ve learned- but it’s definitely something I’d like to believe!

Post-University, I have no idea what I’m going to do next. I want to find a job, find out what I like doing, and go from there. But it can be hard when every single person around you seems to have a plan set in stone.

I’ve been spending some time doing courses in subjects such as marketing and content creating, as these are fields I’m very interested in. I particularly enjoyed “An Introduction to Content Marketing” and “How to Create Engaging Social Media Marketing Content”.

If you fancy trying out some courses, Skillshare Premium offers a 2 month *free-trial before you’re charged monthly or annually. In my opinion this deal is 100% worth it, and once you *sign-up you get access to lots of great courses!

21. Everyday sexism is real

I have definitely learned this. There are so many instances of everyday sexism, and whether you’ve experienced it or not it can be the little things that grate on you. Boys assuming they can shout rude comments as you walk by, groping in clubs, people asking me what my dad does and not my mum.

Small instances of sexism (or people acting like idiots) are often excused away or forgotten, but for the individual, these instances can be annoying or even harmful.

I seem to have learned a lot in my 21 years- but it certainly doesn’t feel like it! I hope you enjoyed reading all my thoughts here.

What are your thoughts on my list? What would you add to your own list? Would you write a similar post on your next birthday? Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below!

Happy reading x

* I am a Skillshare affiliate, meaning I earn a little commission if you sign-up to the program using this link. This doesn’t affect your experience of Skillshare or the deal offered.

79 thoughts

  1. Loved reading this post and the life lessons you have learned. sun doesn’t make me sneeze but the supermarket aisles with heavily scented cleaning products does, and these days this scares people nearby so I find myself explaining to strangers that I’m not ill.
    I can’t remember song lyrics so I make up my own and sing off key! Keep singing – good for the soul.
    And Happy 21st!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Birthday! I agree with you, Gilmore Girls is the best show ever. No matter how many times I watch it, it never gets old and always makes me happy. Peppermint tea is the best! ! 🍵💚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Birthday! Amazing wisdom at 21 – I mean just look at #1!

    Chamomile is my go-to tea when I need to unwind. Will need to try peppermint!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome list! I’m a bit late on my birthday, but I think these are so fun and want to do one myself.
    I agree that Gilmore Girls is the best! It’s fun to see everything that you’ve learned.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an excellent list (mostly!) – I still prefer a good coffee to peppermint tea.

    And now that you’ve discovered that “Not everything in life is black and white” you could definitely work in the tax industry!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy belated birthday! These are great life lessons. Weirdly today is my birthday and I have written the same post as you, although 37 lessons! Oh man! How did I get this old.

    Thank you for sharing, I hope you had a lovely birthday x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love these. To be honest, I’ve only ever watched a couple of episodes of Gilmore Girls… :/ but I have heard wonderful things! 100% agree everyday sexism is a real thing!
    Thank you for sharing this awesome list!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy Birthday! And I totally relate to a lot on this list, you’ve included a lot of good things (cheese DOES fix everything!!!) and learning how to make time for yourself and how everyday sexism is real is so important.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi I just came across this post!

    I really enjoyed reading this, and as someone who is 22 atm and has just finished a university degree, I could relate to a lot of this! In particular, I could relate to

    3 – Prioritise mental health. I am someone that struggled with mental health and anxiety at university and I had to learn this the hard way. Now I am actively trying to not neglect my mental health and I am happier for it

    4 – It’s ok to disagree with people. Sometimes I will have conversations with friends and there will be things that come up I don’t agree with. Instead of keeping that to myself I say that I don’t agree and why in a polite way. And friends have also disagreed with me sometimes, but being more honest and open in this sense has only helped my friendships

    11/12 – Social media can be great but also bad. Recently I have tried to use social media in a more positive way, so that I would benefit from the great things that social media has to offer! Having said that, I try to avoid the toxic parts of social media e.g. fake news. Because I have used social media postively, I have found social media to help me!

    Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more blogs from you!

    Feel free to read some of my blogs as well, I have written blogs on some of the topics you touched upon in this article!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, I completely agree with your thoughts and I think it’s so important to use anything in your life for good- whether that means using social media or not 🙂


  10. I love this post! Love gilmore girls, I think I might have that look into the sun and sneeze thing – tho it might just be hayfever? also, omg yes I literally cannot do my hair 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

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