What I Thought I Knew At 21.

Hey all! I hope all is well, I’ve been super busy with school and other obligations, but as always, very happy to be sharing my thoughts/experiences with all of you!

Lately, I’ve been doing some reflecting. On things ranging from behaviors that I’ve had while dating to unlearning terrible things that I’ve grown to have a habit of, in general. I’d like to think that in my twenty something years of living, I know a lot more about things, like lifestyles and traveling and dating to give my perspective on it… but in reality, I still have a lot to learn, about myself and dating, among other things.

At just 21 years old, I have enough experience in these things:

  • Dorming freshman year of college
  • transferring to community college
  • commuting to and from college
  • being an intern
  • self-esteem
  • mental health
  • dating/relationships

But-as much as I hate admitting this: I have a lot to fucking learn. 


Thankfully though, I have the rest of my life to figure it all out. 

So I asked people who are around my age-maybe a bit older-what they wished they knew when they were either my age, younger or even now and these responses really resonated with some of the things that I wished I had known, so let’s take a look!

Self-Love 

This right here is a big one for me and some of the ladies and men out there. The concept of self love is so large and vast that there are situational effects that lead us to doubt our self-worth. With the media being as controlling as it is in profitting off of our insecurities on make up, clothing, electronics, etc., its almost impossible to avoid it and listen to our own inner voices. We often act on not just emotion, but also on social proof.

Social proof is when we see someone reacting or acting a certain way to something and it reinforces in us the way we should react to things or act on things. For example, if someone is dying in front of a crowd, you’ll look around and see if anyone else is paying attention. if it so happens that the crowd  isn’t, then chances are you’re not going to pay attention.

Or if it so happens that someone is taking a video of something happening at a concert, chances are youre going to take a video of it, too because of this powerful thing called social proof!

The thing is when we lack self-love in ourselves, we turn to things that most people would turn to because, we think that if other people are doing it (whether that be sex, drugs, alcohol, smoking cigarettes, etc) , we’d want to do it too and see if we feel anything that we desire or anything that other people have felt. 

We look to things that seem like they’ll give us stability, within ourselves.

Little do we know, engaging in these things at an excessive rate is bound to create voids and makes us more likely to avoid the problems we have,  rather than facing them head on. 

The Value of Success

A lot of times we get caught up in things that are “symbols” of success. These items that we attribute success to are just things like the apple watch, a big house, a really nice car. These are just things that we have added meaning to, because we see the way it is being portrayed by our mediated outlets. For example, we don’t just see an Audi as a car…

Image result for audi gif

We see it as, “the ultimate driving machine”, and as usual there’s always someone dressed to the nines driving this car. 

The same thing goes when looking at schools. We think we’re going to get the best education at an ivy league, than at a public college nearby. We assign meaning to the name of a school for example, because we see and hear of people coming out of those institutions “prepared for the real world”. Which is great and all, but isn’t that the goal of all colleges? To make you into a competent human being, in a field that interests you while also being in demand for decent pay?

I mean where else is my money going, if you’re not going to be making a self-reliant individual out of me? haha. 

But in all seriousness though, I learned that it doesn’t matter where the hell you go to school. If you decide to go to a community college or not, it doesn’t matter. What  matters is how you are able to use the tools you have learned in your undergrad and what you got out of using them. It does not matter where you came from, what matters is how you are able to use the experiences you have gained in college and what edge you have on the competition who went to a different, well-endowed, college. At the end of the day, college is college and it’s up to you to attribute the meaning it has in your life. 

I think when we were much younger we used to see success as glitz, glamour and effortless. Success ain’t at all like that. It’s years of hard-work, determination and sacrifices. We work our asses off for what seems like nothing, but in reality, its something that propels us forward, even if it’s a little bit and even if it takes us a while to see it. 

The same thing goes for us who are still in school. It doesn’t matter if you’re 30 and in your junior year of college or 50 and just starting out on your journey. Success isn’t measured by how many benchmarks you pass, it’s measured in how your goals are being met and if they are getting you to where you need to be. Goals aren’t things that are easily met, they take time and they take consistency for you to meet them. 

Learning to Listen

This is a big one right here.  We like to think we are in charge of our destinies, and we are, but more specifically we are doing things that many years ago wasn’t a thing. People my age are working 2 and even 3 jobs trying to make their ends meet,  some of which are also trying to make it work at school. Many times, the money takes precedence over our lives because as much as we want to go out with friends, we can’t because we have to pay bills and make sure we survive (LITERALLY). 

What’s more is we hate hearing when older generations talk about our generation by saying how much easier things were when they were our age!They don’t get it, they don’t get that a college tuition is over ten grand a year (and quite frankly a semester sometimes) or that sometimes we do things for the sake of our mental health, like taking a sick day from work. That’s something that older generations don’t get because they were exposed to different media and their approach to life is completely different compared to now. Not saying it’s all bad, but what I mean to say is that they each had things that helped them get through whatever they had through, whether it be providing for their families or providing for themselves because nobody was around.

I could go on, but what I’m trying to say here is that in some ways this generational difference could help us or ultimately destroy us. It’s so easy to say, “ugh linda, what do you know? College tuition for you was like $100 a semester, I have a car to pay for, college tuition to pay for and an apartment I rent, for much more, How could you possibly understand my situation???”

While linda may have paid only a small amount for her college tuition, she probably has learned some things along the way and when she hears of this, she is responding to you, young millenial, in a way that she wished someone had told her this word of advice. 

Sometimes we don’t want to hear it because simply we don’t have time for it or aren’t in the right headspace for it. That being said, I think we all tend to listen to these words of wisdom from people when we are ready to hear them, not when we’re in a weird headspace. 

Finding a Good Career

Often times, people like our friends, family ask us the doomed question

“What do you want to do when you graduate college?” 

or better yet, “Who would you like to work for?”

When we’re looking into careers, we want to look into something that is a passion of ours, but we neglect to look at the demand of pay. We want to do something with our lives that also generates money. 

But the fear is that if we end up choosing something that is in demand, will it be everything we hoped it will be? Will we grow in that area?

I was personally afraid of this as well. I remember when I started out at my first year of college, I was an undeclared major, with hopes of becoming a nursing major. That never worked out as much as I hoped it would, but I learned that it’s a career that is always in demand, just not one for me. Later on, I found a calling in communication studies at community college, and fell in love. While communication studies has become vast in terms of what you can do, I realized I really wanted to go into Public Relations. Not only is PR something I love, but it’s something that is so vast and will allow me to grow, and it’s also in demand. 

That being said, I think now more than ever, we are looking at things differently in the sense that we value our time, therefore we’re looking at careers that are in demand for us. 

Enjoying Life

In the midst of all of this craziness,  we forget to take time for ourselves. In my last post, I talked about the importance of saying no for the sake of your mental health. 

We have two choices in life, to enjoy life or to be crippled by every little thing that happens in life. 

I hope you choose the former and rise up from the circumstances. Surround yourself with people who make you a better person and never forget to be good and moral.

You have only one life to live, how will you live it?

Sending a ton of love and light your way, 

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