21 Things I’ve Learned In 21 Years

As some of you may know, my birthday is coming up soon (November 9th y’all!). At first, I didn’t think I would be marking the occasion, especially not here on the blog, because I didn’t think it was relevant, but then I realized that I was about to hit a pretty important number. Turning 21 is no big deal here in Quebec, but I’m finally going to be legal in the United States as well! Then, I realized that I had to do something to celebrate it here. I’ve seen a lot of these “__ things I’ve learned in __ years” all over the Internet, so I thought I would give this thing a try.

My 21st birthday is coming up! Here are 21 things I've learned in 21 years.

1. Making friends is hard. As an introvert, making friends is always something that I’ve struggled with. I don’t naturally navigate towards other people, and other people don’t come to me easily. I don’t know why, that’s just the way it is. When I got to university, I thought things would be different. I thought that I would meet a bunch of awesome communications majors and that we would just naturally click and become friends. But that’s not what happened. For two entire semesters, I was on my own. I talked to other people in my classes, sure, but I didn’t hang out with any of them. I dreaded days where I had to stay over on campus for lunch because I knew that meant that I would be eating alone. Then, finally, during my summer semester, I started to chat more often with some people. But it’s only this semester that I can finally say that I’ve made some friends. It took me over a year to get over myself and start hanging out with some of the people in my major.

2. Friends are so important. While true friends are hard to make, this year I’ve realized how lucky I was to have met the people that I did in CEGEP. While I was looking for an internship, my friends kept encouraging me and cheering me up. They gave me confidence and made me feel like I could conquer the world. I might not see them very often because of our eclectic schedules, but I don’t know what I would do without them. They encourage me to take risks and try new things, and because of them I will be living one of my best years ever in 2017 (more on that in another post!).

3. It’s ok not to be perfect. I’m a perfectionist. I don’t like to appear less than perfect. But ever since I’ve left high school, I’ve realized that it’s okay to not always be the best at everything. I would rather excel at something and be recognized for that than be good at everything. It’s ok not to be on top of everything all the time. As Hannah Montana would say, nobody’s perfect.

4. Appearance isn’t everything. I come from a family where looks matter a lot. I have been judged many times by my family because I wasn’t thin enough, fashionable enough, or pretty enough. But in the past few years, I’ve come at terms with who I am and have learned how to love myself just the way I look. Of course, I get bad days where I don’t even want to look at myself in the mirror, but I’ve learned to be happy with who I am.

5. Being an adult is hard. I used to think that everything would be easier once I turned 18. But boy was I wrongBeing an adult comes with responsibilities, and I’m not really ready to take on so many.

6. Don’t be afraid of taking risks. This year, because of my friends, I’ve finally started reaching out for opportunities, and it paid off! I can already tell 2017 is going to be a life-changing one for me.

7. Don’t let people drag you down. People’s opinions do not matter. Just do your best and forget about what everyone else thinks about you. As long as you‘re happy with who you are, it doesn’t matter what other people think!

8. Hard work pays off. I know people have made fun of me because I never go out and spend most of my time indoors, studying, but hard work is always worth it. The proof is, I got 16 internship interviews (never seen before!) because of my amazing report card!

9. Don’t push people away. I’m the type of person who likes being alone. I don’t need to be with someone all the time, and I actually prefer spending my free time on my own than with other people. But because of that, I tend to push my family and my friends away. It’s ok to want to be alone, but don’t forget to give them so space in your life from time to time too!

10. Learn to let go. Do you best and don’t hold grudges against people for stupid things. That will just make you more alone.

11. You don’t have to go to that party. I used to feel bad because I never went to uni parties. My friends kept inviting me, and sometimes I did tag along, but the truth is: I hate parties. So it’s ok to say no just because you don’t want to go. If your friends truly love you, they’ll respect that.

12. Stop being ashamed of who you are and what you love. I’ve learned to love myself in the past years, but I still cannot own everything that I do. Sometimes I’m ashamed of reading a certain type of books or loving romantic comedies or listening to certain songs. Even better, I used to be ashamed to tell people that I had a blog. But ever since I told friends about it and put it on my resumé, the only thing that I got in return is support. So embrace who you are and what you love!

13. Don’t let others define you. Don’t let other people’s opinion get in the way of who you are.

14. You have to stand up for yourself. Nobody is going to do it for you. 

15. Success doesn’t come overnight. I used to think that my blog would instantly become popular and that I would get millions of pageviews easily. When that didn’t happen, I was upset. But what I forgot is that blogging isn’t easy and that you have to work hard to see results. So I started investing on my blog and it paid off. Remember that nothing worth having comes easily.

16. Don’t let people get in the way of your dreams. There is something that I’ve been working on lately (more on that soon!) that I was afraid to tell my parents. Because I knew they wouldn’t support it. So when I told them, I fully excepted them to tell me no. And they did, or at least, they did at first. But I decided that I didn’t need them to achieve my dream. Of course, I would rather have their support, but if they didn’t approve, it wasn’t the end of the world. Now, I’m on my way to doing something that I’ve been wanting to do for years and I couldn’t feel any better about it.

17. Family will always be there for you, no matter what. We overcame some pretty hard times in the past few months, and while everything isn’t coming up roses, I realized that my family supported me in my decisions and would always be there to encourage me to achieve my dreams.

18. Take time to do the things you love. It’s important to take some time off every day to do what you love to do. Whether it is reading, blogging or watching another episode of New Girl.

19. A relationship goes both ways. You are not the only reason why a friendship is crumbling, but you also need to work hard to keep the people you love in your life. Don’t always let the other person make the first step.

20. Your worth is not defined by the amount of likes you get on social media. Numbers aren’t everything. Just because you don’t get over a hundred likes on that selfie doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful. I’d rather have two really supportive friends that will like and comment every of my pictures than 1,562 likes on Instagram.

21. Just have fun! It’s ok to take a break from work and college from time to time. You are not a machine, you need to unwind sometimes!

Whare are the things you have learned abouf life so far?

By the way, I have created a reader survey for the blog because I want to know what YOU think about it and what YOU want! So if you want your opinion to be heard, please fill the survey!

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  • Happy early birthday!!! What do you plan to doing on your big day?
    I couldn’t agree more with everything you listed. I used to be so insecure about likes on social media and it’s not even that big of a deal!

    • Thank you so much, Yvanne! I do not have anything planned for my birthday because it falls on a Wednesday and I have class that day. :/ But who knows, maybe I’ll plan something after all!

  • Anna Hubbard

    Fellow introvert here – love all of these! Happy early birthday!
    -Anna | http://www.fivefootandfabulous.com

  • Laura S.

    This is a great post! Happy birthday 🙂 I’m close to you, just in NB!!

    • Thank you, Laura! When is your birthday?

  • Happy birthday girl! You are already ahead of me as a 21 year old! So wise!

    • Thank you! And hehe, I’m not as wise as I sound. 😉

  • I love all of those lessons! Happy almost birthday girllll. 🙂
    xoxo, Jenny

  • Elly Leavitt

    I love reading all these “__ things I learned in ___ years” posts! happy almost birthday! x

    • Thank you! I love reading those posts too. 🙂

  • So many of these I was like “yessss!” Lol Happy early birthday btw!

    Caitlyn | http://www.collegewithcaitlyn.com

    • Haha, good to know! 😉 Thank you, Caitlyn!

  • I love these lessons Amelie! I agree with all of them and found them to be true in my life too! Happy early birthday!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

    • I’m so glad! Thank you, Rachel!

  • jenna

    Happy birthday! Are we the same person, because this list is basically everything I’ve learned and struggle with, too. Sometimes it seems like life can be hard for an introvert but we’re just different.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Jenna
    http://www.shopthatssofletch.com

    • Thank you! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who went through this. You’re right, we introverts are just different!

  • Alex Lo

    happy birthday!! so many great lessons!

  • Happy birthday!! These are all so important! As we get older, I think we really appreciate our families and understand their choices more.

    Alix | http://www.apintsizedlife.com

    • Thank you! And I agree, we understand the importance of family and friendship more as we get older.

  • such a fun list, girl! i agree with all of them, but especially taking risks! i recently left my full time job to pursue happy and i have never been happier! happy birthday! xx http://www.heartofchic.com

    • That’s so awesome! Congratulations! And thank you for your kind wishes!

  • Miss ALK

    Happy early 21st birthday girly!!! Sounds like you have learned some important lessons this year!! Growing up definitely is hard, but it has its perks too. 🙂 Enjoy your special day!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • Such good advice!!

  • This is awesome! Happy late birthday!