21 Lessons I’ve Learned by the Age of 21


In November of 2018, I finally turned 21. While this new age has brought upon a lower car insurance rate and legalized alcohol drinking, I feel like the most beautiful thing about turning 21 was being able to look back and reflect upon the past years of my life. In this blog post, I highlight 21 very important lessons that I’ve learned at the age of 21 (in no particular order). I hope that you’ll be able to learn from my lessons and to implement some of these into your own lives– I definitely wish I had known these things sooner!

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Credits: Phuong Tran


  1. You have to love yourself before you’re able to love and be loved by others. It’s like when you’re on a plane and the oxygen masks drop down because the air pressure is low; assist yourself before assisting your neighbor so that both of you have a better chance at surviving.
  2. Friends come and go, but your family will always be there. Your family doesn’t have to be blood relatives, they can be friends that have become so close that they’re practically family. These are “your people” and they will always love and support you no matter what.
  3. Opposites attract, but birds of a feather flock together. While those that seem completely polar to you may catch your eye and intrigue you, those that share similar morals, values, and passions as you will resonate with you most.
  4. Beauty doesn’t equal perfection. Being beautiful doesn’t mean you look like the girl on the cover of this month’s issue of Vogue. Copy and pasting is plagiarizing and will never be as good as an original work.
  5. Sharing is caring, but you should ask for other people’s permission before sharing your burdens with them. People need to have enough energy and the capacity in order to help you. If you’re placing your burdens on them without consent, they’ll end up drained and unable to even help themselves.
  6. You deserve better. Sometimes you settle for less because it’s faster or easier, but if waiting a little longer or putting in a little more work into something will give you better results, do it.
  7. Save money, live better. If you are able to have money saved up, you’ll be able to afford things when emergencies come up or when holidays come around and won’t have to worry about not having enough money to spare.
  8. Appreciate what you have. Don’t compare yourselves to others who lead different lives than you because you may have things they admire as well.
  9. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen and learn rather than take up too much space from other people. You have two ears for listening but only one mouth to speak.
  10. You only have a certain amount of energy. Your energy gets taken up by different areas of your life including family, school, work, friends, love, etc. if someone else needs some of your energy, you need to make sure you have enough to spare before wasting any of it on problems that do not concern you.
  11. Stay hungry. Know what it’s like to be starving and not have much in your bank account so that you can appreciate the value of money more and to be more frugal even when you’re comfortable.
  12. Love is kind and love is patient. Be kind to yourself and patiently wait for someone who is actually worth your time to be in a relationship with. Don’t jump into relationships just because everyone else seems to be in one. You’re wasting your precious time if you’re settling for someone who you have no future with.
  13. Instagram isn’t a reality. Everyone has an online persona of how they portray themselves. Don’t get caught up in their picture-perfect lives and perform self-pity on yourself.
  14. Coffee is why you’re broke. We spend so much money on caffeinated drinks every single week. While it may seem like it isn’t expensive at the time, these transactions really add up. You could be so much richer if you didn’t buy coffee or drinks as often.
  15. Put your phone away. When you’re out with friends, family, studying, or on a date, just put your phone away. You and your loved ones will definitely appreciate having more focused attention on the situation at hand instead of browsing social media or answering emails for work.
  16. There’s no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone. If you’re comfortable, chances are nothing is improving, getting done, and knowledge is not being gained. Challenge yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone and growth will occur.
  17. You can be bougie on a budget. Not all nice things have to be expensive. Thrift stores and consignment stores are the way to go.
  18. Work smarter, not harder. You’re allowed to take shortcuts if it ends with the same results. Organize your life and see which corners you can cut so that you’re not overwhelmed with work at all times.
  19. Setting goals are not enough. You’ve set your goals, now what? You need to actively plan how to make it happen, when it will happen, and what results you want to achieve.
  20. Time is precious. While scheduling time to do things is great and will keep you on track, taking the time to say “I love you” or appreciating your loved ones is rarely scheduled. Make sure you’re grateful for those in your life.
  21. Adulting is hard but doable. I used to fear becoming an adult because of the responsibilities that came with it. I still don’t know how to do taxes on my own nor do I know how to change my own tire, but life is doable if you have the right resources and aim to learn. Adulting isn’t that bad if you have your loved ones close.
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Credits: Phuong Tran

That’s it for this post. Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read my blog!


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