21 things I learned about life at 21

The day I turned 21, I remember my loved ones all prepared to celebrate the day, my best friend holding a cake in his hands waiting for me to blow the candles and wish, others waiting for the cake to get cut and finally for the party to get started, I dressed up in my best so far, and everybody around celebrating me turning 21, finally!

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As the day was passing by, I remember I could not believe I am 21 already! I was extremely happy about it. This was my year. My year to officially do everything, my year to take my career a step ahead, my year to move on. It was finally happening. A year has passed, and as I’m getting ready to turn 22 (cue my girl Taylor Swift), it’s really easy to look back on it all. So here we go, the 21 things I learned about life the year I turned 21.

  1. You must be your first priority. Your life is all about you. How you live, how you react to things around, how you perceive, how you perform, etc. Do not ever let anybody tell you otherwise. No matter what you come across, be it your career, that nice guy, an event or whatsoever, you must never forget your importance and dignity. Once taken a step back, you would be left with nothing but regrets.

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  2. Being humble is the key. Trust me, friends, once you realize the power of being humble you won’t think it twice again. You being humble to someone can equally affect the lives of both. Simmer down. You would soon see great things happening for you. Just when you would forget the source from where all the blessings are coming to you, life will get it back to you in the most unexpected way.

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  3. You can’t have everything in life. Try hard at the things you want. Now try harder one more time. If even then you do not acquire them, just let it go. Though at times it might be difficult to accept the fact, but eventually you would realise, some things are just not meant for you. No matter how hard you try, you’ll always fail at it. So, take a deep breath, and let it go, forever.

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  4. People can be mean. Very mean. Even though you are nice to them. Benevolence is a rarity, and certain people get swallowed up by the envy and disdain of who they wish they were. I have seen people being ‘all yours’ on your face and bitching at your back. People would call you only when they need you. They would be nice to you, only when they are seeking something from you. You would suddenly become the ‘BFF’ for someone, who would need your help.
    So, if you are at the receiving end, just smile and remember that you are so special that people need to make such extra efforts to hurt you eventually.
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  5. Do not settle. On that job, or that city, or that haircut or even that guy. Just don’t. Unless you feel it strong enough deep inside.
  6. It’s OK to be alone. Someday, there would come a time, when you would be left alone. You would have no friends at your back, who once promised to ‘be there for you forever’, the guy you most trusted on would leave you for somebody else, your parents would not understand you, and you would feel alone. Alone and no one to talk to, no one to express to. If you too feel so, trust me you aren’t alone. Bask in the glory of your own reflection and reflect within yourself.
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  7. Inspiration is everywhere. Probably not on your iPhone screen. Look out at the world away from your feet. From a dog in street to a billionaire at an expensive bar, everyone has something to teach you. Just look up.
  8. Trust your instincts. Our senses are smarter than we give them credit for. They are always right. Ok not always but mostly. If you feel like he is the one, this is the job to go for, this dress is not what you should invest on, or that you should eat a doughnut now, do it. ESP is real.
  9. You don’t have time. If at any point in your life, be it while working on an office presentation, or planning on meeting your friends, feel like you have enough time and you would do it the next day, ditch that thought now. Trust me. The biggest thing I have realized at 21 and am very sure of now is the fact that thinking that we have time is the biggest mistake we do.
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  10. Turning 21 is expensive. You have more parties to attend, therefore more clothes. More people to invite to your parties, therefore budget. More alcohol, more shopping, more eat-outs, more recharges, everything just rises up a notch. Moreover acquiring the taste of red wine is so sexy. Just do it.
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  11. Do not expect. Expectations are the root cause of all your sorrows and grieve. Yes. You often do things for people and expect them to do the same, but it turns out that they aren’t as concerned about you as you were for them. And this realization leads to teary eyes. I have experienced it all.
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  12. Take as many photographs as you can. Not only to post them on your Instagram and Facebook profiles but also to have a memory. Moments pass by and all you are left with is memories. People might change, things between you and friends might not be same today, but at least, you would always have those happy smiling pictures with you to make you happy and cry at the same time.
  13. SHOP. The more you do, the more you learn. Initially, I used to buy things that were nice to look at. Now I buy things that I look nice in. It’s different, very different. Shopping makes me happy and is like a therapy. Oh, it rhymed!
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  14. Say NO. Make people around you realize that NO is a complete sentence. Stop taking tasks of people just because you cannot say NO to them. Be it your boyfriend, your family, friends or colleagues, have guts to say No to them at things you don’t agree to.
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  15. It’s OK to be average. Average in studies, average in economic status, average in beauty, average in work or whatsoever it may be.
  16. Apologies. Sometimes even when you were not the guilty. I have realized that the reason behind all the arguments and fights, after a certain time, is only because of the ego that people do not want to leave. Just say sorry and resolve it. Though not always or you will lose it all.
  17. Confidence will take you places. Even if you aren’t dressed well, or do not have enough qualifications, or aren’t rich enough to flaunt it out, but if have enough confidence, you can certainly turn the tables around.
  18. Let karma do it for you. If you know you have been good to people and they did wrong to you, wish them luck and just chill. God works in mysterious ways.
  19. Always look for the positive. Even when you are hurt, when you have failed or at any low day of your life, just look for something positive and rejoice. Things happen for a reason. Just find it and move on.
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  20. Arguments make a relationship strong. I being in one know it. Lash it out. Even if it’s over the last slice of pizza. And although it will be uncomfortable, what comes out of these seemingly pointless arguments is a stronger, more resilient bonding of two. It’s much easier to put the drama behind you than hold a grudge.
  21. Forget and forgive. Probably the most important thing I have learned so far. Don’t scream at the sight of something that scares you. Don’t lose hope because of a blip. Forget, forgive and move on. You would find yourself in a happy place. Give a second chance, but never a third.

Live your life your way. Life is too short to be mean and not happy. I have realized it and trust me I am living the time of my life. Whatever it might be, I am ready to face it all as it comes tomorrow.

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And as Taylor Swift would sing,

“It feels like a perfect night for breakfast at midnight Uh oh!
I don’t know about you
But I’m feeling 22
Everything will be alright
If you keep me next to you
You don’t know about me
But I’ll bet you want to
Everything will be alright
If we just keep dancing like we’re
22, ooh-ooh
22, ooh-ooh
Tonight’s the night when we forget about the heartbreaks
I don’t know about you
But I’m feeling 22″

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