Things I Learned over 21 Years

Yep, I’m 21. Although I feel pretty old (which I’m not), I’m very thankful for my life thus far. Especially since college, I’ve learned so many new things, and added to existing thoughts that I’ve had in the past.

Here are a few words of advice I’ve picked up over the years, and what I try to live by. They’re pretty general and standard stuff, but I think it’s always useful to highlight important things as good reminders.

1. Have an optimistic view on life.

I’ll admit, this one is harder to do the older you get. There’s a lot of hurt and sorrow in the world, and it’s hard to be optimistic at times. But despite all this, know that life is good and count your blessings. By focusing on your blessings, you’ll soon realize that there are many things to be thankful for, and you’ll have the added benefit of approaching problems much more effectively.

2. Don’t settle for less.

Because you deserve more than that. Strive to be your best, and don’t do things solely to please others or to just get by. Not saying that you need to be the absolute best, just be the absolute best you can be. When you reach that ideal state, you’ll know.

3. Things will always be okay.

This one I learned especially during college, in light of constant stress over tests, clubs, and work. A lot of my friends can attest to this one. No matter how terrible things may look at the moment, it will be okay in the end. Approach challenges with the right attitude (see #1 and #2), and look at the bigger picture. You’ll still have your family, friends, and health. Why stress over problems that will probably turn out to be much smaller than you’d thought anyway?

4. Actions speak louder than words.

I can’t stress this one enough. I’ve heard of countless things that people will do, have promised to do, or hope to do in the future. Don’t just say, DO! That means taking the first step, the initiative, and even the risk. Because there’s a big difference between talking and doing, and what really matters in the end is if you actually did it. Don’t let your fear of trying something become a regret.

5. Don’t do things to please others.

Another big one I’ve learned over the years. There’s a big difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and from what I’ve read and seen, intrinsic motivation is much more sustainable long-term. Doing things to get the approval of others will eventually burn you out. This applies to many things, from daily choices to career choices. Do things because you enjoy them, because you can learn from them, and because you will grow from them.

Okay, I’ll keep it at that. Again, wanted to thank my family and friends for their love and support through the years. As much as I don’t mention it, I really appreciate you guys. As I continue to grow and learn, I hope I’ll be able to share the good times with all of you.

Be old at

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