A lifestyle blog all about Birmingham, UK.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

7 things I've learned at 21

It's finally my birthday month! Well, I say finally, it only seems like yesterday that I turned 21 last summer. With my birthday a few weeks away, it's got me thinking about how life has changed since I turned the big 21 as this has been the biggest year of my life so far. When I turned 21, I had graduated from university a few weeks beforehand and was pretty much unemployed. I was spending my days applying for jobs which had anything to do with my degree. When I say that I was applying for jobs, like, I really was going hard on good old Indeed, applying for what felt like hundreds a day and not caring about what the salary was because I didn't really understand what salary a recent graduate should even be earning.

I was single, still am, but I did quite want a boyfriend at the time. Above anything though, I was terrified. I thought that I was on a roll in third year and suddenly, I didn't know what to do with myself and I was desperate to not make do. A few weeks after my 21st birthday, I was offered by first full time graduate role, and that's when I started learning, a lot, about myself and the world around me...

Don't make brash decisions
When I got offered my first role, I dropped everything and moved back up to Liverpool within four days and I had to find a place to live very quickly. I probably settled for a place I wasn't crazy about because I was in such a rush to move in so I could get fully settled at my job. Thinking about it now, the place where I lived actually was a bit of a rip off and I wish I would have had more time to search for somewhere which I preferred. And the bills! Oh wow, nothing prepared me for how much water and electric actually cost. Suddenly all the times my mum has had a go at me over the years for keeping all the lights on made perfect sense! Again, because I was in a rush to settle, I made do with signing up with any company and ended up spending a ridiculous amount of my wages on the flat and all the bills. When I moved home from Liverpool, I vowed to myself that I would do much more research in the future.

It's OK to ditch the plan
I have always been a big fan of lists and having a good idea about how I want my future to pan out. But if I've learned anything over the past year, it's that life just doesn't work out that way! Stop thinking about life in 10 years and focus on goals within the next few years, because you never know what's going to happen. It's OK to ditch the plan and focus on life at the moment instead of where you want to live, what age you want kids etc etc! It sounds ridiculous, but most girls do have these thoughts at some point. Just got to roll with the punches!

You are not a failure 
When I left my job in Liverpool earlier this year and decided to move home, I felt like a real failure. I was shocked at myself for allowing myself to do such a thing. I was embarrassed that the whole career girl living the city thing hadn't worked out and I was back to square one living with my dad in Stourbridge. But by making these changes, I'm such a happier and much more chilled person now. I know that I will eventually move out and start again, but what's the rush? I'm a hard worker and I'm definitely not a failure!

You probably shouldn't try and be friends with an ex...
Me and my ex continued to talk and flirt for almost two years after it ended. I tried to convince myself and others that I was over it, but I wasn't and I couldn't be, because he was still in my life and I still wanted to impress him and wanted him to like me. The moment I realised that by talking to him I was just hurting myself and wasn't allowing myself to move on, I became so much happier with my life! I soon realised that we weren't friends at all and the only reason I spoke to him still was because if he was talking to me, then surely he's not talking to another girl? Wrong! If an ex is bringing nothing but hurt to your life, ditch him.

Accept that everyone is at different stages in their lifeIt's incredibly easy to pass judgement on others but this year, I've learned where to draw the line. Your early twenties are the weirdest time because everyone around you is doing their own thing and everyone is at different stages. Some don't really want a career, others it's all they want. Some live with their boyfriends, some live with their parents. We're still at an age where we're trying to figure everything out, so you need to accept that not all of your friends are going to be in the same boat instead of trying to tell them how to live their life.

My parents are brilliant 
Wow this past year has shown me how much my parents really have done a fantastic job of bringing me up! It may have taken 21 years to realise, but thank god I have. I feel like I am more open and honest with my parents now and it's so great to know that I always have their support. The beginning of this year left me at several crossroads and I couldn't have got through and made the correct decisions that I did without them being there for me.

True friends stick aroundSounds cliche, but this year has proven to me who my true friends are. At university, you are in a bubble and think you're always going to be best mates with people. But life happens and you can't keep up all these different relationships as you once were able to. True friends stick around, check up on you occasionally and support you. I used to think that the best friends were the type who were always up for doing things and going out, but that's so not the case anymore. In fact, I would rather chill with my mates now instead of going crazy on a night out, and that makes me think I've suddenly got very old!

What did you learn about yourself when you were 21?

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