21 Things I Learned Before Turning 21 – OurWarwick
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21 Things I Learned Before Turning 21

Elena Sandu
Elena Sandu | Language, Culture and Communication Contact Elena

Last weekend (October 28th to be more exact) I turned 21. Do I feel different? Obviously not. However, for this blog post, I thought about gathering 21 most important life lessons I have learned over the course of my life and I wish I could have read about them at any point sooner in order to overcome some of the issues easier?! Anyhow, the person who said that “I never make the same mistake twice, I make it about five or six times… just to be sure” is probably every one of us. I personally think that in life you make plenty mistakes and it is never ever too late to turn time around and change some of the mistakes/ choices that you made. Enough with the philosophy, here is the list of 21 things I learned before turning 21:

1. The right of education. Nobody can ever take this right away from you. I am not saying that everyone should become doctors in whatever fields, but education shapes our mentalities and forms the leaders of tomorrow; by educating yourself you can constantly stay informed about what is going on in the world around you. Education usually leads us to a path towards whatever passion we find and helps us to secure an active role in any society.

2. Be curious, ask questions, don’t suffer in silence and always stay up to date.

3. Kindness and respect are probably the best qualities one can have. Nobody likes rude and unrespectful people as their friends, prospective relatives, co-workers and so on. Be so kind and loving that it startles people, and they wonder why you love so much.

4. Sometimes vulnerability can be your strongest asset. Everybody in the corporate environment has the idea that the work life and the personal life should be two distinct dimensions and that most leaders are made of steel. That is not necessarily the case. For example, if you are a salesperson and during a call, your interlocutor does not have the patience to listen to you or does not want to collaborate with you, showing humanity and selling yourself as being the real, authentic, human you will in 99.9% of the cases work.

5. Netflix, hence procrastination will get you out of a bad mood after a long hard day, but it will never write your essays/ do your coursework.

6. You will find many ‘loves’ and you will get heartbroken. Unfortunately, no one can be permanent in your life. You just have to learn to make compromises for the people who are willing to return them and to keep those people close. Everyone else is just a waste of your time and effort. Sometimes people are as iridescent as the colors of a sunset. They will burn for a moment then change and fade away. It’s ok to let them go. Only the good ones can stay.

7. Don’t spend money only on material things. From time to time, you have to realise that we do not with us things after we die, we take memories and experiences. Go to a concert, a football game, plan a family vacation, see your parents for Christmas.

8. Learn to say no from time to time, especially if you have other priorities to take care of.

9. Eat, pray, love.

10. Try not to have regrets. Go do whatever makes you happy, in order to not have “what if” thoughts.

11. Travel- as much as you can, as often as you can.

12. Money feels so much better to spend when you’re the one making it. I had a taste of that freedom and independence last summer. It definitely felt amazing to go on a trip to Italy without my parents having to pay for it.

13. Spend time alone, before committing to a serious relationship. You need to learn yourself as an individual and as a whole, before expanding this love onto someone else. It is healthy to love and be loved, but it is healthier to know yourself first.

14. Resilience or the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties can help you in any prospective job.

15. When everything gets overwhelming, go to the closest beach and take a stroll down the shore. There is nothing like looking at the endless mass of water and sky that will make you realize the enormity of the universe, and that will help you move on.

16. Getting out of your comfort zone is the hardest and most important step towards evolution.

17. Make time for your family, no matter how many assignments/ tasks/ deadlines you have. A short chat with your mom can change your mood for the entire day.

18. In a field of normal cows, be a purple cow. (Seth Godin in “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable”: When you drive by a heard of cattle they all look like cows and it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary. But if you drive by a heard and standing in the field is a Purple Cow you have to tell someone because it is so different. When something forces you to remark on it, by definition it is remarkable. This is what your new business strategy should be focusing on, finding ways to make your customers talk about your products to their friends.)

19. Quality over quantity.

20. You can’t change people.

21. Eat your greens, stay hydrated, take long walks, go to a gym, save money on the bus pass and go by foot.


Elena Sandu
Elena Sandu | Language, Culture and Communication Contact Elena

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