I’m (Almost) 23, I guess Nobody Likes Me

Emily smiling while with her birthday dessert that has a sparkler
This was taken four years ago. Four years ago, was the last day that I would celebrate my birthday as a teenager. What?

In a week, I will have a year to find out if what Blink-182 says is true. Does no one really like you when you’re 23?

If you haven’t hit your 20s yet, I’m here to tell you that while they can be a lot of fun, they’re confusing. You want to have as much fun as you can, because you’re still young. At the same time, you want to get yourself together and fulfill your (*gulp!*) adult responsibilities. Half of the people you know in your age group are at the clubs, while the other half are either getting married and/or having kids.

My 20s have been just as fun and confusing as I described. I’m learning a lot more than I ever have imagined, both inside and outside the classroom.

I wasn’t going to do a “23 before 23 list”. It’s tough to meet so many goals involving travelling and, well, anything involving money when you’ve got other fish to fry. I also want you to learn from your own mistakes, because that’s what your 20s are all about. It’s what life’s all about.

However, I decided to do one anyway. A few years ago, I wrote a list of lessons I wish knew from 13-17 in my grade 12 Writer’s Craft class. Not necessarily regrets, because I am happy with the person I have become, but rather lessons.

This is not a list for you to wonder if you have yourself together, just by checking of what you have and haven’t done. Instead, I want to encourage you, regardless of how old you are, to write a list like this, to consider all the things you’ve learned in a given amount of time.

Here are some things I’ve learned before I turned 23, or at least throughout my post-secondary career.

  1. Running shoes are like holy water when working in retail
  2. If you can walk to your destination, do it
  3. Coffee breaks are essential, and you always have time or money for one
  4. There’s nothing wrong with trying something on, and buying it later
  5. You can never have too many dresses
  6. The same rule applies for books, scarves, and music
  7. No matter how long you have lived in the same town for, there’s always something new to discover
  8. Even if you don’t have the money or the means to travel, there’s no harm in looking up places to visit when it does happen
  9. No one is too old for a parent’s advice
  10. Wasting time on the internet can be just as counter-productive as going out to party to avoid homework
  11. That hot social media app everyone’s fussing about? It’s probably not that fun
  12. Hating on something just because it’s popular is exactly the same as hating on something because it’s not popular
  13. Always try to take advantage of any opportunity to boost your education and/or career, just to see what happens: Volunteer, take a class, and/or apply for a scholarship.
  14. Everyone has a youthful side, so never be ashamed of yours
  15. Nothing lasts forever; especially stressful semesters
  16. You can only handle so much on your plate
  17. Pizza is never a bad idea
  18. You probably won’t have the same career your whole life, and that’s okay
  19. Even if you’re not friends forever, cherish the memories you made when you were close
  20. Sometimes (actually, often) a night in with your friends is better than a night out
  21. Really consider your options, but know that your most impulsive decisions are sometimes your best ones
  22. Drink lots of tea when you’re sick
  23. No matter what your final grade is, you’ve always learned something new

What are some lessons you’ve learned? Answer below!


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