21 Things I Learned Since I Turned 21

It is hard to believe that I have been 21 for just under five months already, saying it seemed like it was never going to come when I was 20… In fact, I remember my whole 21st birthday celebration like it was yesterday; I know exactly what I did, where my friends and I went, and what I wore. 

Well, since my 21st birthday I have had a lot of life changes (for better or worse), and because of these changes, I have learned a myriad of lessons/things. The lessons/things I learned are either random, inspirational, or personal, and I thought it would be nice to share these with everyone. So, without further ado, I present to you 21 new things I learned since turning 21: 

  1. I have an unhealthy addiction to coffee.

    I’ll admit it. I am addicted to coffee. But, not like a normal addiction (if there is such a thing?). Like, I am so bad that I crave it every second of every day, and I will drink six — yes, I said six — cups in one sitting. However, I consciously am aware of this addiction, and to counter it, I am starting to only allow myself to have one or two cups a day. So far, so good. Day two, done.

  2. Cold-brew coffee is a damn gift from God.

    I would say that my coffee addiction has a correlation with my love for cold-brew coffee. I literally make three or four batches a week. Cutting the cold-brew coffee with unsweetened almond milk and ice just adds to its deliciousness, which makes me crave it even more. I really don’t see myself going back to plain Jane coffee. I am glad I learned about cold-brew coffee this summer. 

  3. Chicken and avocado are my favorite foods.

    I learned that I am obsessed with chicken and avocados. I eat some form of chicken — usually skinless breast — every day. What is more, I will gladly pair it with half an avocado because, well, avocados are ridiculously healthy for you, delicious, and good fats. If I am not eating avocado with my chicken, then I will use it as a topping for my morning toast. You know what they say: “An avocado a day keeps the doctor away.” (Okay, I may have made this up…)

  4. I have OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. (Diagnosed.)

    Yep, I have been diagnosed by my doctor with OCD and GAD. No shame what-so-ever. They are both rather common and treatable. I just have to take medication every morning until my brain is able to counter the overacting chemicals inside it! I truly and wholeheartedly believe I developed GAD from my junior year of college. I was just so stressed and stretched too thin. Oh well, you live and you learn! As for my OCD, it is not terrible. I only have two OCD ticks: I make sure my iPhone and Mac chargers are dry before I plug them in, and I must check to make sure the stove, oven tops, microwave, and toaster are off before I leave the apartment. I am glad I learned I had these two issues. This way, I could get them addressed properly.

  5. People notice your hard work/Hard work truly pays off.

    During my junior year, I was the student body treasurer; president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer of Benchwarmers, our fan club; a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Tenth Muse literary magazine; a CU LEAD Graduate; a member of Investment’s Club and Future Young Professionals; the circulation desk worker; a tour guide; the Microeconomics tutor; and I maintained a 3.9 GPA. (Let me state right now that I am not boasting. I am just summing up my junior year.) Now, I didn’t know how much of this year’s hard work would pay off, but because of all these experiences, I received the following opportunities for my senior year: student body president; the marketing/copywriter intern for Clarke’s Marketing Department; the copywriter intern for Nicolosi | Galluzzo, LLP; and the CONNECT Coordinator. I am so blessed to have these four experiences; they will help me immensely in my future career.

  6. The most unexpected friendships can be the best ones.

    Summer 2k17: The summer I developed friendships I never thought I would. Living on campus during the summer is an experience because it is only you and about 20 other people. Well, those 20 people become real close with you real quick. There are some people here whom I never thought I would get close to, but somehow, someway I did. One guy in particular, He Who I Shall Not Name (Haha, I crack myself up.), whom I became friends with, turns out to be exactly like me in every way possible. We both have had the same relationship experiences, we dress the same, we have the same outlook on life, we ask the right questions about life/we go deeper than the surface area, and we want the same things from our future wives. It was pretty bizarre once I learned all these things about him because I just never thought we were so similar. 

  7. Your 20s are meant for self-discovery.

    During this time last year, I had my whole life set in stone. I knew where I wanted to end up, who I was, and whom I wanted to be with. My life was planned out until the day I die. Well, life does not work like that; it isn’t supposed to be decided when you’re 20. After some changes, I learned that your 20s are meant for self-discovery. You’re meant to focus on you, and then the rest will fall into place. I learned that it is okay to be alone and find yourself. 

  8. I truly enjoy being isolated.

    I sit in my apartment alone every day for over five hours. During this time, I think through my issues, watch my favorite TV shows — currently, Girls and Game of Thrones, write, read, and just enjoy being by myself. I learned that I enjoy my isolation. 

  9. I also enjoy being around people.

    On the contrary, I also love being around people. This summer has been dedicated to developing relationships with people, and I have happily became extremely close with the people living on and around campus this summer. I make sure to spend time with every person at least once a week. 

  10. It is never too late to pick up new hobbies/interests.

    Since I turned 21, I learned that it is quite simple to pick up new hobbies and discover what really interests me. So far, I picked up cooking, exploring, journaling and traveling this summer, and I am about to pick up photography. I am so thankful for every new hobby/interest, they all make me who I am.

  11.  Dad hats are the greatest thing ever invented.

    Never really have been a hat guy. But, I now wear both my LYM (Love Your Melon) cap and Natascha Myers cap at least once a week. They pair great with different looks and are just too stylish. I learned dad hats are pretty darn cool. 

  12. Long Islands are the most delicious but dangerous beverage ever. Like, ever.

    Sweet and delicious but stupidly strong. Long Islands are one of my favorite mixed drinks. Even though they can get pricey, they are worth it because it’s one and done. For me, anyway. 

  13. The best beer on tap is Blue Moon.

    Never really cared for beer once I turned 21. But, after I had the privilege of trying Blue Moon on tap, I never looked back. Yeah, I drink it with an orange, duh.

  14. Drinking whole bottles of wine is fun.

    Sure, I have done this once. Alright, twice. Just like Long Islands, these are pretty dangerous because they are so sweet and cause a killer hangover.

  15. 04:00 is the best time to discover things about yourself.

    This past Saturday I received a text from a friend who was just so confused and felt lost with life. She did not know what she wanted to do after college, what she wanted spiritually, etcetera. So, I had her come over and we ended up talking outside until 05:00. In the 2.5 hours we talked, I went on such an emotional and spiritual journey in which I learned and discovered so much about myself. It was really something else.

  16. Your GPA isn’t everything…!

    This is coming from someone with a 3.7 cumulative GPA and got a 3.9 all last semester. I learned that your GPA won’t get you your career, but the hands you shake, how well you network, the internships and the experience you have, and your willingness and drive will. Sure, I will strive for all As because that is who I am as a person, but I won’t stress about it as much my senior year.

  17. I want to be a copywriter.

    I finally, finally, finally learned what I want to do with my future. For those who don’t know, a copywriter is someone who writes copy for a company. Copy is the words in advertisements, social media posts, blog posts, email campaigns, slogans, etcetera. Not the little “R” in the top-right of a company’s name. This job is perfect for me; I love to write, sit on social media, and blog. What more could I want in a career?

  18. I need a side job at J.Crew because I spend so much money there.

    Favorite store hands down. Thankfully, they do not have one around Dubuque, otherwise, I would be dirt poor. My two favorite pair of chinos are from J.Crew, and they cost $70.00 each… Once I move, I know I will need to work here for some type of discount because J.Crew is my go-to for all my clothes.

  19. It is a-okay to say “no.

    Say “no” to opportunities you don’t want to do, people you don’t want to see, or questions you don’t want to say “yes” to. There is no reason you have to say “yes” to everything. I did my junior year, and I paid for it (both positively and negatively). You have no obligation to explain why you say “no” either.

  20.  Money spent on experiences is not a waste.

    I have no problem dropping $70 on a pair of chinos but will have issues coughing up $30 for gas to fuel a road trip. This summer, I learned that that is not the way to live. It should be the opposite. For $30 I could either spend a night at the movies and out to eat, or I could put that money into gas and drive to a city and stay with friends. What is more, I could spend days at my friends’ house and gain all kinds of memories and experiences from it. I learned to pick the latter when I can.

  21. What my next two tattoos will be.

    Some of you may not know, but I have three tattoos already, but I learned that I am not done yet. My next two tattoos will be the Chicago skyline on my left inner bicep and the semicolon (not sure where yet). The former is for my love and obsession with Chicago, and the latter is meant for suicide awareness.

 

Photos from images.google.com

*The Chicago one will not have the bottom heart and words.*

There you have it, everyone. 21 things I learned since I turned 21. Like I said in the beginning, some are just bizarre, random things that seem odd to learn, while others are truly important lessons to learn. I am amazed at how much has changed in a few months, and I am stoked to see where I am in life in just a few more.

– Kyle Majerus

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3 thoughts on “21 Things I Learned Since I Turned 21

  1. I just came across your blog by accident through Natasha’s like. Thank you for sharing this. This is exactly how I felt in the last 2 years of my 20s as well. Thanks.

    Like

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