21 Things I Learned in 21 Years

By Erin McGuire

Staff Writer

On Feb. 14, I turned 21.

Now for some this is a milestone birthday, and don’t get me wrong I was pretty excited, but at the same time I felt a bit melancholy.

You see, in my mind the number 21 is less than ten years away from thirty, which means that 21 is old.

Many things happen to people in 21 years and you learn a lot. So, like old people do, I bring to you words of wisdom, or 21 things that I learned before I turned 21.

  1. Always stand up for what you believe in.

In ninth grade I became a vegetarian because I decided I didn’t want to eat animals (reason being #5), so I stopped eating meat, in a family full of hunters…

  1. Friends come and go, but your family will always be there.
  2. It’s okay to be best friends with your mom and dad, and don’t let anyone make you feel like that’s weird.
  3. Call your parents. You don’t have to do it every day, but call them and tell them about your day…and maybe tell them thank you too.
  4. Animals are too precious for this world.

I got my dog when I was in fifth grade and every day I look at him and think about how he doesn’t deserve to get old. Also, have you ever seen a video on sloths? We just don’t deserve them.

  1. You are allowed to be happy for yourself.

In my senior year of high school, I was captain of the flag section in color guard.

Normally, that would be an exciting thing, but my best friend (at the time…long story) also tried out for captain and I felt like I couldn’t be happy for myself…always allow yourself to celebrate yourself.

  1. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.

I don’t know how to drive a car. I don’t have a Facebook or Twitter or whatever else the cool kids are doing these days.

  1. Cats give the best cuddles…it’s scientifically proven…by me.
  2. Go to concerts. A LOT of concerts.

Standing in the audience in a room crowded with people all singing to the same songs is the closest you can get to magic.

  1. It’s okay to spend the day watching Netflix.

I have spent many of my days watching Netflix, and nothing happened, so it must be okay.

  1. Reading really is good for the soul.
  2. Tea can heal anything.

It could probably heal a broken heart if you drank enough and maybe referred to #8.

  1. It’s okay to talk to someone.

You cannot hold everything inside of you because one day it will all come out, and it probably won’t be pleasant.

  1. You are not going to get along with all of your professors.

They might even make you cry, and that’s okay. Just push through it and try to stay away for further semesters.

  1. Go out of your comfort zone.

I have never liked anyone reading things that I write, and here I am writing for the Stroud Courier.

  1. Don’t play with the dogs at the pet store because you’re only going to want to buy them and you probably can’t afford a dog.

Unless you can afford a dog, then go ahead and play…although I would suggest looking into a shelter first.

  1. Don’t wait until the day before to write a twenty-page paper, you’re only going to hate yourself.
  2. You don’t have to go out every Friday night. There are other enjoyable things you could do. (see numbers 8 and 10)
  3. Find out what your happy place is and go there often.

(My happy places include Staples, Barnes and Noble, and my bed…I’m a pretty exciting person)

  1. If you want to do something then do it, and don’t care about what others have to say about it.

Get a tattoo, dye your hair a weird color, get something pierced, as long as it makes you happy, who cares?

  1. Bad days never last.

Something bad will happen and you’ll think that your life is over…it’s not.

You’re going to wake up the next day and go on with your life and eventually you’re going to forget about it.

Email Erin at: emcguire1@live.esu.edu

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