Twenty-three. A lot of people say that there’s nothing really special about twenty-three. There are no songs about twenty-three, nothing more to be legal about by twenty-three, and no one really making a big deal about twenty-three. I turned twenty-three about three weeks ago. Yet, despite it not being a special number, it’s still another year older, another year to be better, and for me, the start of my adult life.
As I was reflecting on the past twenty-two years, I came to the conclusion that life is really such a beautiful thing and it’s so easy to pass through our days like its nothing. The desire to keep growing, to be better today than you were yesterday, is not something that most of us prioritize in our busy lives, but it should.
We’ve all have bad days, we’ve all been through tough times, and though no one will ever admit it, the truth is that these experiences are necessary. How can we ever learn if we’re never challenged? How can we ever appreciate happiness, if we’re never sad? How can we appreciate our friends, if we don’t know what it’s like to be lonely? How can we ever appreciate success, if the journey is quick and easy? How can we fulfill our dreams, if we give up at the first fall? How can we ever be anything, if life was just a straight line?
I had a near-perfect high school experience, and so naturally I thought university would be the same. I was wrong and it was the complete opposite. However, it was these past four years, the most challenging years of my life thus far, that have also been the best. I failed, I hurt, I made thousands of mistakes, and somehow, I came out more confident, more happy, more humble, more open-minded, and a better person than I was before.
Before twenty-three, I learned 5 important life lessons:
- People will always talk – this is something that we have to realize and move past. Remember that you know yourself best, and while people are entitled to their own opinions, don’t ever let them tell you who or what you’re not. Oh and don’t be that person who talks bad about others – it only shows badly on you.
- Persevere through the tough times. When in the moment, these times often feel as if they’ll never end, but they will. And you can count on by the end, you’ll have learned a thing or two, and it will feel sweet and victorious.
- Since we’re human, we’re bound to make mistakes, but mistakes are our best teachers. Mistakes help us grow so long as we stand by them and learn from them.
- Have faith in everything you do. It will be your strength in the tough times and will help you be grateful for the good.
- Never compare yourself to others. You will have your time so just be patient. For example, for many of us newly graduated, the job search struggle is real but when you think about it, we’re going to be working for the rest of our lives, which means that inevitably, those college loans will get paid – so why hurry?
The people who have shaped me up to this point, my parents, my friends, my professors… They have given me so many invaluable lessons that I can only ever repay by striving to always better myself in every way.
At twenty-three, I’m still learning as a new chapter of my life unfolds.
For the first time, I am 100% uncertain about what’s ahead and that is both scary and exciting. At twenty-three, I’m young and free, and I can pursue my dreams without anything or anyone holding me back. The possibilities are endless and that’s what makes this next journey so beautiful. At twenty-three, my story is just beginning and with a few life lessons under my belt, I can’t wait to see where life takes me next.
~ As long as we’re alive, we’re always learning. ~