Yesterday was my first day as a 21 year old. My friends came over and we had dinner, drinks, and dancing; it was everything I could have wished for. Yes, I have a severe headache this morning, but that is the typical gift the day after turning 21 gives! Sitting here and reflecting on my 20 years has made me quite optimistic for my year as a 21 year old. I thought it was only fitting to share these thoughts and give you a peek into what my peanut brain is stirring up this morning.
WHAT I LEARNED IN MY 20 YEARS:
- Always give more than you take.
- Always. This is something I live by, as well as something I love by. One of the most important values to me is selflessness, and I always try to be selfless in all situations life throws at me. Giving is such a great feeling for the person receiving and the person giving. It is a win win situation really!
- Always love as hard as you can, no matter what response you receive.
- This lesson has changed the way I love others and love myself. Not everyone in the world is going to like you, not everyone in the world is going to be your friend, and not everyone in the world is going to reciprocate the love you give; however, love as hard as you can anyways. The way you treat others and love others even in the face of animosity is a direct reflection of who you are, not who that person is. Always be a light and spread kindness and positivity no matter the reaction of someone. You may not know what they are going through, how they express love, or so many different factors. Love hard always!
- Spread happiness.
- This one has been a huge staple for me my entire life. I tend to be a pretty bubbly, giggly, high-energy kind of girl. One of my favorite things to do is to make others laugh and put a smile on someone’s face. Spreading happiness and positivity is so easy and it never fails to be one of the easiest gestures of friendship. Be a ball of light!
- It is truly never too late for anything.
- Just this past year, I: changed my major, decided to go to law school, got an internship at a law firm, rediscovered my love for art, restarted my blog, and even got over my fear of cats (long story). It is never too late to rekindle a relationship, start something new, tackle a challenge, change your life path, or be a better person. Growth is always an option. Don’t be concerned about what you have invested in and view it as a loss; you can’t change the past and that time is gone. Instead, be concerned with what you continue to invest in and put your energy into. Life is moving forward, remember that.
- Be who you want to be, not who others want you to be.
- This one was a hard one for me to remember. I grew up as a Christian, went to a small private school, and wasn’t a huge partier. When I started going to UCLA, I was immediately overwhelmed with all the new personalities and lives I was meeting. To me, the school was absolutely huge, public, and all around a different environment than I had ever been in. Don’t get me wrong, UCLA is absolutely fantastic and has helped me grow as a person and a student so much, but I misunderstood this new experience and tried to become like all the different kinds of people I was meeting. I felt like I didn’t belong being the person I was, so I tried to change that. I realize now how foolish that was. I lost touch with my faith, many of my hobbies, and generally a lot of the values I once held strong in. After three years of change and growth, I am confident to say I am finally the person I want to be, a better version of the girl I always was. I have gotten back in touch with my faith, started reading, dove back into my passion for art, and realigned my actions to the values that I personally hold instead of other’s values.
- Nothing changes if you don’t!
- Nothing works unless you do! This is a popular quote, and a very important one to live by. I have already talked a lot about growth above so I won’t bore you, but it is going to be impossible to reach your goals if you don’t work hard for them. You can’t reach your goals if you stay as the same person that wasn’t at that goal yet.
- Schedule, schedule, schedule.
- Kind of random, but schedule out your days! I have found that this makes me exponentially more productive and organized, which reduces my stress and keeps me from being overwhelmed.
WHAT I HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH AT 21:
- Become better at art and acrylic painting.
- Since I have gotten back into art, I want to improve my skills and learn new techniques. Since I took such a long break for it, my skills and sketches are a bit rusty. I am excited to see where this journey leads and compare my beginning sketches to my sketches in a year!
- Become better at sketching faces.
- This is especially something I want to improve in. For some reason, faces are very challenging for me and I never seem to be happy with my results. I want to practice faces and facial features so I can be more confident in this area.
- Work on developing my blog.
- I am pretty new to the whole blog thing. My goals for this year are to consistently post on a schedule, nail the formatting and website design, and to take more personalized pictures for my posts.
- Achieve my law school dreams.
- I will be taking the LSAT in October, and applying to law school in February. My absolute dream is to attend University of San Diego law school, and I am busting my butt right now to achieve that dream.
- Volunteer more.
- Before quarantine, I had signed up to volunteer at an animal shelter in LA. Once the quarantine hit, I obviously could no longer volunteer. Once the quarantine is lifted, I want to get back into volunteer work and give back to my community on a regular basis.
Thank you so much for reading and cheers to growing up! Hope you all are having a wonderful day and keep washing your hands! We will get through this!