Life Lessons at 21

| August 6, 2013

Words by Mija Kovacic

It’s meant to be a really big deal, right? You turn 21 and you’re somehow more adult than the day before. It’s my birthday next month, and with graduation literally a year away, I feel I’m about to be pushed into a pool of societal expectations of a fresh (adult) graduate. 21 is almost a quarter century, but admittedly 3/4 of your life have been spent droning in classrooms and taking selfies in toilets, so what have I learnt as I head into ‘the real world’?

Uni isn’t as scary as you think
Yes, there are some bullshit assignments and maybe some annoying lecturers, but there are also awesome people to meet, shitty food that tastes amazing because you’re so poor, and given that you study something that interests you, assignments you don’t actually mind (sometimes). Uni is pretty much 75 per cent social, and 25 per cent mental breakdowns with friends. Note: with friends.

Money is disposable
My dad always taught me that life is worth living and everything has a cost. You’re better off spending money and experiencing it all, than having a full bank and no life. I’ve lived very closely by this, meaning that week to week, I may live off my last dollar, but I stopped being stressed about that a while ago and realised that I just don’t care. Save for the big things you want, but don’t jeopardise the now for it either.

Don’t fall in love

Or do. But don’t be the one that loves more. Or do. Get your heart broken and cry in your bed and live off chocolate and tequila. You’ll learn from it. You might even come out happier.

Family means everything and nothing
We are all people and just because you’re in the same family tree does not mean you are automatically immune to those people hurting you. You have a right to tell someone they’ve offended you, pissed you off, or blatantly disrespected you, and that literally applies to everyone.

Have an interesting room
My childhood wasn’t very luxurious given that my family migrated here from a war-torn country. It was fun, but it meant my sister and I literally had matching bedrooms. They were seen as places to sleep and study (lol).  Eventually, that gets old and its worthwhile building an area for yourself that you want to spend time in (without being asleep), so do it.

Create yourself however you want
Shave your head, colour your hair, fake tan, wear shit clothes, wear plastic bags. I don’t care. Natural isn’t comfortable for everyone and if you feel more you in a way that is the slightest bit different to the norm, then just do it. Your comfort is more important than other people’s ignorance. My hair is bright red and my lashes are fake but that’s how I like it and so be it.

Eat what you want but don’t be a blob
If you want chocolate, eat chocolate, and eat those carbs and drink the beer, and devour chocolate cake. In saying that, look after yourself. Walk, run and dance and do whatever it is that makes you happy while also keeping you healthy. More than often, eat the things that make you feel good and not that satisfy a five second craving. I’m only 20 (and a half?) so I wouldn’t know, but I imagine future us would thank us for it.

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Category: FEATURED, Serious Section, Uncategorized

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