21 lessons before 21

On March 4th, I turn 21! Today I wanted to share with you 21 important lessons I’ve learnt before I reach this exciting milestone. Hopefully, for those of you my age and over, you will know some of these or you’ll find them useful from now on.

  1. The easiest thing to be is yourself

There is nobody else is like me and that’s just the way I like it! Everyone is uniquely beautiful and that is an amazing fact. Plus pretending to be someone you’re not is too much effort.


  1. Cut toxic people out immediately

By my final year of high school, I got so sick of chasing people who didn’t have my best interests at heart and saw no point in giving people more chances when I knew they didn’t deserve it. I’d rather be alone then friends with people who make me feel like shit.

  1. Hard work is the only key to success

Whether you’re studying for a test or working towards big life goals. There are no short cuts! But when you work at something, eventually you will see results. It might take some time. But I promise, it’s worth it.

  1. Spend on memories not things

I’ve never regretted buying tickets to a concert. I have regretted buying certain items of clothing. Jus sayin’.


  1. Be kind to others

Kindness begets kindness. It’s true!

  1. Being vulnerable is not weak

When I’ve been most vulnerable with people, often I get the most surprising responses. I actually think the strongest thing you can be is vulnerable.

  1. Manifestation WORKS 

When I created my first vision board last year, I was half doing it for manifestation purposes, but I was also just thinking it would be a fun art project. Turns out, when I looked at it at the end of the year, I was surprised to find that much of it had actually come true. It worked, so of course… I made another one.


  1. Take care of your mind as well as your body 

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Don’t be ashamed to do whatever it is you need to do to take care of it.

  1. Family first

Friends come and go. But family is forever. At least in my experience (I know it’s not the same for everyone). But my family is my lifeline and I am so grateful to them every day. Which is why they will always be my number one priority.

  1. Only you create your own happiness

No friend, no man, no drug, no amount of money will bring you true happiness. That’s up to you and your own mind.


  1. Write greeting cards

Not to brag, but I’ve got little a gift for writing cards to friends and loved ones. I’ve found that people always appreciate the words I’ve written more than the gifts I’ve bought.

  1. Time heals everything 

In the moment, things always seem worse. But I can promise, with time, things get better.

  1. No shame in seeking help

Put your hand up, make a phone call, talk to someone you trust. Nobody I’ve ever know has ever done life completely on their own because it’s impossible.

  1. Get yourself a furry friend

Romeo was the best decision I’ve ever made! You can’t put a price on unconditional love. Plus, he came into my life when I was really mentally low. He completely changed my life.


  1. Be patient

Good things take time.

  1. Being brave is feeling the fear and doing it anyway

In a superficial example; I am terrified of needles. But I really wanted this tattoo. I faced my fears and got it done with a good friend by my side. I have no regrets! I’ve used this phrase in other more serious life decisions.


  1. Dance your troubles away

Dancing has always made me feel happy. Music has a healing effect but dancing also releases happy endorphins which is really good for your mental health.

  1. School is only a small part of your life

It seemed like forever at the time. Now that it’s over, it so tiny. The rest of my life is ahead of me now and its huge.

  1. You can start over any time

Who says you have to wait till New Year’s Eve? Starting over is as simple as flipping a switch in your mind. Do it now if you want.


  1. Start little and work your way up

Make small goals or set small tasks and complete them first. Once you have those small successes you’ve built up your confidence and thus can move on to bigger and better things.

  1. The best is yet to come


Claudia Forsberg is a Melbourne based writer and journalist. She is currently working as a Regional Trainee with ABC Ballarat.


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