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22 THINGS I LEARNED BEFORE TURNING 22

In the spirit of growth and #newbeginnings, here are a few tips I’ve learned on the way to 22!
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GRAPHIC DESIGN  Audrey Chen

According to my birth certificate, I will turn 22 this year. A strange fact since part of me still feels 16 (who might wreck another curb with my car), but the other part feels ancient. 

In the spirit of growth, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

#1: Risk getting caught by the Fashion Police

Fashion is all about playful experimentation. If you don’t look back and cringe at some old outfits, you aren’t doing it right! 

#2: Spotify Premium, Scribd audiobooks, and cordless headphones have changed my life, #NotAnAd

Pro tip­—hide listening with hair or a hood… 

#3: Find your Bachelor

My apartment is the proud home of cocktail-filled friends who throw snacks at The Bachelor’s cast on my small television; creating community spaces is a joyful honour.

#4: Are you using your question marks?

Want to know the secret to having not awkward conversations? I’ll share this top-tier hack: outstanding question asking.

#5: Hold your faith fast, baby!

Whether everything is shipwrecked or entirely right with the world, I retreat into my Christian faith wherever I am, experience some spiritual peace, and hold fast.

#6: Just take the damn photo!

I want a way to remember the moments I’m living in, and more importantly, who I’m with. So, I embrace the camera–even if the accidental double-chin gets captured.

#7: Pay attention to the wardrobe department

I accept my peers’ mockery for my many adoring comments of film productions’ costuming. 

#8: NOTHING connects peers like mutual fear

My final accounting exam bonded me to my peers like super glue.

#9: The city is for dreamers, but you can dream outside of it

I’ve discovered that creativity needs time and space to brew, sometimes away from the city chaos; your heart can officially belong to multiple places.

#10: Befriend a tailor

Although it can be pricey, not everything looks amazing off the rack, so paying for tailoring means owning clothes I’ll actually wear.

#11: Say sorry with eye contact

We can all come back stronger than a 90’s trend, so an apology comes with eye contact, a sincere heart, and no excuses when appropriate.

#12: Hey, Love Languages, I’m doing my best to remember you

I think each person reveals how they want to be loved uniquely by expressing their love for others.

#13: French Fry ketchup dippers reign supreme

#SharingIsCaring—Don’t cover all that fried goodness in a blood-looking substance.

#14: Set safe boundaries, even before FOMO 

I’m not trying to be a flashing sign of “Don’t drink and drive,” but I have experienced one too many times of people risking their lives for a good time.

#16: The Mental Illness Club deserves respect 

People fight the invisible mental health monsters daily, often unrecognizably. Here are a few ways my friends and I bring light into this darkness:

  • Locking phones away
  • Occasionally cancelling plans (but then making efforts to later reschedule)
  • Buzzfeed quizzes
  • Loud karaoke car rides for fast food

#17: Wanna bet? Know your facts, lovelies 

My father always calls for a bet between us whenever I confidently state facts that he’s sure are incorrect; I’ve lost some hard-earned savings this way.

#18: Laughter is the best medicine

Hard laughter with stomach cramps and crossed legs to avoid peed-in-pants is the cheapest recovery method from bad days.

#19: Have your emergency call list handy

While I walk home alone at night, I call far-away friends to catch up, which helps me feel safe on sketchy streets.

#20: Each conversation I enter is with unearned white privilege

Racism won’t be defeated by outward actions alone if internal foundations remain naïve to its unfair presence.

#21: Find your weird flexes

I proudly can convert Celsius temperatures to Fahrenheit internally and have Harry Potter trivia at the ready.

#22: Embrace going “Into The Unknown”

There are no pressured paths to follow after getting a university degree, which is super exciting! Who knows what more lessons I’ll learn?

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