22 Things I've Learned In 22 Years

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling like a college-student who is still trying to take as many naps possible, travel any chance I get and eat pizza whenever the opportunity arises. In light of my 22nd birthday I have decided to list 22 things I have learned up to this point in my life. Enjoy!

1. Don’t apologize for feeling the way you do
You’re not responsible for the way others react to your feelings. Everyone has different spirits and if we all reacted the same way then we would live in a very boring world. Situations affect each person is a personal way and if we judge those for how they react then we leave no room for authenticity.

2. You're going to lose friends, it’s okay

It’s life. We change and people change and that’s okay. Interests change. Situations change. Lives change. As we grow older we sometimes lose what we once had in common with friends and that leaves nothing to bond about except past memories. Of course we have those few friends from high school that we still are in contact with but as we grow up, we meet new friends in college and in our jobs. I've always said, "I’d rather have four quarters than 100 pennies."

3. Faith is important
Note: Faith not Religion. I think that everyone needs to have some sort of spiritual connection to whatever it is that they believe in. God reveals Himself in time and it is up to us to recognize that and do something about it. I know that organized religion isn’t everyones cup of tea but I do think that God is.

4. Travel at any given opportunity
Learning from a textbook is no where in comparison to learning in a museum or national landmark. I have had the opportunity to travel and visit various countries around the world and be able to learn firsthand about these places and why they are important. Doing so has thrown me into different cultures and lifestyles that I would never have been able to experience through a textbook. Traveling humbles you down and makes you realize it's not all about you. Lots of times people will say, "Traveling is too expensive. I can't afford it." But it comes down to how bad you want it. Do you want that new designer purse or do you want a plane ticket? You decide.

5. If you have the chance to go to sleep early, do it
I know that the next episode of whatever show you’re binge watching on Netflix is probably screaming your name but so is your pillow. I don’t know how many times I’ve missed out on perfect opportunities to sleep early for watching T.V, scrolling through Instagram or texting that one guy. Put the phone away, and enjoy that extra 45 minutes of sleep you can get. You’ll thank me later.

6. Invest in good shoes, jeans and a good mattress
Put your money in places you spend the most time in.

7. Call your mom, a lot
I’m pretty sure I annoy my mom with the amount of times I call her in one day. Moms are our first best friends and they always know best, trust me. They always have our best interest at heart and they only want to help us. In high school I always thought my mom was out to get me but I realized that she was teaching me from experience. Love your mothers and call them any chance you’ve got. They want to hear from you!

Something that I am guilty of is wanting to post every little detail about my life that way everyone knows what it is that I am doing, eating, watching or feeling. Social media can be used positively or negatively and often times it’s easy to get caught up in the negative and post things that shouldn’t be on the internet, ever. The more you keep off the internet the more moments you keep special. Besides, do you really want to live your life behind a 5-inch screen? Live in the moment!

9. Learn how to cook
This is something that I cannot stress enough! Moving away to college has forced me to learn how to cook things I never thought I’d even know how to cook. Knowing how to cook saves you so much money and possibilities of the dreaded Freshman Fifteen. My advice? Ask questions and watch your parent’s cook/grill! It’ll come in handy when you move away and you’ll want to host a dinner night or impress a cute guy on a date.

10. Laugh a lot
Laughing is the best medicine. Learn to laugh at yourself and don’t take life so serious! We all embarrass ourselves once or twice in public but once we learn to laugh at ourselves nothing can stop us from having fun!

11. Create a savings account
This is so important! Having a savings account eliminates the possibility of so many stressful situations. There will be times when we will calculate our money incorrectly, our cars break down or you need to put in a deposit for a new home. Having extra money is never a bad idea and it helps us prepare for our futures. If you haven’t started a savings account – don’t worry. Start off small… every paycheck put aside 20 dollars and you’ll see how quickly it’ll add up!

12. Don't compare your life to others and don't try to keep up with other people's lifestyles
This is the root of false happiness! If we continuously compare our lives to friends and ask ourselves what it is that they have that we don’t we will never be grateful for what we do have. Does this make sense? I know that it’s easy to look at someone and want to match up with their lifestyle but we are not all in the same situation and we can’t always afford the same things. When I was in high school I would always beg my parents to buy me the newest designer purse or jeans to keep up with the lifestyle of my friends but it wasn’t until I started working and making my own money that I realized the sacrifices to have those things take. We must be happy with what we have and still have the motivation to work harder to get the things we want.

13. Love your body! Exercise
I try and remind myself every day that I cant be so hard on myself and that I need to give myself a break for the efforts I make to be a better me. We always hear about self-respect, right? We must respect our bodies and credit it for everything it does. Ways we can thank it? Exercise and eat good food.

14. Grades do not define intelligence
Going to university where you jump for joy when you get a B in a class because it’s basically an A is tough. I’ve always been an A student and it wasn’t until coming to BYU that I started getting lower grades. It was hard for me at first but then I realized that my grades do not making me any less smart. I have a professor who on his syllabus wrote, “I want each of you to know that I believe you to be infinitely precious in God’s eyes… I will need to give you scores on various assignments and a final grade at the end. That grade will not, of course, be a measure of your eternal worth…” Isn’t that awesome? Thanks Brother Young.

15. Know how to change a tire
Girl or boy – this is important. You never know what can happen or what situation you’ll be thrown in. Better to be safe than sorry.

16. Wear sunscreen
The key to staying youthful is sunscreen! Always make sure you purchase a moisturizer with SPF. Your skin will thank you later! Besides, who wants wrinkles?

17. Dogs really are (wo)mans best friend
I don’t know what in the world we did to deserve dogs but they are mans best friend and I can’t help but get so happy when I come across one. If you have the financial means to have a pup in your life I fully encourage you to do so! You will always have a constant companion!

18. Going to a concert is always worth the money
Some of my funnest nights have been at concerts! Concerts are such fun social scenes and they always make for great date nights or girls night out! Being in college I know that sometimes it's hard to take the plunge and buy the tickets but, TIP: If you look for tickets the day before or even the day of you can usually find really good tickets for super cheap!

19. Don't settle
Oh man. I wish every girl knew their worth and what they deserve. I know that sometimes its easy to settle for less and think that what we have in front of us is the best we can get - but the moment we put limitations on ourselves is the minute we stop from progressing. Always remember that you deserve the best and you shouldn’t be with someone or work for someone that thinks otherwise.

20. Don’t hold grudges
There’s a quote that I once read that said, “The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. And the first to forget is the happiest.” Someone has hurt us all once or twice in our lifetimes - but if we hold on to that grudge it prevents us from living a happy life. Once we let go of those grudges we no longer allow it to define our lives.

21. Accidents happen
Something I wish I could tell my 16 year old self. Accidents happen people! Nobody said that life would be easy. It’s important to acknowledge that everything happens for a reason and it’s up to us to decide how we let it affect our lives.

22. Create a life that you love
We have the world at our fingertips! You have the power to create whatever life you want for yourself. All it takes is the willpower to change whatever isn’t working for you and go out and get what it is that you’re dreaming of!

XO, Savannah

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