What I know at age 21.

(or at least some of it)

It’s okay if you only have a few friends. To be honest, you’re probably better off this way. Spend time actively cultivating relationships with a select number of people. Don’t worry about it if you don’t know dozens of people. It’s hard enough to remember their names. Don’t even get me started on Facebook friends.

I promise… sleep is not overrated. Especially if you’re contemplating trading a good night of sleep for a few more hours of studying. Sleep should always win. Once I realized how great I felt after a night of significant shut-eye, I never went back.

Also: getting up early isn’t as bad as you think it isTry waking up an hour earlier than normal. Read a book, sip your coffee slower, go on a 20 minute run. Bask in the quiet, in the stillness. Morning light is beautiful.

Don’t expect college to be the best years of your life. If you go into your freshman year with that high of expectations, you will probably be disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved the last 3+ years of university, but if this is as good as it gets, you can count me out. Make the best of your time there, but don’t think that this is it.

Don’t procrastinate. [side note: I am, of course, still guilty of this. Always learning, I am.] I know people say this all the time, but my life is always significantly easier when I get things done early. Not just projects or term papers, but also editing photographs for clients or calling to make an appointment somewhere. You’ll be happier, I promise.

Just try to be friends with your parents. They’re probably cooler than you think. The day that I decided to give my mom and dad a chance to be something other than simply my parents was one of the best days of my life. Once I started spending time with them, I realized how cool they really are. Give your parents a chance – you might be surprised.

Holding grudges doesn’t hurt anyone but you. I learned this one the hard way after harboring hateful thoughts toward someone for 2+ years. She didn’t care, but the negativity I held onto started to eat away at me slowly. I spent many nights crying about the situation alone in my room. I spent hours complaining about it to my friends. Did she know about that? No. Did it change how she felt? No. Once I let go, I could move on, stop damaging myself, and learn from the situation.

Forgiving someone does not mean you condone their actions. This is pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes people do some nasty things that really aren’t okay no matter how you look at it. Instead of holding a grudge [see above], forgive them. Learn from the situation. It makes a world of difference.

About Leah Van Ert

Leah is newly wed to her high school sweetheart and is a church secretary by day and blogger by night. She firmly believes in spending a little extra on high-quality cuisine, sleeping in, and the healing power of a good cup of tea. She currently lives in central Wisconsin where she was born and raised (and, yes, the stereotype is true - we really do love cheese).