It has been about two months since I wrote my last post. University and exams really took over my life, but I am finally done with Second year! I hope everyone’s exams went well and congratulations to everyone who is graduating this year. For some, University has been tough, but you have made it now. I wish you all the best in everything you aspire to do in the near future.
During my exam season, I turned 20 years old. I even had an exam on my birthday, but fortunately, my day was made special by the wonderful people around me. The next day I decided to reflect on my 20 years of life and I found it funny how things have changed over the years. I thought it would be cool to share 20 things I have learnt in 20 years with you guys. There are obviously a lot more, but I wanted to keep things simple. This will range from life lessons to little things I have learnt about myself. I hope you can relate to some or even learn something new. Here it is:
# 1 Put God First
I am a Christian, and I can honestly say that taking my faith seriously was one of the best decisions I ever made. I cannot even put into words what God has done for me. All I can say is that my life has been a great testimony this year.
#2 Do not compare yourself to others
Comparison is the easiest way for the enemy to steal our joy. Every time I would draw some form of comparison between what I am doing and what others were doing, I just made myself unnecessarily upset. It is great that the person next to you is doing great things, however, you are not them and they are not you. Everyone’s journey is different.
#3 I am extremely picky
I am just so particular about the way I want things to be done or look. If you know me well, you will know how long it takes for me to make a decision when it comes to food.
#4 Believe in your abilities
You cannot wait for someone to tell you that you are great. You need to believe it. I know I have said this numerous times, but it is so true. A positive mindset contributes to a lifetime of success.
#5 I can write
This is linked to #4. I currently am a Mathematics major and have always loved Mathematics since primary school. As a result, I doubted my writing abilities. I automatically assumed I could not excel in anything essay/blog related. Well, look at me now! I think writing is a gift I have been given, and if used correctly, can influence many. All it took was a bit of belief in myself.
#6 Fear will get you nowhere
Fear is one of the factors that can limit our success. If you are someone who really struggles with fear, definitely read my previous post, First Steps to Success. Remember, your aim should be to “Declare a war of fear.” – Charles Sekwalor
#7 Do not dwell on the past
Your past is your past for a reason. Do not dwell on the negative experiences of the past. We all make mistakes, but you cannot let those mistakes define your future. You can only move forward, not backwards. One thing I would add is that if there is something you can potentially fix now, then make the attempt to. Do it for internal peace.
#8 Do not base your decisions on what other people think
You are only hindering yourself. It is your life, not theirs.
#9 Friends grow apart
The same friends you have now, may not be the same ones you will have in the future. Over time, for various reasons, you may grow apart. It is sad, but it is a reality.
#10 Birthdays are important
I was someone who never really liked my birthday for numerous reasons, but this year I promised myself that I would appreciate the day. You do not need to have a massive celebration, but I think it is important to recognise that your birthday is not just any ordinary day. Remember that it is a blessing to see another year. Not everyone is as fortunate. The least you can do is be grateful to God for giving you another year.
#11 Our mums want the best for us
Growing up, I used to get annoyed when my mum would not let me go somewhere or give me what I wanted, but her strict upbringing has contributed into making me the woman I am today and I am extremely grateful for that.
#12 Understanding different perspectives is important
You will not always agree with what everyone has to say, but understanding the way others think is interesting and important. We forget that different cultures, life experiences and much more contribute to a person’s outlook on things. Try and put yourself in someone else’s shoes for once, and watch how your view of them may potentially change.
#13 Your intelligence is not determined by what a piece of paper tells you
It took me a long time to understand this. Whenever I got a mark I was not happy with, I just assumed I was stupid. This was not a great mentality to have. A poor grade does not make you stupid. It could possibly mean that you need to work harder, change your technique or whatever you are doing is not for you. Plus, academics is not the only form of intelligence which exists. You could excel in other areas that you may not be aware of. All in all, no one is stupid. We all just have different abilities.
#14 Good Time Management is key
To be productive, you need to know how to manage and utilise your time well, otherwise, you will not get everything done efficiently. This could be arriving at places on time or spending a specific amount of time on a task.
#15 Do not settle for less
Know your self-worth and do not settle for anything less than you deserve. This can be attributed to numerous things, for example, a potential partner or future job opportunity.
#16 Do not take anything for granted
Do not downplay the opportunities that come your way, you never know the impact it could have.
#17 Do not be so hard on yourself
There is nothing wrong with striving for the best but appreciate the success too, instead of dwelling on your failures. I can be so critical of myself sometimes, and this is something I am going to change.
#18 It is okay to not be okay
Most people have only ever seen me happy because I do not like to express other emotions in front of them. I could be upset or angry but still, try to hold it in. One thing I have learnt is that there is nothing wrong with showing your emotions. We all have hard times, and there is nothing we can do about it. Holding it all in is not healthy. Instead, it is better to talk to someone you can confide in. You never know how they may be able to help you.
#19 Nerds are cool
There is nothing wrong with being a “nerd”. There is nothing wrong with being boring, studious, socially awkward, a tech fanatic or whatever else people consider to be “nerdy”. If that’s you, that’s you. Embrace it.
#20 There is more to life
There is more to life than all materialistic things we fantasise over. Some of us, stress over things that will not have any importance in the future. Do not let temporary objects or people dictate your happiness. It is important to find your own internal happiness above anything. You only live once, and it is important to make the most of the time you have here on earth.
There is a lot more I could say for each lesson, but I did not want to make the post too long. I hope you enjoyed reading and was able to take something from this! My 20s are my years of learning and development, so I look forward to seeing what else I will discover.
Also, be sure to read more about my Homeless Project and the story of a lovely man named Tony. If you have any suggestions or would like to get involved, feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)