As my 21st birthday rapidly approaches, I can’t help but think about the things I still want to do but haven’t and the things I have to look
forward to doing once the day comes. I’ve seen posts on Buzzfeed about 21 things I want to do before I’m 21, and 21 things I wish I knew before I was 21. I’m not going to replicate that. I could do that but finishing everything on my list in the next two days would be near impossible and I’m sure there are more than 21 things I wish I knew.
I almost wish I had started this earlier and devoted one day to each idea, but a shorter, heartfelt list is better than nothing. So, here are my 21 thoughts as my 21st approaches.
1) What other mistakes will I make in these next few years? Every adolescent makes mistakes, and I’ve made my fair share of them already. I keep on wondering what’s the next stupid thing I’m going to do and then regret afterwards.
2) What opportunities did I give up? I’ve gotten much better at applying for more positions and being open to new experiences. What else could I have applied for or signed up for that would expand my horizons. I wonder if there is something that could have changed my path at school, but I guess I’ll never know.
3) When will the next awesome opportunity come up? Will I miss it or will I embrace it, run with it and see where life takes me?
4) Will I have the strength to actually go through with preforming in Liquid Latex? This has been a constant struggle through my head. Thoughts from, I’m not in good enough shape, there will be hundreds of people watching me, what if I mess up, what if I suck, have been running through my mind. This will be the ultimate test of my inner strength and confidence.
5) What will our next adventure bring? Last year me, my parents, my sister and nieces jetted off to Japan for two weeks, this year there is talk of London, Israel, Greece and Cyprus. I wonder what cool, new cultures I will see there and what adventures will meet us once we get there.
6) What classes should I have taken already? My parents are not the first ones to tell me I should sign up for public speaking. My education teachers have told me it’s a great tool to know once you are in the field. Should I have taken this class years ago? What was holding me back then that isn’t now?
7) When will I have the guts to go on an adventure on my own? So many friends have already done road trips and my sister travelled through Europe on her own when she was younger than me. When will I feel comfortable doing this?
8) What is the real reason I didn’t go abroad? Was I scared? Nervous? Too unsure of myself in thinking I wouldn’t be able to conquer my homesickness? What made my friends able to do it and not me?
9) Mastering the subway system in New York: realistically, this I could probably do in the next two days, but in my mind, why is it worth it? I dream of living in Boston, I’ve already envisioned which neighborhoods I’m going to live in. If anything I should learn the T perfectly.
10) Find myself a boyfriend: this has been a long and somewhat painful process. I’ve been open to it, but in today’s society, like Cosmo said in their recent article: dating in college is screwed up. I guess all I can do is just wait for the right time and trust that it will happen when it’s supposed to.
11) Have I put myself out there enough? Am I trying hard enough to find the guy I want to be with? Are there other outlets on campus I can try? Is it something I’m not doing or is it just timing not being in my favor?
12) Will my dream of being a teacher be a reality? I know what I want to do, and I’ve gone through the hoops of getting there, but after the end of student teaching next year, will this be a reality?
13) Becoming a teacher isn’t all roses: I honestly wish someone had told me when I started education classes my freshman year how much work it would be. I wish someone had told me about the state exams and the massive amount of requirements. I might have thought out this plan a little differently.
14) Now that I have a blog, what else do I want to actually finish? I’ve finally started a blog and it’s up and running, but what else on my list of things I want to do needs to get finished?
15) What else will life throw at me? Life is never boring as a college student. I keep waiting and anticipating what is going to come at me next. What will be the next hurdle I need to jump?
16) Be careful who you live with: make cautious choices with roommates, there is the slim chance you might ruin a friendship in the time frame of one year, or 9 months of living with each other. I speak from experience.
17) What does one ask for on their 21st? This has been a burning question in my mind the past few weeks, and when my parents asked what I wanted, I had no clue. What does someone turning 21 need? What is acceptable to ask from your family? Can you ask them to help start your liquor cabinet?
18) How is one supposed to act after they turn 21? Are they supposed to suddenly mature overnight? Does becoming 21 and getting access to bars and clubs give you permission to be a kid for a few weeks while you soak in the new experiences and freedom?
19) What does this new freedom mean? Will I feel more integrated into the upperclassman society at school or will I feel like a freshman, just learning the pace of the new social scene and learning tips and tricks about going out on weekends?
20) Embrace every moment: I am pretty satisfied with my life choices up to now, and I am proud to say that I would not have done 95% of my decisions differently. I still question judgments every now and then, but I feel like that is the definition of adolescents.
21) What will my first bar or club experience be like? I have thought about this moment since my last birthday. I have imagined it over and over in my head and every time it’s different. So what will it be like? Because, let’s be honest, that is a real milestone, at least for me. I get to join the “big kids” and can graduate from the dorm parties and the fraternity house basements. I’m moving up in the world. “21 and Over” restrictions can’t stop me now!