21 Mistakes To Make Before Turning 21
July 27, 2019
Claire Miles

My little sister is turning 21 soon, and to celebrate, I wanted to make her a list of 21 mistakes she has to make before this big day. Mistakes are a part of life and they’re inevitable. But, if you learn and grow from your mistakes, they can become truly vital in your journey to adulthood.

  1. Get your heart broken – heartbreak is something all of us go through at a certain point in life. You have to have your heart broken in order to know how to move on, and become stronger and better. It is one of the most important teaching moments of life.
  2. Fall in love with the wrong person – In order to know what you are not looking for and what you don’t want, you have to experience it with the wrong one. It’s like the saying: you have to go through the worst to get to the best.
  3. Spend too much money – this is one of the best ways to understand just how valuable money really is. It takes time to learn how to manage your money responsibly, so having those previous mistakes to learn from can be vital.
  4. Have a terrible job – not all workplaces are an amazing experience. Having that first terrible job can teach you a lot. The reality is that not all jobs are glamorous and you are expected to go through difficulties. This experience will help you understand how it is in the “real world” and will help you appreciate the good workplaces.
  5. Debate hard on the right career – it is completely normal to not know what you want to do since you are young. Knowing what you want to spend the rest of your life doing is an important decision that is not to be taken lightly. There is also a great chance that you will choose the wrong career path before finding the one that is truly right for you.
  6. Follow someone else’s footsteps – like mentioned, it takes time to know what we want. So sometimes, we follow in someone else’s footsteps. You need to explore different routes before finding the one that is right for you.
  7. Fail at something – like making a mistake, failing at something is only an opportunity to learn and grow. Just because you failed at something doesn’t mean you’re a failure. This is an important life lesson as it teaches you that life is not over once you fail, and, if anything, you only become stronger and wiser.
  8. Make terrible fashion choices – in order to find your style, you have to go through a few questionable style choices. It is a process. Eventually, you will find what you are most comfortable in.
  9. Sleep too much – this might be the only time frame in your life you’ll be able to do that. So, turn off that annoying alarm clock, sleep in and enjoy your time.
  10. Give up on something – everyone gave up on something at least once in their lives. It is important to know how to get back on your feet and not stay down, you have to carry on. Giving up will also make you see how satisfying it is to accomplish something and see it through.
  11. Try things that aren’t for you – in order to figure out what you love doing, you need to know what you don’t like. Whether it’s in sports, clothes, or classes, go out there and experiment in things that might turn out to be mistakes. But in reality, those aren’t mistakes, they are lessons.
  12. Waste your time – spend your time doing irrelevant things. Binge shows on Netflix and scroll through Instagram, this might be the only time in your life you can allow yourself to do these things. Your responsibilities are only going to increase as you grow older. Cherish and enjoy your freedom.
  13. Spend some much time alone – stay in and enjoy some quality time with yourself. Get to know yourself, discover who you are without judgment and criticism from anyone.
  14. Get at least one bad grade – failing a test is an important stage in learning what your priorities are.
  15. Manage your time terribly – learn that when you manage your time inappropriately, bad outcomes will follow. This is an important lesson that will make you value your time. Managing your time can be difficult, but by making that mistake, you’ll learn how crucial it is.
  16. Get too drunk – I always say that you should drink responsibly and when you are at the legal age. However, I’m realistic, and I know a lot of people drink, and drink a lot, before they are 21. Getting too drunk will teach you what is your limit is and how you need to respect it.
  17. Neglect some of your responsibilities – by no means am I saying you should live your life recklessly. Yet, occasionally neglecting responsibilities such as dishwashing or doing the laundry, is a part of growing up. This is a vital lesson that will show you that you are responsible for your own life.
  18. Take risks – dare a little bit! Taking risks is a part of life. When we’re young we often don’t know what to expect as an outcome. Don’t be worried when risks you took backfired. It’s normal and sure won’t be the first time.
  19. Break up with someone you shouldn’t – life is full of mistakes, so much so that sometimes we don’t know we are making one. Sometimes, you realize breaking up with someone was a mistake afterward. This painful experience is an important lesson as you learn when love is real and when it is just a false feeling. In addition, it will teach you the difficulty in making choices and sticking by them, even if it hurts.
  20. Have a cheat day once in a while – don’t feel bad about your cheat day. Cheat days are important once in a while and can lift your spirit.
  21. Make mistakes – Life isn’t permanent. You made mistakes in the past, and you will make more in the future, it’s completely normal! We grow, evolve, and improve from our mistakes. We are not defined by our mistakes. Take responsibility for your actions and learn from them.
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