1. Let the little things go. I've always been one to (unfortunately) harp on things for too long that mean too little. It's a disadvantage, but every day I learn more and more that some things just are NOT worth it. Focus on the positives and move on.
2. Cooking and baking is more than just a hobby. No one said you have to be a food connoisseur, but life is much easier if you know your way around the kitchen! Being able to cook dinner for yourself that doesn't involve a frozen pizza is sort of an amazing feeling.
3. Everyone is at a different point of their lives. I'm sure that I'm not the only one who scrolls through their Facebook feed and wonders how it's possible that everyone you grew up with is at such a different point in their lives. Some people are getting married, some are having babies, some are graduating, etc. I know all too well that it's difficult to not compare yourself to others successes or failures, but seriously - don't. It's difficult now but the sooner you realize that each and every one of us has a different path and things happen when they're supposed to, the better.
4. Challenge yourself. Taking the easy way out is of course, easier; and something all of my fellow college grads and students alike know all too well! But taking time to learn, grow and attempt something that challenges you in any way - and then succeeding - is the best feeling. Do it.
5. Spend more time doing what you love. Life is short, and you're only this young once; stop wasting time with things you aren't passionate about and do more of what makes you happiest.
6. No reason to stay is a great reason to go. There's nothing better than traveling, and your early 20's is the prime time in your life to do so! I know, it's expensive, but buy a couple less pairs of shoes each month and start a travel savings. It's worth every penny and every moment.
7. Friends come, friends go. It's highly unlikely you'll always be friends with everyone you went to high school with. Same with your childhood, same with college. People move, grow, change - and no one can predict the curve balls life will throw at us. Don't harp over the friendships lost, the ones that are worth your time and meant to be will always be there no matter how close or far you are.
8. Smile more. You'll be happier, the people around you will be happier, and you'll have a better day. Promise!
9. Make and document as many memories as possible. I wish I had more pictures from my teenage years! I was never all that big on taking pictures, and now I wish I had. Especially if you're someone who loves to have tangible memories, make sure you make it possible to look back at the amazing times you've had.
10. Be organized. Whether you itch to stay organized or could care less, don't live in a mess - physically or mentally. Write things down, you'll thank yourself later.
11. Take chances on yourself. When I started my blog, people thought I was crazy. When I started telling people that blogging and branding was a form of business, people thought I was even crazier. Do what you enjoy and try new ventures. You never know when it'll be worth it, and proving people wrong can be really enjoyable.
12. Keep it classy. Always.
13. God has a plan for every one of us. And each of our plans are very, very different! Saying everything happens for a reason is the definition of overused and cliché, but God works in amazing ways. When something is meant and the time is right, it'll happen. There's no sense in harping on something that doesn't. Believe it will and you're half way there.
14. Treat yourself. Do what makes you smile, buy what makes you happy. As my mom has always told me; this is the time to splurge (in moderation) and pamper yourself - you're young, maybe still living at home and will never be able to splurge as you can now, before the bills start pouring in even more.
15. Put everything into perspective. Stop being so pessimistic and learn to realize that the glass is half full. Trust me, it makes for a much better day!
16. It's okay to not have a plan. Regardless of what your relatives say at every family get together, not knowing what you want to do (even AFTER graduating college...) or not knowing what comes next is okay. You'll figure it out, you always do.
17. Forgive. Don't forget, but always forgive.
18. Stop harping on the past. It's called the "past" for a reason, friends! You can't change it, you can only learn from it. Take it with a grain of salt and move the heck on.
19. Take all of the once in a lifetime opportunities. Whether it seems right at the time or not, you'll likely regret it if you don't try it. For me, *hopefully* having the chance to be on Big Brother is a once in a lifetime kind of thing. Work hard to get there and don't back out of trying it.
20. Step away from your comfort zone. This one is always a work in progress for me. But oh how amazing it feels when you end up loving something that's so far away from what you're used to!
21. Love yourself first. Because honestly, how are you going to give someone else your love if you can't even give it to yourself?
22. Your life is just beginning. The more I look at it, especially today, I realize how many amazing experiences lie in front of me. The past is the past and the only way to have the future you imagine for yourself is to start in the present. I fully plan on 22 being the year my life truly starts and evolves, and I can't wait to see what this year has in store!