21 and stressing: 21 things it’s OK not to know about

May 16, 2016
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The other day I found a grey hair. What soon followed looked like a scene plucked straight out of Sex and the City – melodramatic screaming, many tears and some swear words. Thankfully, the very understanding lady saw that I wasn’t a predator and told the security guard to allow me to go my own way.

Just kidding.

The other day I thought I saw a grey hair on my head. Luckily it was just a strand of sunshine and not a sign of early menopause. But it did make me reflect on how the things we stress about can impact heavily on all aspects of our lives

Today, young adults are faced with a great deal of stress, with a continual flow of assessments, family dilemmas, money struggles and career challenges. Everyone has battles going on in their own mind, which can make getting to the bus stop on time seem like you’re running for an Olympic medal.

So we find ourselves in this world where we don’t really know which way is up, let alone if we’re walking in the right direction. But I’ll let you in on a little secret, no one really does. We just need to learn to ride the wave, stress a little less and breathe.

Here are 21 things you don’t need to be stressing about at 21 – let’s save these things ‘till we’re at least 25. 

Who created the universe

Hopefully we’ll find out one of these days.


I can’t even afford rent.

What your passion is

At 23, JK Rowling was broke. Tina Fey was working at the Y.M.C.A., Oprah had just gotten fired from her first job as a TV reporter and Walt Disney had declared bankruptcy.

- Read This If You’re 23 And Lost by Heidi Priebe

At 21 it’s OK to not have your passions figured out, as we’re still discovering what we’re good at and what we like. Keep working hard, try new things and hope that one day you may just stumble over it.

How to iron perfectly

Multitask with the weekly ‘drop ins’ to mum’s place with a basket of washing.

How the government gets away with anything

Last week’s Q and A discussed the fact that Australia is paying over 11 billion dollars a year in interest, and they still want to de-regulate the universities

Credit cards

Don’t trust them.

How to create the perfect dinner party

We all can’t be Masterchef contestants.

Every war that ever happened and every political/cultural/social event in the history of mankind

While knowledge is power and history is integral to our understanding of the world, try to limit the 2am Googling of Stalin (guilty).

Why everyone doesn’t agree on same-sex marriage

How guy’s minds work

Maybe you will never know why he didn’t text you back.

How girl’s minds work

Especially at a certain time of the month…

Why burgers shouldn’t be a three times a week food

I see protein, dairy and vegetables...

How to not lose things when travelling

If anyone has mastered this highly curated art form plz call me! To all my past iPhones, cameras, and rings out there in India, Singapore, Sweden, and wherever else, I miss you guys.

How big is the universe


What hair looks best on you

Go wild. Pink hair doesn’t have the same lure when you’re 45.

How to save money for a house

Talking about Sydney’s housing affordability is like stepping on Lego in the middle of the night. And no Mr Turnbull, mum and dad can’t just “shell out”.

Like many of my twenty-something friends, owning a home seems like a fairytale we once heard. For now, I’m just going to stick to saving for a holiday and leave the Excel spreadsheets to the strategists.

Why bad things happen to good people

Life can be unfair.

How to limit social media use

I hope by the time we’re 27 we will have nailed this half-an-hour-a-day thing.


I don’t think I would even marry myself yet.


Super cute and everything, but really you’re looking at a life sentence.

How to be happy

We’re all searching for the golden ticket. Some people may look their whole lives and not find it. Sometimes you get lucky and you’re in a glorious moment you wish you could hold on to forever.

There’re a lot of things I don’t know about at 21 and a few things that make me stressed. But I do know that you’ll never get anywhere by comparing your life to others’. We need to open our eyes and appreciate what we have.

And if I know one more thing, it’s that to have a friend you must be a friend. If you can make someone else’s day that bit better, well maybe that’s one less thing that they don’t have to be stressed about. And I think that’s got to be a good thing. 

Avril Treasure

Avril studies Journalism at Notre Dame in Sydney. In her spare time she enjoys playing cards with her grandfather, drinking one too many margaritas and pondering hypothetical questions.