Five life lessons I've learned by the age of 23
In a few short weeks, I’ll be turning 23 and it made me think what lessons I have learned, besides the casual history or political theory class that I have done for the last five years. While I could give you a speech about what certain historical figures have done or how a certain theory could explain the current political climate, I have five life lessons that might be more interesting.
Friends will come and go
It’s hard to understand that friends may leave you, but after five years at uni, I realise the friends that I made in Year 12 and the first year of university won’t be there years down the track. I only keep in contact and foster one friendship that I made in high school and the friends that I made at uni I can count on both hands, which made me realise how many friendships I have that have gone.
Whether it is just a lack of maintaining that friendship, going in different life directions or simply life got in the way, friendships will either continue to grow or just stay there in the past. At the end of the day, you must be content in leaving it behind and not dwell on the past.
Be kind to your family
I know not everyone has a family because of certain circumstances, but to those who do, be kind to them. After losing a loved one at the start of the year, I realise how fragile life can be, especially if it is a family member. Although it’s normal to fight with your family, don’t make it a habit of not speaking to them ever again after something very trivial.
I always text my mum and my sister whenever I go out and text them when I walk in through the door so they know I’m safe and sound. Although I live by myself, it makes me feel as if I live with them again. Give them a call, ask how their day is, and tell them that you love them.
Look after your health
When I was living with my mum, she made all the doctors and dentist appointments. Now I’m out of home, no one is there to make me hot chicken soup if I get sick or make the doctor’s appointment. Google local GPs in your area, make it a habit that if you feel like something is not right, make an appointment. I had many times that I thought something was wrong with me, but it turns out I just need more water or need to take antibiotics. It doesn’t hurt to see a doctor if you feel something is up.
Mental health days
There is such a thing as taking a mental health break. If you feel stress at uni, it’s OK to take a day off from going to class. Go and read your favourite book or go to the cinema. Take a break and then start your uni work the next day. You will be certainly feel refreshed and ready to get that HD.
It’s OK to be single
As someone who has not had a lot of partners in life, I’m fine with the concept of being single. I don’t have to worry about who is paying for my table for one dinner or who is sleeping at which house. It’s OK not to have someone when you’re in your early 20s, just remember that one day you will get one; it could be tomorrow or five years down the track.
Sinead studies Master of Arts at University of New England. When she is not studying she is still waiting for her Hogwarts letter.