Spring 2018

21 Things I’ve Learned In 21 Years

By: Marlena Jones

In honor of my 21st birthday this year, I wanted to reflect on all of the things that have helped me make life so wonderful. Here are some of the things I have learned throughout the years that have greatly improved my happiness and outlook on life 🙂

1. ALWAYS stop to pet puppies

cute puppy on couch


I know that may seem like a no brainer but just do it, I promise you it will never fail to make you so so happy. Dogs have an amazing energy and are always so full of life and curiosity. They set a good example to follow in the lesson of life’s simple pleasures. OKAY, and they are insanely cute!!

2. Buy flowers

Flowers in vases in flower shop

Having flowers around makes everything so lively and makes you feel like your home is so put together, especially in spring. Plus they are sooooo beautiful!

3. Live for you

In the end, no matter what anyone else says, you NEED to do what makes you the happiest. You are in charge of making decisions for yourself that benefit you. Do not let others influence your decisions, if it makes you happy, do it.

4. Spend money on experiences, not things

I cannot stress this one enough. We live in a society today that values material possessions very highly. To stay grounded, I like to remind myself that at the end of my life, I won’t be able to take any possessions with me. Instead, I will hold all of the memories and experiences within me, and that is what is truly valuable in life.

5. Be optimistic (most of the time)

We are in charge of our own happiness. It’s absolutely okay to have a bad day every once in a while, but don’t let it consume you.

6. Wear what you want

bold shoes and sunglasses


If you feel good wearing it, wear it! Having your own personal style makes you unique and beautiful.

7. Love your parents

Your parents are the people who love you most in this world. We won’t have them forever so hug them a little extra, buy your mom flowers, spend time with your dad, tell them you love them.

8. Make someone smile everyday

I’ve learned making someone else happy is actually a really good way to make yourself happy.

9. Kindness makes you beautiful 

No matter what you look like, being kind is most important in this world.

10. Grades do not define you or your intelligence 

Some of the most well-rounded and intelligent people I know did not or do not get the best grades in school. Just do your best and work hard, but make sure you are taking care of yourself.

11. Celebrate the small things

Everything deserves a celebration! The more you celebrate the small things, the more there is to celebrate.

12. Put your phone away every once in a while

picnic supplies in bike basket

Don’t get too distracted by social media, likes, and followers. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter. Get out and enjoy the sunshine, have a picnic, visit family 🙂

13. Take care of yourself first

Your mental and physical health come first in every situation. If something or someone isn’t helping you grow, it is 100% okay to eliminate that aspect of your life. You come first!

14. Make time for the people you love 

Support and love those who support and love you! Your support system helps guide you through life, it’s very important to always show appreciation for those wonderful people in your life.

15. Read books

stack of books

Lots and lots of them!

16. Do everything with love

Do everything in a calm and loving manner and the universe will repay you with the same. Putting good energy out into the world will help you attract good energy into your life.

17. Work hard, make it happen!

None of your dreams can become reality unless you work for them. Your life is up to you! You control where you end up in life, you can make it possible.

18. Be the bigger person

Most of the time, what you are fighting over isn’t worth it.

19. Eat well

cute ice cream cones

And I mean EAT WELL, food is fuel and your friend.

20. “Will this matter a few years from now?”

This is what I ask myself every time something bad happens. If I get a bad grade, I have to remind myself that it won’t matter in a few years from now, etc.

21. Love the life you have

This is your one life to experience, love, and live. Make the absolute most of it, every single day.

Photography found on Pinterest

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