22 Things Every 22 Year Old Should Know
Last Wednesday I celebrated the beginning of the 22nd year of my life. I was fortunate enough to enter into this year with some of the people I love most surrounding me and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Since last Wednesday, I’ve been thinking a lot on some of the things I’ve learned throughout the past years leading up to my 22nd birthday. Mainly what I concluded is that I still have a lot to learn…
My thoughts kept bringing me back to thinking on how 22 is such a strange age – one where you still feel young and unsure, yet you’re entering into new stages of life that you’re excited and ambitious about.
Regardless of how much I don’t know, I found myself jotting down a few small reminders of things I felt like were important life lessons & truths I have learned up to this point and I wanted to share those with all of you.
So here it goes: 22 Things Every 22 Year Old Should Know
1. Jesus Is All You Need
I mean it. Jesus is literally all you need.
This world has so much to offer us - beautiful, wonderful, exciting things…
But Jesus doesn’t care about any of those and neither should we.
The reality is Jesus came to earth and loved, taught, and cared for other people. He died a painful death for you, for me. Why? So when one day when this short term life on earth ends, we have the chance to live a beautiful, wonderful, exciting life with Him forever. The things this world has to offer you will never be as fulfilling as Jesus alone.
Make Him a priority.
Read His word every day, talk to Him every day, listen for His call on your life every day, commit yourself to Him every day.
2. True Love Is Selflessness
Love is not money. Love is not words. Love is not a feeling.
Love is an action – and that action is selflessness.
Love is prioritizing someone else’s needs, desires, and wants above your
own. Love is considering someone else’s feelings before your own. Love is investing time and energy into someone else. Love is showing kindness to someone even in the midst of hurt. Love is listening & understanding. Love is sharing & caring. Love is reaching out to someone instead of fighting against them. It is not easy to choose someone, or think of someone, else over yourself but each day we are faced with that choice – choose love.
3. Nothing Will Go As Planned
The only thing you can plan on is nothing going as planned.
Life is not going to make sense a lot of the time. Things are going to seem like they are going all kinds of wrong and you’re probably going to feel a little (or a lot) overwhelmed. Know that when your plans go wrong, that’s Jesus making room for His plans to go right. Don’t fight or get angry when you don’t get your way – instead ask “Jesus, which way do you want me to go & what’s your plan?”
4. You Don’t Have to Prove Yourself to Anyone
Stop feeling like you have to prove yourself to anyone. Your new boss, new friends, new co-workers, that boy, your parents, all of social media… you don’t have to prove yourself to any of them. The only person you need to focus on making proud is Jesus. Yes, you should work hard, love well, and do a good job, but if your focus is on pleasing Jesus everyday, instead of people, you naturally will do these things.
5. The Journey is Just As Beautiful As the Destination
Don’t waste your life chasing the future without embracing the path that’s taking you there. The journey to where your going will have bumps and trials but it also will have happy and beautiful moments too. Embrace every moment of every day, even if your goals seem far off because you never know you’re in the good times until they pass.
6. Money Is Not Everything
The house, cars, clothes, technology, vacations, and whatever else makes up your dream life is not all that matters. Think about the end of your life – what will you think back on and remember? It will be the people you spend life with, the memories you make, the laughs and tears and smiles you share, not the amount of money you have in your bank account.
7. Find Joy In the Simple Things
Appreciate everything. Take in the beauty around you, the small things and the big things. Take time to sit in nature and listen to the birds chirp, watch the sun rise & set, share a laugh with good friends, or smell fresh picked flowers. We’re surrounded by a life of always wanting bigger and better but sometimes the smallest things can be the most beautiful.
8. Good Friends Matter
Surround yourself with people who are going to build you up into a better person. Choose good friends. Choose friends that will support you, give you good advice, listen to you, tell you the truth even when it’s hard, and that make your heart full. Choose friends that you can laugh with, cry with, share with, and confide in. Choose friends that will give you Godly advice, lead you back to the Bible for answers, and pray over you. They say bad company rubs off on good people – so invest in good friendships.
9. You’re Allowed to Relax
Don’t let the pressure to prove yourself drive you into exhaustion. Yes, work hard, give your all, and push a little harder – but remember to take time for yourself! Self care matters. We are able to do more and be more effective when we are nourished body, mind, and soul. Do things that will bring joy, rest, and happiness to all three of these areas of life.
10. It’s Not About You
This life, this world – it’s not about you. There is such a bigger purpose to all of this and that purpose is to glorify Jesus. Instead of getting caught up in focusing your life or your plans start focusing on Jesus’ purpose for you. Your life is meant for amazing, wonderful, bigger than you can imagine things, but the way to get there is to let God take you there.
11. Failures Are a Good Thing
Failure isn’t always a bad thing. Actually, failure is a good thing because it helps us to learn and grow. Don’t look at your failures as the end of the world or throw yourself a pity party. Learn from your failures what went wrong & why it went wrong and determine to do better and try harder the next time so that you don’t fail. Pitying yourself is a waste of time. Embrace failure as a step on the path to success.
12. You Can & Should Make a Difference
Do something that matters. Make a difference. No matter how small you feel you can play your part in change. Take whatever you’re passionate about and share that passion. Be an advocate, start something, join something! You don’t have to go all in all at once. Start with small steps. Even the smallest things make a difference. Smile more, share more, love more.
13. Stop Talking & Start Listening
Communication is one of the key qualities you need to thrive in any type of relationship and talking is only a small part of communicating. Learn to listen. Learn to be present in conversation. Start talking less and listening more to become a better communicator – this will improve every relationship you have from work, to family, to romantically.
14. Being Outside of Your Comfort Zone is a Good Thing
Do something that scares you. Don’t get too comfortable in your comfort zone. It’s good to do things that you feel unsure about. It’s good to do things that seem like more than you can handle. Why? Because then you have to learn to rely on God more!
15. You Can’t Rush Love
Love will come when it’s supposed to. Instead of spending all your time searching for the right guy, spend your time becoming the right girl. Pray for God’s timing, pray for the man you’ll marry, but also pray for patience! Recognize the time you’re waiting is being used to shape you into an even better girlfriend/fiance/spouse one day. Embrace the wait.
16. You Don’t Need the World – You Need Jesus
The more, more, more, mindset is becoming so normal now days. We all want more money, more success, more love, and more things. But do we want more of Jesus? NOTHING in this world we want compares to Jesus. Jesus is the only things we need and the only thing we should want.
17. You Can Do It All & Be It All
If you want to do it all and be it all – you can. But you only can, if you’re doing it all and being it all for Jesus. When you stop pursuing all of the things you’re doing & trying to become and start pursuing all the things Jesus wants you to be doing & becoming – you can do it all & be it all every day.
18. Be Present
Put the phone away. Turn off all of the noise. Start a conversation. Our culture is so consumed with ourselves, our technology, our plans - that we forget to be human. Cut through the constant content overload we live in and embrace real life. Embrace the small things. Embrace people. Embrace moments. Stop trying to get the perfect picture of every moment and start trying to make the perfect memory of every moment.
19. Stop Comparing Yourself
You are never going to be her – so stop obsessing over her life. You are unique. You are special. You are the only you there ever is – don’t you want to be the best version of yourself? Quit getting caught up in comparison with other girls. You do you! It’s hard not to be completely consumed with others when we live in a world of following everyone else’s every picture perfect post. If you’re following someone that constantly brings you to a place of jealousy or comparison every time you see them – stop following them! Invest in becoming the best version of yourself, not trying to become someone else.
20. Practice Hospitality
Love others. Invite others in. Embrace others. Don’t be afraid to open your heart or your home to other people. Reach out and take that first step to build community with someone else. Reach out to invest in an old relationship. Reach out and open yourself up to sharing & caring for other people. God doesn’t call for us to hideaway by ourselves in our homes away from others – He calls us to love big & live big.
21. Learn to Love Others Well
Figure out the way you feel loved – is it gifts, is it time, is it words? Figure out the way the people around you feel loved and love them in their way! Actually, love all people in all the ways! Don’t be afraid to love big, love well, and love without reservation. Invest in other people. Love other people. Love people you know and people you don’t know. Love by showing kindness, showing care, giving generously, giving sacrificially. Love without reservations every single day.
22. The Way to Find Your Purpose Is to Start Living For Jesus
Your purpose is bigger than you. It’s better than what you’ve dreamed up. It’s more than likely going to look a lot different than the path you’re on right now. Your purpose is hard to define, hard to find, and hard to know for sure but that’s okay. Don’t spend all your time searching for your purpose, instead live with purpose everyday, starting today. You can find & live in purpose everyday when you live for Jesus and who doesn’t want to live with purpose!?
So there it is girls 22 things I’ve learned by 22 that I thought all of you should know too.
Like I said, I’ve still got a LOT to learn but I’m so thankful for the opportunity that each day brings me to learn something new and try harder to remember all of these important things.
Here’s to 22 years of life, 22 lessons learned, and many more to come!