20 Things I’ve Learned Before Turning 21

1 week from now, I would eventually celebrate my 21st birthday. Sigh. Time truly flies so fast. While there’s a side of me that says that I’m not getting younger, the lighter side made me realize that, indeed, within the 2 decades that I’ve lived in this world, I’ve learned several things, both from my joyous and sorrowful experiences. With this, I would like to impart what I’ve learned and to give my insights based from my life’s junctures. Yet, I admit that I’m still slowly unfolding the mysteries that life has to give me in the future.

1. VALUING EDUCATION

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College graduation 20161

Last March 2016, I am grateful that God guided me throughout my journey of pursing education for the last 16 years. I really did my best in my studies despite the long and winding road I’ve been through from pre-school, grade school, high school, and eventually, in college. Despite the various failures, discouragements, and disappointments I’ve faced during my studies, I just put my goal in my mind that through education, it would be a key for me to have a better life. Being discouraged is temporary, but giving up is permanent, and giving up is surely not an option for me. Most importantly, I wanted to give back to my parents their labor and sweat they’ve made in order to provide my needs. Surely, I’ve made them proud during the day I graduated in college. Truly, education is the only eternal inheritance that our parents could give, which no one could take away from us. Most importantly, through education, the society’s disease of ignorance would be cured. We would be able to make better decisions in our life and we would be able to break free from the chains since we have properly invested our time and money.

2. LIFE IS HARD
After I graduated, I realized that life is really hard. I sent my resumes and application letters to almost 20 companies. In the end, only 2 or 3 companies responded to my efforts. Phew! Right now, I’m still waiting if these companies have seen my worth after the excruciating final interviews I went through last month. Indeed, even though you’ve earned a degree from a reputable university, finding a job is no child’s play. Competition is a cut-throat especially for fresh graduates, like me. What’s more if you haven’t finished any degree?
I also realized that one really needs to work hard. One needs to labor for the things he or she aspires for. There are no shortcuts in life. Being idle or passive makes you a worthless person. Being productive makes you a person who truly lives. Above all, I need to earn myself and to build my identity. Above all, problems in life are inevitable. However, problems are what makes life interesting and colorful.

3. BE FORWARD-LOOKING AND HAVE GOALS. REACH FOR THE STARS!
I realized that from the actions and the choices we make, we should be ready to face its consequences. Because of this, we should not just think of the present moment. I realized that I need to think if this decision would either provide a betterment or degradation in my life for now and for the future as this would have an adverse effect not just in this moment of our life, but most importantly, in the long-run.

Because of this, it is important that we strive to reach for the stars. While it is important to be contented with what we have, we should aim for greater things and move forward. It is important to have goals in one’s life so that we we would have a clear direction of our path and our purpose. 😉 ❤

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Creative shot for my gradpic. 🙂

4. INVESTMENT PAYS THE BEST INTEREST

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I was inspired by our moderator, Mr. Literarus, during the Financial Literacy Seminar which our school organization, XU-JFINEX, organized last January 2016 at Barangay Lapasan here in our city

As a Business Administration major in Financial Management graduate, I’ve learned that investment is something that you give away at present because you know that this thing you gave up would eventually grow in the future for one’s benefit. As a person who has been introduced regarding the importance of investment, I, for one, want to be an advocate on valuing investment, especially among Filipinos. We Filipinos tend to spend more than what we earn. We also sacrificed the value of saving as we prioritize satisfying our current wants. We failed to think of the uncertainty that the future would bring. We failed to save for the rainy days. Because of this, what most of us needs right now is financial literacy.

5. TIME-MANAGEMENT
Time is gold. Indeed, it is very valuable. Wasted time cannot be taken back. That’s why I learned to plan for the things I need to do during the day and for the next days. Also, we must wisely spend our time on appropriate things and on deserving people because giving our time to a person is like giving a portion of our life which cannot be taken back. Giving our time is one of the greatest things where we become selfless individuals. Yet, I also believe that at times, we should be open to the possibility that our plans won’t work because God has better plans that are in store of us.

6. BEING OPEN TO MY PARENTS

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With my parents last February 2015 at High Ridge
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With my beautiful mother

I admit that I’m not that close to my parents because I felt that they have a “killjoy” mentality. They already at their near 60s age and I felt that they won’t understand me. Usually, my father has an iron fist in disciplining me, knowing for the fact that I am the youngest and the only girl among our siblings. However, sometimes, I share a part of my life with my mother because she is open-minded on things. For teens, I really recommend that you should open up yourself with your parents or either with your mother or father. Last 2015, when I can’t anymore take my cover-ups regarding a long-distance relationship with a man she knew here in our neighborhood, I talked to her and I felt that the burden in my shoulders were released. During that time, that’s when I also discovered a part from my mother which I haven’t known such as her love life when she was still the same age as mine. Also, when my relationship did not anymore work out, she also became my confidant. Being open with your parents is the best feeling.
Most importantly, being open to your parents would help you establish the hard-gained trust with them. Just be honest and truthful on the things that you are doing. Trust with your parents is difficult to achieve. That’s why as much as possible, never ever break that trust because it would really be hard to regain that fragile value.

7. CHEERLEADERS AND SUPPORT-SYSTEM

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One of my college friends, Pamela and Sweatzeal
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With Wendy and Pamela

You can’t survive college or life, in general, if you don’t have a support-system or cheerleaders who would be there at your tough times. I felt that I somehow survived college because of my close friends who became my confidant during those times of desolation. It’s good to have friends whom you can share your secrets and your troubles because one way you would be able to free your problems is through releasing it. As a very outspoken person who shares one’s feelings freely, I felt the need to open up myself to others and to my friends. Most importantly, it’s also one of the ways where you could prevent in fussing your anger through social media. Instead of putting your anger and eventually posting it in social media, pray for it and talk about it to your closest friends whom you trust the most. I promise, it would be worth it.

8. KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH MY FRIENDS

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With my friends, Pamela, Wendy and Allyx, who invaded our house last week

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This summer, I miss my friends. It’s been a long time when I haven’t seen them. At times, they invade our house just to visit me, or the other way around. Also, sometimes, we hang out at malls or other places just to have a bond with them. Life after graduation is already different when it comes to the bond I had with my friends. Unlike when I’m still in school where I always get to see them in the campus, right now, we just rarely see each other personally. However, we still do our best to keep in touch through text or through our group chatbox in Facebook.

9. SENSE OF HUMOR

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My recent hugot line as a result of my painful mouth sore. Haha. 😛

I was really very serious before which made me panic easily when I face problems. However, slowly, I began to realize that we need to loosen up and just laugh out our problems because at times, we tend to over-think, resulting to stress. One way I put my humor is through my hugot lines, which is very relevant today to young people. Hugot pa more!

 

10. MEETING PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT WALKS OF LIFE
I used to be a person who builds walls from other people. I was bullied and hurt when I was still a child resulting to my low self-esteem when I grew up in my teenage years. In order for me to have a tough exterior and to prevent others from hurting me further, I closed myself from other people. Yet, when I went to college, I realized that life is miserable if you continue to shut your heart from others. What challenged me to break down those walls is when I encountered and worked with different people whom I liked and disliked. I was really placed beyond my comfort zone in college when I worked with different kinds of people in group projects, research papers, and extra-curricular organizations: bossy, naughty, loud, lazy, idle, serious, silent, and the list is unending. Yet, I’m grateful that I met such people because I’ve learned that in real life, you have to work people that you don’t even like. I learned how to deal with them in a proper manner which is beneficial for me as I would venture the real world. Also, you would be able to discover yourself if you sink yourself with a group of individuals that you don’t like. I learned to destruct my walls, little by little, by facing my fear of being with people I don’t like. Indeed, I’ve learned that there are people in our lives who would become either treasures or lessons in your life.

11. SOCIAL NETWORKS AND CONNECTIONS
One way we build social networks and connections is through our college education. We meet friends, classmates, or teachers whom we could help or ask for help in the future. Establishing social networks is important as this would associate our identity and reputation as a person. We are greatly interrelated with one another.

12. TRUE LOVE WAITS

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I’m an advocate of not entering in a relationship until one has graduated in college. Although I had my first boyfriend when I was still in 3rd year high school at 15, I’ve learned that during our high school and college years, we still have a lot to discover in ourselves instead of valuing our worth to other sex. I have learned a lot from my past relationships. I realized that I have wasted my time because during our teenage years, we are still incapable of giving ourselves to another person because we ourselves, we are still incomplete. So, to the young individuals, I encourage you to strive for your education first, and enjoy the company with your friends. It’s good to have a crush every once in a while as a source of inspiration. For now, discover your talents, your skills, and your untapped potentials. Build your worth as a person and instead of praying for the one, be the person whom that someone is praying for.

13. ENJOY WHILE WAITING
I admit that being single is the best feeling in the world, instead of being in a relationship where you have several uncertainties in your lives. We must enjoy while we’re waiting. I would always remember what my parents said that when you eventually enter the realms of marriage, you should likewise embrace responsibility and a lot more problems in all aspects. If entering the Sacrament of Matrimony is really in God’s plan in my life, I seek to enjoy my life while waiting.

14. BE UPDATED AND BE INVOLVED
I put a habit to always be updated with current events and news. I find time to watch TV Patrol or CNN, or hear news from the AM radio. This is one way where we would be informed in order to avoid ignorance. When I was still a Financial Management student, we always have market updates where we have oral recitations on certain business topics such as in the stock market, banking, economy, and corporate. I hate it before because I’m not good in conveying information orally. However, I was able to develop my communication skills through time. It is important for us not only to be updated in events and news, but also to be involved with it as this would have a profound effect to us.

15. A ROLE MODEL TO THE YOUTH
Whatever adults do, young people imitate it. At present, as social media is very pertinent, there’s a greater need for role models who would guide the young people to the right path. With this, it begins from us to act responsibly.

16. HEALTH IS WEALTH
I was able to value my health after I began to change my lifestyle. I was an overweight kid when I was still in grade school. Because of this, I’m thankful for those bullies because if not for them, I would not be able to value my health and well-being. Right now, as I would turn 21, I realized that there’s a need for me to take extra care of myself especially in my health because I won’t be able to function well if my body is sick. Also, prevention of diseases is better than curing it. With this, we won’t be able to fulfill the purpose of our soul or spirit if our respective bodies are not capable of functioning well.

17. DIFFERENTIATE EPHEMERAL AND ETERNAL MATTERS

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I would always remember the bible verse, 2 Corinthians 4:8. At times, we work hard for temporary things, knowing in the end, they would eventually vanish from our sight. What matters most is that in everything that we do, we must remember to put our efforts on things that would last in the test of time. Similarly, our physical beauties would fade but our attitude, character, and personality are timeless aspects.

18. ALONE AT A HOLY PLACE
Whenever I’m stressed out, I felt the need to be alone in a place where no one could disturb me. I consider my bedroom as my holy place. In this room, I could just be myself where I could think and unwind my thoughts. In our life, we need to find a holy place where we could break free from the disturbances in the real world, every once in a while.

19. PRAYER

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I believe in the power of prayer. I believe that praying is a way of communicating with God and when we communicate to Him, we get to know Him better and we get closer with Him. Whenever I have problems, I just talk to Him fervently as He hears my heart’s desires. Prayer is our best weapon.

20. GOD AT THE CENTER OF MY LIFE

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Above all these things, I would not be where I am right now if I haven’t placed God in the center of my life. I tried to let him out in my life before, but I realized that life without Him is very different. I always yearn for that joy which cannot be satisfied by worldly things and through Him, I will never be the same again. He is the way, the truth, and the life. I allowed Him to use me for His greater glory. In this confusing, changing, and transient world, I’ve learned to look up not on the worldly teachings, but in His Holy Word. AMEN!

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