Twenty-Two Mistakes I Made at 22

If you already can't tell, it appears I really enjoy writing lists. Which works out well since most people find listed posts easier to read (I am assuming based on my own lacking level of an attention span).

I turned 22 on the 10th of July and I thought it would be a good time to reflect. 22 is such a strange age. I've technically been an "adult" since I was 18 but I feel the ages of 18-21 gets a pass for being young and doing dumb things. 22, however, has this very adult connotation around it. No excuses now. So, there's no better time to look back at everything I did wrong in my life until present:

1. Caring too much about what others think 
This was particularly strong during my entire teenage years and even up till as recently as a year ago. Everything I did in my life was dictated by what people may think of me; the clothes I wore, what I posted on social media, the things I believed in etc.

Unfortunately, this particular factor played a tremendous role in my unhappiness and it truly stunted my growth as an individual. I've gotten better at this now and continue to improve as I get older. I've given it less power to control my life and I can only hope I can continue this way.

2. Surrounding myself with unmotivated people
Talked in great detail about this point in my last blog post. Doesn't do you any good to be around people who settle.

3. Not giving my all in everything I do
Not caring about my job because it was just a part time thing whilst I did my study. Leaving my assignments and exams till last minute when I could've put my all into it and achieve the grades which I knew I was capable of. I half-assed my way through so much of my life and one of my greatest regrets is that I didn't try hard enough.

4. Spending money on things which I thought I "needed" 
For someone who comes from a family who isn't exactly well off - nor do I have much money to splash myself - I sure spent a lot of money on crap I didn't need.

I went through phases of being a complete impulse buyer and was online shopping all the time. I don't need more clothes. I've stopped growing since I was 14, there's no reason for me to buy a new dress or eating out every other day. Those £3, £7 and £10 add up and when I think about how much I could have saved it brings a small tear to my eye.

Brands and materialistic items no longer hold the same importance to me as it used to.

5. Not spending enough time building my CV
Surrounding myself with unambitious people resulted in me not giving thought about my future. I'm not blaming them but I know for a fact it didn't help. I was also an exceptionally lazy teenager so I do take accountability for my lack of actions.

I did not recognise how much I would struggle with applying for jobs. I wish I spent more time taking up activities and doing work experience whilst I had the time.

6. Begging to be in other people's lives
This applies to both romantic and platonic relationships. I remember distinctly being the one who continuously reached out and being the only one who made effort. When it was apparent that they did not care about me as much as I - nor did they wish to put in as much effort - rather than walking away I begged and persisted. I've learned and from now on out I will never make this mistake again.

I deserve more and I should not have never disrespected myself that way.

7. Never standing up for myself / not taking the initiative 
Having always been soft-spoken and petrified of confrontations, I've often found myself becoming a bit of a doormat and letting opportunities slip.

Storytime! Sometimes last year, I arrived for my midday shift for my part time job at 11:55 (I would typically arrive half an hour earlier because I lived in another city and the bus I took would arrive at every half hour past). It was Sunday and bus times were weirder.

There was a rule that we should get to work 15 minutes before our shift starts just so we have time for briefing etc... However, there was never a rule to actually start work 15 minutes earlier. This girl must've been having a bad day (she wasn't the manager but she was close to the manager) came and told me, "Gup, you didn't come to work 15 minutes before your shift. This means you were late. So I'm going to take one hour off from your shift."

What this meant was that I was expected to work for 1 hour for free. I would have been fine with this if that was the rule but this was not the case. As the next hour rolled by and other people came for their shifts 5 minutes before their start time too rather than 15 minutes, none of them got their hour deducted like I did. Rather than taking the initiative and speaking up, I just let it pass (in the end I complained to my boyfriend at the time who actually sorted it out for me aha).

8. Going through a mean and salty phase for no reason 
This was mainly online (since I did not have the balls to put up such a facade in real life) and perhaps it was to compensate for the previous point. But when I was in my mid-teens, I went through a phase of hating everything and being super negative for absolutely no reason. Did I think it was cool? I can't even remember.

9. Caring too much about my outer appearance
I was never shallow but I was certainly insecure (which hasn't changed much), and that insecurity had cost me a lot. I spent an insane amount of things like skincare, makeup, clothes etc.

10. Not taking up more fulfilling hobbies 
When I was younger I was really into art and crafts and writing fictional stories online (*cough* fanfiction *cough*), but as I got older and got my first iPod touch, most of my free times became filled with browsing social media.

I was never allowed to have social media when I was younger. And back when you just had one family desktop computer and you had to have permission to go on it (and it was in the middle of the living room), I found myself sneaking onto Myspace and Facebook accounts when my family were out (they never invited me anywhere) or go on it at my friends' house. So when I pretty much had the computer in the palm of my hands with my iPod touch, the freedom of using as much social media whenever I wanted took over me.

I wish I carried on those hobbies I had. I think this is why I've started writing on my blog again.

11. Wallowing 
Waste of time.

12. Not being pragmatic
Have you ever spent so much time stressing about a deadline when you could've been using that time to actually meet that deadline? Of course, we all have. My mistake was that I did this all the time. I hope when I go back for third year, this will no longer be a problem.

13. Not making the most of my free hours (volunteering, learning etc)
Again, spending too much of my free time just lounging and being completely unproductive. I wish I went out and volunteered for something I believed in. I wish I made some time to study and learn new things; read books on things which I wasn't interested in during school but now really wish to understand such as physics and history.

14. Not putting myself first
I've often been described as a doormat and a pushover and I can't even deny it at this point.

15. Not setting up a financial foundation for my future
Can you tell I'm having money regrets? I used to look at my payroll and see that I got paid £5k ever since I started that job (granted this was after many months) but my thoughts would consist of, "Okay, what the hell did I spend all that money on??"

Things like eating out and buying clothes, I wish I had saved and put it away into a savings accounts whilst I had the chance.

16. Starting university and not becoming involved or getting to know people
Another comfort zone issue. I wish I had taken parts more in clubs and put myself out more rather than just staying in my shell.

17. Spending too much time watching series and K-dramas
Watching series and dramas is the most pointless way to waste your time and I did that way a lot.

18. Not realising that everything is transient
When we're young and dumb we like to believe in forever and that things will last. Growing older and going through a few losses and dark times, I've learned to accept that it's just the way things are and to embrace that. The good may not last but on the bright side when times are hard it's a good reminder to remember that it'll pass, too.

I've laid in bed many nights absolutely being crushed by my own dark thoughts and thinking it's never going to be possible for that to go away. But here I am.

19. Letting my ego hurt the people I care about
It's hard to admit that we ourselves can be stubborn. It's tough to wrap our heads around the thought we could ever let our pride get the best of us. Looking back at my past relationships, I can see there were times where I thought I was never wrong and refused to apologise when I was called out because of my own ego.

Life is short, forgive and apologise.

20. "The grass is greener on the other side"
I went to a really middle-class high school where most of the people around me were rich, had a really nice family, and big houses. It was hard, especially as a teenager, to not feel embarrassed of how little I had.

I wish I realised sooner that we are all dealt with different hands and to be grateful for what I already have because there will always be people who will have it better. And that's okay.

21. Neglecting my health
Since I am still young, the damaging effects aren't as prominent but I know I can't continue living off of instant noodles and coffee. And I wonder why I'm always sluggish and tired.

22. Thinking I have time
I think we're all guilty of thinking that we will have more time than we actually do. I can't resit life. I won't ever have the chance to live these moments again. So why am I lounging around as if I have the all the time in the world to be a fuck up and make mistakes?


And there you have it! My 22 years of mistakes all wrapped up nicely in a ribbon on this blog post. I hope reading this has made you feel a little better about how you spend your life and the life choices you have made!

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