A small, round, white cake is decorated with black frosting in the shape of the a smiley face, with x’s for eyes and arrows coming off the smiley face.

23 Things I Learned From Being 23

By A. Hannah Alvarado
Web Content Contributor

I’ve been reflecting a lot, as some of us do, when we are approaching a birthday. I’ve spent almost an entire three hundred and sixty five days, 8,760 hours, and 525,600 seconds figuring out this age and how to navigate it. Which, upon further reflection seems to be a trend in my life. Every time I approach a new age, I find myself irritated by the fact that I have to leave behind the chapter in my life that I confidently have a grasp on, for yet another year of figuring out how to get a hold on the next. One thing I wished I’d had before turning twenty three, and every other age before that was some sort of list of things to know, a guide or list of cheat codes, if you will. Hence my list, of 23 things I learned from being 23.

  1. Nobody likes you when you’re twenty-three” is correct, blink-182 knew it all y’all.
  2. Just kidding, the same people who loved you when you were “feeling twenty-two” will love you now. (Okay, sorry for the music puns that’s all I promise.)
  3. Young people slang doesn’t make any sense, is this one just me? Because I understand none of it.
  4. People begin to take you more seriously because of your age.
  5. People still don’t take you that seriously, because of your age. I know that contradicts, but all my twenty three year olds understand.
  6. You constantly feel a bit off balanced when it comes to age group. You’re not mid-twenties but you’re not fresh out of your teens either, so your hobbies can range from deep sea diving to wine tasting to watching re-runs of Spongebob on Amazon Prime.
  7. Ordering an alcoholic beverage still feels weird, kind of like you’ll get into trouble.
  8. You begin to feel like a “grown-up”.
  9. You also still feel like a kid. Again, believe me on this one.
  10. You are not excited for your next birthday, because continuing on the path of figuring out your grown-up life still sounds too intimidating.
  11. Every time you make a stride towards what you want as a grown-up, you feel like you’re making real progress.
  12. Your relationship circle is relatively small, and you absolutely love it that way.
  13. Your family becomes even more important to your life than beforehand. Even if they are already your best friends in life, you find yourself missing them more and more.
  14. The things that used to annoy you about them, don’t really annoy you that much anymore.
  15. …But it still does a little.
  16. You constantly see the changes you want to make within yourself, in all aspects.
  17. You also begin to admire things about yourself that you may not have before.
  18. (If you never have before) You’re tempted to do something to your appearance like dye your hair or cut it differently, or if you’re into tattoos/piercings (which I’m not) you’re thinking about it.
  19. All. You. Want. To. Do. Is. TRAVEL.
  20. Most likely, you can’t though, because it’s way too expensive and you can’t afford a sandwich.
  21. You find yourself enjoying simple comforts more. A rainy day spent inside, a cup of hot tea, a clean house, etc. (Even if you already did, the urge to become a hermit grows stronger).
  22. Things seem to force themself into priority within your life. You can’t ignore what’s most important to you anymore.
  23. You know for sure, good or bad, that you learned a lot this year.

So perhaps, some of these things were silly, or singular to my own experience as a 23 year old. There may have been some big things I missed, or things I got completely wrong- regardless though, one thing that I have learned is that good or bad, the experience is your own. Its okay to not have a strong grasp on things, and its okay if it took you all year to figure out the best way for you to be the age you are. That’s the best part about growing another year older, you can look back and see where to improve, what not to do again, and where you want to go. I hope this list helped you, or made you laugh, because no matter what age you may be, remember kids, “nobody likes you when you’re twenty-three.

Featured photo by Hannah Alvarado.

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