21 Things You Should Know by 21

Happy birthday to me, I'm old now.  I don't know much, but this is what I've learned so far.

1.  Sleeping, eating, and living are best done with some sort of companion - but by 21, you should know how to do all three alone.

2.  Eating out is a waste of money.  Learn to cook.  It will leave you with lots more cash to spend on shoes - or saving up for those dreaded M words (mortgage, marriage).

3.  Waiting to see the dentist for longer than 6 months will potentially leave you with holes in your wallet, and in your mouth.  I'm pretty sure she hasn't been in awhile...

4.  Less is more.  Dramatic smokey eyes have their place, just not in the workplace, at a family dinner, or on the beach.

5.  How to say, "hello", "thank you", and "where is the bathroom?" in at least two foreign languages.  C'est facile.

6.  Never leave your belongings at a significant other's house without their permission.  Stage Five Clingers are anything but desirable.

7.  Honesty is always the best policy, and it is impossible to birth a healthy relationship upon a lie.

8.  How you feel about children, marriage, and how far away from home you'd move for love.

9.  The smell of booze lingers, and your boss, parents, and significant other aren't stupid.  Know your responsibilities and get your ass to bed on time when you need to.

10.  Tanning is bad and a skin care regimen is a must.  Invest in the good stuff so you won't look like this when you're older.

11.  Requests off from work or school are not guaranteed to be granted, so don't buy plane tickets until they're approved.

12.  How to jump your car, how to change a tire, and where to catch the bus if you find yourself stranded.

13.  You've probably lost a few people by now.  Know that everything happens for a reason and memories really do last forever.

14.  Make friends with someone who owns a truck, or purchase one yourself.  Moving and furniture shopping without one is such a hassle (and you will probably be doing a lot of that soon).

15.  Never do business with friends, family, or significant others.

16.  You're never going to look the way you want to, so learn to be happy with who you are.

17.  Future spouses and future employers are totally going to Google you.  Be wise about what you put on the web.

18.  Recover.  Relax.  You'll get much more accomplished when you take a few moments for yourself.  Take a yoga class.  Start a blog.  Have breakfast in bed.  Do something once in awhile that's for you, and only you.

19.  Hair grows back.  Be daring.

20.  If you're not voting by 21, you're dumb.  This will be your fourth year having this Constitutional right, and it's past time to use it.  And yes, your vote actually does matter.

21.  Love with your heart wide open.

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt