Hey guys! It’s my 22nd birthday so I figured I would mix it up a bit. I decided I would round up 22 Things I Learned By 22 (but really that I’ve learned since turning 21). These are the most pivotal things that have happened in my last year and they’ve helped shape who I am! Some of these items have even set my future up for success! I hope you guys enjoy this read and get inspired yourselves!
I took these photos about a week before my birthday and they turned out so perfectly! Rent the Runway asked me to partner with them and this lovely sequin dress is one that I rented from them. The lovely Katherine Amason took my bday photos so be sure to check her out on IG (here)!
22 Things I Learned By 22
1. March for Women’s Rights even if you live in a small town.
I am always for standing up for what you believe in even if it’s not the popular route. My college town is a small, rural town in Georgia and is very conservative, so the fact that I was able to find a small group of people who are also outspoken about issues made me feel much more at home. One of my favorite professors helped organize it even!
2. Do cheesy Valentine’s Day stuff with your boyfriend.
This was honestly the best holiday I’ve ever had just because it was so full of love between us. My boyfriend surprised me with the gaudy huge card, red velvet kit-kats (which I DO NOT recommend btw), and even made and produced me a SONG about his love for me. Get you a him y’all. We then went to a build your own pizza place and watched movies after!
3. Work Charleston Fashion Week (even if it’s not NYFW).
This was such an awesome experience because even if it wasn’t as large as NYFW, I got to do so many fun things! I saw my first drag show (SO FUN), work the VIP tent, see my first runway show, and meet amazing people! I met a girl named Kendrianna who I found out also went to my college and PLOT TWIST we ended up having a class together this semester! It’s so crazy how all things interconnect.
4. Go on coffee dates with random girls you meet on Twitter.
Okay no, not like on a date (unless that’s what you’re looking for then GO FOR IT). My friend Hannah reached out to me on Twitter because she liked my tweets and thought we would get along and she was completely right! I love her more than life and it’s fun having a friend who loves brunch dates that are super early in the morning like me.
5. Work hard at your projects even when other people don’t.
This is seriously one of the most important things I’ve learned this year. People aren’t going to work hard just because you do, no matter how hard you try. You just have to keep pushing, SOMETIMES air your concerns with them, and let them know how you’re feeling. You still have to give your best effort!
6. Present your projects at THREE Research Symposiums.
This also kind of interconnects with number 5 because I had to present at two of them completely by myself. I presented myself even though they were group projects y’all! One of my professors actually only reached out to me for one because she knew I worked the hardest on that project. These were such amazing experiences because I was able to show other majors that fashion majors do a lot of interesting and analytical work! I was able to get a CHEM major interested in ethnographic research about clothing y’all.
7. Take a sporadic day trip with your mom to the Guo Pei exhibit.
So one of my FAVORITE designers is Guo Pei. She has amazing designs and I found out she had an exhibit at SCAD Atlanta (about a 2 hour drive from where I live)! One Saturday my mom and I decided to randomly drive up and go. It was such an AMAZING experience (if you look up “Rihanna Guo Pei”, that dress is the one I saw up close). I love spending time with my mom so it was fun showing her why I love fashion so much.
8. Learn how to start monetizing your influence.
This was probably the BEST thing I learned by 22. I have spent hours upon hours researching how to curate my blog, my personal brand, and expand my influence. It has been so rewarding and just such a great opportunity I will never take for granted. I LOVE growing my blog, writing posts, and connecting with all of you! Realizing that I enjoy all of this was so great.
9. Make more time for family.
This has been the biggest thing I’ve learned. Throughout high school I was just very angry with things and it took a toll on all my relationships. I was aggressive with my family and somehow justified that this was okay. Now I call my mom like 5 times a week and have no shame! I have wanted to treat her better since my sophomore year of college and now she’s one of my best friends. I also had such a great time bonding with her and my other family members at my cousin’s wedding this past October!
10. Have a photoshoot with your friend (P.S. Fruit is Optional).
My best friend in the world is someone I met in my major. I didn’t know where to sit in my Apparel I class the first day. I looked around and figured the girl with the pink hair and cute outfit would be my best bet! BOY WAS I RIGHT. Now she’s one of my fav people in the whole world! We decided when she graduated this past May that we would do a photoshoot (with lemons of course) and I will cherish these photos forever. She also has a blog called Girl With The Gucci Belt!
11. Decide to move to New York for an internship.
Because it will be the most crazy, exciting, stressful, fun, unique experience EVER! I loved my time working at the corporate office for Ascena Retail in TIMES SQUARE. It still feels like it was yesterday that I was looking out of the cafe window at all the tourists. I will never forget the dozens of people dressed as Elmo with surgical masks on pestering me to take a photo with them (every single day after I got off work). I have a recap of this internship (here).
12. Learn how to take blog pictures using a tripod.
Up until this past May, I had my boyfriend take my blog pics! He was seriously the greatest at it so I was scared to move to a new state with no photographer. Before I left, my friend Amber (in the picture above) gave me a tripod as a going away gift! I have NEVER gone back since! I always get asked about it so (here) is my post about how I use it.
13. Attend HerConference.
This was SUCH a life-changing experience y’all. I kid you not I have never had such a moving experience in my life. I was so grateful to 1) have been in New York to attend and 2) get to go through a campaign with Almay and HerCampus! It was great knowing that both strong AND nice women can make it in any industry as long as you work hard. I also was so happy to be able to go with my friend Ana! She was interning this summer in NYC with me and is also an INSANELY good designer.
14. Decide to go to a Sam Smith concert the night before.
This was SUCH a crazy experience y’all. My other friend from college, Aneatrice, and I hung out all the time this summer while we were in New York! She asked me one random night if I wanted to go to a concert the next day in Brooklyn and that tickets were just $50. I have LOVED Sam since high school and was trying to be more spontaneous this year and WE WENT AND IT WAS GREAT.
15. Have dinner with blogger friends you meet on Instagram.
This was another highlight of my New York trip. I’ve met some amazing other bloggers from all over the country this past year and gotten really close with Allison from The Savvy Camel! I saw on her stories that she would be in NYC for one weekend and I immediately freaked out and asked if she wanted to have dinner. It was SO GREAT meeting her and honestly felt like we had been friends for ages.
16. Kill a presentation in front of corporate managers.
This was the most daunting but exciting moment of my life. We had practiced and prepared SO MUCH for our presentation and the day finally came where we presented in front of the CEO, the VP’s, the Directors, and our teams! I was so happy that we killed our presentation and they loved it! This made everything we had done worth it.
17. Set goals and KNOCK THEM OUT OF THE PARK.
I was looking back on my goals for 2018 (I’m making a post about this for the new year) and realized I OBLITERATED my goals. My main blog goal was to hit 3,000 followers on Instagram and to get accepted to LIKEtoKNOW.it and I did both by April! I have worked so hard on my content and to grow my following and I am so so thankful.
18. Sometimes you have to be the Type B person.
I normally am the person who unintentionally becomes the leader in a group (even with other leaders). I learned this year that sometimes to avoid issues you need to take a step back and let someone else carry the reins. After realizing this, I have been a better person since!
19. Losing a pet will never get easier.
This is definitely hard to write because my dog was my whole life and whole heart. School was easier because I knew every month I could come home to see my little pup. Five months after having to put her down for health reasons, and thirteen years after bringing her home, it hasn’t gotten easier. I love her, miss her, and still expect her to be downstairs waiting to greet me with a slipper every morning.
20. Apply to a Professional Internship with Disney.
BECAUSE YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT. I really applied and aggressively checked every day for new positions for about three months. Eventually I gave up once I hadn’t heard back when they said I would. Two weeks later I got a call to have another phone interview and then a week after that I got an offer! I could not believe it.
21. Apply for your dream full-time corporate position.
I also got more good news this week that I would be joining Carter’s at their corporate office in Atlanta starting in June! It’s close to home, in the same city as my bf, and my DREAM position! I was thrilled beyond belief and I’m so glad I worked so hard for this.
22. Most importantly….BELIEVE IN YOURSELF GIRL.
The #1 thing I’ve learned thus far is that I need to trust in myself and my instincts. I somehow lost all confidence in myself in high school and I’ve spent the last three years building it back up. It has been hard but I finally feel like I have accomplished everything I set out to do this year!
Cheers to 22 years!
WOW, if you guys got through this post you must really like me! I really wrote this 22 Things I Learned By 22 post last night up until the clock struck 12 because this was everything that happened between 21 and 22 that have been the most pivotal to my life. These are things I will remember all of these things forever and I am so happy with how this year has gone!
Thank you guys for following me and my blog and for liking my posts too! Every view I get makes my heart happy. If you want to subscribe after reading this insane rant of a post, be sure to head over to my home page (if on desktop) or scroll down (on mobile)!