Dear readers,

I turned 22 years old on Nov. 11. This is the first birthday where I have completely dreaded the idea of turning a year older. In an effort to cheer myself up, I created a list of 22 things I learned by the age of 22.

1. Don’t use natural deodorant.

Trust me. None of them work.

2. Get back into your childhood hobbies.

I used to read all the time when I was a kid, but I stopped reading for pleasure a long time ago. A few months ago I decided to give it a go again. Turns out I still love reading, and am now giving most of my money away to Barnes & Noble.

3. You don’t need a romantic relationship to be content.

I am, without a doubt, a hopeless romantic. However, I personally believe that we need to start changing the narrative that love is the only important thing. I have spent most of my life yearning for love and it has led me into bad relationships. You don’t need to settle so you feel content.

4. Don’t date pretentious people.

I have dated exclusively pretentious people and not a single one of them understood my love for Britney Spears. No one wants to date a Britney Spears hater.

5. Don’t surround yourself with negative people.

Negative people are draining. Life is too short to be surrounded by people who make you feel bad.

6. Feel everything.

Being numb is not “aesthetic.” It’s depressing. Cry when you feel sad, scream when you feel mad and laugh when you feel happy.

7. Hug your elderly pets more.

Every time I visit my parent’s house and see my 13-year-old blind dog Belle, I always wonder if this is the last time I will see her. Nevertheless, I hug her a little more each time I go back.

8. Genuine gifts are the best to give.

“It’s the thought that counts” only applies if the gift is a genuine expression of gratitude. Buy your loved ones gifts you know they will enjoy and use.

9. A can of Red Bull has less caffeine than a cup of coffee.

For the poor caffeine addicted college students, I give you this fact.

10. You won’t miss home until you leave it.

When I was 18, I desperately wanted to escape my home state of Texas. Now that I have been living in Nebraska for over three years, I realize how much I miss and talk about home.

11. Trust your gut instinct.

Your gut usually knows more than your heart does.

12. You don’t need to label everything.

For the longest time, I thought if I categorized everything in my brain I would be able to find a way to be content. That doesn’t work. It’s okay not to know everything.

13. If you compliment yourself every day, you will start to believe it.

If you struggle with self confidence, doing this will change your life. You deserve to feel beautiful and confident.

14. Gas station accessories are seriously underrated.

I have been on a lot of road trips this year and have noticed that gas stations have some really great accessories. I found my favorite pair of sunglasses in a bear-themed gas station in Oklahoma. Next time you are in a gas station, take a look at the sunglasses rack and you might be surprised at what you find.

15. Just because it’s mainstream doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Some mainstream content is a dumpster fire. However, I personally believe it’s probably popular for a reason. So don’t beat yourself up for liking popular movies or a song on the charts.

16. Prioritizing your own happiness is not a crime.

Despite what everyone tells you, you deserve to be happy and nobody should make you feel bad for that.

17. “Twilight” is a good movie.

I do not need to elaborate on this.

18. Not everyone will like you.

Life gets easier when you realize you were not placed on planet Earth to spend every waking moment appealing to other people.

19. Life’s too short to wear clothes you don’t like.

Wear what you want to wear. Who cares if you show up to the grocery store in a faux fur coat and metallic cowboy boots? If it makes you feel good, wear it.

20. Join as many free rewards programs as possible.

They might seem like scams, but you can get a ton of free things. For instance, I got a free Starbucks drink and a free Scooters drink on my birthday.

21. A good pair of black boots is a life staple.

If you don’t already have a pair, invest in some. Black boots go with everything and are perfect for the impending winter season.

22. Be bold.

If you want to take anything away from this list, follow this advice. Life is more fun when you are bold.

Your favorite Scorpio,

Allie Micaletti

Allie Micaletti is the assistant engagement editor and an advertising and public relations major. You can reach her at alliemicaletti@dailynebraskan.com