Your 21st birthday can come with a wild mix of emotions—bittersweet feelings at finally leaving college, excitement and some anxiety at the thought that you're entering the "real world" really soon, and maybe some sense of eagerness or hesitance to finally start #adulting. Don't let the uncertainties overtake your mindset, though! Make the best out of this year and the rest of your life by striving for these things:
1. To genuinely love your body. Whether you’re petite, athletic, or curvy, you should love your body and flaunt it. But don’t just leave it as is and call it a day: Make sure you keep your body at its very best by establishing good habits, such as…
2. To lessen your junk food intake. You may have survived on instant noodles and fast food during your college years (you may still be dependent on these types of food now), but it’s time to break that habit and start opting for healthier food choices, like having two servings of fruits and veggies each day or picking tuna over pork and fried chicken.
3. To keep your body hydrated. Make it a habit to drink eight or more glasses of water every day. Not only will it stop you from binge-eating (yes, there’s a connection!), but it will also keep your skin hydrated and firm.
4. To be fit. Being sexy isn’t about having big boobs and legs for days anymore; it’s about being fit. Be well on your way to your fitness goals by signing up for a gym membership, joining dance classes, or even taking up a sport like boxing, Muay Thai, or maybe archery.
5. To prioritize your health. Your body may seem like it's at its prime, but that doesn’t mean you should take it for granted. Go to bed at a reasonable time, and aim for at least 6 hours of sleep. Keep your surroundings clean, and work within your limits—your body will thank you later.
6. To lessen (or start quitting) your vices. Right now, you may have some habits that aren’t good for you (like drinking your worries away). The key word here is moderation: It’s okay to go for an occasional drink with your friends, but don’t make it a habit to end each day with copious amounts of alcohol. If you're smoking several sticks of cigarettes a day, you might want to gradually lessen it and eventually quit smoking for your health. Aside from preventing several illnesses, kicking the habit can even do wonders for your skin!
7. To maintain a solid skincare routine. This is really important, CGs! Now that you’re 21, you have a greater responsibility to your skin—all over, and not just on your face. Eating healthier, getting enough sleep, and quitting or avoiding vices like smoking would already do wonders to your skin, but stock up on your beauty essentials, too! Try NIVEA Extra White Firming Body Serum SPF33, which promises to give you long-lasting fairer and firmer skin in just 14 days, with its ingredients like 95% pure vitamin C and Q10.
If you want immediate results, use NIVEA Instant White Firming Body Lotion SPF15, which instantly whitens and smoothens skin with super fruit extracts of concentrated Camu Camu and Acerola Cherry that offer 40 times higher vitamin C content. 20 years from now, your skin will thank you for giving it the care it needed while you were still young!
8. To take sun protection seriously. We will never get tired of reminding girls everywhere to do this. Never skip your sunscreen, and whenever you're under the sun all day or even if it's raining, don't be lazy when it comes to applying and re-applying your sunblock.
9. To be financially independent—even in a small way. We’re not telling you to pack up and leave your family home, but maybe you can start investing in things like mutual funds and stop asking your parents for money whenever you want to buy something. Which leads us to the next point...
10. To save up for your first big-girl purchase.Whether it’s a trip abroad with your besties, a timeless designer bag, or a laptop for work, now is the time to save up and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Don’t give in to the temptation of going on a shopping spree upon receiving your first paycheck.
11. To travel at least once (before you turn 22). Because one thing you learn from a trip can affect a year’s (or ten’s!) worth of experiences, especially if you can afford a trip abroad. Take notes from the Japanese on their punctuality, the Europeans on their art appreciation, or the Americans on their general friendliness. Also, you’re 21, which means you’re of legal age all over the world! Take advantage of this newfound freedom, and do something you’ve never done before, like touring Batanes alone, experiencing winter in Korea, or going bungee jumping and skydiving in Dubai.
12. To have time for your family. They have always been there for you (and will continue to do so for as long as they can), so make the effort to see them and spend quality time with them, even as you go on your own adventures. Reserve a day (like Sunday) every week for them, and make sure to really be present—don’t be on your phone the whole time.
13. To find what interests you. Your passion should be a top consideration when making important life decisions like choosing which career to pursue. Engage in activities that will help you figure out what kind of life you want to live, but don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t yet. If you're the creative type, for example, you can take up hobbies like calligraphy, contribute for fashion or lifestyle magazines, and keep refining your skills, which could end up landing you that job in a publishing company.
16. To be confident in your own abilities. Worried about that daunting task ahead and not being able to do it well? Stop doubting yourself, girl! You know you’re an awesome photographer/blogger/performer/accountant/medical practitioner. #push
15. To not be afraid to say no. Being forced to change your life goals because of how society perceives women? Is your guy pressuring you into dressing a certain way? Giving into these things may not seem like a big deal right now, but not standing your ground in matters like these may just lead to future regrets.
16. To not be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone. You will experience a lot of changes—from graduation or licensure exams to bagging your first job—and some of these may come when you least expect them to. Things will not always go according to plan, so relax, put your brave face on, and enjoy the ride!
17. To not compare yourself to others. Have a colleague who came in after you but seems to be getting more praise from your boss? Remember that not everyone gets their break at work at the same time. With patience and hard work, you’ll get there, so just keep doing your best.
18. To just relax and pamper yourself once in a while. When you’re busy with things like juggling projects or meeting deadlines, it may feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to accomplish everything you need to do at work and still eat the right number of meals, go out with friends when they invite you, or finally dive into that book you've been itching to start reading. Spare five minutes of your time to sit down, and plan your days out. Go on staycations when you can, book a massage appointment when you need some R&R, or simply de-stress with adult coloring books.
19. To be firm in your beliefs. It’s okay to change your stance on something because of an insightful talk or a moment of realization, but never because of peer pressure. Standing by your beliefs this early on will ensure that you won’t be easily swayed, even when exposed to more persuasive (or pushy) influencers.
20. To be happy. This is a no-brainer, but we wanted to remind you CGs that happiness should be the ultimate goal in all the choices you make. If you want to be a doctor, make sure it’s because it’s what you want—five years of additional schooling and slaving away during residency and all.
21. To be your best YOU! If you choose to try to complete this list, then give yourself a pat on the back because you, CG, are well on your way to becoming your best self! Having the drive and initiative to be your best you is a feat in itself—we’re sure you’ll have a blast for the rest of your 20s and beyond.
Realize that your #SkinsBestYears start in your 20s, too! Watch this video to learn how to care for your skin everyday: