20 things for 20 years

1. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been exposed to gratification of travelling and immersing oneself in new cultures. I have definitely learnt that I am much less likely to regret spending money on experiences rather than materialistic things

2. For me personally, I prefer to have fewer, closer friends than to be part of a big social group. I feel that if I want to be someone’s friend, I would rather take a real interest in a person, than to spread myself thin.

3. It’s okay to prefer to stay at home and spend time chilling with family and friends instead of going out clubbing and partying all the time.

4. I’ve learnt that there is no point getting caught up in university work. Education should be for education sake, and unfortunately that’s sometimes hard to see with all the exams and formalities, which come with studying at university. At the end of the day, my abilities are not defined nor limited to the numbers printed on my degree certificate.

5. I’ve definitely gained a greater sense of justice and have become more politically active in voicing my opinions.

6. I’ve been working on myself in terms of being more open-minded to other people’s opinions when they don’t always line up with my own beliefs. This is an on-going process, but I’m always trying to stop myself from making judgements on others because at the end of the day you don’t really know what their current situation is.

7. I’ve learnt how precious time is and how important it is to spend it with those people who mean the most to you. I’ve learnt to not be so proud when I argue with a love one and try to be less stubborn because life is too short.

8. I’ve also learnt that sometimes I have to let go of past relationships which I have often romanticised. Everyone comes into your life I believe to teach you something about yourself, but it doesn’t mean that relationship has to last forever. 

9. I’ve come to the decision that I will feel that my life has been well spent by joining the international campaigns in fighting for human rights. It makes me uncomfortable to think that I could go my whole life in privilege without making any effort to help someone who is entitled to the same rights as me.

10. I’ve learnt that talking to a 7 year old every once in a while can help you to put your life into perspective. That even though right now I’m wishing at the back of my head that I can be done with uni, one day I’m going to reach a point where I wish I just lived in the moment.

Ten things I would like to do within the next 10 years:

11. I would love to speak 6 other languages (besides my mother tongue) to enable myself to integrate more when travelling and feel like I’ve made more of an effort to appreciate others cultures.  

12. I would like to travel more and read more. I think travelling and reading are two ways in which we can become more open-minded, more tolerant and understanding of others.

13. I would like to have started a family. I used to think that I would put my career before having children, but the more I think about it, the more I feel that having children (when I’m in at a point in my life when I know that I can provide for them) is more rewarding than climbing up the employment ladder.

14. I would like to spend some time in Gambia to learn my mother’s mother tongue and to be more in touch with that side of my roots.

15. I would like to devote more time to understanding and learning about my religion. I feel like in my current situation as a student that my faith is not always my first priority and I know that I tell myself when I finish studying things will be different, but there will always be something in the way so I need to actively dedicate time for this.

16. I would like to become less attached to my laptop and social media and rediscover the outdoors more.

17. I would like to spend more timing writing poems and short stories and dedicate more time to developing these interests.

18. I would like to make sure that I’ve kept in contact with those friends that are important for me, and make sure I’m making an active effort to keep them.

19. I would have to liked started an educational foundation in Gambia, because I am a strong believer that education should be a right and not a privilege.

20. I would like to be happy with my current situation in life in all aspects- my religion, my health, my home life and career.

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