*Cue the Taylor Swift. This past Friday was my 22nd birthday (and yes, Tay’s hit was the first thing I listened to that morning). I know, in college years I’m pretty old, but I’m excited for this year. Twenty-two is a special number in my family and has always been a lucky one for me, so this is a big year.
After reflecting on my less than stellar week, I decided that I need a new start. And when’s a better time than this birthday? So here’s a list of 22 things that I wanna do as a 22-year-old. Enjoy.
- Do more yoga- This is 100% the first thing I thought of and the main priority of this year. If this is the only thing I accomplish by the time I turn 23, that’s a success. Yoga is a new thing for me and it just makes me feel happy. And 22 is all about being happy.
- Paint my nails more often- When I paint my nails, I automatically feel more confident. It’s a weird girlie thing that I enjoy and I usually chip them within a couple hours, but hey, it’s a little thing that I can do for myself each week.
- Hang out with me- I love people. Most of my day is spent around people. Ask my roommates, I’m hardly in the apartment because I’m always out doing something. But there’s something to be said about enjoying the company you keep with yourself. I want to become more comfortable just chilling with me.
- Talk it out- If there’s one thing I’m not, it’s quiet. I’m a big talker and I usually wear my heart on my sleeve. I know that’s not everyone’s style, but talking things out keeps me sane. So when something’s bothering me, I’m going to seek out people who can help me talk through it.
- Be creative- When I was little, I used to love to craft. My mom used to have this big craft box of stencils, colored markers, construction paper and stickers and I literally made something new every day. As I got older though, my sister continued her creative genes and I kinda forgot about them. I want to revisit my creative/artistic side so 22 is going to be full of Pinteresting DIY projects and crafting.
- Coffee dates- One of my favorite things is a good coffee shop. Maybe it’s the barista in me, but nothing compares to a really cool, cozy atmosphere and good conversation.
- Hang out with Krista- Stalk us on Instagram, and you can tell that the Jaworski sisters are really close. Even though she’s notoriously the cooler sister (I’ve fully accepted it, it’s all good) and our personalities can greatly contrast, I love spending time with her. She keeps me grounded, which I need. Often.
- Lots of friends/roomie time- Hey, 22 is my last year at college. The thing I’m going to miss most about Nova is the people, so sometimes I’m going to blow off my homework to hang out with my friends/roomies. Because if I don’t, I’m going to regret it. Here’s to more laughs and more memories with the people I love the most.
- Explore Philly- It’s really sad to say, but after spending almost 4 years about twenty minutes away from Philly, I hardly know it. When I was in Italy, I loved exploring the nooks and crannies of the cities I visited, getting to know the hidden gems while feeling adventurous. It’s time to get to know Philadelphia better.
- Bake/cook more- Number 1 priority in my dream house is a great kitchen. In my apartment now, I have a beautiful kitchen that I need to start using more. Last year I tried to make a new recipe each week and totally slacked off this semester. With all the recipes I have pinned on Pinterest, I should actually make good use of them. Oh, and baked goods just make everything better. Enough said.
- Drink more coffee- Yea I know caffeine addiction is a real thing and there’s that myth that coffee stunts your growth, but there’s something extremely calming about holding a mug of steaming coffee while reading or writing. My favorite time of day is around 8:30am and fresh coffee seems like a good morning.
- Go to the outlet mall- I’m just a broke college student who needs (nice) business casual clothes for the real world. Outlet malls are the only solution. #salesonsales
- Say yes to senior year- One evening, my roommate literally repeated a whole spiel about how we only have a year left and how much we need to make the most of it. To sum it up: “Say yes to senior year.” It means going out on a Tuesday, attending every home basketball game, ordering CampCo just because. Basically, enjoying all those Nova things that I won’t have by the time I turn 23.
- Go to mass- I adore Villanova’s church. Upon seeing it for the first time, I knew I had to go here. I also love the student masses the Augustinians say on Sunday evenings, even though I usually blow it off because “I have too much work” every week. No more of that. I can’t deny that going to mass gives me some inner peace. It helps me focus on all the good things in my life and I always need that little reminder.
- Do brunch- Because mimosas at 11am is always a good decision.
- Write letters- As a dear friend once said, “I love correspondence.” I’m a pretty big fan of writing (if you couldn’t tell) and telling people how I feel about them (because life’s too short not to) so I’m bringing back the snail mail this year.
- Focus on being healthy- People say that you’re at your peak in your 20’s and decisions you make now can either help or hurt you later on. Now’s the time to take care of my body. 23 and 40 year old Kasia will thank me.
- Start running again- I’m not naturally a runner. I did not receive that gene from my marathoner dad. But running does provide some release for me. Last year, I could run a couple miles no problem, and this year I can barely make it through a mile without feeling like I’m gunna die. Even though getting back into shape is going to suck, I know I’ll feel super accomplished when I do.
- Thank my parents more- Point blank, I don’t do it enough. I try to be conscious about it, but I still don’t actually thank them enough. They do so much for me and continue to be this amazing support system for me. I need to recognize that more.
- Visit two new places- I really like traveling. I caught that travel bug during summer 2013. Even if it’s not overseas, I want to visit at least 2 new places this year. Whether it’s going to visit my best friend in South Carolina or just exploring a new part of New Jersey, new places give you different perspectives, which is always a good thing.
- Read a lot- As senior year goes on, my commitment to extracurriculars is going to dwindle. It’s just the nature of getting ready to graduate, and to be honest, it’s going to be nice to have a little extra down time. I hardly get to read for pleasure during the year, but reading is my favorite hobby, hands down. Good books are good for the soul.
- Trust life a little bit- The Internet told me that Maya Angelou said this. She seemed like a pretty wise lady and this seems like pretty solid advice. I’ve always believed that life has this unexplainable rhythm that we don’t understand until we look back on it. While I may not understand where my life is taking me right now, doesn’t mean it won’t make sense later. So I’m having faith that eventually, everything’s going to work out.
I spent my 22nd birthday in a pretty incredible way. I was in El Paso, TX leading a Habitat for Humanity break trip (more on that to come) and Friday happened to be our free day. To conclude our unforgettable week, my co-leader and I took our amazing group (#thefam #PASOble) to White Sands, New Mexico. It was really cool because I’ve been to the black sand beaches in Possitano, Italy and now I can say I’ve stepped in the white sand of the New Mexican desert.
To get to White Sands, you have to drive down an open highway that’s protected by huge mountains, like sleeping giants against the expansive blue sky. At a minimum speed of 75 mph, it’s hard not to feel inexplicably alive with the windows down and your favorite country song blasting through the speakers. And then at night, the same road takes you back toward Texas under the twinkling stars that make you feel small with awe.
White Sands is nothing short of amazing. If you just stand still, you’ll realize that it’s absolutely quiet. The only thing you can hear is the light breeze brushing past your face and your thoughts seem to be quieted by the serene presence of the mountains in the distance. At sunset, you can’t tell where the dunes end and where the hazy, sunset painted horizon begins. When you see it, you can’t help but believe in God.
Even though we climbed all over the dunes and held our last reflection in the warm light of the setting sun, our footprints, the only proof that we were actually there, are probably gone by now, erased by the breeze. A clean slate. That’s the main thing I took away from White Sands. A clean slate and peace to take into my 22nd year of life. And that’s where this list came from. Twenty-two ways to start new and maintain that inner, happy peace.
Here’s to feeling 22 & starting new.