I Am 21... Wow.

I turn 21 today. I don’t know how I feel. I don’t know what to expect, all I ask is that I find ways to enjoy it. It is my last year in college. In a matter of months, my friends and I are all going to be graduating and going on our own individualized paths. That is scary, exciting, and surreal. I remember getting my schedule for freshman year in high school and thinking that wow, I am in high school this is huge. 7 years later, I am now saying the same thing except that I am a senior year in college, and I am 21. I remember thinking that senior year of high school and becoming an adult was so long away. TODAY I AM LEGALLY AN ADULT FOR 3 YEARS, AND I CAN ALMOST DO ALL ADULT THINGS. Obviously, my mind is blown because time has flown by.

Being 20 was a different breed of a year. It was filled with events, memories, heartache (a lot of it), and lifechanging moments. It made me grow up and transform in a small amount of time. I made a lot of mistakes, and I am either learning from them or have learned from them. I still hate some of the moments I went through and never want those moments to happen to anyone else, but at the same time I am learning how to be grateful for them. I hit rock bottom when I was 20. Nearly a year later, I’ve come out of it so much stronger and wiser. Everything I went through taught me a life lesson and exposed me to aspects of the world I’ve never seen. It changed me.

This time last year, I did have doubts swirling my mind about wanting to be a teacher. I was scared that I wasn’t good enough and that I wouldn’t make any kind of impact. As much as I loved being a camp counselor, there were some days where I needed a bubble bath and a Dr. Pepper to relax. On those days, my mind raced with fears that I am not strong enough to be a teacher because I know that there are hard days when it comes to teaching. Either a lesson doesn’t go well, students don’t listen, or another reason. Thankfully with the help of my mentor, Teacher Tik Tok, and some close people in my life, I learned that there are challenges and hard days with every career path. The way to get through those moments is by taking care of yourself and to understand your purpose and you’re why. This past year of my life, I’ve been focused on my purpose and why I want to be a teacher. Once I figured that out and once I realized how I applied that to being a camp counselor, I became more than motivated than ever to be a teacher.

I went through that and a lot more as I was 20. Everything good and bad has helped me evolve into someone who I never thought I would be in the best way possible. I am a direct, compassionate, confident, determined, and intelligent individual just to name a few things. I list these traits because these are traits that I either doubted myself in or traits that helped me figure out who I am beyond the surface. Am I perfect? No, and I am SO okay with owning that now. Back then, I would admit that I am not perfect, but I would always secretly wish that I was perfect. Today, I am okay with being perfectly imperfect. It shows that I am always growing and that I always have room to grow.

This evolving has led me to be confident in my own decisions such as dying my hair, going by Kathryn to everyone, getting a tattoo, getting my ears pierced, and not caring about what random people think of me. I was SO obsessed with that for a long time, and it did not lead to any good. I would seek validation from everyone, but never from myself. I am who I am, if you like it awesome let’s be friends. If you don’t, cool I’ll see you around and I hope you thrive in life (legitimately, we don’t need to be hating people because they don’t like us, or we don’t like them.) Everything I’ve done in this realm have been things I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

With these changes being done, I was scared that I was secretly doing it to run away from my past. I know I like to run away from my problems and ignore that I have them, which benefits no one. That’s why I had that hard conversation with myself, and I realized that I will always have my past. I cannot change it, I cannot change the events that I went through and the people who were apart of it. It sucks at times, but that’s life. When I decided to do all of the changes, I realized that I am acknowledging my past but I am moving forward. I am going to try not to dwell on everything that has happened to me, and I am going to try to let go more as I turn 21. It will be hard, but once again that’s life.

I am 21. I have so much more life to live, and so much more to learn. I am wholeheartedly ready to continue my journey into adulthood and to continue documenting that on my blog. Cheers to being 21, let’s hope it’s an epic ride.

Kathryn DeBois

@dayswithdebois on Instagram


There are 2 new additions to the blog today. This post that you're reading right now, and then a list of 21 things I’ve learned as I turned 21 without any explanation. Since I launched this blog on my 20th birthday, I want to update that list every single year, sharing some things that other people might find valuable.

Beyond that, I want to say that I am so incredibly grateful for everyone who reads any of my blog posts or who follows my Instagram. I never imagined that I would get over 1,000 followers on my Instagram or that more than 3 people would read this blog. Thank you so much from my whole heart. Everyone is amazing, and let’s see where this journey takes us!

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