So long, 21.

BORTHWICK, Allison

Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor

21 was a year of firsts and lasts.

To be clear: I am talking about the year 1921 – and what a crazy year it was. The United States Figure Skating Association was formed (finally) and World War I officially ended.

Just kidding.

Well, not about those facts, because those things really did happen. But I’m not going to be writing about 1921. Better yet, I’ll be writing about the much less pertinent, definitely-not-historically-relevant 365 days I spent being 21 years old.

I celebrated my birthday less than a week ago, and it was a weekend-long event full of Taylor Swift lyrics and incredible friends and family – you’ve got to take the bad with the good sometimes, I suppose.

I have a confession to make, though.  Lean in. Listen closely. I’m only going to say this once.

I’m feeling 22.

This article will detonate in T-minus 5, 4, 3 …

21 was definitely a year where a lot of things started and a lot of things ended, which generated several learning experiences.

I had my first ever alcoholic beverage on Feb. 19, 2015 and was home in bed by 9:30 p.m. – don’t fact check me on that.

I learned, eventually, that I do like beer but that wine reigns supreme. I also learned that alcohol really, truly is a depressant.

Ever been the sad drunk at a party? It ends super well for everyone involved.

I spent my first summer away from home at an internship in Austin, Texas. That was also the first time I had ever lived with a significant other.

I learned that I love Austin, Texas, that traffic there is the 10th circle of hell and that you really don’t know how a person prefers to spend their time until you live with them.

Once that summer ended, I started my last year of college, moved into my first apartment and learned very, very quickly how much I love apartment life.

Aside from a particularly heinous suitemate situation my freshman year, I never really disliked living in the residential colleges. However, being able to cook for myself, move from a twin bed to a full, have my own bathroom and three goofy, supportive roommates? Game-changer.

My first long-term, long-distance relationship ended and I learned I’m not the exception to the rule: “You have to love yourself before someone else can love you.”

This is also right around the time I really learned I have three goofy, supportive roommates.

I spent my first Winter Break as one of Beyoncé’s proverbial single ladies and watched the last five seasons of “One Tree Hill,” as well as all of “Making a Murderer,” and learned there really is such a thing as “too much free time.” I also learned there’s no shame and a lot of fun in spending New Year’s Eve with a few close friends playing Scattergories in my parents’ basement.

I enjoyed the last Christmas I’ll ever spend with my grandma, Velia, and aunt, Lana, and I’ll cherish those memories for the rest of my life. I learned that family and the time we’re able to spend together really, truly is everything.

I also recently learned that my parents weren’t totally right and that sometimes it is OK to talk to strangers, because I’ve made a lot of really great friends that way.

I learned that I love my job, the people I work with and the people who read my column every week.

Here’s hoping 22 goes well, and that it’s a year of more firsts than lasts.