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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

I turned 20 (scary, I know) on the fourteenth of January. The new year already floods in expectations, resolutions and plans, but turning a whole decade older, SUDDENLY(you obviously didn’t anticipate this grave change in life) hits you with multiple bouts of existential crises. My copium for this was sitting and listing down some preachy things I learned before I turned into an old nun of 20. Disclaimer: The following realisations are all way too apt and may hit you in places you would rather not be hit. Proceed at your own discretion.

PS: After making a big deal out of it, I realised being 20 isn’t all that different and hard after all. 

  1. Kindness, softness and care never goes to waste. Showing love and being a kind, forgiving, helpful person always finds its way back to you in forms you’ll never imagine. (But ofcourse you can trash talk with besties as per requirement, it really never hurts anyone.)
  2. F##k it and romanticise whatever you want to. It could be a metro or flower buds, your new socks or your morning coffee. Nobody cares as long as you’re happy. Be a silly little person living a silly little life of silly little moments.
  3. Happiness isn’t as difficult as you would assume. Just jump at the gazillion opportunities life throws at you, experience the entire spectrum of what it feels like to be alive, keep your loved ones close, do what makes you happy. Mostly the smallest of actions and things. We tend to overcomplicate and catastrophise our own lives. It’s not that deep, just keep swimming and make a conscious effort to attract happiness. It has no choice but to come to you.
  4. Be spontaneous, but not impulsive. Go for that trip, dive from that cruise into the ocean, drink that new mojito flavour, do as many adventure sports as your body allows you to and travel as much as you can. See what the world is all about. Realise how insignificant you are in the best way, and live it up selfishly.
  5. Create a sacred boundary for yourself, that nobody can cross. This is YOUR space and belongs only to you. You cannot function healthily unless you have something to retreat to for recharging. You can’t save anyone if you’re not saving yourself. Respect this boundary like your religion, and then watch everything in life fall into place. (Still working on it!!) 
  6. I realised I’m truly “boring adulting” when I saw a new flavour of muesli at the grocery store and said THANK GOD, YES. Eat healthy!!!! And make it yummy!!!! I have discovered that if I eat good, I feel good. If I eat junk then I mostly feel like that all day, and my body inevitably gives me the signals that it’s not happy with how I’m treating it. So yes muesli, multigrain bread and caesar salads excite me. What about it? 
  7. Flirt wholeheartedly. That’s it. No context.
  8. Set a routine for yourself and stick to it because it’s magical to wake up early and also end your day early. You are left with absolutely no time to get existential about events not under your control. To be fair, you’re almost too old for Thursday nights as a second year student. (Exceptions: Get in touch with your emotioms and please weep freely if you’re pms-ing or need to create art of any kind, though. It’s the best fuel and also the healthiest coping mechanism. Journal and cry. While drinking water. You are good to go.) 
  9. Make a huge deal about yourself because no one else will. Don’t wait around for someone to either. Pamper yourself, listen to Doja Cat, dance to bad bitch music, get that haircut, get those nails done, put on that dress and wear those heels. Save up those bucks and spend them on yourself. 
  10. Breathe. Believe. Have faith. Sometimes having faith is just easier for that tiny and constantly troubled mind of yours. Believe in god, in destiny, in the universe, in magic and pixie dust, in the triumph of good over evil. Who cares if it’s true or not? Do you really have time to debate that? Just believe and make it easier for yourself. Simply because you rely on something to keep going it doesn’t make you weak and less smart, critical, or sceptical. 
  11. Have patience and go with the flow!! Stop planning 10 years down the line. You most probably won’t be there. But wherever you will be, you will be in the right place at the right time. Life has its ways, it’s own eccentric and whacky plans for you, so stop expending excessive energy and exhausting yourself. Plan but not obsessively! (This is so hard for me, but we’re working.) 
  12. Gratitude. This is a cliche but it’s so important to acknowledge and appreciate all that you have- friends, family, health, money. All your minor inconveniences will automatically stop holding importance. This doesn’t mean you’re invalidating your feelings, it just means you see the bigger picture and appreciate your blessings which trust me, are abundant, no matter how bad you think it gets.
  13. BE OUTDOORS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Indoors is a great place to recharge BUT WE WERE, AS A SPECIES, FUNDAMENTALLY MEANT TO BE OUTSIDE. Soak up the sun, dance in the rain, take long walks, explore new places, go trekking, or just even sit outside on your terrace. Just be outside. It’s a cheat code to serotonin, I promise. 
  14. Be a child and make silly jokes at all times. Make people around you laugh and absolutely ruin their sense of humour. Laugh at a plain wall.
  15. The only time hating on someone is fun is when they’ve screwed your best friends over. Otherwise it’s just lame. Let grudges go, they only block your energy and you cannot grow. No one likes stagnation! (Still working on the grudges a bit)
  16. Things end. Friendships end. Relationships end. And that’s okay. Be reminiscent, not bitter. Most things and people in life flow, so let them. Sometimes when they’re meant to make a stop in your life in high tide, they furnish you with their bounty and when they have nothing to offer, they ebb away. And that’s completely fine. 
  17. Stop victimising and pitying yourself. You need some tough love from yourself to get the hell out of that bed and get on with your day. I know it’s hard, and I know you should be kind to yourself, but come on man. Get up and swirl. The world is your oyster. Stop depriving yourself of experiences and being self destructive in your actions. You should not miss out!
  18. Laugh unabashedly. Even at inappropriate times. It is always worth it to annoy everyone with the ugliest laugh you have. 
  19. Acknowledge the progress you’ve made even though it might not seem like it. Mark it, know that growth and healing isn’t a linear process, and that you’re allowed to have bad days. Just do everything in your power to not let them linger long enough. 
  20. You’re allowed to move on. From situations, traits, people, traumas. Just because these defined you for a while and you felt a certain comfort in them doesn’t mean you cannot let go. This is NATURAL! Not something to blame yourself for even if you might be tempted to. Embrace it. Wait for new things.
Stuti Sharma

Ashoka '24

Stuti is a third year Psychology major and Creative Writing minor at Ashoka University. She loves writing and can be found impulse-buying jhumkas, unnecessary outfits and fridge magnets, and consuming the most absurd media ever. She is the token mom of the group surrounded by walking reminders of how short she is. She already loves you.