The 20 Things I Learned Before 20

Since my sophomore year is coming to a close, I wanted to reflect on how I’ve gotten through college and life in general. And, as it happens, my 20th birthday will be coming around right after school ends. Turning 20 and getting halfway through college are both pretty cool accomplishments in my book. Along the way, I’ve had my share of ups and downs, but I’ve made it through. So, in honor of getting older and wiser, here are some small life lessons turned into tips from me to you.

You’re going to get overwhelmed looking at the syllabus every time a new semester starts.

It is inevitable. No matter how many times I’ve done it before, I always panic when I look at everything I’ll have to do. Trust me, it’ll be fine.

You can do more than you think you can.

Don’t be afraid to take on a new organization. I always surprise myself when I have free time every day, even though I feel like I’m juggling 80 different things.

Learn to say no.

Even if it’s just to random people asking if you want a pamphlet.

Along the same vein, you have to learn to say no to your friends.

Sometimes you’ll just have to deal with staying back to work on a project while they have a night out. It’ll be okay.

If you’re going to procrastinate, be smart about it.

Learn what works best for you and be realistic about what you can actually accomplish in an hour.

Things will go wrong.

Or at least not the way you planned. Roll with it.

Call your parents.

I’ll be honest, sometimes they aren’t even that helpful. It’s just nice to hear their voices.

Talk to your siblings.

Even if you weren’t close to them before college, things change. Check in on them every once and awhile.

Always own two phone chargers.

Wear sunscreen.

Take time for yourself.

Sometimes I don’t even realize that I want to be alone until I am.

Open your windows when the weather is nice.

It’ll make you feel better.

Go back and listen to music from your childhood.

I never feel bad when I’m jamming out to a 2000's song.

You can never own too many blankets.

Learn to physically let things go.

I never want to get rid of anything because I always feel like there is an emotional attachment to it. You get way too many things in college to keep them all.

Learn to emotionally let things go.

I don’t have time to keep track of vendettas, make peace with the issue and move past it.

Drink more water.

You probably aren’t drinking enough.

Take lots of pictures.

You can always delete them later, but you can’t go back to that moment.

Spend more time with your grandparents or elders in your life.

They have a lot of cool stories they're willing to share if you just listen. Plus, it’s just nice to remind them that you care.

Remember that you don’t know everything.

20 years may seem like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things, you’ve got a long way to go.