20 Things I Learned at 20

It’s crazy to think that I’m 20 years old now. Time has flown by fast - so fast that I can’t really keep track of what’s happened in this lifetime. All that I can say is that I have DEFINITELY experienced my share of highs and lows. The time of me being a teen has come and has now gone. With that being said, there’s quite a bit that I’ve learned in this lifetime, so I thought I would share my important takeaways that I will carry with me into my years of being a an adult.

1. There will always be one person that’s not going to like you and that’s okay.

It is pretty much impossible to please everyone at the same time in the world. That’s just a fact of life. It’s a lesson that I learned a little later in life but one I still learned it. It’s something that I’ve struggled with for a little bit because of the way that I’m built and my personality. Yet, as time has gone on, I’ve come to learn and accept this for what it is to live my life happily. I may not always learn from it but It’s at least made my best effort to.  

2. Every action has a consequence.

By far the best piece of advice that I’ve ever gotten in my life. It comes from my mom, and it was actually the first tattoo that I ever wanted. Whether in a positive or negative connotation, everything that you do in life has some kind of consequence attached to it. It’s a great thing to remember and something that will stay with me for a long time.

3. You can’t love someone else if you can’t love yourself consistently.

Now I know this one seems weird - but let me explain. I’ve come to learn a lot about relationships and love and one of the things that I’ve come to realize in terms of myself is that if I’m not enough for myself, I’m never going to be able to give all of myself to someone else like they deserve. To me, that’s not fair. Now, I put emphasis on the word “consistently”. We all have our days where we don’t feel the best - but I never want to have to depend on someone telling me that everyday in order to believe it.

4. You can’t look to someone else to give you happiness.

A little repetitive but still something big that I’ve learned. Being a “never-in-a-relationship” single girl at this point in my life has been such an experience - for better and worse. And one of the things that I’ve come to realize after learning from other relationships that I’ve seen and heard, I never want to be at a point in a relationship where all of my happiness depends on someone else. In this case, I mean that if I’m ever at a point where if someone isn’t happy then I can’t be happy, then I have to go and find that for myself.

5. Everybody has bad days - so you can, too.

A lot of people have this funny way of putting a face on  for those around us so that they think we’re happy. I know this because I do it more times than not. I put a lot of pressure on myself  to be happy and upbeat. And when I’m not, I get really frustrated with myself. When other people tell me that they’re having bad days, it’s very easy for me to be empathetic and tell them that we all do, yet I can’t seem to take that advice for myself. I’ve learned that even if we get 50 days of sunshine, we have some days with rain - and that’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect all the time. First and foremost, you are human. YES!

6. Sometimes, throwing yourself in the deep end actually works.

I know, a lot easier said than done, especially for different topics in life. But there are times when this is the case. I learned that when I got my first job ever. I never thought that I would get it, but the worst that I could do was never try. So I threw my hat in the ring and within a week I got a job working where I’m at now - and I’m so thankful. It’s one of the best decisions that I ever made. I even learned that with HerCampus. I just did it and now I’m here. So I learned that sometimes diving in head first is a good thing. Even if you fail, you’ll learn and grow.

7. People come and go from our lives - it’s just a fact.

Friends, family, lovers - whoever it is. I’m someone who believes that every person comes into your life for a reason and letting them go is hard. If that person leaves out of nowhere or if that person leaves after knowing you for so long or knowing so much about you, it’s even worse. But I’m coming to accept the fact that some friends are like seasons and the ones that stay in your life are meant to be held close to your heart. They are the people that are making you better and they’re more than just friends. So not everyone is meant to last in your life forever but I’m thankful they were here.

8. Perfection isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Again, really hard to say as someone who is a perfectionist. I’m very hard on myself and I always to strive to be as perfect as I can - which in the ends hurts me more than helps sometimes. Yet, when I look around or sometimes reach perfection, it’s not worth it. I think of everything that it took to get there and I wonder sometimes if it was worth it. So I’m trying to grow and learn to be better, not perfect.

9. I still haven’t figured out the virtue of time.

Simple but so true. Time is still a big concept that shocks me. It somehow moves so slow and so fast at the same time that it makes my head spin in figure eights. And then sometimes it stops but it goes faster than sound. I just don’t get it and I don’t think I ever will. And sometimes that includes getting ready.

10. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Such a cliché but oh so valid. I felt sometimes in life that I couldn’t have problems because other people had it worse than I did. While that’s true, you should never diminish how someone else feels. If anything, when I thought about that or I was told that it made me feel even worse than I already did. Everyone has their own issues and struggles - and they are very much valid. Trying to be like everyone else? That’s a little overrated, too. Use that to grow, not be a clone.

11. Confidence looks great on you.

It really does. If you look confident, whether you really are or not, other people will think you are. Exuding confidence also helps the people around you. If you’re confident, you might make other people around you confident. "Fake it ’til you make it”, is a real thing - and I’ve found that I can do it really well. Now, don’t fake everything all of the time but use it when you need it. It just might take you places.

12. Nothing is out of reach if it’s really worth it.

Coming from someone who feels like a realistic job is a journalist in the entertainment industry, I am no stranger to thinking outside of wanting things out of my reach. But I’ve found that if you really want something, you’ll do whatever it takes to get it - no matter how far out of reach it is. And that’s exactly what I’m doing.

13. We are all human - we all make mistakes.

Part of being human is making mistakes. I do it ALL OF THE TIME. The idea of making mistakes used to daunt me. To me, making mistakes equaled failure which equaled making everyone around me disappointed (again, I’m a perfectionist). I still feel that way every now and then. When we can accept that we all mistakes, we allow ourselves to gain the most out of those mistakes, avoid them for later times and grow wiser for it.

14. Your voice matters, use it.

I used to think that what I thought didn’t matter. The truth is that we are given a voice for a reason. Conversation is a tool that seems to be dying, which is why it’s more important than ever to use it. Believe it or not, your voice, no matter how small, can make a lasting impact. Don’t be afraid. You just might be heard.

15. Sometimes the long road is the only road.

There’s points in your journey where you have the short road and the long road. Other points, there’s only the long road. Even if the short road presents itself, use your gut if it says the long road. It’s the only road that will get you to results. Those results will get you places - maybe better than you could have ever imagined.

16. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing.

I ask myself that a lot. Quick secret? Everyone does. Especially at this point in life. I question if I made the right choices in life. If it’s worth it to keep going. If I should stop while I’m ahead. It makes me evaluate why I do what I do. Answer? It makes me happy, which makes my family happy. In the moments of question, I look to them for help. Best support system with answers ever. So don’t worry. You’ll figure it out.

17. Failure is a part of life.

I’ll say it for the both of us: you’re going to fail. Just like I am going to fail. It’s inevitable. So just accept it. Learn from your failures - they’re brought to you on purpose. Don’t beat yourself up too bad - the person next to you is making some, too. Get back up, dust it off and keep going.

18. Staying in is sometimes better than going out.

Don’t get me wrong, going out is fun and I have a good time. But staying in? That’s even better sometimes. Just sitting in my pjs eating snacks galore and watching reruns or marathons of my favorite shows is complete bliss.

19. Looking for silver linings really helps.

I don’t like being a pessimist. I always try and be an optimist. There are definitely those days though when you just want to be negative. So look for little moments of bliss - those are the ones that keep me going even when I’m having the worst day.

20. You can be happy with where you’re at and still want more.

Set goals for yourself. I always strive to be better and to reach for more. I strive to be better to give my future family the best life that I can. It’s not bad right now to go on and make another goal for yourself and still be content at the same time. Sometimes just striving to a goal is fulfilling.