Last week I turned 20. I waved goodbye to the teen years and rang in a brand new era with a dage, a marg in hand and some Death Fries from Arena’s. Although I don’t feel too much different (I’ll always be nineteen at heart), I’ve for sure learned a lot over the years that I’d like to share with you.
Age 1: Don’t cry over spilled milk
Hold back those tears, baby. 90% of the time, it’s not worth your sadness.
Age 2: Don’t sweat the small stuff
Don’t get worked up over things that are out of your control and don’t worry about anything that doesn’t worry you.
Age 3: Make new friends
You can always make room for new people in your life.
Age 4: Be kind to those who love you
Don’t yell at Mom and Dad, and make sure to give Grandma a hug when you see her. Someday you’ll miss them a lot.
Age 5: Let love in
Your heart can only grow more full, don’t be afraid to share your love and kindness with too many people.
Age 6: Be imaginative
Play, doodle, dream and never stop letting your mind wander.
Age 7: Go outside (all the time)
Build fairy houses with your neighborhood friends and create new trails through the woods in your backyard. Go outside all the time and don’t get held back by technology. Spending time in the sun is free and will never get old.
Age 8: Don’t believe everything you’re told
Trust everyone and no one, and make your own assumptions.
Age 9: Learn a musical instrument
Play violin, piano, clarinet or the triangle. Just make music and sing along no matter how bad you think you are.
Age 10: Work hard, play harder
Do your homework and chores, but make time to play flag football with your neighbors.
Age 11: Be creative
Make art and write down all of the crazy stories that come to mind.
Age 12: Don’t be a follower
Middle school is a time of following the norm, so don’t. Be yourself and your true friends will stay.
Age 13: Keep old friends too
High school is the time where you meet a ton of new people. Get involved in new things, maybe you’ll meet some of your best friends.
Age 14: Accept change to the fullest
Now is the time to learn that change is great. Whether it’s changing from middle to high school or changing your look, change can always be positive if you have a positive lookout on it.
Age 15: Routine isn’t a bad thing
Although change is good, there’s nothing wrong with falling into a routine. Just don’t be afraid to break it once in a while!
Age 16: Follow your heart
You’ve started looking at colleges, so make sure to keep your options open while staying true to yourself. If you love small schools, maybe a Big10 isn’t for you, and if you want to go far, your local college isn’t for you.
Age 17: Follow your brain too
Follow your heart, but make a rational decision. Don’t make a school decision that you can’t pay for and don’t choose something that’s not on par with your academic level. Stay true to yourself but don’t leave with regrets.
Age 18: Cut out toxic people
It’s okay to say goodbye to some friends. Sometimes there are people in your life that you try to click with that you just don’t. Maybe it’s time for goodbye.
Age 19: Spend money on experiences over material things
Learn to spend money on time rather than things. Sacrifice some material things that you don’t need for a while to have once in a lifetime experiences like music festival tickets, seeing the world and vacationing with your best friends.
Age 20: Let loose
You’re finally 20, so celebrate! Say yes more often and regret less of your past decisions. Forget past mistakes and live for the now.
Although you’re grown up now, don’t forget about the rules for life that you have learned in your youngest hours and never stop adding to your own list. No matter what, live every day to the fullest and you’ll turn out okay.