20 Things I've Learned Before Turning 20



In the year 1998, I was born. Next week, I will be finishing my time as a teenager because I will officially be 20 years old on the 26th! As the teenage years of my life come to a close, I reflect on the last two decades of my life and have compiled a list of the 20 most important lessons I’ve learned thus far. Here goes my attempt at being wise at the ripe and bold age of (almost) 20.


1. Appreciate everything that comes your way. Not everybody has the same opportunities or things you've been given. Whether you've been blessed with physical objects, talents or relationships, just enjoy what you have because they're yours for a reason.


2. Time management is everything. You will get absolutely nowhere if you don’t know how to budget your time for certain activities or chores. I make a to-do list every week to keep myself on track.


3. Take care of yourself. Whether it’s going to the gym, doing your nails, enjoying a face mask or taking a really long shower, do one thing each day to help you clear your head and de-stress.

4. Your parents really are your best friends. I know we've all had our angsty years where our parents were our worst enemies, but now my parents are my rocks, and I would not be where I am today without them or their support.


5. Quality over quantity, always. No matter the situation.


6. Try to learn something new everyday, even during the summer. Learn something new, no matter how small or trivial it may be. I get an email every morning telling me a new vocabulary word and I love finding myself integrating them into my speech and writing. Strengthen your mind!


7. There’s nothing wrong with crying sometimes. It seems childish, but a good cry literally gets all the emotions out of you and makes you feel so much stronger. Your little cry sessions almost never need an audience, either.


8. Put yourself out there.Try something new - talk to that cute boy, apply for that job, do something to get out of your comfort zone! Your life will never change if you don’t take risks.


9. You don’t have to have everything together all of the time. When I was little, I wanted to be married with kids by 25... what a joke! I also wanted to graduate college with the same major I started with, also a joke. Things change, feelings change, your life can be mildly in shambles sometimes, but that’s how you grow.


10. Long drives with good music are the cure for any emotional meltdown. Again, when I am having an emotional crisis I just drive around some random long roads with my music blasting. I always feel better the second I put my car in drive.

11. Have adult conversations, even if you’re terrified. I will admit, it’s terrifying confronting a friend or a boss, or opening up to someone in a vulnerable way, but sometimes you just have to do it. The end result will definitely be worth your while.


12. Coffee is fuel. I had never been a big coffee drinker until I got to college and started watching Gilmore Girls. All these responsibilities and Lorelai Gilmore have driven me to enjoy a nice coffee at least once daily. It keeps me going.


13. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If it won’t matter in five years, don’t spend more than five minutes dwelling on it.


14. You CAN excessively binge Netflix and still do well in school. Last semester I somehow watched all 13 seasons of "Grey’s Anatomy" while still maintaining a good GPA. I would watch up to five episodes a day and still finish my work. One of my better accomplishments, if I do say so myself.

15. Check up on your friends. Always, always, always, ALWAYS check to see how they're doing. Just send a quick text asking how their day was, if that’s all you can manage. It definitely will not go unnoticed.


16. Sleep is very important. I don’t know about you, but I feel like a completely different person when I haven’t gotten enough sleep. The day drags on and I can’t seem to function properly. There's never really a good reason to sacrifice a decent night’s sleep.


17. A little procrastination is perfectly okay. In one of my classes recently, we talked about mild procrastination and how putting something off for a short time can boost creativity without sacrificing the quality of the end result. So take some time to think about that big assignment or that serious conversation you want to have, and take then leap when you have that perfect idea.


18. Always do what is best for you. In the end, all of your decisions factor into your life. YOU are the common denominator in all of them. Stay in your own corner and thank yourself later.


19. Adulting is scary. It feels weird having to buy your own groceries, do your own laundry and clean your own bathroom for the first time. But remember, plenty of people have done it before you and plenty of people will do it after you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.


20. Life goes by pretty quick. I feel like I was 13 like last week. How am I already 20? Before I know it, I’m going to be creeping up on 30. But for now, I am going to enjoy my 20s through every up and down, and vow not rush my life away. I'm really hoping birthdays will still feel fun even as I get older.