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13 Life Tips I Learned at Twenty

A few months ago, I turned twenty, and it was a good time for me to reflect on things I’ve learned in life thus far.  These are merely my opinions so take them with a grain of salt. Enjoy!

If you’re going to procrastinate, you might as well do something productive in the meantime.

Humans are natural procrastinators. We wait till the last day, hour, and minute to get things done. You’re going to remember you need to write that paper due next week—but you don’t want to start it today.  Why not do something else, less stressful, in the meantime? There are probably plenty of small things you can get done, like laundry or applying for scholarships, and you’ll thank yourself later.

Someone who wants to talk to you will go out of their way to do so.

I cannot stress this enough. If you’re always having to convince yourself that somebody is “never on their phone” or “too busy” to talk to you…that’s a problem. There’s no such thing as being too busy — it’s just a matter of priorities. If you are truly a priority to someone, whether they’re a family member or friend or significant other, I promise you, you’ll be treated like a priority.

Making your bed is important!

Choosing to make your bed or leave it messy sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you won’t bring yourself to do something as easy as make your bed in the morning, how are you going to conquer more difficult tasks throughout the day? Making your bed every morning is a small victory that leads to a positive start to your day.

Don’t bend yourself backwards for people.

People come and go, and at the end of the day, the only things you really have are yourself and your own integrity. If you don’t want to do something, or if it violates your values, then DO NOT do it just to avoid tension with somebody or to satisfy the situation. It’s not worth it.

It’s totally okay to listen to “weird” or older music.

Nobody cares. Listen to whatever the hell you want to! There’s no rule that you have to listen to the most popular artists right now. Every song goes out of style eventually.

Stop trying to predict what your life will be like in 5, 10, or 20 years.

Look back at what your life was like 5 years ago. There were things that have happened since then that there was no way of predicting. So stop trying to! It’s a waste of time and energy. Live in the moment, set goals, and don’t create expectations of what everything is going to look like when you’re 25. Because honestly, it’ll probably be different than anything you’d expect.

If you don’t have money, don’t spend it on things NOR experiences.

Everyone always says to “spend your money on experiences rather than things”, which I agree with — there is more sentimental value in experiences over objects, but if money gets tight, you shouldn’t feel like you HAVE to spend it on anything unnecessary to live a fulfilling life. If you can, save as much as you can, and plan experiences when you’re in a better financial situation.

Something that extremely bothers you about another person is probably just a flaw or insecurity you see in yourself.

If you find yourself deeply irritated about a certain quality in someone else, it’s likely that the reason you’re so hypersensitive to this quality is because you have an insecurity about it within yourself.  

Not everyone has to know your thoughts and plans.

As much as we want to think everyone we meet is trusting and kind and the world is full of flowers and butterflies, people will inevitably disappoint you. Keep your intentions to yourself and those you truly, deeply trust, because when opportunity hits, sometimes people you thought you trusted will surprise you.   

Meditation is worthwhile.

It’s crazy how meditation can really bring you into a state of relaxation. Meditation truly silences your thoughts and leaves you much calmer and in-control afterwards. If you’re having trouble distracting yourself from a stressful dilemma, meditate for a few minutes and see if you can quiet your mind for a little while.   

Everything is going to work out!

Sometimes life gets crappy and it feels like your whole world is tumbling down — so it’s important to remember that you’ve had this feeling before, and that you made it through. So you’re going to get through this too. Everything is going to work out one way or another so just enjoy the journey and fall in love with simply, living.

Conquer your difficulties and challenges.

Life is a learning experience. We all have things we aren’t good at, but instead of avoiding them, try to practice and conquer them! Instead of coming up with excuses as to why you can’t do something, work at it, so that one day you can say you did it.

Don’t hide from opportunities to meet people.

For example, you hear about clubs on campus or organizations that you’re interested in, but don’t go to the interest meetings because you don’t know anybody. Stop this mentality! Personal growth comes from stepping outside your comfort zone — so try not to pass up opportunities to meet people. You may find your future best friend, employer, or husband at a place you didn’t think you’d ever meet anybody worthwhile at.

Economics major at James Madison University. Lover of fashion, fake eyelashes, and sleeping. Marketing Director of JMU's Her Campus chapter.
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