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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lynn chapter.

As you are blowing your candles at midnight that marks the completion of your second decade in this world, it is hard not to rewind the tape seven years back. The same set of your lips blowing out thirteen tiny flames as you declare yourself, “Not a child anymore!”. And here you are at the culmination of your teen years looking back at all the potholes you fell through, and all the hills you climbed; the precious tears streamed over silly scrapes, and the late-night laughs with short-lived lovers; the fear of failing, and the embarrassment that comes with it, and the excitement of the night of the end of finals. Standing on the crest of it all, with a newfound wisdom and opened eyes, you must decide to spend your 20s for you. Not weighed by those societal expectations that feel like a chokehold, the most utilized way to ride through your 20s is to be a little bit selfish; to immerse yourself in adventures and opportunities and, to spend time with yourself to travel, explore and, love. 

But seldom does this milestone feel like the light at the end of the tunnel. With the responsibilities, uncertainties, and wars waging in the world and inside the psyche, and feeling stuck at 17 sometimes, it could easily be seen as the roaring inferno amidst the dark untrodden woods. While comprehending how far you have come, big milestones seem insignificant, in front of how much further you have yet to go. It’s inevitable to think that everyone else your age is a few steps ahead in their life ventures and “you don’t even have a ‘plan’”. Amidst those intrusive introspections, you must not forget that this journey you’ve embarked upon is uniquely yours with no points of relation there to prove it wrong or give you a gold star. It is wholly on you  to decide what constitutes a moment of triumph. It wouldn’t always be an ace on the test or ‘well done’ from your boss. Somedays, it would be a cup of aromatic coffee before the start of a rutty day, some days it would be just cleaning up your living space, some would conclude with an all-tickmarked to-do list, and some would have to stay content with just getting the light of the sun. 

Nothing could feel more cozy than that childhood bed that saw you more naked than clothed, but this routine of waking up with baggy eyes, going to bed with salty wet ones; giving your best and, being happy with receiving life’s minimal; of having more memories than dreams does certainly secure a soft spot in our hearts. This era of your life might not be the best one but it is still cherished as truly yours. You’re learning how to cook to survive, and not as a summer hobby. You might be living away from your parents and isn’t it just shocking how there is always some cleaning to do? Your

priorities are all anew, and you have placed all the drama, the toxic people and, playing pretend to fit in with the cool crowd in the rear-view. This is the time to create quality over quantity, to create something real, something to be proud of. This is the time to change for self-development and to grow and like it that way. 

So, when you blow your candles to sail into the third decade, you shall know that life is not about making every goal, it is about smiling at your neighbors in the morning and stopping to admire a duck swimming gleefully in a pond; about laughing with your best friend and making trip plans that might come true once in seven lives. It is about loving and living in your way till the breath stops.

Vishwa is a freshman at Lynn University with psychology major. She loves writing, poetry and long walks on a beach on breezy days! She has an intense passion to learn about different kinds of art and artists. Her idea of a good day involves, catching up on readings, spending with her friends, and having long meaningful conversations. Her passions and hopes for the future drives her spirit.