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Nasty 19: How I’m Cleaning Up For My 20s

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tampa chapter.

Turning 19 about a month ago just felt kind of meh. Nobody really thinks about the age of 19 as anything special. I’ve already crossed the line into adulthood, but I am still a teenager, so it feels like a strange gray area before turning 20. It quite literally is called “nasty 19” because it feels pretty gross… But what if we make 19 more meaningful? After all, if 19 is so nasty, I think it would be a good idea to clean myself up to go into my 20s feeling professional and ready to get adulting. After some intrapersonal examination, here is how I decided I’m going to spend my nasty 19 prepping for my 20s.

Social Media Revamp

I’ve been in college for almost a year now, meaning I have gained a decent amount of experience to prepare me for the working world. With that, I need to start thinking more seriously about what I want potential employers to see about me and make sure I’m putting my best foot forward. Working on my LinkedIn page has been super helpful in making sure all my best assets are visible online. I highly recommend taking a class or sitting with someone in your future career to help make sure your LinkedIn reflects the best parts of yourself and is targeted to what you want to do with your life. Additionally, it is super important that your personal social media pages are just as well kept as your LinkedIn. Going through and archiving old posts that are not the best look for you can really help you look more professional.

Closet Clean Out

Be honest, how much of your closet do you actually wear? We all have certain tops we spontaneously bought at the mall that we “absolutely needed” and then never wore them out. Getting older, we need to be more mature about our spending and ensure the clothes we purchase are timeless and worth the money. No more fast fashion trendy clothes; it is time to invest in quality pieces that you know will last you a long time. Think critically about your closet and ask yourself, “Would a mature woman wear this, or is this strictly college freshman attire?” Considering how many interviews you will have in your 20s, it is good to have an array of business professional wear to present your best self to the world. But don’t think it’s all about being professional! Make sure to hold onto some other outfits, like comfy clothes for Love Island watch parties with the girls and activewear for a nice morning run.

Self-care Routine

As we get older, it becomes more and more important to nourish our bodies and make sure we are taking proper care of ourselves. The issue with this is that it becomes increasingly harder to take care of yourself as you get older due to busy schedules. I’ve made a half-hourly schedule that includes everything from when my classes are to what time I will shower. Study 3-5:30 Dinner with the girls 5-7:30. Journaling 7:30-8:30. Skin care 8:30-9:00. Look how convenient and clean that is! By implementing every little thing you do into a tangible schedule, it is easier to guarantee that you have time for them. Of course, life gets hectic, and it’s nearly impossible to follow an exact schedule every single day, but it provides a nice outline and allows for more self-care. Prioritizing taking care of yourself allows for more productivity, which correlates to better performance at work and in school. With a healthy body comes a healthy mind, and with a healthy mind comes success!

Nourish Your Body

As much as self-care in regards to our skin and exercise is important, so is the food we eat. In our teens, we tend to load up on sweets and junk foods with our friends, but as we get older, we need to make sure we are fitting nutrients into our diets. Right now, I live in a dorm, so food options are not as open as they would be if I had a kitchen. The only time I get a really good meal is when I go home for breaks and have a nice home-cooked meal. But I know when I turn 20, I will have my own apartment, so it is my responsibility to make my own healthy home-cooked meals. No more instant microwave mac-n-cheese dinners; we’re upgrading to vitamin and protein-heavy foods that will give us energy throughout the day. But as much as eating well is important, sneaking in a sweet treat here and there is well deserved!

Fostering Healthy Connections

One thing we are absolutely leaving behind in our teenage years is bad relationships. There is no time or place for any sort of drama or toxic friendships as we get further into adulthood. Think deeply about the connections you have in your life. Do your people want to see you succeed? Do they really (like really, really) genuinely care about you? Do they benefit you? All of these factors are so important since your friends can also be a great help when it comes to networking in professional fields. Associating with the right people will get you so far in life, so if someone is not up to par in being a good friend, it might be a good time to reconsider that relationship. Trying to grow more mature means having to make some hard decisions, but leaving these toxic people behind will be greatly beneficial in the long run. And besides, when one door closes, another one opens, so make sure to expand your circle to great people who you could see as forever besties!

Consider 19 as the “spring cleaning” age rather than as “nasty.” This is the best time to work on becoming the best version of ourselves while still having time to not take life too seriously. Of course, this does not mean turning 20 is all doom and gloom, but rather, it is simply a new level of maturity (which can be just as fun as the silly teenage years). Actively working on yourself at a young age can help greatly in improving life quality as you get older, so get to cleaning because the countdown to 20 is on!

Hannah Hughes is a freshman at the University of Tampa majoring in Psychology and minoring in Leadership Studies and Biology. Outside of Her Campus, Hannah is involved in Sigma Kappa Sorority, is the Logistics Coordinator for the Discover UT leadership program, and is a tour guide on campus! Aside from activities on campus, Hannah can be frequently found tanning at the beach, listening to (or making) music, journaling, or trying new restaurants.