20 Things I Learned by 20

I have always subconsciously chronicled my life into chapters. There is an emotional weight to each birthday, as each birthday represents the closing of a chapter, finished for good. Chapter Five was marked by Winnie the Pooh on VHS and pink tutus. Chapter Nine was a regrettable bob haircut and a musical theater phase. Chapter Thirteen was smudged eyeliner and pastel jeans and so on.

Turning twenty felt big. So, in order to somehow honor it, here is a list of twenty random things I have learned over my twenty years.

1. It's okay to not know everything.

And it's even more okay to admit it! Coming to college, I had never felt more academically challenged. I was surrounded by intelligent people all the time, and at times I allowed that to intimidate me, rather than inspire me. Also, watch The Bachelor. I promise there is no quicker way to assure yourself that you are, in fact, suuuuperrrrr intelligent (especially comparatively).

2. High school in no way prepares you for college. (S/o to every high school teacher who swore otherwise).

I had a professor who had us watch Project Runway and old Paris Hilton videos because of the "cultural relevance." Enough said.

3. Don't skip class.

It's so easy to. I get it. There is literally nothing easier than staying in bed all day, especially when it's raining outside. Don't do it. You will regret it in about a day.

4. Good friends are priceless, pick them wisely.

If they can't scream every line of old Tupac songs with you, are they really the ones?

5. Go to art museums.

I would be dragged to them against my will as a child. Several years and many forced public-school art classes later, art carries a new weight. Try it.

6. Bad days require long showers, scented candles and old Miley Cyrus throwbacks.

7. "You won't" are two of the most dangerous words in the English language.

If you know, you know.

8. Some of your best friends won't be your best friends forever.

That's okay.

9. You do not have to know what you want to be when you grow up.

It seemed that from thirteen-ish on, there were specific questions that every adult loved to ask. "What's your favorite subject?" and "Do you have a boyfriend?" and "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and "What's your major?" No one knows what their future is going to look like in five years, no matter how much you love your major. That's also okay.

10. It's cool to be educated and have opinions.

But that does not make you some edgy political guru. Please keep this in mind before jumping into some heated Facebook debate.

11. DO NOT MULTITASK AND BIKE (slash drive).

I learned to ride a bike on Davis campus, about two weeks into my freshman quarter, which I'm still incredibly proud of. However, as (mildly) prepared as I was to bike itself, I was not in any way ready to bike with others, let alone 34,000 others. So do us all a favor: don't multitask and bike. Phone calls, whatever. I once saw a girl that rode handless and applied mascara as she biked. If you're on that level, go for it because that's a skill.

12. Whatever your personal beliefs may be, karma is a very real thing.

Be nice to people, genuinely, and keep it on your side. It's easy to become wrapped up in your own world, especially in college, but be self aware.

13. In-N-Out is never a bad idea.

14. Spend time with family.

Stay up late with your dad. Talk to your mom about your life, your friends and your not-so-friends. Take your sister to school. You will never regret the time you spend with your family.

15. Wedge sneakers are just not your look.

Doesn't matter how much it will break your seven-year-old heart, or how amazing they looked on your My Scene doll. Not a good trend.

16. Some of the scariest things are some of the best decisions I have ever made.

Life has a funny (and often ironic) way of working out.

17. Take pictures.

They don't have to be for social media; they don't have to be posed or perfect. One of my favorite pictures is a blurry and overexposed photo from a disposable camera. Become a picture taker, hoarder, extraordinaire. You won't regret it.

18. "You can sleep when you're dead" is one of the worst phrases.

Yes, stay up all night, but also sleep. Sleeping is so underrated. It wasn't until my sophomore year of college that I gained a newfound appreciation for sleep. And that was only because I had killed my immune system by pulling twelve hundred too-many all-nighters. Balance is key -- get some sleep.

19. The Berry Bowl açaí bowls from Nugget can save lives.

20. Everything happens for a reason.

Everything will work out in the end!