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Welcome to Your Roaring 20s

It’s pretty scary to think that I just turned 20. The big 2-0. The start of the next decade of my life. I don’t think anyone or anything could really prepare me for these next ten years. My 20s will hold more change than imaginable, but change is good. It helps us grow and become better people. Turning 20 in 2020, you would think I’d have 20/20 vision; unfortunately, I do not, and I don’t think anybody in their 20s does. Us “egotistical” millennials and gen Z-ers just ​think​ we know what we’re doing. Yeah, your 20s are supposed to be your defining decade, but mistakes are inevitable. However, they’re going to be a better teacher than any professor you’ve ever had.

I don’t think I’ll be able to pass as a 12-year-old to order off the kids' menu at dinner anymore, but that’s okay (I think) because instead, I’ll have the freedom to eat ice cream for dinner with my roommate...sorry mom. While I’m learning how to eat a well-balanced meal that isn’t of nutritional value to a 5-year-old, I’ll also be learning new things left and right. I’m not talking about y=mx+b, but rather real adult things, like taxes, insurance and budgeting — how fun! With the ability to Google nearly anything, you have the ability to, well, learn anything. Take advantage of that free education! Learn that it’s okay to change your beliefs once you come across new information. Learn about things that the school system failed to teach you. Our generation is so fortunate to have so much information at our fingertips; we have the power to change the world. No matter how crazy that sounds, it’s true. We have the power to reach audiences faster and more efficiently than ever before. Don’t ever underestimate your potential — all it takes is one person to start a movement and evoke change. Your mind is still molding in your 20s, so feed it with knowledge that will only make you more curious.

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I know this next chapter of my life will lead me to some of the most confusing times that will make me want to scream at the top of my lungs — I’m ​definitely​ not looking forward to that, but I know it’ll only make me stronger. Even though these years might bring me to the days where I’m sobbing on the phone to my best friend, they’ll also lead me to the happiest days of my life. I hope my 20s are full of traveling, love and unforgettable nights. I mean, we’re still kind of young, right? So, in the wise words of One Direction, we do indeed have to ​live while we’re young​. I hope you always say yes to new things because the worst that could happen is you don’t enjoy it and you learn from it. I hope you go on spontaneous road trips with someone you love. I hope you cherish the time and don’t wish it away. During your 20s, I hope you cherish the little things: the sound of the rain when you sleep, the sunset, or the smell of fresh flowers wherever you go.

If the plan I've been crafting ever so precisely since I was 12 years old comes true, these days will be full of doing what I love most: creating and writing. These nights will be spent living it up with my favorite people and just enjoying the moment. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own heads, whether that be looking back at the past and wishing it ​was​ our future, or daydreaming about​ our future, that we forget about the present, which is literally a present. Take your time. Time flies when you’re having fun, so cherish it.

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These years will make you grow up and grow apart from people you once spent hours on end with, but that’s okay, because that’s life, baby! Your 20s will drive you to discover what and who you care about most. I hope you’ll realize who’s worth your time and who isn’t — life is short, and time is money (yeah, I said it). I think the scariest part about being 20 is that I'm as close to being 30 as I am to being 10. If I had a choice, I’d gladly be 10 again, where my only worry was choosing between mac and cheese or chicken fingers for dinner.

I hope these years are something I can look back on and smile about. Always keep in mind though, we can’t have the good without the bad. If we didn't, how will we know the good is good if there is no bad?

Ashley is a senior at the University of Central Florida studying Advertising and Public Relations. Her roots are in Boston, but she grew up in South Florida. She's currently the Social Media Director of HCUCF, with hopes of working PR for a fashion magazine one day. Ashley's a lover of puppies, glitter, and spending way too much money on shoes. When she's not writing, you can find her shopping, working out or being the grammar police on all her friends' texts.
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