Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

Pushing 20: Celebrating My Last Weeks as a Teen

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

As April rolled around, I was hit with the sudden realization that my 20th birthday was quickly approaching. This has definitely caused a lot of emotions for me: dread, fear, and panic to name a few, mostly because I have LOVED being a teenage girl. The thought of that chapter of my life closing so soon has been really scary, and I’ve been trying to push it off for as long as possible. 

But with only days to go until I turn 20, I’ve decided I might as well stop whining about it and instead try to celebrate.

Sixteen Candles cake scene
Universal Pictures

A lot of my initial fears were surrounding the pressure of being an adult and everything that comes with it. If you could look into my head, the vibes were very “teenage dream” by Olivia Rodrigo – ”they all say that it gets better, but what if I don’t?” felt like a personal attack. Was I cut out to actually be a fully functioning person?

But lately, I’ve forced myself to confront the idea that my birthday is happening and I’m getting older whether I like it or not. And shockingly, I actually think that I’m… excited? As I write this, I’ve realized that I feel the best I’ve ever been since coming to UCLA (knock on wood). I have the most amazing friends, the internship of my dreams, AND the sun continues to stay out after 5PM. 

I realized that I’ve been so stressed about my potential future that I failed to realize turning 20 is actually my present. And so far, my present has a lot to celebrate. I’m also a firm believer in the notion that women only get better as they get older, so why wouldn’t that apply to me too? Being a teenager has been so much fun, but we’re obviously not meant to stay young forever – and honestly, that would probably be really limiting anyways. 

It’s important to remember that getting older means more possibilities, including more of the things that I already love doing. Turning 20 isn’t some kind of death sentence – it’s actually the opposite. So when I blow out my candles this birthday, I won’t be wishing for anything crazy. I’ll probably just be wishing for more of the same.

Kelly is a second-year Communications major at UCLA from Pasadena, California. During her free time, she can usually be found lost in a book, grabbing a coffee, or obsessing over the latest reality TV show.