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Why Surviving Your 20’s Ultimately Depends On Loving Yourself

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

To be honest, entering your 20’s feels like the opening of the Friends theme song: “So no one told you life was gonna be this way / Your job’s a joke, you’re broke / Your love life’s D.O.A / It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear / When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month / Or even your year.” Ever since I have turned 20, adulthood has hit me like a train. I was living on my own and it was when I transferred to UCLA. My whole world was changing, I no longer had my safety net of San Diego, and I was truly on my own. I quickly learned through the importance of finding love within my self.

Alcohol Girl Happy Drinking
Alex Frank / Spoon

I think it is easy in a university environment to get caught up in how you are perceived by others and relying too much on being loved by your peers in order to feel at peace with yourself. Since when you are young and in college, your social life feels like it is everything, and if you are not being social it means everyone hates you and you must be dying alone.  Of course, this is not the healthiest way to be. I know I fall into this sometimes, but I had to quickly learn especially when I started college that it was very important to be able to rely on myself in hard times. Since at the end of the day the most important opinion of yourself should be your own. Your happiness should not be fully subject to those around you. Being an adult is going to be filled with a lot of moments where you are all you have, so you must be able to love yourself through the hard times because you are not always going to have access to having people who can support you. 

Anna Schultz-Girl Sitting On Bed Facing Wall
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

Also, life is always going to be messy in one way or another.  Sometimes, what happens is up you, but there are things you just cannot control. Whether it be a bad class that is incredibly hard no matter what you do, or your crush breaking your heart, you cannot punish yourself. Many young people punish themselves by not eating or isolating themselves or just tearing themselves down by thinking cruel thoughts. Loving yourself is how you carry yourself through these painful moments. I know I had to take extra care of myself during week 10 of the Winter Quarter because everything was going wrong. So, when writing my 15-page paper and taking care of my clothes post bed bugs, I definitely treated myself to good food because at the time that was the way I could have at least one instance of self-gratification. I took small breaks to catch my breath and made sure not to spiral into anxiety and anger towards myself. It is the little things you do to appreciate yourself in the worst times after all. 

Your 20’s is a weird emotional rollercoaster. One moment you are on top of the world and the next you can feel like you are drowning with nobody around to save you. The fact is, you must save yourself in these moments and be able to see that even when bad things happen to you it does not mean they are not fixable. Being an adult is all about learning lessons about the world around you and yourself. It is stressful but is also amazing because of the freedom you have to find your true self. Surviving your 20’s is fully based on how you take care of your needs and not letting anyone dictate your life. Even if that means you fall down a few times, all you need to do then is pick yourself up again and continue your journey into adulthood. 

Shayna Freedman is an English major at UCLA. She hopes to become a screenwriter for film and tv after she graduates. Her favorite genres are horror and romance. Shayna is often ranting about feminism when not writing about anything relating to nerd culture. Be careful, she might end up going on an hour rant about the politics in the superhero genre. You can find Shayna writing, reading at the beach, finding the best brunch spots, or out on adventures with her friends.
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