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20 Things I Learned While Being 20: Let’s Get Real

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

To all my girls, let’s get real. Let’s forget all of the cutesy stuff and everything you think you’re going to read and get down to the real stuff. Here are 20 things I’ve learned while being 20.

Everyone doesn’t like something about themselves.

That skinny girl over there? She hates her stomach. The girl to your right? Can’t stand her arms. The guy across the room with the muscles? He still thinks he looks like a toothpick. Everyone has something that bothers them about themselves. Even me. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s okay to not like something about yourself. Humans weren’t meant to be perfect. That girl in your second class that looks like a supermodel? Yeah, she hates something about herself too. She’s not perfect. You’re not perfect. Nobody is perfect. AND THAT’S OKAY!

Take. Care. Of. Your. Skin.

I cannot stress this enough. Don’t sleep with your makeup on. Wash your face every morning and every night. Invest in GOOD skincare and a face brush. You would not BELIEVE the amount of dirt and makeup that hides in your pores even if you use a makeup wipe or remover. Make it part of your daily routine and your skin will thank you.

Buy items based on versatility and longevity.

This is probably one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. You do not need to buy that $3 shirt from Forever 21 that will fall apart or end up in the donate pile in 2 months. Just because something is on sale for a really good price, does not mean that you need to buy it. Think about how many times you’re going to wear it and the quality of the item. Now, I’m not saying to go buy a Prada bag and Louis Vuitton shoes but take the brand into consideration when purchasing something. Pay attention to the versatility of the item. Those bright neon pink high heels probably won’t be worn more than twice but those black strappy ones that just seem to go with every outfit will definitely earn a spot in your closet for a few years. Classic pieces like a good pair of jeans and neutral colored items will last a lot longer in your closet than a bright neon colored shirt.

Don’t rely on others to make you happy.

Some people will not always be in your life. Find something you love to do like crafting, doing makeup, shopping, reading, etc. Work on those skills and find something you’re passionate about.

Organization is key.

Now, I’ve always been an organized person but prior to college I wasn’t as organized as I am now. Before I decided to get organized, I would be stressed out over every little thing that got added onto my plate. Take a deep breath and relax for a moment. Purchase a planner (it doesn’t have to be anything fancy) and break out the colored pens. Set some time aside to figure things out and write everything down. I can’t promise this will get rid of any stress you have but it can definitely help!

Don’t be scared to try something new.

If you keep holding yourself back because you’re scared, then you’ll never know what you can accomplish. Take risks and take every opportunity you’re given. If not, you might regret it.

Follow your dreams no matter the obstacles.

Want to be a fashion designer in NYC? Or a photographer in LA? Or a professor in another country? Go for it. Work hard. It’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows. It’s going to be hard and there’s going to be challenges but don’t let that stop you. Don’t let other people tell you you can’t do it because you CAN. I’m sitting here typing this right now to tell you that you CAN do it.

You don’t have to have it all figured out.

If anybody says that they have it all figured out, they’re lying. It’s okay to not be sure of yourself and to not know exactly what you want to do. Nobody has it all figured out.

It’s okay to say no.

This is something I’ve always known but is something I still continue to struggle with. It’s okay to tell someone no when you already have too much on your plate.

Budget your money no matter how much you have.

This is an extremely important lesson I learned this year. Don’t let yourself wind up with only $3 left in your bank account. Start saving now. It’s a lot easier than it seems too. Make a spreadsheet with all of your expenses including groceries, rent, utilities, gas, cell phone bill, and miscellaneous. Set an amount for each month that you’re allowed to spend as well as set a percentage of your paycheck that you want to put into savings. Some banking apps already have this option too!

It doesn’t matter how many friends you have.

You’re going to lose friends and you’re going to make friends. Not all of them are going to stick around and that’s okay. You don’t need 30 friends. If you only have 1 really good friend, then that’s okay. That 1 friend is going to stick by your side and tell you the truth besides 30 fake friends.

Choose your battles.

This one is extremely important. PLEASE don’t fight with someone over something small that won’t matter a day later. Now, I’m not saying don’t stand up for what you believe in because I am a MAJOR advocate for speaking your truth and doing what you think is right. However, try to remember that everyone has different perspectives on situations.

Remember where you came from.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the world around us. Sometimes we forget who we are. It’s okay to slow down and take some time to yourself. Don’t lose yourself in the craziness of everything else.

Don’t be afraid to make a change in your life when you feel like you need to.

Feel like you need to start a new job in a new environment? Do it. Feel like that “friend” you have isn’t being a very good friend? Say something. Feeling a little down about yourself? Talk to someone. It’s okay to make a change in your life even if it might seem a little scary. Change, big or small, can bring you so many more opportunities to improve your life and make you happier.

Everyone has failed at something. Everyone makes mistakes.

Nobody is perfect. If you don’t make mistakes, then you don’t learn anything. If you don’t fail, then you never succeed.

Stop procrastinating.

Save yourself the stress and just don’t do it. You can thank me later.

Not everyone is going to like you.

This is one I still struggle with. I’m a people pleaser and want everyone to like me. But that’s not the way the world works. Not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay. You’re you and you don’t need to change for anyone.

Starting a new habit is hard and requires work.

Healthy habits won’t just magically happen overnight. It requires hard work and diligence.

It’s okay to be lazy sometimes.

Have a tough day and need to reset? It’s okay to sit on the couch and do nothing. It’s okay to binge your favorite tv show for a few hours. It’s okay to pretend like you don’t have any responsibilities for the night. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being lazy for a little bit.

Eat the dang pizza and ice cream.

Life is too short to not eat the foods we love.

I am an Advertising and Public Relations major and a Social Media Campaigns minor. I am also a member of the sorority Zeta Tau Alpha. I love shopping and finding the best deals as well as spending time with my friends and family. I also love to travel and a fun fact about me is that I've snorkeled with sea turtles in the Caribbean.