10/31 20 Important Lessons I've Learned In 20 Years
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10/31 20 Important Lessons I've Learned In 20 Years

20 lessons learned in the 20 years leading up to the defining decade.

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10/31 20 Important Lessons I've Learned In 20 Years
marykate mclaughlin

I recently celebrated my 20th birthday recently and it has allowed me some time to pause and reflect on 20 of the most important lessons that I've learned during my 2 decades on planet Earth.

1. There are so many things in life that are out of your control 

In life, there are so many things that are out of our control. Even though life may seem like it's filled with things that we can't control, it's important to remember that there are things within our control. We might not have put ourselves in a certain difficult situation, but we can control how we react and respond.

2. You are allowed to change 

The person you are today may not be the person that you are tomorrow. It's ok to change certain aspects of yourself if you feel that they may need a revamping. You might listen to rap one day and country the next. Change is a part of life and keeps it interesting.

3. Everyone is on a different timetable 

We think of life as a race, something that we need to win and compete against others for. But in reality, life is like going swimming in the ocean. Sure, there may be others swimming around you who have been in the ocean longer than you, but at the end of the day everyone ends up wet. You're on your own timetable, no need to worry about what everyone else is doing with their time.

4. You will find your people

I spent so much of my teens desiring to form meaningful friends and relationships with people. It took a lot of patience, but I was eventually able to find people who genuinely care for me and want me to succeed. And after struggling to find great friends for so long, once I was able to form lasting relationships, I was able to appreciate them so much more.

5. It's ok to be single 

In 20 years, I've never been on a date or been in a relationship but I've accepted that that's ok. Although I sometimes wish I was in a relationship, I genuinely enjoy being single because it allows me to focus on myself and not be held down to anything. Your time will come to be in a relationship eventually, but enjoy being single while you can.

6. Family is everything 

Through every situation I've been in, I could always turn to my family for love and support. At the end of the day, your family will support and care for you always and if they don't, then find your own family.

7. You is kind. You is smart. You is important. 

This adorable line from The Help has been a constant reminder to me throughout the years. What started as a text from my mom when I was feeling down has turned into a shared phrase between my friends over our love for this movie/book.

8. It's ok to be vulnerable sometimes

One of the big misconceptions of life is that everyone else has it together and we are the only ones who are falling apart. But in reality, everyone is struggling with something. Sometimes, it's important to be open with others and to share your struggle. You might be surprised to find that others might feel the same way too.

9. Make time for sleep 

Being a college student, this is something that I still struggle with sometimes. Sleep is such a necessity and never deprive yourself of it when you need it.

10. Saltwater can cure (almost) anything 

In my 20 years of living, I've recognized that there are a few places that bring me more happiness than the beach. I love the sand, sun, and saltwater. Just being by the beach enhances my mood by 10%. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I look at my collection of pictures I've taken of the ocean and feel at peace, if only for a few seconds.

11. Sunrises are worth getting up for 

I'm not super enthusiastic about getting up early, but seeing a sunrise is definitely worth it. I especially love sunrises over the ocean. To me, a sunrise means a rebirth and a new chance to start again. You will never regret waking up to see a sunrise.

12. God is so much greater than the highs and the lows 

Self-explanatory.

13. You are not for everyone

No matter how hard you try, there are certain people who will never be able to recognize you for who you are. But instead of worrying about these people, walk away into the arms of people who will accept you through everything.

14. A Spotify membership is some of the best money you will ever spend

Spotify is the best. Music is incredibly necessary to sustain life and being able to listen to your favorite music anytime= priceless.

15. Everything is temporary 

This is both a good and a bad thing. Pain doesn't last forever, but neither do happy times. The important thing to remember is that with every cloud comes a silver lining, and bad times will pass.

16. Be kind to yourself 

This is one of those lessons that I've learned, but I still struggle to keep in practice. Through everything you've been through, remember to cut yourself some slack every once in a while. You deserve love and happiness, sometimes you just have to remember that.

17. It's important to spend time alone 

Even if you are the most extroverted extrovert, everyone needs some alone time to calm their minds down. Take time to listen to yourself and hear your own voice within your head.

18. Money is not the end all, be all 

I used to scrutinize every dollar I spent and every paycheck I received. But I've realized that money isn't everything and that not spending a little every once in a while is toxic. Be smart with your money but don't be afraid to live a little.

19. You will surprise yourself

There's always something that you'll accomplish that you never thought you'd be able to do before.

20. Life is (mostly) good 

There are so many ups and downs and highs and lows to life, but at the end of the day, life is good. Being alive is something we take for granted at times, and it's important to realize how amazing it can be.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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