20 Lessons My 20 Years Have Taught Me

For my birthday this year, people told me, "Congratulations! You're halfway to 40!" It felt like reality just sucker punched me straight in the face. As I closed the chapter of my teenage years this week, I reflected on what I went through and learned over the past decade.

These are just a few daily tips or life lessons I hope to take with me as I get older.

1. Take advantage of learning.

Whether it's in a classroom, listening to a friend tell a story, or overhearing a conversation in a crowded place. Be open to understanding how other peoples minds work and why the world is the way that it is.

2. Learn to be in the 'Now'.

Since I've become an old person by turning 20, I've noticed some of my favorite moments in life have come and gone leaving myself wondering if I could've done something differently. I try to take pictures and of course get shambly videos for my Snapchat story but I try to dance a little longer and sing a little louder to make sure I'm not letting the moment pass without making mental memories too.

3. Invest in a good pair of sweatpants.

I feel like this is such a good piece of advice that it should be in a fortune cookie somewhere.

4. Don't ever give away your favorite books.

If the book makes you highlight sentences and read pages aloud to other people, DO NOT let somebody borrow it. Chances are they won't get around to reading it and you'll want to pick it back up again at some point, trust me.

5. Take a road-trip with your best friends.

It doesn't have to be across the country or anything spectacular like that but go to a town a couple hours away from home or to a city with actual life in it. Talk and listen to music and add a big gulp of Dr.Pepper to accompany you.

6. Make a good playlist... a couple actually.

Spotify > Apple Music.

7. Call your family.

I promise they want to hear from you as much as you want to hear from them.

8. It's OK to let your wall down.

This is something that I still struggle with, but you can gain so much insight by letting somebody else into your weird world and doing life with you by their side.

9. Find time to take care of yourself.

Meditate, write down your thoughts, talk to somebody, use a face mask, go for a walk, or bake a cake and eat the frosting. They sound like simple tasks but when life moves a thousand miles a minute it gets easy to forget about your mental health.

10. Learn to deal with the ins and outs of confrontation. 

There is a difference between standing up for yourself and being rude. Rumors are inevitable but you know the truth, so you can choose to let people say what they want and not let it affect you or you can confront the source. If a problem arises with somebody, talk about it with that person face to face.

11. Cry about it... then move on. 

Take time to be sad, mourn, or have a mental breakdown outside of your dorm and not care if anybody sees you. Feel every emotion thoroughly but remember to pick yourself back up when you're done. Life is going to move on regardless, so you might as well go with it.

12. Late night fast food taste better.

Alone or with a friend, make sure you super size it.

13. Stay Curious.

It is OK to wonder why bad things happen to good people or wanting to know how a risky situation is going to end, but do not try to answer life's questions. I promise you will never figure out its purpose.

14. Take 24 hours to react to an emotional feeling.

People are going to get under your skin, break your heart, or do something irrational that ends up affecting you. Wait 24 hours to confront a person or to voice your concerns and opinions. If you still have the same feeling in the pit of your stomach 24 hours later, well good luck Charlie.

15. Practice Empathy everyday.

Everybody has a story. Put yourself in somebody else's shoes, treat others the way you want to be treated, give a stranger a compliment every day, talk to the person sitting next to you. You never know what is going on in a person's life and a kind gesture can go a long way.

16. Take the back roads occasionally.

If you have nowhere to be, explore roads in your town and see where they take you while playing your favorite music. (Just make sure you have google maps ready in case you explore too much.)

17. Deal with one thing at a time.

DO NOT put all of your eggs in one basket when you're upset. Take the problem one step at a time and move on to the next. Nobody likes an ugly crier.

18. Go on a cleanse. 

Take a break from social media, delete your apps and read a good book. Stop eating fast food for a while and meal prep for the week instead. Whatever the cleanse may be, letting go of a bad habit for a while helps you learn to be reliable on yourself.

19. Everything takes time.

Love, careers, goals, letting the box hair dye grow out, checking the mail every day for your Amazon box to arrive. Waiting makes the result completely worth it.

20. Everything is going to be OK.

It will all work out the way it is supposed to. Don't wish away where you are right now because you think you should be somewhere else. Enjoy your 20s. Enjoy today. Just enjoy life.

Cheers to another decade of closing my eyes and taking chances.

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