20 Lessons My 20 Years Have Taught Me

20 Lessons My 20 Years Have Taught Me

"God bless these 20-somethings"


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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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.

When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend


Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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