As my 20th birthday approaches faster than ever, I am constantly reminded of the fact that I am growing up. I am starting to become a bigger part of the real world and the experience of adulting is more evident every single day. So here are 20 things I've learned by 20, and 20 things every 20-something needs to hear.
1. It's OK to have no idea what your future is going to look like
It takes me 20 minutes just to decide what I want to eat, much less know how my future is going to pan out. Don't freak out, you have time to figure it out. (And you'll probably change your mind after that anyways.)
2. You can give yourself a break every now and then.
School. Jobs. Responsibilities. They add up, so make sure you give yourself "you" time to recuperate and feel like yourself again.
3. You deserve that extra slice of cake.
No matter what no one gets out of this life alive. So just eat that extra brownie, or cookie, and enjoy it while you can.
4. Cherish your body enough to work out.
At the same time, also know how to take care of yourself in a healthy, happy way. Your body is with you for life and you should love the skin you're in.
5. Keep dreaming.
Never, ever stop dreaming. Don't let others bring you down, don't compare yourself and don't ever lose sight of what you want.
6. You don't have to know what you want.
You may have no idea what your life goals are and that's OK. Just make sure it's what you want and not what someone else does.
7. Be a good listener.
You learn a lot by listening to others, so make sure you listen twice as much as you talk.
8. Indulge in things that are unfamiliar to you.
Culture. Travel. Religion. Get out there and explore, be independent, do something you've never done before.
9. Be thankful for what you have.
Count your blessings and realize what you have, not what you want.
10. Make your own mistakes and learn from them.
You aren't perfect and you are going to mess up sometimes, thats just a way of life. Know that you come out the other side a better, more experienced person.
11. You are more than a number.
Don't look a the scale, or the test score, or the paycheck. Look at your heart and know who you are and what you are worth.
12. Love fully, love beautifully, just love.
If you love something -- love it with everything you have. Wholly. Entirely.
13. Don't set limits for yourself.
And don't let others set limits for you either.
14. Get out of your comfort zone, often.
Try to at least once a month. Do something that scares you and do it again and again.
15. Don't knock it till you've tried it.
Whatever it may be -- culinary class, pilot lessons, foreign food. Don't deny yourself the opportunity.
16. Keep your friends close.
Love your friends to the ends of the world, but know when to walk away. Know when you are being taken advantage of, and know how to get out. Your true friends will shine through in the end.
17. Keep your family closer.
Family over everything. Your family is your rock, your home, your life. Take good care of them and let them know you love them at least once a day.
18. No one is worth crying over.
People can be mean. Girls. Boys. Friends. Know that you will get hurt and might feel betrayed; and if you hurt someone, apologize and own up to it.
19. But crying is OK.
Let it all out. It's the best feeling.
20. Love yourself.
Above all, love yourself and you'll be surrounded by love all your life.