20 Things I Learned Before Turning 20
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20 Things I Learned Before Turning 20

3. Sometimes your happiness is not what's most important.

20 Things I Learned Before Turning 20

I remember what it was like to sit in a kindergarten classroom and read books for hours.

I remember what it was like to walk the halls of my middle school and blush every time my crush walked by. I remember opening my first locker on the first day of my freshman year of high school and it having the most distinct smell. I also remember moving into my first dorm last year and crying until I couldn't cry anymore when my family left me.

I'll never forget that feeling. It's hard to believe I've lived on the Earth for two decades already when it feels like just yesterday I was marching in the Thanksgiving parade in pre-school. I've lived through a lot, but I've also learned quite a lot. I'm a flawed person, like anyone, but, after my birthday just passed, I realized that I've learned some things that will hopefully make these next few decades more fulfilling.

Stop. Spending. Money.

I'm definitely still working on this one.

Learn to let go.

This goes for things and people.

Sometimes your happiness is not what's most important.

I'm still learning to be less of a selfish person and put others before myself. Being around my best friends who have their own kids has given me an entirely new perspective on selflessness.

... But, sometimes, it is.

However, self care can be just as important as doing things for other people.

Don't let people treat you like sh*t when you know you deserve better.

I found out recently that this is a pretty bad habit of mine and I've learned (and am still learning) that I can't let people treat me badly when I know I deserve better.

You need a significant other who is sure about you.

I've recently discovered that I need someone who isn't going to be a p*ssy. I need someone who's sure about what they want and what their feelings are and aren't going to drag me along just because they're unsure.

A's aren't everything.

Since elementary school, I've gotten straight A's nearly every single year. When I got my first B in fourth grade I was devastated. It wasn't until I made it to my junior year of college that I realized how little A's really matter. I reached the point where B's and C's made me happy and that's OK. I'm tired of stressing out about getting an A just so I can say that I got one.

Some people aren't going to put in the effort that you do.

I've always been an overachiever. In absolutely everything. Relationships, school, work, extracurricular activities, you name it. I've come to realize that although I put all into everything, it's unfair to expect the same from other people.

Stop letting people walk all over you.

I'm tired of being a people-pleaser and going with things just because I don't want to be a burden.

 Stick up for yourself.

I've never been a confrontational person for fear of hurting other people's feelings or starting a conflict, but I've learned that I need to stop letting people treat me like shit and hurt me.

 Tell people how you feel.

This really ties into the previous two but I've always bottled up my feelings and that's not OK. I've recently learned that speaking your mind and telling people how you feel is a good thing even if it doesn't turn out how you hope or expect. It's better to tell someone how you feel than to not tell them and wonder what would happen if you did.

 Don't give people respect unless they've earned it.

I'm sorry but that whole "respect your elders" thing is absolute BS. If you don't give me respect, I'm not going to respect you.

 "Don't half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing."

- Ron Swanson

 Stop giving a f*ck what people think.

No one cares more than you're ever going to.

 You don't need to wear makeup 24/7.

Until maybe the last two years, I was so self-conscious about the way I look without makeup on. I'm still self-conscious about it, but I've grown to not really care. I'd rather sleep an extra hour than get up early to do my makeup.

Your political views aren't insignificant just because you're young.

And sometimes arguing about politics isn't worth it.

 You don't need to have kids to be a good woman.

Yep, no matter how many people tell me that I'll eventually want kids, I somehow still don't want kids. Hmmm. Kids don't define a woman's existence or their value. Your life doesn't lose meaning when you decide not to have kids.

 Having mental health issues doesn't make you less of a person.

I've dealt with anxiety for as long as I can remember and it's not something I should be ashamed of. Being mentally ill/unstable doesn't make me less of a person no matter what societal stigma scares people into believing.

 Your time is coming.

I've always felt like my life has been slacking behind other people's. I've learned that there's a right time for everything and my life doesn't move at the same pace as others'.

 Your sister is your forever best friend, whether you like it or not.

Sharing a womb creates an unbreakable bond. Yes, family, in general, is important, but I can't imagine not having my twin.

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