20 Things Everyone Should Know By The Age Of 20

20 Things Everyone Should Know By The Age Of 20

Cheers to 20 years!
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Ah, 20! To me, birthdays are extremely important, and your 20th birthday is the start of a new decade. In your 20s you'll be faced with way more responsibilities such as purchasing a home, or finally purchasing that car you've had your eyes on since your teen years but didn't have the funds to do so. You'll graduate from college, get a real job, you might get married, and you might have a baby. Being in your 20s is scary because there's a lot to do, but let's get ready for it! Here's a list of things you should know by 20.

1. How to stay healthy

By now you should know that junk food is absolutely terrible for you. Try to stay away from that and eat healthier things. You are getting older after all-- take care of your body.

2. How to make your own appointments

You'd be surprised to know that a lot of people still want their mom to make appointments for them. You're an adult now, make them yourself!

3. How to say no nicely

When we don't want to do something people often make up excuses or beat around the bush, or explode on the person. Say no nicely, you're not a child anymore.

4. How to apologize

This is the hardest thing to do, but it's important. Yes, this means acknowledging when you're wrong too.

5. How to cook a basic meal

No I don't mean dino nuggets or mac and cheese. Parents can't cook for you forever, and you can't possibly buy dinner every night.

6. Know who's there for you and who's not

You've been around for 20 years now. You definitely know what family members are there for you, and the ones that aren't. As well as what friends you can count on and which friends you can't. You should know the top few people that will be there, in case of an emergency.

7. How to clean your house

A few weeks ago I overheard a girl saying that her mom still makes her bed and does her laundry. Wake up, people! By now you should be making your own bed, cleaning your own room, and other rooms in the house. You should know how to do laundry too.

8. How to dress for an interview

Interviews and possibly internships will probably be an important part of your life, and you should know how to dress for them.

9. How to budget/take control of your finances

While it may be the root of all evils, money is important and you should have bank accounts and money saved. Buying is great, but prioritize. Budgets should be something you know very well, as it is there to help you.

10. How to be on time

By now you know yourself, and know if you're slow to get ready to wake up earlier to give yourself time to get ready. If you don't require a lot of time to get ready you should plan accordingly as well. Maybe in high school it was cool to show up late to class and other things, but it won't fly in the adult world.

11. How to be responsible

Stick to your commitments, put your best foot forward, and be mature.

12. Know your priorities

We're literally adults now. You should know what comes first in your life and what doesn't matter. If you're in college, school should be your priority.

13. Know what you want in life

I know this is scary but you should know or at least have a concise idea as to what you want in life. I'm not saying that it should be thoroughly planned because we never know what will happen in life, but if someone asks you "What do you want to be?" you should have an acceptable answer.

14. Be nice

This one is quite simple, yet it's overlooked. We're adults, we should be friendly and nice when meeting people. We should accommodate everyone. No more mean girl drama!

15. How to carry a conversation

Talking to people is extremely important, and you should know how to do it. No more awkward conversations or small talk. Get to know people and speak to them with confidence!

16. Speak your mind

It's okay to have your own opinion, and sharing it without disrespecting others is important to know.

17. Follow your dreams

The sky isn't the limit. Do what makes you happy, and pursue the things that you love.

18. Deal with conflict

One of the hardest things to do, but very important. You aren't a child anymore, you should know how to address conflict. Pouting and throwing a tantrum isn't acceptable anymore.

19. How to fake it, until you make it

You won't ever know everything but if you go with the flow, everything will work out. Ask questions, Google things, just don't give up.

20. Independence

You probably won't live with your family forever so you need to know how to thrive on your own in the real world.

If you're turning 20, use this list as a guide, and like me go into your 20s with a positive attitude and you arms open wide! Here's to being 20!

Cover Image Credit: Sherrie Eldridge

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Not My Michigan

A Michigan student-athlete turned Registered Nurse on the Michigan Medicine contract negotiations in 2018.

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It's May 1st, 2016. I'm bright-eyed, eager, and graduating from the University of Michigan as a Nursing Student and Student-Athlete.

I am ready to take on the world the way that Michigan taught me how: fearlessly, compassionately, and wholeheartedly. I bleed blue. I know what it means to be a Wolverine and to represent the Michigan Difference in everything I do. I wear the block M on my School of Nursing scrubs and my Michigan Dance Team uniform well aware that it represents goodness, tradition, and excellence. I am determined. I am inspired. I am ready.

It's Monday, September 17th, 2018. What does Michigan mean to me now? I used to be so sure. Now, I simply don't know. So, what's the deal? How did my view on an institution become so indifferent in recent months?

I chose U of M to start my nursing career because it had the widely known reputation of putting its patients first, respecting its nurses, and providing the best care to patients in the state (5th in the country, to be exact). In my first year, as I was clumsily learning how to push patient stretchers, titrate intravenous vasopressors, and to communicate with the medical team, I proudly participated in our hospital's effort to achieve Magnet status.

When Nursing earned Magnet Status, an award given by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center and indicator of the strength and quality of Nursing at Michigan, I felt that same pride as I did in May of 2016.

I knew in my heart that I picked the best institution to develop my nursing practice and to give high quality, patient-centered care to anyone who walked, rolled, or was carried through the doors of Adult Emergency Services. The hospital's goals were aligned with mine and those around me. We put patients first, and more specifically, we put patients over profits.

I am lucky enough to work at a hospital that has been unionized for more than four decades. When I started working, the concept of a union was foreign to me. For those who may need a refresher, unions promote and protect the interests of all employees. They collectively bargain with employers to secure written agreements for employees regarding pay, benefits, and working conditions.

Collective bargaining agreements are legally enforceable contracts holding employers and employees to mutually agreed-to workplace rules and process to provide a fair and just workplace. The University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council, an affiliate of the Michigan Nurses Association, has been working diligently since January to bargain with the University of Michigan to protect me, the 5,700 nurses who work within the institution, and our patients. I'd like to think they're the good guys in this story.

Here's where things get sticky: David Spahlinger, president of our prestigious U of M health system, has publicly stated that Michigan is "committed to maintaining current staffing levels," but will not make this commitment in writing. Common sense is reflected in the most high-quality research on the topic of nurse-patient ratios and its direct effect on patient care.

Appropriate staffing allows me and my coworkers to give the quality of care that I know we have the ability to provide. High staffing levels are associated with reduced mortality, falls, medication errors, ulcers, restraint use and infections. Unregulated staffing is a significant barrier to nurses' abilities to provide optimal patient care and prevents Nursing at Michigan from providing what we know to be the Michigan Difference in healthcare.

UMPNC held voting on a work stoppage for unfair labor practices last week. Out of 4,000 votes cast by nurses at the U, 94% authorized a work stoppage in protest of the University's unfair labor practices. No date is set, but our elected nurse bargaining team now has the authority to call for action.

Thank you to Katie Oppenheim, who chairs our union, for reiterating in an article to the Detroit Free Press that a work stoppage is not our goal. "Our goal is a fair agreement which respects nurses and guarantees safe staffing. The university can remedy this situation immediately by stopping their unfair labor practices and bargaining in good faith."

I am proud to be a nurse and I hope that our efforts to keep Michigan a patients-over-profits institution are recognized at the community, state, and national level. Anne McGinity, David Spahlinger, and those who have the power to make Michigan the magical place I once thought it was, make like Nike and just do it. For the love of patients, nurses, and our great University. I know we are better than this.

(Stay Tuned, folks).

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LSU Students Give New Tailgating Rules Mixed Reviews A Year After Maxwell Gruver's Hazing Death

"These rules ruin the legendary LSU tailgate culture of accepting all game day lovers."

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One year ago, the death of LSU student Max Gruver shocked the campus. This tragedy called for a social change in the Greek Life community and the entire student body.

Following Gruver's death, LSU President F. King Alexander ordered an immediate suspension of all Greek Life activity and announced the formation of the Greek Life Task Force (GLTF), Mari Fuentes-Martin, the dean of students and board member of the GLTF, told me.

Since the tragedy, The GLTF made 28 recommendations to improve student safety, Greek Life environment, and campus life environment. President Alexander approved all 28 recommendations, including the recently enforced tailgating restrictions, Fuentes-Martin said.

"Rules related to tailgating fell under my responsibilities," she said.

To provide student safety, these new restrictions require that all fraternities must host their tailgates in their chapter's house. This new policy, labeled PS-78, ensures the parameters necessary for safe tailgating by banning hard alcohol, common source containers and requiring a third party vendor. Also, each member of a fraternity is permitted only three outside guests, limiting the number of people at each tailgate, she said.

The support to alter the tailgate culture remains wide, but she continues to receive mixed reactions toward the new restrictions, Fuentes-Martin said.

"This is complete bullshit," said Michelle Buie, a senior at LSU. Holding tailgates in a frat house creates an even greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse because it is a closed environment, she said.

When the parade grounds hosted the Greek tailgates, everyone easily saw everything, this reduced the risk of hazing and other dangerous activities. Since Greek tailgates now occur in a private location, fraternity members are able to resort to their rooms for drug use or hazing, she said.

These restrictions also put a potential increase on sexual assault incidents. If a student passed out on the parade grounds, there was no hiding it and they received immediate help. Now, if this were to happen in a frat house, the student could easily be taken advantage of, she said.

"I'm scared these new rules will only backfire, leaving us with another tragedy or even worse," Buie said.

These restrictions are not only potentially dangerous, but they also reinforce the stigma that Greek Life is exclusive. Students are now forced to create their own, unorganized and unsupervised tailgates, where in the past, the parade grounds offered all students a comfortable and close environment with adult and police supervision, Buie said.

"These rules ruin the legendary LSU tailgate culture of accepting all game day lovers," she said. In the past, tailgating was open for all, but now a student must be on a guest list.

Overall, Greek members' reactions toward the restrictions remain negative, but understanding to the Administration's efforts to establish a safer environment, Buie said.

The GLTF spent countless hours of planning and discussion when it came to the restrictions, Fuentes-Martin said. With these restrictions, the GLTF expects the elimination of all assaults and confrontation.

After meeting with stakeholders and listening to their concerns, the GLTF complied the feedback and found trends in priority matters that required alterations, with the tailgate culture as a top concern, she said.

As the administrative supervisor for Greek Life, Campus Life and Student Advocacy and Accountability, Fuentes-Martin collaborated these units for the creation of the new procedures and enforcement necessary for the new tailgate plan.

"I am very proud to have worked on this massive project for the past year and see the significant changes that have already occurred," Fuentes-Martin said.

As a student affairs professional for over 25 years, Fuentes-Martin continues to work with a community of colleagues concerned about high-risk behaviors and how to proactively prevent harmful situations on campus.

The GLTF realizes this year will bring the most challenges since significant change often begins with resistance and chaos, but they hope that over the next five years these new restrictions will create a safer environment, Fuentes-Martin said.

"The response from every division of our huge campus is supportive of a new normal for LSU," she said. No one wants to see another student harmed.

"There has to be a true fear of repercussions to prevent violations," said Melissa Salamoni, a retired captain of the Baton Rouge police department. Students will fall to peer pressure and follow the violators of the new tailgating restrictions, she said.

Some students will follow the new restrictions without hesitation, but others will always find a way around it. Violators will either tailgate on other campus locations and not identify as a student organization, or they will tailgate off campus, she said.

"Swift and sure punishment for violators is a must," Salamoni said.

Administration must randomly inspect tailgate parties to ensure the student body's compliance with the restrictions. Students also need better education regarding the dangers of binge drinking, she said. Salamoni worked all of the LSU home footballs games throughout her 32 years as a law enforcement officer. During this time she encountered endless cases involving student injuries, sexual assaults, and illnesses, all caused by binge drinking.

Within one month, 37.9 percent of college students reported binge drinking compared to 32.6 percent of other people the same age, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The new tailgating restrictions will greatly benefit the student body, but only if the LSU Administrations strictly enforces them, Salamoni said.

"Football season always causes an enormous spike in ER visits," said Steven Ragusa, an emergency room doctor at St. Elizabeth Hospital. As a father of three sons, each involved in Greek Life at LSU, Ragusa is aware of the risky activities and potentially dangerous outcomes that each tailgate offers.

When students submerge themselves in an environment ruled by alcohol, they lose their senses and convince themselves that binge drinking is normal college fun, he said.

Students forget how to drink this time of the year. Hopefully, these new restrictions will lower the number of stomachs pumped and serve as a proper guide to healthy tailgating, he said.

No parent should ever undergo the death of their child, especially to something so preventable, Ragusa said.

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