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20 Things I've Learned In 20 Years

The briefest life lessons you'll ever read, but important ones.

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Melissa Evans

As I'm writing this, I'm only a few days away from turning 20. I know I'm still very young, but two decades feels like a very long time. I've made plenty of mistakes and done many dumb things. All in all, I've learned a lot in these twenty years.

1. Perfection is a myth 

You cannot be perfect so stop trying. It's exhausting and useless. You don't need makeup every day.

2. Not all friends are keepers 

You will meet people who do not need to stay in your life. People suck. Sometimes people are great friends and then things change, so they don't have to last. Be willing to say goodbye but keep the good ones close.

3. Organization is key 

BUY A CALENDAR! They are life savers. If nothing else, put important events in your phone to remind you. Also, make plans for your school year or work quarter. Look over syllabi or write about your goals!

4. Everything is temporary 

Whether its moods or situations, everything eventually changes. So don't worry, things can get better.

5. Bagels are really good 

I didn't start eating them until I was 19 and WHAT WAS I DOING? Bagels are incredible. Eat more of them.

6. Driving is underrated 

Arguably one of the best feelings is driving. Sure driving for 7 hours sucks, but a late night drive with one of your close friends can be really therapeutic.

7. Non-fiction books can be fun 

Some of my favorite books I've been reading lately are actually non-fiction. The psychology section of your bookstore may have some really interesting stuff! My current obsession is "Batman and Psychology" by Travis Langley.

8. Putting yourself first is necessary 

We worry so much about being selfish, but sometimes you need to be. Be there for your friends and family, but don't forget to take time for yourself. You can't be there for everyone if you're a mess.

9. Go to the FREAKIN gym 

Going to the gym is so important. Exercise will make you feel so much better. Having a regular schedule is hard, but just do your best, it will make you feel better.

10. Friendships take effort 

So nobody told me that you have to put energy into maintaining friendships. I'm busy and easily distracted, so I often forget to text back or reach out to people if I don't naturally see them in my week. Trying to stay close with your freshman year roommate who lives across campus and takes very different classes takes some work.

11. I need to be challenged 

I lose my mind without any intellectual stimulation. I think part of my struggle in high school was classes that didn't push me at all. I definitely need my boring downtime, but I hate classes that don't push me at all.

12. Nothing works for everyone 

There is no universal fix for a bad mood or a perfect diet that can make anyone drop 10 pounds. Just know that anytime someone suggests an idea, it may not be what is best for you.

13. Social media is dishonest 

It isn't a straight up lie, but we mostly put our best face forward on social media, one that's wearing a smile. Don't try to live up to someone else's Instagram.

14. Sleep is important 

GO TO BED! Don't stay up til 3 a.m. and get up for your 8 a.m. class. You can survive a night without sleep, but you need to prioritize sleep above many things.

15. Man plans, God laughs 

I may be an atheist, but I still appreciate this phrase. You can make all the plans you want but life is chaotic. Have a plan, but be ready when things change.

16. Pet more puppies 

Simple. Pet all the dogs. They deserve love.

17. Your emotions are valid 

No matter what you're feeling, you have a right to feel it. You don't always have a right to act out on those feelings towards others, but you are valid in being upset or hurt by anything.

18. It's OK to do nothing 

Sometimes we all need a break, whether that's from school or being social or whatever. Take it when you need it.

19. Quitting can be the best thing to do 

We have a million quotes about not giving up or quitting, but sometimes that's impractical. Sometimes, your plan sucks and no longer fits what you want. Sometimes you need to quit and start something new!

20. You can survive a lot 

We all go through some personal hell at one point or another. I spent an entire summer in a state of anxiety and insomnia, but I survived it. You can do more than you think. So grab some gloves, punch some stuff, and power through!

Hopefully one or two of these lessons are something you can relate to or learn from. Keep living and making mistakes.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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