20 Things I've Learned From Turning 20
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Health and Wellness

20 Things I've Learned From Turning 20

And cheers to the next 20.

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20 Things I've Learned From Turning 20

This past May I turned 20. The week leading up to my birthday, I reflected on my years as a teenager, thought about the future in my 20s and listened to my mom cry about how she felt like my elementary years were “just yesterday.” If anything, celebrating my two decade mark was just another birthday - another year gone by and cliché reminder of my stable existence on earth.

But as I’ve watched spring melt into summer and allowed my days as a 20-year-old to speed by at a progressing pace, I have begun to notice that the person I am today is far different from the person I was when I was at 10, 15, even 19. It made me realize that a birthday is more than just a celebration (or denials) of turning another year older - they are days that push a particular form of reflection into our minds to the point where we are forced to come to terms with who we are now versus who we used to be.

There are many obvious things about me that are different now compared to then, things that anyone could identify from the naked eye. But there’s also a myriad of mistakes that have changed me, people that have influenced me, and things that I have learned since I’ve turned 20. I decided to share 20 of them.

1) Time works in your favor.

When I want something so badly, I’ll become obsessive over trying to make it happen right away. Sometimes when you just stop trying so hard and be patient with yourself, the universe does you a favor and brings it to you when the time is right.

2) Your parents are always right.

I used to hate listening to what my parents had to say about my relationships, education, and everything else in life. So far, they’ve turned out to be right about pretty much everything, so I think it’s a good idea to start listening.

3) Sometimes following your heart is not the best option.

Using my brain has proven to be far more effective than acting on emotion.

4) Nurture the relationships worth nurturing.

The people who have stood by me and make me happy deserve the same in return. I’ve learned to never be careless when it comes to staying in touch with the people special enough to keep around.

5) Cut off the relationships not worth nurturing.

There is no good use in remaining close with the people who do not make you happy. I’ve found that life is a lot more pleasant when you no longer feel forced to be around the people you don’t want to be around.

6) Everything in moderation.

Okay, this one I’m still working on (but at least I can recognize that, right?)

7) Do things that make you happy.

This is a cliché that I probably should have learned before I turned 20. But, it is only now that I’ve seen how necessary this statement is in every person’s life.

8) Planning is a good thing.

I get made fun of for constantly making lists and planning out things way too far in advance. Regardless of what people say, my lists have gotten me this far and I’m pretty confident they’ll do some good in the future.

9) Being in a relationship is not everything (especially when it is not the right one).

Life is too valuable to waste it with the wrong person. Anyway, spending all my time living in New York City with my best friends beats having a boyfriend on pretty much every level.

10) Bringing up the past is never a good option.

Accepting the past has never been my forte. However, from that I’ve learned that diving back into the problems of the past only creates new ones.

11) Things aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.

Stressing out about things gets people nowhere. It is important to take deep breathes and make yourself realize that life is not that serious.

12) Lost friendships are never really lost.

It is never too late to change the way things turned out with people you had a falling out with. If you think they are worth reaching out too, you might as well try.

13) Sometimes you need to admit you’re wrong (even when you’re right).

Fighting with others just creates negativity and stress. To mend the conflict, swallowing my ego is the most important asset that results in the best outcome.

14) Set aside time to see your family every week.

Friends come and go but my family will always be my family. They are the most important support system I’ll ever have in my life.

15) You don’t need anything.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how blessed I am. But when I sit down and think about where my life is right now, needing anything more would just be greedy.

16) Nothing is the end of the world.

I now remind myself that no matter how bad you think your situation is, someone out there always has it worse than you.

17) Being negative only brings negative things to your life.

My Negative Nancy tendencies have done more bad than good. Surprised that it took me this long to realize that.

18) Take advantage of being young.

One of my friends once told me that no one wants to look back on life and think “Remember that night?! I got a really healthy amount of sleep that night.” Only now can I get away with doing just about anything; it would be a shame to let that time go wasted.

19) It is crucial to let go.

Holding grudges, staying attached to a toxic relationship, and having trouble moving on are all reoccurring mistakes I’ve finally learned from. There is no better feeling then finally letting go.

20) Make friends with what you are.

No one else sees the flaws in you as much as you see them in yourself. I learned to stop being so hard on myself and to start accepting every bit of myself. Yes, this is taken directly from a John Mayer song.

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