Your 20's Should Be Your Selfish Years

Your 20's Should Be Your Selfish Years

This time of your life is for you.

We have all seen the clip from Divorce Court, 20's is for you, where Judge Lynn tells the lady in front of her that her 20's are her selfish years. That 20 is her years of growth. Well, she's right.

Although Judge Lynn comments specifically to a woman going through a divorce with a man, her words can resonate with anyone. When I was younger I thought that life was slow as hell. I actually remember a conversation I had with a friend who was in High School at the time as I was in Middle School, who said he felt angry when people would say that life is slow. Now I see why he felt that way. Life is so fast that you need to dedicate as much as you can to things that benefit you.

Life is too fast for you to worry about partners at such a young age or to worry about unhealthy relationships in your life with partners, friends, and family. Life is too short to be working the same job that makes you so unhappy for the rest of your life. Too short for you to stay in the same town all your life with no future. Life is too short for you to settle in places and with people who are no good for you and do nothing but bring out your ugly side. Life is too short for you to develop a mental illness for an education and a decent job. Life is just so fucking short that your 20's need to be for you. You don't need to be making compromises that sacrifice your happiness and well-being. You don't need to be in places or with people who do nothing for you. You don't need to be around a group of girls gossiping about shit that doesn't matter.

When I turned 20, I felt nothing. I didn't understand what came with 20 but my anxiety did once I turned 21. In the next 9 years, I might meet someone that I will marry and have children with. I am graduating and moving across the world and within the next 9 years, I will decide what I will do with that experience. In the next 9 years, I will be settled in a place that I hope doesn't bring stress and regret. In the next 9 years, I will have had changed careers and continued my education. Now that I am 21, I feel it. In one year I stopped being friends with people who were toxic and ended a toxic relationship, for both of those things are not worth being a part of these years of my life. I stopped thinking certain ways and holding onto things that are out of my control.

Your 20's should be for you. You to open yourself to things and to people that scare you and once held you back. For you to leave your comfort zone and to embrace uncertainty. Uncertainty. That is what your 20's should be for. For you to be excited and ready for everything you yet know. For you to let go of what leaves you and welcome everything that comes your way. For you to live every day with an open heart and open mind, ready to endure any and every emotion. For you to leave the life your family wants you to live and find one that fits you.

Your 20's is for you to end toxic relationships with a partner, with a friend, and, yes, with a family member. Because you can do that now. This time is for you to figure out what you don't want in life. I have realized that it's okay to not know what you want out of life as long as you know what you don't want. You will start eliminating everything and everyone who brings you down and hinders any kind of real growth. The people who gossip, those who do nothing but go out and drink, those who hold grudges and cannot forgive, those who hold onto to their hardships, and those who stay in the same place. Your 20's isn't for you to remain where you are even if that might hurt others.

This is your time to leave. Leave people, places, mindsets, bad habits, judgments, settling, unforgiving ways, grudges, resentment, and anything and everything that keeps you small. And yes, this will be hard. I am sure a lot of people around this age have become so used to doing things for others, so doing something in this way is considered "selfish". I have seen people hold on to the same burdens for years without the thought of letting go. I have seen people stay in one place for years without any thought of leaving or any real motivation. Don't do those things and learn that it is okay for you to use this time to be selfish will be your start to a happier, healthier life.

Cover Image Credit: Averie Woodard

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I'm The College Girl Who Likes Trump And Hates Feminism, And Living On A Liberal Campus Is Terrifying

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.


I will get right to the point: being a conservative on a liberal college campus in 2019 downright terrifying.

At my university, I'm sure about 90% of the population, both students and faculty, are liberals. They are very outspoken, never afraid to express their views, opinions, and feelings in several ways. There are pride events for the LGBT community, a huge celebration for MLK day, and tons of events for feminists.

Then there's the minority: the conservatives. The realists. The "racists," "bigots," and "the heartless." I am everything the liberals absolutely despise.

I like Donald Trump because he puts America first and is actually getting things done. He wants to make our country a better place.

I want a wall to keep illegals out because I want my loved ones and me to be safe from any possible danger. As for those who are genuinely coming here for a better life, JUST FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK INSTEAD OF SNEAKING AROUND.

I'm pro-life; killing an infant at nine months is inhumane to me (and yet liberals say it's inhumane to keep illegals out…but let's not get into that right now).

I hate feminism. Why? Because modern feminism isn't even feminism. Slandering the male species and wanting to take down the patriarchy is just ridiculous.

I hate the media. I don't trust anyone in it. I think they are all biased, pathological liars. They purposely make our president look like the devil himself, leaving out anything good he does.

I will not sugarcoat it: I don't feel safe on my own campus.

I mostly keep my opinions to myself out of fear. When I end up getting one of my "twisted" and "uneducated" thoughts slip out, I cringe, waiting for the slap in the face.

Don't get me wrong; not everyone at my university is hostile to those who think differently than they do.

I've shared my opinions with some liberal students and professors before, and there was no bloodshed. Sure, we may not see eye to eye, but that's okay. That just means we can understand each other a little better.

Even though the handful of students and faculty I've talked to were able to swallow my opinions, I'm still overwhelmed by the thousands of other people on campus who may not be as kind and attentive. But you can't please everybody. That's just life.

Your school is supposed to be a safe environment where you can be yourself. Just because I think differently than the vast majority of my peers doesn't mean I deserve to be a target for ridicule. No one conservative does. Scratch that, NO ONE DOES.

I don't think I'll ever feel safe.

Not just on campus, but anywhere. This world is a cruel place. All I can do is stand firm in my beliefs and try to tolerate and listen to the clashing opinions of others. What else can I do?

All I can say is... listen. Be nice. Be respectful of other's opinions, even if you strongly disagree. Besides, we all do have one thing in common: the desire for a better country.

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Why I Love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not for political reasons

I don't want to talk about political beliefs necessarily when I talk about why I fucking love AOC.


My political affiliation couldn't be kept a secret even if I tried. In the words of my mother, I've been a liberal since I popped out of the womb. So to me, the dramatic change in representation in the House was a huge win for me at this time in history.

While I sit on one side of the aisle because that's where I hear the most conversations about my closest political beliefs happening, I don't want to talk about political beliefs necessarily when I talk about why I fucking love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The first I'd ever heard of this powerful voice from New York was in a video being shared around on Facebook that gave me a strong sense of hope that I haven't felt in a while. She explains the nuance behind "identity politics" and the importance of complete representation in Congress in terms of race, class, and policy. Here was a young woman in my generation (or just outside of it) running for Congress because she knew there was work to be done, not because she knew she would win, or because of some larger force paying her to win, or because she comes from a family of politicians. She ran because she was passionate and because she works to understand her district and represent them in ways that give her district a matched fight with revolving-door politicians who know how to play the game.

This woman, to me, represents accessibility into politics for Americans. When I first started listening to politicians and presidents talk on TV, I remember listening to Obama speak my freshman year of high school (maybe for a state of the union address?) and I asked my mom what a lot of words meant. I learned what poverty, immigration, economic policy, taxes, the middle-class, and more were. She had answers for some but not all of my questions, and then I asked why they felt the need to use such big, intimidating words? Weren't they supposed to represent the country, who to my understanding, probably didn't know what all of these words meant if my own mother didn't? (Moms know everything.)

I didn't want to be left behind in a country that made decisions based on Harvard graduate levels of thinking when most of us were in fact, not Harvard graduates. I was aware when Obama used words I had on a vocabulary test the week before, and I was aware that my honors class was strikingly different from my friends' general education English classes, and that our entire high school was years ahead of some less privileged schools 30-minutes away. But all of us, no matter how politically accessible our situations were or not, were to be represented by a man using these words.

AOC is progressive (in a non-political sense) for Americans because she uses rhetoric and tools to educate Americans instead of persuading or intimidating them to think that she just knows best. She's a politician, yes, so of course she uses persuasive techniques to get policy she believes in to pass so she can do her job as a legislator. But have you seen her Instagram stories or heard her speak in interviews?

Her style of leadership involves a refreshing level of transparency and group participation. I feel like I'm allowed to ask questions about what happens in Washington D.C., and about what another congressperson meant when they said ______. She answers questions like these online to her followers, some of which are her represented correspondents, and some of which are people outside of her district just desperate to expose themselves to any congressperson willing to talk to them on their level. Her flow inspires the average American to listen and checks the confident incumbent from underestimating just how much she knows.

Not all of us are fortunate enough to afford college. Not all of us are fortunate enough to come from a community where high schools prepared and primed us for college-level vocabulary filled conversations. Some of us have to accept politics as a realm with which we can never be involved, heard, or interactive. A.O.C. is what's changing this mentality. 43% of adults living in poverty function at low literacy rates. If they can't understand political rhetoric, how will they be able to democratically participate? Politicians spend so much time talking about poverty rates and how they want to move every family into a middle-class lifestyle, but they don't alter their political approach to invite the poverty-stricken or under-educated Americans into their conversations. AOC does this.

She spends time every night explaining whatever her followers have questions about in full detail. She actually uses up-to-date technology and social media to communicate with Americans, making older senators look lazy or technologically incompetent for not engaging with their community as often or as explicitly. Not to mention, every video I've ever seen produced by her or her team (including her Instagram stories) have closed-captions already edited in. She considers every American to be her audience before speaking, and the fact that what she's doing feels new and refreshing to me suggests just how badly we need her, and more people like her, in politics today.

This isn't even because of her understanding that literacy affects voting--in the original video I saw of her, she understands that the people she represents were flat-out not being addressed in politics. "People aren't voting because no one is speaking to them." Truly and meaningfully, directly and honestly.

She's America's teacher, a representative of why mentorship on all levels is important, and to me, what America would look like if our politicians were not only our representatives, but our educators, our mentors, and our teammates.

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