19 Hard Realities To Accept Before You Turn 20
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19 Hard Realities To Accept Before You Turn 20

"You won't remember everything, so make shit memorable," and other deep stuff you should know.

19 Hard Realities To Accept Before You Turn 20

Right now, I still totally say that I'm a teenager. While I'm 19 years old, something is nice about being halfway to 38 and not 40. 20 sounds old and so does 40, so it's a little scary. Through my almost 20 years, I've learned a lot of things that some people don't learn until way later in life. So here I am, sharing my wisdom with you, my readers. Hopefully, I can teach you without you having to actually experience some of the bad stuff.

1. You won't remember everything, so, make shit memorable.

I don't remember little things anymore, but I do remember feelings. I remember taking an impromptu road trip with my sister and trying to use a compass to get home. We found a hidden lake and some pretty neat stores. I remember sitting on a roof watching the sunset go down (cheesy, I know) with my best friends, but I don't remember other things from that weekend or day or month. MAKE YOUR YEARS COUNT.

2. Some people are meant to be there and meant to stay.

I've gone through loads and loads of "favorite" people. I've had tons of friends and none at all. Learn to figure out what vibes you're drawn to and seek out those vibes. Don't waste time trying to force something that isn't meant to be.

3. A family doesn't HAVE to mean blood.

I've had ups and downs with my close and extended family, but I've learned that blood doesn't make a family. The people that stick by you while loving and encouraging you are family.

4. Take pictures, but don't forget to see life through your own eyes as well.

I just watched one of my best friend's first sorority little open her basket of presents. It was day one of Big & Little week. I recorded for her but also watched with my own eyes. You don't always get the whole picture of a picture, so look around the camera to see everything around you. Things are always a lot more than they seem.

5. Drama is inevitable.

We call it drama, but really it's conflict and conflict is everywhere. You won't get along with every single co-worker, or boss, or friend, or family member. Learn how to solve conflicts as young as you can, because it's SO important.

6. If you don't love what you're doing, STOP.

If you love something, fuck what anybody else says. Don't EVER waste time on something you hate. My dad always told me to try something 7 times and THEN I can say for a fact if I love it or hate it. With food, fine, but don't go through 7 years of school for something you don't love. Be passionate, you will thank yourself.

7. Call your grandparents.

I remember the last call that I had with my grandpa, but, unfortunately, I didn't know it was the last one. So call on Hallmark holidays. Call once a week. Reach out and foster that relationship because one day it won't be there.

8. Put it all out there.

Don't make yourself small for someone else. If someone or something is healthy, it won't put you in a box and make you hold back. Tell people things that you think are funny. Share your favorite show or movie, even if you think it's a little out of the norm. BE YOURSELF.

9. Don't make final decisions based on temporary feelings.

In the mental health community, people say this a lot. Don't harm your physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, or reputation just because you're in a bad place. What must go up, must come down. But it will all pass.

10. Don't get comfortable.

Routine is literally bad for the soul. Getting up every day and eating the same flavor of oatmeal for 30 years sounds depressing (because it is). Something as small as trying yoga one morning or reaching out to a stranger in your class can not only make your life more memorable but also put a little spice up in your nice comfy box.

11. Do something to make yourself feel good, and don't tell anybody.

Volunteer at an animal shelter. Join a local campaign. Find organizations that do good things and donate your time, money, and energy to them. Do this privately, because then your spirit will be happy knowing that you are content with yourself by yourself.

12. Don't rely on things or people for your happiness.

I continue to be extremely guilty of this, but being conscious helps. Putting the responsibility of your happiness on other things and people really dampens every mood. If your relationship with the person is bad, then your whole life seems bad. If your sacred thing disappears, you consider your life chaos. It's your responsibility to find your own happiness in every day.

13. Know your triggers.

If a certain someone forces you to drink, stay away. If certain places make you fall into a depressive episode, stay away. If you can learn to disarm your triggers then you can disarm the bad feelings and take care of yourself better.


There will always be someone better in your mind. You'll always think you're less than someone else, but NEWSFLASH YOU ARE FREAKING AMAZING. Guess what? There is NOBODY in the entire universe that is exactly just like you? That's pretty cool. Embrace your you-ness and stop comparing yourself to other people who are trying to embrace themselves just like you are.

16. Little things DO add up.

Cheat meals every 3 days add up. Spending $50 every other day adds up. Buying bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic adds up, too. Small things matter more than you think and whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you.

17. Be here for a good time AND a long time.

Don't do stupid shit TOO often, but don't live a boring life either. You're only here for a certain amount of time so have fun, make a change, and be memorable.

18. Bad shit happens, so keep moving.

Just because you have a bad day or month or year doesn't mean you have a bad life. Bad shit happens to everyone, and even though it's hard, it's worth it to cope and keep moving forward.

19. Nothing is more important than you.

Putting people first is important, but at the end of the day the only one who's there is you. Your mental health, well being, and happiness is SO SO SO important so don't forget to put yourself first too.

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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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