20 Things I Learned Before Turning 20

20 Things I Learned Before Turning 20

… You Learn A Lot By 20 ...
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While January 1st, to many, is simply New Year's Day - a fresh start - to me, January 1st also marks my birthday.

This Year - 2018 - I turned 20, and while that may not seem like much, I definitely learned quite the amount of information.

Here are 20 Things I Learned Before Turning 20.

20. Be Patient:

Remember, a wise man once said, “Good things come to those who wait..”

19. It Is Okay To Fail:


John Powell said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing..”

18. High School Is Just A Phase:

Much like everything, it doesn’t last forever. However, there are some good aspects, therefore cherish those memories … Forever.

17. Adventure More:

… Even if it is simply a midnight trip to Target or Walmart.

16. Listen To Music .. Lots Of Music:

‘Nuff said.

15. Its Okay To Say No:

Don’t let peer pressure get to you.

14. Live In The Moment:

Stop worrying about the FUTURE and forget the PAST. The time is NOW.

13. Work Hard:

As Colin Powell once said, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work..”

12. Time Flies:

… Especially when you are having fun.

11. People Change:

It is simply one part of this thing called life.

10. Ask Questions:

You’ll be surprised just how much you learn from those around you!

9. Face Your Fears:

… Even if it is simply something as big (or small) as heights.

8. Be Wise With Your Money:

… But, at the same time, splurge on yourself. Treat yo’ self, girl.

7. Ask More Questions:

… Seriously, do not be afraid to seek answers … even for the questions that may be silly.

6. Stop Saying Sorry & Do You:


… Especially for the small, petty stuff. You do you, booboo.

5. Be Kind:

Always.

4. Smile More:

As Roman Atwood always says at the end of his vlogs, “Smile More..”

3. Use A Planner:

Seriously.. It’ll make your life so, so much more organized!

2. Take Pictures & Create Memories:

… Especially good for the days when you need a little bit of a pick-me-up.

1. Do More Of What Makes YOU Happy:

… Remember, it’s YOUR life.

… And you’ve still got so, so much to learn!

"Everything is a learning process.. Anytime you fall over, it is just teaching you to stand up next time..." - Joel Edgerton


Cover Image Credit: thesouloftheplot.wordpress.com

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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Lost And Found

Sometimes other people help you get back home.

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I read the other day, in some book I was skimming through, that just because you are sharing yourself with another person, it doesn't mean you should lose your individuality. That has been resonating with me.

A couple weeks ago, I was feeling lost. I talked about that experience in an article of mine. I felt as if I didn't have a direction or a care in the world. It didn't make much sense to me as to why I was feeling so numb and restless, as I've always had a sense of direction as to where I was going.

My long-term goals were everything to me. Being grounded and determined was something I owned, something I was sure of. Although the goal might've been big and blurry, I knew the path I needed to take to make my dreams a reality.

Or, I thought I knew.

I've always had a history of fearing the future until recently. I was so focused on thinking rather than actually doing. I always thought of myself as focused, sometimes too restrictive.

However, I have always looked for answers in other people. Whenever I was asked for my opinion, I couldn't properly formulate my own. I guess I thought that if I were to express my beliefs, others would look down on me.

Whenever I would state what I would think, I immediately would get bashed or I would just agree with an opposing statement just so that I didn't have to argue further. When it comes down to having a voice, that is where I lack.

I've always had this dream of becoming a director, giving guidance to others. But recently, I kept going through self-doubt. How am I going to direct others if I can't even speak up? I've always been a part of the background, never in the spotlight, and I think I've gotten so comfortable with it that I've lost sight of stepping into a leadership position.

The guy that I'm seeing, and someone that I've mentioned in a previous article, brought this concept to the surface, and I'm now realizing these things that I've buried and didn't want to face. But because I've been self-reflecting so much, I can't help but find that I still have so much to learn about myself.

I thought I had myself figured out, but it took someone else to tell me that there's so much more to me than what they see. We were talking about being on a film set and that they've noticed I let others handle the spotlight while I sit back and watch, afraid to speak up. That really opened up my eyes that I do those things out of fear.

I've realized that even though I may say that I am independent, I tend to attach myself to others incidentally. By that, I mean I search for guidance from others instead of creating my own path, instead of coming up with my own answers.

I think that's why I've avoided getting to know someone for a while because I knew deep down inside that I had some work to do on myself. I needed all of my focus to be on my self-growth, not on someone else. I knew, from my past experiences with relationships, that my energy becomes directed at them. I let myself get lost in them, get comforted by them.

My dreams get hazier and altered whenever I'm involved with someone else, and I did not want that to happen. I never wanted to give someone that power of controlling me. I want to remain in control of myself at all times.

I never understood why some couples would say things like "they're my other half" when referring to their significant other. To me, each person in a relationship is a whole. A whole person with layers, depth, a story. People don't complete each other; they just help them figure themselves out. I knew that I needed to put this into practice.

The conversation that I had with that special someone not that long ago stood on my mind. I basically told him that he filled a couple empty holes in me that I didn't know existed. Wisely, he said, "I helped YOU to fill them." As corny as it sounds, it left me thinking.

I never would've thought that someone else could give me a push to work on myself, to maintain my individuality without losing myself in this amazing experience of sharing myself with someone else. He inspires me to want to experience life to its very essence, emotionally vulnerable and all, while not questioning things too much.

I think that's the thing a lot of people struggle with. Whenever there is something that they can't control, they go crazy trying to figure out ways to steer the ship instead of just letting the Universe take you along for the ride.

That is why I was lost a couple weeks ago. I felt myself creating my home in someone else when all this time, I thought I was fine living at home within myself. I was becoming fearful of losing my sense of self that I built up all these years.

I'm restructuring the track that I was derailed from. I'm still learning, but this time, it's healthier. My voice is much more alive. Breathing and all. He is giving me that space, and I couldn't be happier.

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