It occurred to me this week that this upcoming May, I will be turning 20 years old. I remember being 15 thinking that 20 was so far away, but now I'm only weeks away. I've been reflecting on what my life has taught me thus far, and I think these lessons are important for everybody.
1. Yes, it's okay to eliminate people from your life
Maybe don't directly cut people out for bothering you or getting into a fight, but if someone in your life gives off the wrong energy and you don't grow as a person with them in your life, it might be time to let them go. I used to be so afraid of letting go of people out of fear of making them upset, but it became clear that my happiness matters too.
2. Expecting more isn't selfish, it's healthy
It's not "high maintenance" to want what you want from your life.
3. You're going to change your mind about your wants and needs. A lot
Career choices? What do you want in a relationship? Do you even want a relationship right now? Health nut or couch potato? What's interesting and/or important to you will start changing pretty often, but that's okay. Even past 20 we can't expect to be sure of what we want.
4. You learn and grow more from ages 18 to 20 than from every year before it
I fell subject to the usual mindset of a high school senior of "now that we're 18, we are all officially adults and know enough about the world to move forward." Boy, is that wrong. I've learned more about myself, my interests, how I want to present and improve myself, and what I want from others in the last two years than I learned through all of high school, middle school, and elementary combined.
5. College is great, but ambition is more necessary
You can go to school and get great grades all you want, but if you don't have the drive to make things happen for yourself, you won't get to your goals. Some of the most successful people never even attended college, just worked extremely hard and didn't take no for an answer.
6. Every "fact of life" learned from TV (and social media) is a lie
No, calcium doesn't only come from milk. No, those celebrities aren't "at war." No, the country isn't horrifically divided. No, you don't need any diet fads or pills to be in shape. No, the people who post the most on Instagram aren't actually the happiest and most adventurous. Yes, there are a gillion more of these "no" statements.
7. Even if it embarrasses you, be entirely you
It's ALWAYS better to be yourself. Trying to impress people with characteristics you don't actually have will bite you in the butt eventually.