20 Things I Have Learned In 20 Years

20 Things I Have Learned In 20 Years

When I was 7, I learned about sex.

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"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow." - Anthony J. D'Angelo

1. Age 1: I learned to trust

Being a baby is probably so scary, not that I remember much, but your whole life is in the hands of your caregivers. They decide everything for you. Learning to trust them was a huge reason for my survival.

2. Age 2: I learned to walk

We're still at that basic age where the huge milestones are simple things we take for granted as we grow older, but hey, walking is a monumental stage in anyone's life.

3. Age 3: I learned to explore

Erik Erikson, a famous developmental Psychologist, had these stages of development in which he described these "crises" we must overcome to move on to the next stage in our lives. The stage for ages 3-5 is "initiative versus guilt," in which children learn to explore the world. I remember exploring my classroom, exploring new friendships, and just venturing out into my new academic and social life.

4. Age 4: I learned to speak my mind

I was able to talk! Or, talk better, that being. Ironically, I still barely opened my mouth. Now I don't shut up!

5. Age 5: I learned to jump rope

...and play hop scotch, and make friends. 5-year-old me piqued in my social life.

6. Age 6: I learned what conservation of mass is!

Honestly, I don't remember much about 6 years old. But one of my favorite things I learned around this age is the conservation of mass theory by Piaget. If you're interested, click the link ...it's very fascinating.

7. Age 7: I learned about sex

Lol the term we used back in the day was "cooties." Kids these days know SO. MUCH. about this stuff it scares me.

8. Age 8: I learned how much I truly hate mathematics

That was the age in which math became a legit subject in school for me. That was also the age in which letters were introduced and had never felt that hatred in my life prior to math.

9. Age 9: I learned how much I love basketball

Unfortunately, I don't get to play as much. However, I was rather young when I discovered that dribbling a ball and shooting it in a basket was enjoyable. That led me to join the basketball team, and honestly have a great time while doing so.

10. Age 10: I learned the importance of hygiene

YIKES...glad that stage of my life is over...it stunk (pun intended).

11. Age 11: I learned what it was like to get bullied

It was a hard time in my life, but it led to certain decisions and certain relationships I've made that have made me the person I am today.

12. Age 12: I learned to express my feelings

This was a confusing time for me. I was feeling very emotional and wasn't exactly sure why. Luckily, around this age (and the next four years) I learned to label the reason why.

13. Age 13: I learned about womanhood

Enough said - period.

14. Age 14: I learned which hobbies I enjoy

I like to think art has given me a sense of sanity. Six years later, I'm still not too great, but I love it and nothing can stop me from feeling so

15. Age 15: I learned how to harness patience

I still haven't mastered this, but I think it is very important to be patient as a person, and I think 15 is when I began to have that mindset.

16. Age 16: I learned about therapy

Which helped me learn what I wanted to be when I grow up!

17. I learned about empathy

I remember this point in my life was when I finally wasn't surrounded by people who, quite frankly, I really didn't like (sorry if you're reading this!). After years of hating either my self or those people, I was able to put myself in their shoes and realize that life can be tough and sometimes lashing out on other's (though not the right way) is the way of coping.

18. Age 18: I learned to say no

No to peer pressure, no to things I didn't feel comfortable doing, no to...whatever I wanted.

19. Age 19: I learned to be proactive in my academic/ career goals

Applying to internships, visiting the career counseling center at my school to fix up my resume, and making connections with possible employers were all things I have accomplished when I was 19. It may seem simple, but for me, it's kind of intimidating.

20. Age 20: I'm learning to accept myself

I've been 20 for...4 days at this point. I haven't learned a whole lot yet, but this is the time in my life in which I need to accept the fact that I am me for a reason. I need to better my physical, mental, and emotional health. I need to learn how to love myself and all my quirks, and most importantly, I need to learn how to relax. Hopefully age 20 is the time when that happens.

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A Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

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The College Experience

A series telling the true experiences of modern day college students.

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Everyone tells you to prepare for the best years of your life.

They tell you to prepare for all of the new challenges and new opportunities.

They say that you will meet your future people in college.

What they don't tell you is how much it will hurt.

Seeing old friends disappear because you are no longer home.

Watching your grades fall because the class is too difficult to pass.

Hearing and witnessing your family struggle and you aren't able to be with them.

Seeing all of the adventures that others are going on while you are stuck in your dorm room with the same stack of papers you have been trying to finish for three days now.

They don't tell you how difficult the transition will be.

They especially don't tell you how hard it is to live with someone.

The best of friends can live together and then grow to hate each other.

Complete strangers will move in and never speak.

You'll find friends that are simply just your "writing friend" or "band friend".

Many of the labels from high school can sometimes stick around.

If you're not out drinking or clubbing, then people think you don't have a life.

College is great, but don't think that it will be easy.

You have to make things easy in order for things to happen.

You can't just go around doing whatever and expect things to work out.

It takes time and it takes commitment to succeed in life, and in college.

The best way to deal with it all, find someone!

Find someone that you can get coffee with and watch sports with.

Find someone to eat dinner and lunch with.

Find someone to study religion and math before the next test.

Find someone!

Find your someone, a friend or someone special, to help you make it through everything that life throws at you.

If I had that someone I might have been better off my first year.

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