20 Things You Should Learn On Your Own By The Time You Turn 20
Start writing a post
Life Stages

20 Things You Should Learn On Your Own By The Time You Turn 20

If you feel like you're getting overwhelmed, make sure you are taking the time to yourself. Do NOT neglect your own mental health.

20 Things You Should Learn On Your Own By The Time You Turn 20

I recently turned 20 years old. A pivotal moment in my life where I transitioned from a teenager to a (non-promiscuous) adult. Throughout my two decades of existing, I can definitely list the many life lessons I've learned thus far. Here are 20 things I learn being 20.

1. Take care of yourself

I've learned that self-sufficiency is the most valuable trait to have. Relying on someone else for your happiness and sanity is a stab to your mental health. Don't make someone else your lifeline, be your own.

2. Have a big heart

I've been very naive. I've gotten into situations that could have been avoided if only I thought before I acted. Opening my mind to different perspectives made me realize that irrelevant conflict can always be avoided if you're more understanding. But having a big heart doesn't mean that you devalue yourself for others. Make sure that your open-mindedness doesn't get taken advantage of.

3. Move on

Little things used to always get to me. I'm sure I'm not the only one harboring the smallest things and dwelling on them every now and then. But I had to face the reality that shit gets tough and these insignificant worries are useless. Moving on especially became a moral for me when I transitioned from a high school student to a college student. Reality definitely hits you in the face with a weight heavier than my student loans. Move on from the minute issues, and think big.

4. Value the good times and the bad

My attention was always on the "downs" in life. Focusing on the events that negatively impacted my life longer than the positive times made me have constant negativity. But I came to the realization that these "bad times" are only temporary. In the end, growing out of a low in your life only means that things can get better. Learn from your lows and grow towards your highs

5. Be honest

Don't lie to yourself about being ok or being fine. Living life in dishonesty will lead to you deal with obstacles. If you aren't honest with yourself about your own well being you can't expect anyone else to be there for you. Make sure you're being open with yourself first because that's the most important person you need to be honest with.

6. Define your own happiness

For a majority of my life, happiness was constructed based on the image of someone else. I've never truly defined my own until the last few years where I started to value my own achievements. Although this is still in the works of being implemented I can assure you that progress is being made. Appreciate your own work where you deserve it don't let someone else define that happiness.

7. Work smart, not hard

It's cliche to say and hard to express without it just being something you see on a Tjmaxx decoration piece. However, from personal experience, I can let you know that working "hard" does not work. I used to value lengthy study hours over the quality of work done within that time. The aftermath of those study hours would sadly not be portrayed with the grades. In conclusion, long hours of studying could have been condensed if only I utilized my time properly. Working smart is the key to success.

8. Learn to give yourself a break

If you feel like you're getting overwhelmed, make sure you are taking the time to yourself. Do NOT neglect your own mental health. But simultaneously do not neglect everything else in your life. Find a balance and at that point of equilibrium, you will thrive.

9. Success is not defined by numbers

This is difficult. When your whole life you were taught that numbers defined you. Grades, GPA, age, wage, etc. It's hard to stray away from that mentality since your future literally depends on it. But what I will say is that don't wire your brain to think it's all about the numbers all the time. If you're continuously thinking about the numbers you won't focus on how to improve since you just want to get a better score. Instead, use failure as a way to change the way you work or think.

10. Do not take your family for granted

I recently visited Bangladesh after nine years and realized that I have definitely let the distance between us coincide with their significance. Since they live so far it's hard to stay in touch constantly. However, the ambiance as soon as I entered my family's home was as if I never left. I had the most wholesome trip I've ever experienced and it wouldn't be complete without all of my family being together. Don't devalue your family even the ones living under your roof because at the end of the day they will always be your supporters

11. Surround yourself with quality friends

I am very blessed to be surrounded by the most amazing people every day. From my years in elementary school up until now, I've had the same group of best friends that I am grateful for. And now that I'm in college I have made genuine friends that I am happy I have around me. The energy around you reflects the person you are. And with quality friends, this energy will illuminate your life.

12. Encourage yourself to be the best you for you

Everyone has things they want to change about themselves. And for me, it was always something I wanted to change because of how someone else perceived me. I never wanted to change myself because it was something I wanted to do. Knowing your own flaws and how to fix them is essential to be the person you want to be.

13. Find a passion or a hobby

At this point in my life studying and school work are the only things keeping me occupied. My down time consisted of laying in bed contemplating my major, sleeping, and eating. In the end, I fell into a cycle of nothing besides school. This year I've tried to utilize my downtime by studying with friends, going out, painting, and writing more. This allowed me to build a schedule around studying, leaving little time to wallow in my self-loathe.

14. Be spontaneous

To anyone who knows my strong passion for trip planning, this point may make me sound like a hypocrite. But you have to hear me out. As much as I love trip planning and itinerary making being spontaneous is just as fun. I've learned that "going with the flow" and all of that nonsense can actually be very fun. Don't limit yourself to things you plan, be adventurous. Spontaneity has its own fun that can't compare with a strict itinerary.

15. Support your family and friends

Your own mental health is important, but that doesn't mean you can neglect the people around you. You can't expect anyone to check up on you if you cannot reciprocate. Be the person you would want to be there for you.

16. Be open to other peoples advice

I have the stubborn tendency of not taking in what I'm dishing out. I've definitely tried to change recently and it's much better than holding things into myself. Sometimes it's better to be the listener than the "advice-giver" because having an open mind is important. Stop and listen for once, it could be helpful when you least expect it.

17. Make mistakes

Shooting myself when I'm already down from a mistake only makes me see the downside of a situation. Instead, I could use that time to strengthen my skills and learn from my mistakes. I have the bad habit of not looking at the bright side because I have the most pessimistic mind. But over time I've definitely tried to decrease the amount of negativity I have and learn from the mistakes I make.

18. Stop caring so much

As much as I care for others and enjoy checking up on people, I realized not everyone is like that. Of course being who I am I will never stop checking up on people and having small talk even if they don't want to. Because I value those small conversations regardless. I've taken offense to the people who don't reply or fail to keep in touch even though they swear we're "close." But in the end, it was hurting me and making me think I was at fault. When in reality the other person just didn't care. This is where I began focusing on my own life and checking up on myself too. Stop caring so much it's not worth your time

19. Enjoy the journey

Don't dwell on life, make sure you are having fun. Don't take your life so seriously to the point where you aren't enjoying your time. You won't get these days back, so make use of the time you have. If you're spending most of your days sad and regretting certain things you won't be able to enjoy these valuable days in your life. Being sad and stressed every day gets boring. Trust me, I know.

20. Practice what you preach

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.


Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Odyssey Template: 25 Questions For My State's Elected Officials

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We fought for these ideals, we shouldn't settle for less."


Whether you're interested in how democracy works, how stop signs get installed, or anything in between, this is your opportunity to ask questions. This is your opportunity to show current and future members of your community what, in your opinion, is most important as your town, city, and state are trying to put the best, most effective practices forward.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.


The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.


For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Who is ready to fa-la-lall in love with holiday-themed sex toys that will make you jingle all the way? If you're biting your lip and your legs are quivering with excitement, hold on to Santa's sleigh reins because there are so many ways to celebrate the season.

Festive sex toys are here to bring you some holiday cheer. From candy cane flavored everything to bright red bows, there is fun for everyone. Feel free to treat yourself or add these 15 festive sex toys to your wish list.

Keep Reading... Show less

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.


When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Reasons 'Hubie Halloween' Is A Must-Watch Halloween Film For October Movie Nights

Just knowing it's an Adam Sandler movie, you can assume it's funny but very ridiculous.


"Hubie Halloween" was just released on October 7. It follows Hubie Dubois in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween. He patrols the town to make sure people are safe. He's the kindest and caring person in the town and also the most bullied.

This poor man is scared of everything. He screams when he sees scary decorations and when people prank him. Definitely a laugh, but when I watched it, I felt bad for him. The one person that pulled at my heartstrings is Violet Valentine, a woman he had a crush on since high school. She's super nice to him and stands up for him when she can. It was great seeing someone, other than his grandma, on Hubie's side.

Keep Reading... Show less

While this is my first ever presidential election, I have voted before in others, including at least one other "off" year election. I can honestly say that one of the things that made voting for the first time interesting was that I personally don't really identify myself with either party completely.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

7 Ways You Can Volunteer Virtually In The Middle Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

Use that anxious energy from dreading the rest of 2020, and put it towards volunteering


Life has shifted from face-to-face to face-to-screen-to-face this past year. There's no need, though, to wait out the pandemic to make a difference from home. Rather than spending the unexpected free time the rest of this year dreading each day, use that same energy towards volunteering from the comfort of your bed or couch or patio.

Here are seven ways you can volunteer safely and virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Hilarious Netflix Specials To Binge If You Need A Laugh In 2020

Netflix specials are single-handedly keeping my spirits high.


I cannot tell you the number of times that I have re-watched these comedy specials over the course of the last seven months.

What I can tell you is how absolutely great these comedians are. They bring me joy when I am sad, bored, or wanting to tune into something while I work on school or my virtual job.

Keep Reading... Show less

"Emily in Paris" is one of the newest Netflix original series and it began streaming on the platform on October 2.

I knew this was going right to the top of my watch list because I have a serious girl crush on Lily Collins, it's from the creator of "Sex and the City", and the plot feeds directly into my "Mamma Mia" fantasy of just hopping on a plane and killing it in a whole new country. Not going to lie, the series has its slightly cringe-y moments, but that honestly makes me love it even more.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Songs We All Need To Add To Our Fall Roadtrip Playlist

This songs are guaranteed to make you feel like the main character this fall.

Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

One of the best feelings is driving with the windows down. Listening to the right song makes that experience even better. If you want to feel like the main character in your own teen movie, listen to these feel-good classic songs right away.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments