A lot has changed for me over the past two years. I left the place I spent 18 years of my life in, saying goodbye to every familiar face I knew and entering a new chapter in life. Due to this giant change, the person I was at 18 is different than the person I am now at age 20. Leaving home and going to college can be one of the most exciting (and scariest) times of your life, but all of the struggles and strife have made me grow in ways I could have never foreseen. For all of the twenty-somethings out there, we are entering the decade of our lives where we will finally transition into being full-fledged adults. This is the decade where we will live on our own finally off of our parents' dime, choose our career path, possibly meet our life partner, and solidify who we will be in life. At age 30, I'm sure I will look back on my twenty-something-year-old self and scoff at the wisdom I thought I had, but in the meantime here are 10 valuable life lessons/skills that I have learned to acquire and that I believe every young adult should learn as they enter their 20's.
1. How to say no to FOMO
Learning to say no to a night out and spend some quality time alone with yourself is something that I have found to be extremely rewarding. It's important to realize how insignificant missing one night out actually is. Whether you choose to stay at home or you end up joining your friends, you won't be impacting anyone but yourself. Yes, maybe that night could end up being the best night of your life, but chances are, it will end up being an average night just like all the rest.
2. Realize some people just won't like you
You can't please everyone so put yourself first sometimes. It's not worth it to put your own happiness at stake for others because no matter what you do, someone will be critical of you.
3. Parents are people too
As we grow up, our relationship with our parents changes. Suddenly, they become more to you than just their role of "mom" or "dad"; you realize that they are real people with childhoods, love lives, college experiences, and friendships. As you enter your adult life, you begin to understand your parents and respect them on a whole new level, and your relationship with them shifts from parent-child to more of a friendship.
4. Value everyoneContrary to what we were taught in middle school and high school, there isn't a hierarchy to who deserves your time. Everyone deserves to be treated well; thinking you're better than others is arrogant and foolish. Don't disregard people because they are different than you; you never know the value they could bring to your life.
5. How to be (moderately) health-conscious
As little kids we shoveled McDonald's and bags of chips down our throats without a care in the world, but as we get older, it's key to realize that we have to take care of our bodies. A healthy lifestyle is important, not just for reasons of appearance, but for feeling good on the inside as well. While I believe splurging and enjoying food that may not be the best for you is essential to a well-rounded life, an overall awareness of what goes into our bodies is something that every 20-something must learn.
6. Realize no one is THAT concerned with you
Sounds harsh, but this should actually relieve some stress. What I mean is, everyone is too busy thinking about themselves to be thinking about you. So next time you feel self-conscious about something you did or you're worried about what you're wearing, just know that no one else is noticing because they're all too worried thinking the same thoughts about themselves!
7. How to stick up for yourself
Knowing that it's okay to stand up for yourself when you're not being treated right is something that we all must learn, whether it be against an unfair teacher or a passive-aggressive "friend" in our lives. Knowing your self-worth and being able to draw the line is a skill that is essential if you want to be treated the way you deserve.
8. How to be happy for other people
At some point we must all learn how to be genuinely happy (not jealous) when others succeed. It's an unfortunate flaw of humanity, but we all tend to be selfish and more focused on what someone else's good news means for ourselves than what it means for them. To be genuinely happy and excited for a friend when they achieve something or receive good news is a skill that takes honing, but it is a true sign of contentment with oneself.
9. How to stop feeling left out
In this day-in-age, it's hard not to feel left out. At any given moment, you're able to peak into the lives of hundreds of friends through snapchat stories or Instagram. Of course it's hard not to feel bad for yourself when other people's extremely exciting social lives are being constantly shoved in your face, but at some point we have to learn to stop worrying about what others are doing. Sure you may be the one sitting at home now, but the next time you post a snapchat story, someone else will be sitting at home watching it feeling the exact same way you did. Sidenote: people always seem like they're having a lot more fun than they actually are.
10. Don't waste your time with people who don't make you happy
Sometimes you're forced to be with people who bother you due to work or school, and in those cases it's always best to keep things civil. But if you're surrounding yourself with people who don't make you happy by choice, that's where you're making the mistake. Stop wasting your time with people who don't build you up and encourage you; they don't deserve your time.