Being a 20-year-old can be described in one word: confusion. I've learned a lot since graduating from high school, but I definitely didn't learn everything.
1. How to keep your gas/electric bills down
I had been living in an apartment for four months before I turned 20. It took me about that long to understand that no, I cannot keep the lights on, and no, keeping the apartment cold until I'm cold and then jacking up the heat does not save me any money.
2. How to cook vegetables to make them...edible
I'm finally starting to understand the concepts of roasting and seasoning. I can cook carbs and proteins just fine, but vegetables had been a mystery to me until recently (thanks Pinterest!).
3. How to grocery shop without spending $50 each trip
SHOP. SALES. ONLY.
4. How to keep myself from gaining 10 pounds of pasta weight
True story: from August to December of 2018, I really did gain a ton of weight because I thought it was okay to eat noodles every night. It isn't. Now I have to learn to cook real food...how tragic.
5. How to establish and maintain a good gym routine
I always thought that any sort of exercise was good exercise, but that's not true. One trip to the gym a month does next to nothing. I finally realized that you need to keep going if you want to see any results. That seems obvious, but a lazy girl's mind will convince her to believe anything.
6. How to care less about other people's opinions
This one is still a work in progress, but the longer I spend in college existing mostly by myself, the less I care about the opinions of my peers. Social media is slowly losing its appeal to me, and yes, I will show up to class looking like I just rolled out of bed, because I did. No cares given.
7. How to practice my hobbies without feeling bad about how bad I am at them
I really enjoy painting and drawing, but I've always felt discouraged when I have this vision of a painting in my mind that doesn't quite turn out. I'm starting to get over this, because how am I going to get better if I never try?
8. How to drink enough water every day
This is a REALLY new revelation -- like, a week old from the time this is written. A good cup with a (reusable!) straw makes drinking water so much easier. And Crystal Light. That helps too.
9. How to distance myself from people who are bad for me
I have zero tolerance for people who don't add anything to my life. I've always felt mean or rude about cutting people out, but honestly, surrounding yourself with only the best people will ultimately make you feel like the best person. I wish I had learned this so much sooner.
10. How NOT to binge watch a season of my favorite show in one sitting
....I still have my moments of weakness, but I'm getting better. I can now watch "American Horror Story" one episode at a time, for the most part.
11. Expensive makeup is not always better than cheap makeup
There are definitely some products I can't buy from a drugstore, but there are a ton of great quality products that cost just a few dollars. I spent so much money on expensive highlighters and mascaras and concealers when there's drugstore makeup that works just as well, if not better.
12. How to budget responsibly
This was a hard-learned lesson. I went absolutely broke buying Christmas presents for all of my loved ones, and it made me realize that I really need to have a separate savings account for short-term things set up. That's how you'll catch me budgeting in 2019.
13. How to save money
I've always been the type to put half a paycheck away and leave myself no money after my bills were paid. This always ends inefficiently -- I have to steal money from my savings to afford to live. I've learned now that saving a smaller amount, like $50 a paycheck, is a much more efficient way to save when you're only working part-time.
14. How to show my people I love them without buying them ridiculously expensive gifts for every occasion
Quality time + experiences > expensive gifts. Christmas cleaning out my bank account definitely forced me to learn this.