8 Things I Wish I Was Doing Before 20

8 Things I Wish I Knew Way Before I Was 20

It's never too late to start something new

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May 19th was my 20th birthday. Every year on my birthday, I always get asked the questions like "Do you feel any older?" or "Do you feel any different now that you're *insert age here*?" I normally respond with "No I don't. I feel the same," but this year I did feel a little different.

I realized that I have changed a lot throughout my years on earth, some of the changes I wish I had made sooner. There are things in my life that I wish I would have started much earlier in my life, that would have helped me way before I was 20.

Here are some examples of things I wish I knew more about or cared more about before I was 20:

1. Saving money

This is number one because it is definitely something I regret not doing when I was younger. I remember getting my paycheck in high school and immediately going off and spending it. I wish I could have learned the value of saving way before I was in college. I would never look at the bigger picture growing up, which is an important thing to keep in mind especially when it comes to money.

2. Caring about high school

In the beginning of high school, I was definitely not the best student. I cared about school, but I did not try my best at times. This didn't bother me until I went to apply for colleges and scholarships. I remember wishing I could go back and put in a little more effort at the beginning of high school. I'm not saying caring to the point of constant stress and anxiety, but more on the lines of studying a little longer for that test.

3. Not knowing is okay

The unknown is f****** terrifying in any context. This is coming from someone who loves planning and knowing when and where everything is taking place. I've learned over the years that stressing about the unknown is pointless. You have no control over whatever it is, good or bad. I've learned that accepting what you can and can't control is such an important part of life and growing up. If I had known this years before I turned 20, there would be moments in my life that I would have handled very differently.

4. Politics

This is a HUGE one for me! I grew up in a huge area where politics weren't a huge topic, and I now have mixed feelings about this situation. I am glad that I didn't grow up having a biased political opinion; however, I do wish that my parents were more active in political issues and elections.

My senior year of high school is where I really started to get into politics. My honors government teacher really opened my eyes and showed me just how important the government is especially as a young teenager. She made me realize that the decisions being made by the government today will directly affect me and my generation, and therefore I should be active and vote for politicians that support the same things I support.

I always encourage people to start becoming politically active. I also remind them that you cannot complain if you don't try.

5. Female Empowerment

Over the last five years of my life, female empowerment has been a huge part of who I am. I went to an all-girls high school, so it almost makes sense that women's rights and female empowerment matter to me this much.

This also ties in with politics, especially since in recent news, women's rights are not considered, let alone prioritized. We have come a long way, but things like the Alabama abortion law just proves that we still have a long way to go. As a woman, I think it is important to support other women and give them a voice. Female empowerment is a huge part of who I am, and I am happy and damn proud of it.

6. Makeup skills and techniques

On a less serious note, the way I used to do my makeup was atrocious. I did not know anything about makeup, so the pictures of me and Middle School are borderline terrifying. I would like to think that since that I've gotten a little bit better at applying makeup. It has even become an interest of mine! I love watching makeup videos on Instagram and YouTube. I could spend hours in Sephora or Ulta, and I think I'm finally getting better at matching my foundation to my skin!

7. Skin care

Growing up, I didn't have terrible skin, but I definitely had sensitive skin. I remember certain products would burn my face while others would make my face really red. Instead of trying to do anything about it, I kind of just let the problem go away on its own, which of course it didn't. After years of trying to figure out what was wrong with my skin, I finally have found products that work for me! The difference in my skin is amazing, and I'm really glad I took the time to figure out what was going on. Had I done this earlier, I would have saved myself a lot of money on concealer and probably would have been in less pain.

8. Putting myself first

This one is last because it's the most important, in my opinion. This is something that I'm still struggling with at the age of 20. Putting yourself first in any situation is so important in my opinion. There is something so incredible about helping another human being, but that doesn't mean you should personally suffer from it. There are times where the best thing for you might not be the best thing for someone else and that's okay.

Not to be cheesy, but you do only get one shot at life, and if you spend all that time trying to make everyone else happy, that's not fair to yourself. Making other people happy is awesome, but making yourself happy is equally as awesome, if not better. Again, I'm still struggling with this, but hopefully with each year, I'll grow and improve on it. After all, isn't that the whole point of getting older?

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Bonnaroo Is Unlike Any Other Music Festival

4 days of camping, 150 performers, 10 stages, and the most incredible experience you'll ever encounter in the middle of Tennessee.

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The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival takes place in an enormous 700-acre field -- nicknamed "The Farm" -- in Manchester, Tennessee. Festival-goers from all over the country fly, drive, or walk into the festival to experience 4 days of music, activities, and food. This past weekend was my first time going, and I can without a doubt say that it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. One of Bonnaroo's common sayings is "Radiate Positivity," and the 4 days spent there are factual evidence of the saying. At Bonnaroo, there is no stress, no worry, and not a care in the world. People of all kinds come together each year to celebrate life, love, and music without judgment. Each person's authenticity was something I noticed as soon as I stepped foot into the festival.

You can embrace your true self without apology. Each person is there to lift you up, too.

The atmosphere is much different than anything else I have experienced before. Even when my friends and I felt tired, or if the sun was just too hot to bear, we still did not mind being on our feet for hours on end. We enjoyed being exactly where we were, despite the minor inconveniences we may have faced -- like sitting in 5-hour traffic to get into the campground! I may sound crazy for saying this, but time truly did slow down while we were on The Farm.

My friends and I pulled up to the campground at 6 a.m. on Thursday morning as The Farm buzzed with people. We were too excited to go to sleep, so we spent the morning exploring the place instead. Day or night, everyone was alive with smiles that were contagious. We heard the words "Happy Roo!" from friends and strangers alike.

No matter where you came from, everyone was family at Bonnaroo.

One thing I noticed this past weekend was that everyone was there to help one another. If we needed help with setting up our tent, our neighbors who camped next to us were there to help in seconds. If someone tripped and fell, three people would be there to help the person up. If someone needed a few bucks for water, there was someone in line who was more than willing to cover the cost. I felt so at home there, as if I was a part of this community consisting of all types of people. I felt like I belonged there.

Alongside incredible people and a fulfilling community, there was stellar music as well (of course!). Headliners such as The Lumineers, Post Malone, and Kacey Musgraves rocked The Farm with new and old hits that hyped up the crowds.

Each performer reminded us that Bonnaroo is a safe place and does not discriminate against any person.

Hearing these words so often gave me so much hope for this world and the changes we can make. Bonnaroo is known as a Music and Arts Festival for a reason because it also promotes and sells eco-friendly living and handmade creations all throughout the festival. The activities that are available to attendees set the festival apart from other music festivals.

Bonnaroo connects us all through music, acceptance, and love. I can't wait to go back next summer!

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Summer Break Just Started And I Wish It Would Stop Already

Is it August yet?

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Going into my third year of college, you'd think that I'd be looking forward to my summer breaks, or any breaks that I can snag a chance at getting. But the sad reality is, summer breaks now consist of working and stressing about the next semester. I'm sure not everyone feels this way, whether you're in school or not.

But for me, summer breaks are just depressing.

Most of the time, my summers have to do with making plans with people that always fall through, or not having enough time in the week to execute such plans. Many people are busy working, at an internship, or out of the country for the summer.

If you're in your hometown (and if it's boring and dry like mine), it's not a place you look forward to coming back to every break. I also sit and worry about what internships I didn't get and how I'm not gaining any experience, so that makes for a stressful vacation.

I also find in the summer months that my skin is at its worst. She just doesn't cooperate with the treatment I'm giving her and I'm always sweating, so that doesn't help too much either. It's like no matter what I do, my skin continues to disrespect me.

It's unfortunate to find yourself in this position because I really used to enjoy my summers.

I loved being home, going on little trips, and sometimes, dare I say it, I liked working at my minimum-wage job at one point. Now, I feel like I'm in this constant drought of nothingness and staring outside my window every morning.

But I cannot blame this solely on my environment. I have to share some of the blame with myself. I could have planned my summer out, I could have found better people to hang out with, I could have applied to a thousand internships and maybe gotten at least one of them. But sometimes things don't go the way you want it to, and that is okay.

Maybe I'll do better next summer, who knows.

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