It's hard to believe that I am finally 20 years old, this birthday is definitely different than the past 19. I am no longer a teenager but also not necessarily feeling like a full adult just yet! I have learned many things these past 20 years and I have grown so much. I've been through high and some very low moments as well but overall I have learned so much about responsibility, independence, and life. So in honor of my 20th birthday, here are 20 things I have learned in 20 years:

1. To always put your family first.

No one is ever going to love you more than your mom or your siblings do. There have been times when I have chosen friends over my family, maybe too many times and now I realize I hardly talk to any of them. Not that I regret any of it but choosing your family will always be the best choice.

2. Don't let yourself go.

You should get ready, put makeup on, and get dressed often because the way you present yourself matters. I don't mean to say you shouldn't love yourself naturally for who you are, but put yourself together and you will feel and look better.

3. Take any and all opportunities to travel.

Whether it's somewhere in the state you live, in the U.S, or outside the country, do it! There is nothing like traveling somewhere new and experiencing new things; this will give you the best memories.

4. Save your money.

Save your money! Learn how to spend it and what is worth. Don't go broke trying to look rich. Life is all about choices!

5. Love yourself and the rest will follow.

6. Don’t waste your time on bad friendships.

Really though, you will out-grow people, people grow at different rates and it is unfortunate but it is just the way it is. Learn to let go of people. And also know that not everyone is rooting for you.

8. Change is good.

9. Be comfortable with being by yourself.

After entering college, I found myself dining-in at restaurants alone, going to the mall, driving, going to the gym, and doing almost everything by myself and I found that I am the best company I've ever had.

10. Go to school or get a job but don’t just sit home and not get anywhere.

Make goals for yourself! I know too many people that aren't doing anything with their lives and trust me sometimes that is exactly what I wish I was doing too when my alarm rings at 4:45 AM for work or at 5:45 AM for school, but I know that that's getting me somewhere. Although I don't know what the fuck I'm doing 90% of the time, I get up and go about it to find motivation somewhere and start somewhere, it is NEVER too late.

11. Take LOTS of pictures.

There's a quote that says, "You will only regret the pictures you didn't take," and its true! Take pictures of yourself with your family and friends. Time flies and people change the way they look year by year, trends change and pictures are the best looking way of back at all your memories.

12. Don’t take things too seriously.

Relax, you will figure out what you want to do with your life eventually, you will find someone who loves you, you have a whole lifetime.

13. Tell people how you feel.

If you like someone, tell them. Tell your mom how much you love her, let someone know that their opinion matters to you, express your love to the people around you, tell the nail lady that you don't like how your thumbnail came out.

14. You will go through many phases.

MANY. In the 20 years of my life, I have gone through so many phases where I was just wild n' out, hanging out with random people, being at different places, trying different things, went through about 5 best friends, dated the wrong people and the list goes on, but I eventually found myself, or who knows this might just be another phase.

15. Someone always has it worse than you, so be happy.

Your situation matters, for sure. But unless it might actually kill you, be glad that it's not going to.

16. Learn to be independent.

Your parents won't always be around so it's important to know how to do things. I didn't start doing my own laundry until after I graduated high school, but now I do, which began to teach me something about responsibility. I now have a job that allows me to pay my bills and live without having to depend on anyone, it's a great feeling.

17. Your mistakes make you.

And I have made PLENTY! But I am thankful for every single one because I learned so much.

"It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default." - J.K Rowling

18. You don’t always have to have it together.

Cry every time you feel like it, you are only human. It's easy to get discouraged, but everything eventually gets better.

19. No matter how hard your heart is broken, the world does not stop for your grief.

Learn to forgive people and yourself as well. Live and learn, life goes on, and time can heal almost anything.

20. Complaining about something is not going to change the situation.

So shut up and do something about it.