Why Turning 20 is Terrifying

Why Turning 20 is Terrifying

All of the scary big things that happen when you hit the big 2-0

Turning 19: boring and awkward. Turning 20: a whole different game

I sat anxiously on the couch with my mom discussing the various things I had to do before I began my sophomore year. Midway through the absurdly long and stressful list my mom casually commented, “Soph, can you believe you are turning twenty soon?!” 

I paused. No way was that an accurate statement. I’m five feet tall and still watch the Disney channel. I am simply not “old” enough to be turning 20. Yet just a few days from today will mark the 20-year anniversary of my exit from the womb. 

My mind raced as I contemplated why the idea of leaving my teens behind was making me so nervous. If I follow in my mom’s footsteps - which I have generally done so far - my 20s will mean graduating college and graduate school, getting married and having my first child. I am currently very single and have only taken intro classes (Holler at Psych 111). At this point in my life, all of these major life events feel like light years away.

While freaking out about my lack of prospective husbands, I started to think about all the other scary things your 20s bring. Not only do your 20 encompass major life events, additionally society expects 20-somethings, to be, like…. actual real people.

In your 20s you are expected to, at some point, get a non-babysitting job (RIP the days of putting kids to bed and then watching TV). You buy groceries, you do your taxes, and you go to the doctor/dentist… by yourself. Parental allowance is still questionably fair game, but it’s surely on its last leg. With money on my mind, I wonder, is it still acceptable to ask your mom to buy your monthly yoga pass when you are 20? Or beg your dad to pay for your spring break trip?    

If you ever went to camp, or are really into folk, you have heard the song “Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell. To summarize, the song is divided into important times in a persons life, starting with what we can assume is around five or six, then 10, then 16, and the last age in the song is - you guessed it - 20.

Until 20, the verses are cheerful and reassuring. However, the final line is unsettling: “So the years spin by and now the boy is 20. Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true, there’ll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty before the last revolving year is through.”  

Or in other words, “Once you hit 20, you are on the final stretch of your life. Your childhood dreams won't come true, you might have some new mediocre ones, we’ll see, probably not though, but you should have a few before you croak.”    

Obviously that interpretation was dramatic and I am looking forward to my upcoming adventures as a young adult, but the fact that Joni grouped 20 and above as one category has made me reflect extensively on reaching this age.

I can’t be sure what my 20s will bring me - unfortunately there is no exciting mantra attached to this decade such as “30, flirty and thriving.” Maybe all the things that happened to my mother in her twenties will happen to me, and maybe not...that's what freezing your eggs is for right?  

So here’s to our 20s, as terrifying as they may be - may they truly bring us even better dreams!

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An Open Letter To Every Girl With A Big Heart, Except When It Comes To Herself

Because it's so much easier to love everyone around you before yourself.

They say the key is that you have to "love yourself before you can love anyone else," or before "anyone can love you."

For those who deal with mass amounts of anxiety, or have many insecurities, that can be an extremely hard task. It seems much easier to tell your friend who is doubting herself that she looks great in that top than to look in the mirror and feel the same about yourself. It is much easier to tell your significant other that everything is going to be OK than to believe it will be when something goes wrong in your life. It becomes easier to create excuses for the ones around you than for yourself, and this is because you have such a big heart. You want those that you love to be happy and worry-free, yet you spend nights thinking about everything you have on your plate, about what you did wrong that day, fearing if someone in your life is mad at you, believing that you will never be good enough yet convincing everyone else that they are.

You are the girl with the biggest heart, yet you can't love yourself the way you care for everyone else in your life. There are many reasons that you should love yourself, though, and that's something that everyone around you is willing to tell you.

You're thoughtful.

Before doing anything, you always consider how it is going to affect those around you. You don't want to do anything that could hurt someone, or something that could make someone mad at you. It does not take much to make you happy, just seeing others happy does the job, and it is that simple. Because of this, you remember the little things. Meaningful dates, small details, and asking someone how their day was is important to you, and it makes those around you feel important too. You simply just want the people that you care about to be happy, and that is an amazing trait.

You're appreciative.

You don't need a big, fancy, and expensive date night to make you happy. Whether it's a picnic on the beach or a night in watching a movie, you're happy to just be with the person that you love. You appreciate every "good morning" text, and it truly does mean something when someone asks how you are. You tend to appreciate the person that you're with more than the things that they provide and for that, your sincerity will never go unnoticed.

You have a lot of love in your heart.

Every "I love you" has meant something, just as you remember the smallest moments that have meant the most to you. You remember the look in your significant other's eyes when they told you that for the first time. You remember the smile on your best friend's face when you told them that everything was going to be OK and that you would always be there. You remember the swell of happiness your parents felt when you decided to surprise them with a trip home one day, and you thrive off of all of that love.

You don't give up on the people you love, even if they have given you a reason to.

It is a foreign idea to just drop someone from your life, even if they betrayed you. You try to look at their mistake from every stance, not wanting to provide an excuse for them, but to give them another chance. Not everyone deserves it, and that is something that you learn along the way, but you feel good in the sense that you gave them a chance even if no one else would.

It's OK to not love yourself all the time. It's normal, and natural to stand in the mirror and think about everything wrong. And it's OK to love other people, even when you can't feel the same about yourself. But your big heart is why you should love yourself. There are so many reasons that you are a beautiful person, and the people that you spend all your time caring about feel that you have so much more to offer the world, and yourself.

So, next time you think about what you don't like about yourself, remember what makes you special –– the size of your heart and all of the love in it, and then share that love with yourself.

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My Lake Elsinore Poppy Field Experience

This past weekend I had the chance to visit the super bloom of golden poppies, and they were quite breathtaking.


Hill after hill, California's golden flower blanketed soft sloped grassy tops that seemed to continue what felt like forever, far into the valley. The hills looked as if they were painted a bright Garibaldi orange, or coated with layers and layers of Cheetos. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and the almost glowing-orange flowers swayed back and forth in the breeze. I felt like I was in a story book or a scene from the Sound of Music. The rare infamous poppy field explosion was right in front of my eyes, and it was absolutely breathtaking.

I had gone to see the flower fields because of how much I adore flowers, and have never experienced a whole field or valley of them like this before. I wanted to be able to respectfully walk alongside the flowers, and see their blinding beauty with my very own eyes, which I did. However, MANY people at Walker Canyon, a.k.a social media influencers and Instagram addicts, were quite noticeably there just to have photo shoots and stare at their phones, checking the lighting and if they're amethyst was glimmering in the sunlight.

As wonderful, beautiful, and bright as the poppies were, and as much as I enjoyed feeling their soft silky petals, and sitting and walking beside them, taking a few photos here and there, I was annoyed with how many people were there just to strike a pose for their social media.

This magical and very RARE moment of a poppy bloom should not have people looking down at their phones, and asking their friends which pose looks better. Smell the flowers, open your eyes look up at the sky, and blind yourselves with the beauty of this natural wonder. Go outside, and actually live a little.

Despite the many people who were there just to get the photos for the likes and followers on Instagram, I am so fortunate and grateful to have had the chance to see these golden flowery fields. If you have the chance to go, look into traffic conditions, and bring a hat and lots of water! It sure was warm on that walk, so always a good idea to come prepared. I also noticed some people picking the flowers and putting them in their hair. As pretty and cute as that may look for your photo, don't do that. Please respect all spaces, and let the precious elements of life be.

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