I recently celebrated my twentieth birthday. My little brother, along with my family, sent me a birthday card. He had written that he was “still trying to comprehend [me] being 20 years old because that’s insane”. I agree. It is insane. While it felt no different than any other day (besides for the unusual number of notifications lighting up my phone), I thought it would be nice to sit down and reflect on what I had learned in the past two decades of my life. So here it is. Twenty things I learned by the age of twenty.
- While your family may be annoying, cherish them because once you move out, you realize how much they really love you. Even if they have a weird way of showing it.
- It is never too late to strengthen connections with those around you. It wasn’t until recently that I started talking to my brother rather than only dropping in to say hi when I went home for the holidays. While it is still strange, it is nice to really try to connect in some ways as siblings.
- Having a disorder is not something that you should be ashamed of. Being able to wake up and go about your day, even while wearing a mask, shows that you are so incredibly strong.
- Never be afraid to ask for help. Whether it be searching for ketchup in the grocery store or seeking medical attention for physical or psychological problems.
- It will take some time to move on from the past. It might hurt and it might be frustrating but it won’t last forever.
- Get rid of people in your life who are toxic. It may seem frightening, having to make new friends or cut long-term ties, but it is worth it for your happiness.
- Do not let your parents dictate your future. Respect them and their opinions but you are free to pave your own path and choose your own career. They will come around eventually because, in the end, they love you and just want what is best for you.
- Being comfortable in your own skin is being free. Be confident in yourself and don’t let your insecurities keep you from enjoying life.
- You can be comfortable in your own skin and still wear makeup or dress up. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
- You don’t have to be the best at school or your job. As long as you work hard in all you do, you can be proud of yourself.
- Harmful coping methods are never the answers to your problems. They are merely temporary solutions to your current situation.
- What people think of you and your work should not matter so much. Unless it is constructive criticism. Then you should take that into consideration and learn from it.
- Take responsibility for your actions. It may not be fun to do but to take responsibility is to learn from your mistakes.
- Keep striving to be a better version of yourself. You are only so many years old. Don’t cut your life short because you are not who you envisioned yourself to be.
- Take control of your future. Work hard to make it happen. Don’t give up when a door closes in front of you because you will never be stuck, boxed in, with no options to turn to.
- Do not assume your common sense is the same as everyone else in the world.
- Some days you will feel 10 years older than you really are, and other days you will feel like a 5-year-old again. Embrace it.
- Procrastination is inevitable. Learn to accommodate for that to avoid the last minute panic attacks.
- Look up from your phone once in a while. The world is so interesting and you’ll miss it if you never look away from your phone. Don’t let your phone take you away from meaningful conversations and building relationships. Those connections last longer than the satisfaction you get from the likes on your latest profile picture.
- Take care of yourself. Keep yourself healthy: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. There is only one of you. There is no replacement.
I could go on, but I’m only twenty years old.
P.S. I hope this was interesting and offered some helpful advice. Thank you to my family, friends, and wonderful boyfriend for being there for me and sending love and well wishes on my birthday. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the people who always loved me and believed in me. I love you all ♥
See my last post here!