20 Things I've Learned Before I Turn 20

Let's start by saying yes, I'm a 19 year old junior in college who STILL hasn't turned 20 yet. My birthday is December 29th and I can honestly say that I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to it. Every year for the past 19 years I've been so excited for my birthday, but now I'm no longer going to be a teenager, and I'm one year closer to having to pay for insurance and cable and that's scary. 


In my current 19 years of life I feel like I've accumulated enough knowledge on getting through life that I want to share it! 

1. your parents may just be your best friends

Growing up I definitely took my parents for granted. My parents are divorced and remarried so I have four wonderful parents, and in high school I was so concerned with spending time with my friends that I didn't get to know my parents. Obviously I knew my parents, but I didn't spend time with them as much as I should've, or realized how close we could've been if I had spent more time with them. 

2. save your money

When I got my first job in high school I literally spent my entire first paycheck on a Backstreet Boys concert ticket. That trend basically carried until my sophomore year of college. I was not a saver until I became dirt poor and had no choice. Save your money early - poor college you will thank you later. 

3. make time for yourself

It's great to join 3 clubs and play a sport and take 2 APs, but don't forget to take time for yourself. Freshman year of college I tried to do it all and everything crashed and burned around me. Having 2 hours for yourself is going to be so much more valuable then being able to add your name to one more club. 

4. don't over plan

We all know I'm obsessed with my day planner, but over-planning and over scheduling can sometimes put more of a burden on our lives then it can be helpful. I love block scheduling my free time for studying but I was getting to a point where I was literally scheduling when in the day I was going to brush my teeth. When I got to that point breaking my schedule gave my anxiety. Its better not to overplay your days and give yourself unnecessary anxiety until you need that. 

5. spend more money on experiences

Stop saving up for another purse you don't need or those trendy jeans you want and save up for a plane ticket! I regret how much money I've spent on items I don't even have any more and how little of the country (let alone the world) I've seen. 

6. your friends will change and thats OK

This one was the hardest for me to grasp. I always thought my true few from high school would be my ride or die, but my parents were right. Their still my friends, but we talk like my parents and their old friends do (not often). And overtime we see each other its mostly just catching up and "we'll have to do this again's." It's OK to have your friends change. It might be scary, and you may feel lonely for a while, but its ok. 

7. its not the end of the world to fail

When I got to college I was convinced I'd get the same grades I got in high school (A's + B's). No. That's not what happens in college. I actually failed a class and it almost killed me. But it took a long time to realize that it wasn't the end of the world. 

8. don't let one setback break you down

Going back to failing^^ I was so let down after that that I thought I should transfer schools. Letting one setback get to you like that rather than letting it empower you will break you down. Turn these mini downs into motivating factors to get you doing better in the next thing you're doing. 

9. making coffee at home will save you

I recently discovered how nice it is to not have to leave my apartment to get coffee that tastes great and costs half as much. It's so nice and my wallet is a fan. 

10. don't forget to take pictures of yourself

In the day and age of Instagram aesthetics, we sometimes get so caught up taking pictures of places, things, other people, that we forget to get in the picture and we forget to ask people to take our pictures'. Take your picture, take a picture with no makeup on, with a crappy outfit, just goofing off with your friends; because you're gonna want to remember those memories a lot more than you're gonna want to remember your 3rd iced vanilla latte of the day. 

11. waking up early makes the whole day feel more productive

I started waking up around 6/7 every morning and it has literally felt like I've added a second day to my life. Mornings are now my most productive time, and you just get so much more stuff done, even if you just wake up an hour earlier than you normally would. 

12. drink more water

Standard life advice. It's good for you. 

13. it's ok to stay in

I'm not a partier, and I always used to feel guilty when I politely declined going out, but it OK to stay in. Even if you love going out but you need a night to yourself, or if our like me and you go out to be with your friends but its not really your thing. Its ok to stay in. 

14. don't wait until your gas light comes on to get gas

We all know when we need to get gas, just go get it. Don't be lazy and wait for the light to come on, one day you're gonna run out of gas on the highway and AAA won't be there to save you. 

15. keep your room clean

This is especially relevant if you life in a small university provided bedroom. Keeping your room picked up, things off the floor, and your desk relatively clean makes your mind feel so much clearer. 

16. you can't please everyone

Attempting to be a people pleaser will stress you out. Do the best you can, and accept that not everyone is going to love everything you do. 

17. don't paint your nails before you go to bed

No matter what you think, they will get smudged. Just wait until morning. 

18. say yes more

Don't be afraid of new opportunities. Say yes to more things that you'd typically be afraid to do. (example: I conquered my irrational fear of avocados this year, and now I love guacamole.)

19. don't be afraid to say no

This is similar to make time for yourself. If you're someone who says yes to doing everything needed for everything and everyone, its ok to say no. Someone else can handle that part of the group project. And someone else can bake the cupcakes, and make the banner, and pick up the groceries, and do everything else. 

20. be yourself

Always stay true to who you are. Wear what you like. Eat what you like, when you like. Watch the shows you like and hang out where you like. Don't let anyone else determine what you should be doing with your life. 



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