I remember when I was younger I thought I had everything all figured out. I thought I knew more than my parents did, even though they would constantly remind me that they have lived a lot longer than I had. I remember watching my friend’s older siblings struggle through teenage years and college, and I would keep telling myself that that wouldn’t be me because I knew who I was. Well, as you may have guessed, I was pretty naive thinking that way. Looking back, I can see that every year I have changed in one way or another. I’m totally different from who I was when I turned 18. I’m even different to the girl I was when I first turned 20, and I’m still 20!
I have finally realized that growing up is an ongoing process, and it’s full of ups and downs, trial and errors. And yes – it can be confusing. You may start to doubt certain things; realize things you thought were right, are actually wrong. Your perception of yourself and the world may change. And as confusing as that can be at times, it is also amazing. You experience new things and take risks. Grow stronger through any pain and learn lessons from any mistakes. You learn how to love yourself and then love others; to make more out of the relationships your involved in. You learn what truly makes you happy and what your passionate about. Your twenties are basically all about you.. and we all need to take advantage of that.
Right now I am just twenty years old. I know that I still have so many more years to grow and learn, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t already learnt a lot. Here is a list of some things I have learnt and things I strive to live by. I still struggle with certain ones, but that’s okay, because who doesn’t?! So – here is my list. I’m sure in a couple of years many will change. But for now, this is it:
1. Stop Caring What People Think
Everyone will have their opinions and everyone will judge. It’s human nature. Just try and stop caring about what other people think or whether or not they will approve. Tune it out. Do you. Be exactly who you are. People will, at some point in your life, talk about you behind your back. And you know pretty well that you will likely do the same – maybe not all the time, and maybe you will try your hardest not too – but you will at some point. It’s unavoidable. The best thing to do is to not let it affect you, and know that it says more about them than you. Learn to be ok with being you, regardless of what others may think.
2. Take Care of Your Body
3. Don’t Worry So Much About The Future
Uncertainty can be scary, but it can also be exciting. Who knows where you will be in 10 years? Just follow your gut and do what you love.
Nothing risked, nothing gained! I have to remind myself to do this all the time. It’s always, always worth it. Every single time.
5. Remove Toxic People From Your Life
You have the choice of who you want in your life, so make sure you choose wisely. Negative people and toxic relationships do nothing but bring you down.
6. Be Appreciative
Try and remember something you are thankful for everyday. Be appreciative, and smile about it.
7. Follow Your Heart And Find Your Passion
I don’t want to be the person that wakes up every morning and dreads going to work. I want to wake up excited to go to work, and driven by it. I want to love what I do. If you feel like you aren’t on that path, then do something about it.. the only thing worse than quitting is waiting too long to quit.
8. Don’t Settle For Less Than You Deserve
9. Travel While You Can
Take every opportunity you have to travel and learn about new places and different ways of life.
10. Stop Criticizing Your Appearance
Definitely easier said than done since we are our own worst critic. However, we will be a lot less stressed once we accept that we look the way we look and embrace it. Stop looking for every little flaw. Flaunt what makes your beautiful.
11. Be Open To New People
Be open to meeting new people – and when you do, learn about them. Find out who they are and what makes them unique, and how they can enrich your life by simply being your friend. Embrace originality and search for it.
12. Treat Yourself Once And A While
Had a hard week of finals, or work? Reward yourself with something you love. You deserve it.
14. Forgive, But Don’t Forget
15. Don’t Be A Follower, Be Your Own Person
16. Live In The Moment
17. Go To Concerts
Go see your favorite artists live. Concerts have the best vibes. This year I have been going to as many as I can and it’s been awesome!
18. Respect Yourself And Others
Treat yourself with the same respect you expect from others.
19. Don’t Depend On Anyone But Yourself For Your Own Happiness
Resist looking outside yourself for happiness. Moving cities won’t suddenly make you happier, neither will starting a new relationship or job. Looking for external things to make you feel better internally is the recipe to unhappiness.
20. Let Go; Don’t Be Dragged
Let go of things that you have outgrown or that are not making you happy anymore. Don’t let yourself be dragged along. Accept what is in the past and move on.
21. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Positive vibes = positive life.
22. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
There just is no point. It’s a never-ending cycle you do not want to get stuck in.
23. Feel Your Feelings
Learn to be ok with feeling your feelings, instead of running away from them or numbing them. If your sad, let yourself be sad. Listen to sad music and cry it out. That way, it will pass.
24. Set Boundaries
Unfortunately, there will always be people who will try and take advantage of you. So set clear boundaries and don’t let that happen.
Anyone who knows me knows that I take a lot of photos. I love photography – but more than anything, I love being able to look back through my photos and remember all those moments and memories (both the good and the bad).
26. Be A Good Friend
& so many more. Now stop for a second and think about it – what have you learnt over the past couple of years?!