I can finally say that I’m not a teenager anymore as I turned 20 this week. A proper adult now? I guess only time will tell. I’ve found that age can often be a form of prejudice and living life as a teen has definitely proven that to me. I’ve found that being a teenager is something which has been used against me at times, as if I have no real life experiences since I’m (or was) ‘only a teenager’, but now, I’m happy in a way that it’s not something that can be used against me anymore.
In celebration of my 20th birthday, I thought I’d share 20 things I’ve learned during my time in this crazy world so far. Some people might not think that someone who’s only at the ripe old age of 20 would have any pearls of wisdom to share and I’m not suggesting that I do, however, I have had a great deal of experience behind those short years so here’s just 20 of the things I’ve learned.
1. Starting a blog is one of the best decisions I ever made – What more is there to be said? I’ve been blogging for almost three and a half years now and I honestly love it more and more each day. I’ve learned so much from writing my own blog and reading other people’s posts, it’s honestly such a rewarding hobbie to have.
2. Not everyone is going to like you and that’s ok – You can be the kindest, most caring and thoughtful person out there but it doesn’t mean that everyone is going to like you. I’ve gone through spells of over-thinking everything when I think someone dislikes me but as I’ve grown up, I’ve learned that it’s ok, it’s normal. There are people out there who don’t like dogs or Ed Sheeran so it’s a pretty safe bet that there will be people who don’t like you and I’ve learned how important it is to accept that. I’ve learned that as long as the people closest to you stay true to you and make you feel happy, then that’s all that matters.
3. School isn’t the best time of your life, or at least it wasn’t mine – We all have those people in our lives who tell us to enjoy our time in school, preaching the fact that it’s the best time of your life but for me, this wasn’t true. I found school to be extremely tough, not in terms of learning as I really enjoyed that aspect of it but in terms of fitting in, feeling wanted, trying my best to stop my heart beating so fast when I walked through the doors. I can’t talk badly about the entirety of my school life because I did have some good times in the midst of it all but I can still remember the relief I felt when walking out of there for the last time.
4. True friends stick around – We all go through rough patches when it comes to friendships but what I’ve learned, especially in my teenage years is that true friends, the ones who count do stick around. Some of my friends and I have had arguments, experienced times when we’ve drifted apart but if the friendship means something important to both of us, we’ve always managed to come out stronger on the other side and I’m now lucky in the sense that I can say I have such amazing and supportive friends who I’m lucky to have in my life.
5. Long distance friendships can work – Even though it can be hard when you can’t make spontaneous plans with your friends when your friendship is long distance and even though it’s difficult when they can’t be there to give you a hug when you’re feeling down, I’ve learned that long distance friendships can be just as strong as the ones you have at home.
6. If it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be – I’ve learned that this is true for all aspects of life. Everything happens for a reason.
7. It’s normal to feel lost – I used to think that I was the only one who didn’t know what to do with my life, which path I wanted to go down etc. But, I’ve recently realised how common it is. People of all ages have told me that they still don’t know what they’re dream job would be or what they want to get out of life, it’s completely normal.
8. Music is the best kind of therapy – Nothing beats a good sing along to my favorite songs.
9. And concerts are on another level – I’ve been to three concerts this year, all of which have been incredible in their own way. They all consisted of an incredible feeling of happiness and indescribable emotions. It’s good music on a completely different scale.
10. Eating gluten-free can be hard – This summer marks six years since I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease and even though it’s so much more common nowadays, eating out can still prove to be difficult at times.
11. Good things come to those who wait but better things come when you work hard for it.
12. It’s important to put yourself out there – I’m not going to lie, I’m not the biggest fan of putting myself out there as I don’t want to come across big-headed or arrogant. However, I’ve learned that promoting yourself, your skills and your work can be extremely valuable and important in order for you to be seen and for you to gain the recognition that many of us sought after. Opportunities will never come your way if you don’t have the confidence in yourself to put yourself out there in the first place and this is something I’m definitely going to be working on more during my twenties.
13. It’s good to step out of your comfort zone – It can be hard but also so incredibly rewarding.
14. People can surprise you – Whether it be in a good or a bad way, people are always full of surprises.
15. Some people will accept you for who you are and others won’t and that’s ok, focus on the ones who do.
16. Time away from your phone is time well spent – Do I sound old yet? I love social media and interacting with people online but I find that the online world can also be very consuming at times so I tend to take breaks from it all, especially during the evenings as I find it’s easier to relax that way.
17. It’s important to do more of what makes you happy – I love writing so I created my blog, I love music so I listen to it everyday and spending time with my friends makes me happy so I try to make more plans with them. Doing all of the above make things seem a little better when they might not be going my way.
18. Never apologise for who you are – You should never have to apologise for any trait or characteristic that makes you who you are.
19. Family and friends are important, never take them for granted – Full stop.
20. I still have plenty of things to learn – I’m sure my twenties will be filled with plenty more life lessons, here’s to learning them as a proper adult.
I guess that we’re all a work in progress, we’ll all learn things that are unique to us and other life lessons that are relevant to most people. Someone might learn something that is completely life changing for them whilst others might learn little things which can change only the slightest thing about how they approach life. Either way, the things we learn, however unique or significant it is to you, can contribute to building the best versions of ourselves.
What are some life lessons you’ve learned during your life? I’d love to know if you can relate to some of the things I said in this post.