10 things I learned before turning 20

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Soon there will be the ending of 2020 and during 2021 I will be turning 20. It’s an age where you leave your teenage years behind and start working on your own life for real. It frightens me, though it also really excites me. I have already learned so much in my life. All these little lessons will stay with me for the rest of my life while I take them into adulthood.

Cheers to turning 20!

1. Time is never wasted

Sometimes I feel like we are being forced to do certain things in order for society to see us as productive and useful. I have learned though, that time is never, ever wasted. If you are being carried away by a book in the middle of the night, it is meant to be. That story will most likely stay with you for the rest of your life. Nothing is more precious than that. No lecture will ever teach you about life like books do. Read the book, browse on your phone, lie on your bed for a while. You will figure it out.

2. It is okay to lose people

People come and go. We are movers by nature, restless. Sometimes, a person does not connect with you the way you want them to and it took me a while to understand that before turning 20. The feeling will most likely be mutual. You are toxic for each other. As much as it hurts, you have to let them go. Both of you can grow without each other.

3. Accept love with arms wide open if it comes your way

It is so important to be open to new connections. Love in every shape and form is beautiful. Do not underestimate the power of love.

4. Accomplishments should be celebrated

Take a break after every accomplishment, no matter how small. In the past, I have exhausted myself by not reflecting on all the things I had already accomplished.

5. Failures only make you learn

Mistakes happen. Being human means making mistakes. The key to success is to learn from those mistakes. Often, you have to step out of your comfort zone to do that. You’ll manage, I promise.

6. Social media can be either the best or the worst thing in your life

I think this speaks for itself. I have had days I hated social media so much for taking up so much of my time, whereas some platforms can save my day. WeHeartIt is definitely the only platform that is not as toxic as all the other apps out there.

7. Academic achievement does not define you

This is so important! I constantly need to remind myself that I am more than my academic achievements. Other skills and traits are just as important, if not more important, than textbook knowledge. Get out of your books and explore the world!

8. Listen closely to others, their thoughts matter

This is something I’m still working on: don’t just merely wait for others to finish talking so you can say your thing. Not only is it super rude to do this, you will lose respect.

9. Mental health days off matter

Anxiety, burnout, insomnia and other mental health conditions are as serious as physical ones. I have learnt that mental health days off are not only good for you, but also for those close to you. It is not selfish to take a day off school or other things because you feel overwhelmed. The consequences of not doing it are far greater and probably irreversible.

10. Traveling is one thing, meeting new people and their cultures another

Whenever you decide to travel, do it because you want to experience new things. Take time to get to know a foreign culture and their people. Supporting the local economy can also be done through other activities than tourist attractions. The local inhabitants are usually super friendly and want you to get to know their custom things. It is amazing.

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