20 Things I Wish I Knew Before Turning 20

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You’re emerging as a woman, you’re an adult now and have to do adultish things. It’s exciting, in upcoming years you will experience night life, college, love, budgeting, FREEDOM at last.

I’m here to give you advice because I’ve graduated from college, got a job, maintained a long-term relationship, and my family is proud of me. If I had a dollar for every piece of advice I was given, AND DIDN’T LISTEN TO, I would be filthy rich.

The majority of the advice that I am going to give you, I learned the hard way. I thought I knew best and, although you probably don’t even realize it, you do too. I don’t expect you to take all of my words to heart, my goal is that something here might resonate with you.

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1.) Healthy hair is better than perfectly styled hair. Looking back, I scoff aimg_1196t the amount of mornings I woke up early enough to have time to blow dry and straighten my hair. Let it go natural! For events or special occasions, go all out! But for day-to-day life, natural hair is a healthier choice.

2.) Spend time with your grandparents (all of your family members, for that matter)! Your grandparents won’t be around for much longer and whatever plans that you’ve made are nothing compared to hearing stories about how your grandparents met, or when grandpa fought in the war, or when your mom got drunk at 15 and the cops had to drive her home.

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3.) Dress classy. I promise you, everyone thinks you look better when your ass, boobs, and stomach are contained beneath clothing. Yes, there’s a time and a place to wear skimpy shorts and an off the shoulder, loose tee; but for the most part, shop for conservative clothes. I bet your mom will be much more apt to buy them for you, too.

4.) Live in the moment. I know it seems important to document that amazing meal or beach body on the internet.Take a few pictures, maybe a snapchat, but please be aware that you’re experiencing something. The only way to make memories is to live in the moment; laugh with your friends, take in the scenery, breathe and put down your cell phone. It’s harder to have a goodtime when you’re thinking about how it will look on the internet.giphy 3

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5.) Your mom is right. End of discussion. Also, be nice to her.

6.) Lifting weights will not make you bulky. In my high school and early college days, I was a certified cardio bunny; the elliptical and treadmill were my go-to machines at the gym. I was too uneducated and intimidated to approach the free weights. I’ve been lifting weights for about two years now and I’m toned, tight and strong. I’m addicted to it and you will be too, it prevents and banishes cellulite and flabby skin as you age! Do your research, I started out by watching Nikki Blakketter and Heidi Somers YouTube videos to get me started.

7.) Eyeliner is to be used in moderation. Those black circles around your eyes do not make you look sexy, older, or define your eyes. It looks smudgemake upd and overdone. If you’re a make-up pro and can handle the dainty cat-eye, do your thing. Most of us aren’t that talented.

8.) On that note, ALL make-up should be used sparsely. Natural is the way to go. Your skin will thank you. A little concealer and a swipe of mascara is all you need, if anything.

9.) Don’t worry about your weight! That metabolism isn’t going to last forever! Be strong, healthy and natural. The amount of mental heath issues I’ve seen rouse from teenage years are scary. I understand, the media tends to promote thigh gaps, flat stomachs and stick legs. Understand that your curves are gorgeous and you will have plenty of time to worry about your weight in the future. Take some time to educate yourselves on what you should be eating (and it’s not 1200 calories a day).

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10.) Smoking isn’t cool; it never was cool and it never will be. No one will judge you if you don’t accept that cigarette outside of the frat house, I promise you.

11.) Small boobs ARE sexy. I definitely learned this one the hard way. A lot of my friends had big, bouncy boobs that filled out bathing suits; I spent way too much money on push-up bras at Victoria’s Secret to try to look like them… It didn’t work; my boobs practically touched my chin. You can wear bralettes! You can comfortably go for runs! You look slim! You can wear anything! Take it from me, your small boobs are sexy as hell.

12.) Find your passion. My passion was lost to me for the longest time. I stressed, HARD, about what my major would be, what would make money, what I would enjoy. Take a deep breath and focus on what you truly enjoy. Once you find something that you enjoy doing, RESEARCH! Every single passion can be turned into a profession. Furthermore, don’t rush it- you have plenty of time to figure this out.

13.) Being kind to people is more attractive than being popular or gossipy. The genuinely kind person will always be well liked and respected by everyone. Being popular means nothing. Rumors are detrimental. Read 13 Reasons Why; hopefully the book resonates with you that there’s a domino effect to being gossipy and cruel.

14.) Sports are awesome. If you’re athletic, stick with your sport! Playing volleyball in high school taught me work ethic, teamwork, and how to take constructive criticism. The amount of friends you make are a major plus!graduation 2

15.) Do your homework. Your grades DO matter!! There’s plenty of time to watch TV or hang out with your friends. When it comes time to picking a college or a career, you’ll be grateful that you focused on your schoolwork. Interviewers used to focus on where you went to school and extracurricular activities; these days, there’s so many applicants that they look at your GPA to separate you from others interviewees. DO YOUR HOMEWORK!! STUDY!!!!

16.) You don’t need a boyfriend. Look, I’ve always had a boyfriend. BUT I’ve also seen all of my friends actively try to find relationships endlessly. Don’t waste your time trying to find a boyfriend, you are amazing on your own! If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, be happy that you have great friends and alone time! Love will come to you when you least expect it (cliché, but true).

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17.) You don’t need the latest/most expensive technology. You’re old iPhone works fine. Your old laptop gets the homework done. The technology changes so quickly these days that it’s a waste of money to upgrade all of the time. Spend your money on experiences: concerts, road trips, meals out, or Christmas gifts for your family.

18.) Make real photo albums. I know, I know… all of your photos are safely located on iCloud or social media. I have been making old-school photo albums for years. I easily upload the pictures from my phone onto Shutterfly and order prints for extremely cheap. When people are hanging out at my house they LOVE to go through the photo albums. Make it a habit, you’re kids will love to see them someday!

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19.) Have a bad feeling about a party? Don’t go. You know you’ve experienced that gut feeling; listen to that little voice in your head. If you miss a couple of parties, it’s REALLY not a big deal. I can’t tell you the amount of times I opted to stay in and found that my friends got way too wasted, the party was a bust, or worse, got busted by the police.

20.) You are unique, beautiful, and worthy of happiness! Don’t forget it!

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