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20 Things I Have Learned In My 20 Years

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Celebrating 20 years is such a fun time because you are still so curious about the world, yet you have kind of found yourself and who you want to be through trials in the most crucial learning points of life.  Today, I sit down and reflect on the life lessons, laughs, and many tips I have learned the hard way across my life's timeline.

1. Pictures are memories but your words are keepsakes.  

Jot down what you are doing on your pictures so that one day, when your memory is gone and you haven't talked to those in the picture for years, you can take your mind back to that moment and reminisce on the bittersweet memories you hold.

2. Coffee can go a longer way when it is shared with a nap.

Seriously, if you throw some coffee back and then take a cat nap, the caffeine will hit you faster and  harder and then you are prepared for the day you thought you couldn't get through.

3. Nobody's opinions of you will ever shape you

It has taken me many years to grasp this one but you finally have to understand that you as a person is the only one who can make a valid opinion about yourself. 

4. Pressure to do something will never lead to success

Success comes from personally aspiring to achieve the end goal and if you compete or run the race strictly because of other's wishes, you will not be happy with the result.  Do it for yourself and not anyone else.

5. If you are second guessing if you can parallel park in the spot in a spot, you cannot parallel park in said spot.

No matter how many times you think you can just pull forward a little and then back it up and repeat it until you squeeze in, just drive a little further and find another spot.  I've done this far too many times and been way too close to hitting another car that you would have thought I learned a lot earlier than I did! 

6. That cookie will not be the difference.

You aren't going to gain five pounds if you eat that cookie.  The only thing you will be gaining is self pride and pure happiness.  Enough said.

7. Stereotypes do not define you, so don't let them define others.

We are all so quick to get mad when we are stereotyped, yet we have no problem with accepting stereotypes for others.  As soon as this world realizes that the only way to get to know someone is to invest in them, their time, and their words.. we won't be facing as much hate in this world as we are right now.

8. If you think you will have the slightest bit of regret for not doing it, then just do it.

Whether it's studying for an exam, attending an event, or sending that one long lost friend a text, if you think you may regret not doing it one day, then just do it.

9. Your only true lifelong best friends are those that come from family.

Family will have your back more than that girl you have known for two months will.  My parents and sister are by far my people in this world and it took me 18 years to realize that... but these past 2 years have been the absolute best with them. Realize this before it is too late. 

10. Right people do come at the wrong time.

It's a tough one to learn but you have to accept it when it happens.  Sometimes, people that are so right for you and your life just comes at the wrong time.  Maybe it can work its way out over time, but just trust in that all things happen for a reason.

11. There is no better therapy than a good book

My entire life, I have hated reading because throughout school, I was forced to read certain books that didn't interest me, but something about my freshman year of college changed that hatred into pure love.  Find your genre and give it a shot! (Harry Potter is an awesome starter)

12. Coffee shops are comfort zones

For people like me where you are so mixed between being an introvert and an extrovert, I find peace within the coffee encrusted walls.  Sitting at a table by yourself but being surrounded by others is my favorite way to get things done.

13. The only way to make a difference in one's life is to be the difference

This is a new lesson I have learned since I started working in schools for service hours due to my major being Elementary Education.  The most effective way to change someone's life is to be exactly what they need. 

14. Find humor in yourself and not others

I would so much rather laugh at myself for  falling on a slippery floor than cause embarrassment to someone else.  I know I can handle people laughing at me, but you don't always know someone else's story. Don't assume that they handle situations that can be embarrassing the same way you can. 

15. You can only give as much as you receive

I have outgrown many friendships because at the end of the day, I cared for them and their time much more than they apparently cared for me, and because of that, I dropped them.  I would rather have four quarters than ten dimes... and that applies to friends as well.

16. Correct handshakes and public speaking skills will get you far

I've lived a life that included these two skills and them needing to be perfect and I can promise you, being able to speak into a microphone without any hesitation or meeting someone for the first time and knowing how to give a handshake will go much further than anything you could possibly brag about will go.

17. Everyone has a back story

We are humans and all alike in the aspect of we are terrified to let our deepest and darkest secrets.  While you may never share yours, you must respect those that are courageous enough to spill it because it takes a whole lot of guts to say it and you should be there to accept them no matter what it is.  Some of the most beautiful friendships blossom through that way.

18. You cannot change a person no matter how hard you try

You can try to sugarcoat a situation and think that you can make the best man out of a guy who has hurt you over and over and over again or you may think you can make an unloyal friend all of a sudden decide to reciprocate the love you give them, but the world works to where you just can't change people.  You can change situations and you can walk away, but you have to accept that they are who they are and you must go the high road for yourself.

19. No matter how many times you think you can pull off a short hair cut, you'll miss your messy buns

It has taken me about 5 times in my 20 years to learn this concept for some reason. I'm the type of girl that would much rather roll out of bed and throw my hair up in a bun instead of being forced to fix my bed head. Don't chop the mane until you know you have enough motivation. 

20. You will never regret time spent with friends and family

We live in a world where we thrive off of technological advances and things that separate us from the world. While it may be so easy to surround yourself around Netflix and scrolling through Facebook, you will regret not spending that time with those who truly matter. That Netflix series or the food recipe videos on your timeline isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but not everyone is promised tomorrow. Make it a goal to spend more time with those who you love rather than the materialistic things that can power on later. 

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