20 Things You Wish You Knew at 20


Though you may be past this time in your life, reflecting is always a great way to be mindful of your present.  Here are 20 Things You Wish You Knew at 20 that you may still be learning.


1. Let Go of What “Should” Be

More often than not, our lives don’t turn out exactly as planned. Although, that doesn’t mean goals serve no purpose. What’s important is to be able to adjust to life’s curveballs and work towards your goals in the process.


2. Take More Photos

Don’t let your camera take you out of the moment, but if the thought strikes, capture the moment.  It’s always nice to look back and appreciate your younger self… or laugh at her.


3. Be Present

One of the biggest faults of a 20 something is their tendency to focus too much on the future. Robbing yourself of your youth is unnecessary. The future is uncertain, no matter how much you prepare for it. Enjoying the present isn’t a crime.


4. Beer before Liquor, Never Been Sicker

Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear. This is a lesson that seems to never stick. Sparing yourself a few less mornings with a drilling headache would have been nice.


5. Being “Ready” is Unrealistic

You can’t wait for opportunities to present themselves, they might never come. Take charge and make a decision. Start now.


6. Don’t Let your FOMO Keep You from Focusing on You

Fear of missing out, it’s a real thing. You don’t have to attend everything you’re invited to. So what if you miss the after work drinks. If you need the “me time” to yourself, take it. There will be other outings.

7. Be Open to Change

Change is what moves us forward. Growth is always the result.


8. Trust Yourself

It’s easy to manipulate our actions to appease others. This effort only steers us in the wrong, unfulfilling direction. Trust the inner voice that has confidence in your vision.


9. Leggings are not Real Pants

There’s nothing wrong with yoga pants. However, wearing them interchangeably as pants is a whole different story. Not exactly the look of a young professional.


10. Limit External Validation

External validation can be addictive. When it becomes the only point of reference for your decisions, you lose your identity. Your validation must come from within first.


11. Be Aware of Your Emotions

When you are self-aware, you are more aware of the relationships you foster. You know when you are over reacting, being fair, or unfair. Those you care about will stick around even through rough times.


12. Velour Tracksuits Aren’t Flattering

Chances are you owned a velvety matching tracksuit at some point in your 20s. Possibly even one with a word laid out across the buttocks. 2007 held some trying times, but you got through them.


13. You Can’t Change People

Waiting for a person or partner to change is neither logical nor fun. People change when and how they want to. You don’t have time to settle.


14. Starbucks is an Expensive Accessory

Though the trendiness was at its peak, you probably could have saved all those Starbucks runs for your child’s college fund. Maybe you still can!


15. Everything is Temporary

Don’t hold on to anything too tightly. Who and what is meant to stay will. If every sign is telling you to let go of something, trust your gut.

16. Wide Unnecessary Belts Don’t Make Sense

Remember when belts had a phase of being worn strictly as a (usually out of place and oversized) fashion statement. “Just belt it” was a phrase far too often uttered. Maybe just wear a belt if you need a belt.


17. Stop Saying “Sorry”

Whatever you’re saying sorry for probably does not require an apology. Don’t undermine yourself by being overly apologetic, and skip the sorrys for when they matter most.


18. Asking for Help is not a Sign of Weakness

Asking questions is necessary for development. You never enter a job or phase of life with all the answers. In the long run, you’ll thank yourself for your natural keenness.


19. You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get

You would be amazed at what you can get out of life if you just ask for it. Take this as literal or figuratively as you’d like. It applies to almost every aspect of life.


20. Learn to Love Yourself

The most successful relationships you see around you start with an ability to love and respect one’s self. You will naturally demand the same affection from others without having to ask.

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Feature photo by J Stimp 


Post Author: Michelle Bates

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