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16 Things I Wish I Knew Going Into My 20's

1. Take care of your body.

You only get one. Find a type of exercise that excites you. Drink your water. Develop a skincare routine. Stretch. Get your full 7-8 hours of sleep. It’s a lot easier to stay healthy than it is to “get” healthy. For me, being healthy isn’t necessarily about looks. When you are healthy, you automatically feel better and more confident.  

2. Find a balance.

I know this is a little contradicting after the first one, but make sure to find a balance in everything. It’s okay to splurge on something you want while still saving money. It’s okay to eat ice cream while still trying to be/stay in shape. You’re not lazy if you spend a day here or there binge-watching a show if that is what makes you happy.

3. Work hard to reach your goals.

Whether it’s a fitness goal, a career goal, a financial goal, or any sort of goal… work hard for it no matter how long it takes you and don’t give up on it.

4. Visit your grandparents more.

Sadly, you won’t have them forever. Make as many memories as you can with them while you can. 

5. Travel. 

I’m not even saying they need to be expensive, fancy, vacations. Get yourself a rental home and go! Simply visit places in your state or country. California is worth seeing once. Vegas and Chicago are pretty cool. Michigan’s upper peninsula is incredible during any season. You get the point. 

6. You create your own happiness.

This one can be tough to admit. It’s simply the cold, hard truth. There are 1,440 minutes in a day and what we do with those minutes is up to us. While there may be bumps in the road, it is how we react to those bumps that matters the most. When we face hard times we can either mope around complaining about the card that we have been dealt, or we can grow stronger from these times and look for the positives in our lives, counting our blessings and not our problems. 

7. Take care of the planet.

I know that this sounds cliche, but really, do it. It’s not that hard. Don’t litter. Try not to use too many plastic straws. Recycle. If not for you, do it for future generations. 

8. Be careful not to take on too much.

This is so easy to do. It is important to realize that you can say no if you need to. It’s okay to reach out for help when you need it. If you have a big exam to study for, it’s okay to cancel your plans. If you have had a long work week, it’s okay to accept help with cleaning the house or say “yes” to takeout instead of cooking. You aren’t a bad mom or a bad wife or a bad friend if you have to do what is best for you sometimes. 

9. We are all on our own timing.

Some of my friends are graduating with their master's degrees, others haven’t even begun college yet or have chosen not to at all. Some of my friends are married with children, others are still single and traveling the world. Some of my friends are still living at home with their parents, others are renting an apartment, and others are living in their forever homes. Some of us have “big girl jobs” while others are still just enjoying living paycheck to paycheck if it means a little less responsibility. Moral of the story, we are all on our own timing, and don’t ever let anyone make you feel guilty for following your own timeline. 

10. Not everything has to be perfect all the time.

Okay, so I’m still working on this one… but it’s true. It’s okay if you don’t make it to the gym every single day. It’s okay if your house isn’t always perfectly clean. It’s okay if you burn dinner and have to get takeout instead sometimes. It’s okay if you don’t have your entire future planned out. It’s okay if you don’t have a full face of makeup, your hair done, and a cute outfit on every single day. 

11. Never settle.

Guys, career choices, jobs, friends, houses… it doesn’t matter what it is. If it doesn’t make you happy, it is best to go a different route. Don’t settle. Life is too short for that. 

12. Make time for your old friends.

It’s easy to forget to do this and it’s even easier to get busy and run out of time to do so. Some people move towns or states away as they get older which can make this difficult. However, even if just every few months, make time to have dinner with friends and catch up with your old friends. Plan weekend getaways. Meet for ice cream. Nobody gets a second chance to make new old friends. 

13. It’s okay to not know exactly what you want to do in life.

This is so important. We, as a society, have put this silent rule on young adults that they have to decide what they want to do, get a degree, and do it right after graduating high school. The truth is that we should be enjoying these years to find ourselves. So many people rush into college and get there to realize they aren’t exactly sure what they are interested in. So many people also get their degrees, jump into their field, and then realize that they don’t like it. It’s okay to take time to figure out and decide what you want to do with your future. It’s also okay to have it all figured out at a young age too, though.

14. Be proud of who you are.

It seems easy, right? This is especially hard for people with “big” personalities. Don’t hide who you are because you are afraid of how people may perceive you. You will never be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s okay. If you are different or “weird”, then great! Don’t ever change and be proud of it.

15. Somebody else’s opinion of you is none of your business.

This pretty much goes hand and hand with the last one. Not to get all Rachel Hollis here, but it’s so true. Life is too short to not do what you want to do because you are afraid of what others may think or say. I spent too many days replaying in my head insults from others… irrelevant insults from irrelevant people. What they say or think is none of your business. Meaning, stop worrying about what others think or say and do what YOU want.

16. Be a nice person.

I grew up being a pushover, always letting people walk all over me. In my early adulthood, I felt like I needed to make a comeback and not take crap from anyone, which looking back, I think came off a little, or a lot, bratty. If someone is rude to you first, they may be having a bad day. Sometimes a little kindness will turn their day around. They say everyone we know is facing a battle that we know nothing about, and I think that is true. Just be kind. Even when it’s hard.

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