Sylvia Pritchard

As my 21st birthday approaches, I find myself wondering where the time has gone.  My 20th birthday feels like it was yesterday – and since I often use age as a milestone in my life, I place a lot of expectations for myself around birthdays.  People have said your 20th birthday is an insignificant milestone, but I completely disagree.  Your 20th birthday marks twenty years of being alive, and the beginning of your third decade on this planet.  Your twenties are completely different from your teen years and should be celebrated as such.  Here are 20 things I wish I’d known when I turned 20 for making the most of this significant milestone.

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1) It’s time to (try to) get your life together.

You’re not old by any means, but you aren’t a teenager anymore.  Start giving more consideration to your educational, career, and life aspirations so when you enter the real world, you’ll be as prepared as possible.

 

2) School is still important.

You’re no longer a freshman in college who can stay up till 4:00 AM cramming for a test and ace it.  Put effort into your work — it will always benefit you in the future.

 

3) Don’t skip the workout.

Most women can’t eat junk food like they could when they were 16.  Your metabolism starts to slow as you get older and it’s important to keep a regular exercise routine, for both physical and mental health.

 

4) Maintain close friendships.

It’s likely you’ll stay in touch with your friends from college.  Cherish your #girlgang.  They may be your bridesmaids one day or your professional network.

 

5) Get as many jobs and internships as you can before graduation.

You’ll be glad you did when everyone is struggling to find work after college.  Everything you can involve yourself in will help you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs.

 

6) Enjoy your last year of not being 21.

This is your last year before you’re treated as a full-fledged legal adult!

 

7) When someone asks you if you want to go out, you should go.

Your college years are fleeting and at 20, you want to make the most of them.  As the adage states, no one ever looks back on their life and wishes they got more sleep.

 

8) Take care of your skin.

Skin care is important in your twenties, so splurge and invest in high-quality skin care products like cleansers and moisturizers.

 

9) Take lots and lots of photos.

Capture every moment and print them out for decorating your room or saving in a memory box.  But don’t live vicariously through your phone either; there’s a whole world out there for you to explore!

 

10) Make a LinkedIn profile if you haven't yet.

You’ll feel motivated and inspired about your future after seeing your accomplishments professionally laid out.  The LinkedIn platform will inspire you to reach your goals.

 

11) Invest in nice clothing.

Find clothing that fits your body and your adult style.  It’s an ultimate confidence booster.  Look good = feel good.

 

12) Plan a fabulous vacation or trip with your best friends.

You might only have a couple of spring breaks left as a student!  Soak up every second and take photos to document your memories whether you’ll use a scrapbook or VSCO.

 

13) Create a vision board on Pinterest.

Pinterest is the perfect platform to cultivate your hopes and dreams and get inspired.  Through the use of boards, you can plan anything from your future apartment to your next study abroad excursion.

 

14) Take it easy on yourself - you live and you learn.

You’re human and you make mistakes.  Treat every mistake as a lesson for the future.

 

15) Support your best friends in their endeavors.

Behind every successful woman is a tribe of successful women who have her back.

 

16) Never prioritize a boyfriend/girlfriend over friends, family, or schoolwork.

Having relationship balance is important.  Your current dating relationship might end one day, so it’s important to continue to pay attention to family, friends, and your education.

 

17) What goes around comes around.

As cliché as it sounds, when you put positive (or negative) energy into the world, it's bound to come back to you.  Keep this in mind regarding personal and professional relationships!

 

18) Give extra attention to your parents and grandparents whenever you can.

As you get older, so do they.  Remember to treat them with the respect they deserve.

 

19) Take care of your mental health, first and foremost.

If that means going to sleep early, shutting off your phone for the night, or taking a day for yourself to recoup, make sure you do it.

 

10) You have one of the best decades of your life in front of you.

A lot of growth happens between ages 20 and 30 so take the time to reflect on the woman you’re becoming!

 

Sylvia Pritchard is a twenty-year-old college student passionate about art, fashion, and my Chihuahua, Romeo.  You can most easily find her sipping an iced vanilla latte on campus or going for a run outside. She currently resides in Pullman, a tiny town in eastern Washington where she studies Public Relations.

 

Comments (1)

  1. Angelina Eimannsberger

#13 is great advice!!!!

 

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