Thursday, 8 January 2015

20 things I've learnt before turning 20

I'll turn 20 on the 27th of January. This makes me feel quite sad as i've really enjoyed being 19 and enjoyed being a teenager for the latter part too. My teenage years were quite up and down. I was quite chubby, shy and my love of black and neon colours shrouded my fashion judgement too. I didn't feel confident in myself, both, how I looked and what I thought. I didn't have many friends and would drift in and out of friendship groups so never really had a best friend. I didn't really enjoy being at school most of the time so I never really understood why adults would tell me it would be the best days of my life. Working full time I get what they were going on about now!

There was a change when I reached about the ages of 16-17 I lost some weight and felt a lot happier with the way I looked and my confidence grew with that too. I started sixth form and I felt I had a bit more control over what I was studying. I found my love of writing and media studies so really enjoyed going to those lessons. I made new friends and I still talk to most of them now, three years on.

I've decided to write this post as a I wanted to share some of my wisdom, the life lessons i've learnt and also just to pay homage to my best decade (out of two, mind)

 Don't worry so much. 
I used to stress and panic over silly little things and looking back I can barely remember any of them now. I've learnt from the 'will it matter in five years from now' quote so if it doesn't matter in several years time then I try to forget about it and move on. I went through a difficult time with friendships over the years. I never really had a best friend before and that used to bother me a little. Now I would say that I met some very nice people about three years through a mutual friend and I have a small group of close friends rather than a big group of acquaintances. 

Wear something outrageous. 
After all you are only young once so how many times can you get away with wearing a skintight, sequin jumpsuit?!

Passing my driving test was the best thing I've ever done.
Passing my driving test was probably the best thing I've ever done. I love the freedom I have now and I really enjoy driving too.

Experiment with your style.
Over the last few years I have really enjoyed playing with my style. I love trying new things from dying my long hair red, to black to a shoulder length ombre cut. 

Your parents are actually pretty cool. 
As embarrassing as they may have been when you were thirteen you'll realise that they are actually cool people and you'll cherish the time you spend with them in years to come. 

Try doing something outside your comfort zone. 
Whether that be talking to a new person, trying a new food or even a bolder or more vibrant lip shade may make you feel a little nervous at the thought but once you've taken the plunge you'll thank yourself. 

Try taking a break from social media.
Even by just taking one or two days out to focus on yourself and those around. You can give yourself some me time and you also give yourself the chance to live in the moment without posting it online with a snazzy hashtag.

Sometimes you just have to dance like a loon at a concert. 
I love nothing more than getting my bad moves on at a gig. Losing yourself in the moment and letting go of all your worries. The sense of euphoria at concerts is one that can't be described.  

You have to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. 
In the last year or so I have definitely grown into myself a lot more. I used to find it quite difficult saying no to people or allowing myself to give in to peer pressure. Now though, I stand up for little old me and if something or someone is making me unhappy I won't go along with it. 

Don't be afraid to not follow the crowd.
A big part of growing up and becoming an adult is to figure out who you are and be proud of that person. 

You'll remember your first job for the rest of your life. 
I've only had three jobs in my life and I can remember them all. When I was sixteen I volunteered in an Oxfam bookshop near me over the summer. After that I had a six month contract at my local Boots store which was a fun introductory into the pleasures of working with the general public. Then lastly, the job I'm at now, I work in a health food shop. It's not exactly my passion but I really get along well with the ladies I work with and enjoy my time there. 

Immerse yourself in your hobbies.
Throw yourself wholeheartedly into whatever you love. Do it to the best of your ability because you never know that in x number of years you might not have the time.. between a relationship, career and children after all!

Travel as much as you can.
I'd love to travel all over the world if money was no question. Travelling helps to broaden your horizons, meet new people, learn about other cultures and learn about yourself. 

Learn to cook the basics. 
Even though I'm writing this I think I could definitely still brush up a lot more I can cook/bake some easy things like pasta, cake, putting a frozen pizza in the oven can be quite tricky too hehe.

Learn the basics of 'grown up stuff'.
I never really paid much attention to financial or political features in newspapers, magazines or on the tv because it honestly didn't really interest me. Once I reached 18 years old and was of age to vote I felt this would be something I should know at least a little bit about this type of thing. Also now that I work and earn my own money I want to pretend I know what I'm talking about in terms of money and which ISA to choose.

Look after yourself and your skin. 
It takes 21 days to form a habit and 21 days to break it too. If you set yourself in a good regime of staying healthy, exercising and taking care of your skin it'll certainly make it easier and pay off in the future. 

You'll go through pain but it will get easier and so much better.
At the time it may seem like everything is going wrong and the light at the end of that tunnel is dimly lit but you'll come out of it stronger and it will be okay. 

Sometimes you have to forgive and forget, not hold a grudge and be the bigger person. 
When someone has upset you, wronged you it's difficult to pretend it didn't happen but at the end of the day life is far too short to give yourself added stress (and added wrinkles). It takes more muscles to frown than smile. 

Pull an all nighter.
Whether that be a movie marathon of all the LOTR films or out on the town with a fun group of mates leading to legendary stories like "That one time we did tequilas and ended up sat on the beach at 5 am with a group of disheveled friends, a chicken and someone from Blazin' Squad. 

Enjoy your freedom.
You're only young once and there are only so many times you can get away with stumbling out of the kebab shop at quarter to three on a saturday night/morning.

Thanks for reading, I really hope you liked this post. All my love, A x.


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