Biggest news flash ever, I’m turning 20 next Friday. What. The. Heck. It only felt like yesterday I was starting my first day at school. The past (nearly) 20 years have been somewhat challenging and I’ve 100% learnt a few hard lessons along the way, but I am very happy with my (nearly) 20 year old self. Those challenges and lessons have made me the person I am today so I thought I would share with you 20 things I’ve learnt before turning 20.
1. Moving to New Zealand was the best choice ever. Moving across the other side of the world and gaining complete independence and being able to choose my own life choices without anyone influencing the choices I make has honestly been the best thing ever. I’ve grown up a lot over the past 10 months and I cannot wait to see what the future holds in New Zealand.
2. Never apologise for who you are – You should never have to apologise for any trait or characteristic that makes you who you are
3. Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s totally ok. I learnt this lesson very early on in life, and I’m sure you have learnt this lesson already too. You can be the kindest, caring and most thoughtful person ever, but that doesn’t mean that you are going to click with everyone around you. As long as you keep the people around you that make you feel happy, thats all that matters; as soon as you start overthinking about someone not liking you, or you change to make someone like you, you will become unhappy in yourself, and thats not ok.
4. School isn’t the best time of your life, or at least it wasn’t mine It would frustrate me SO much when someone would preach about how my school years are the best years I’ll ever have, when I was hating all forms of education. Suffering with anxiety through my school years made the pressure of fitting in and making friends the hardest thing ever. Since leaving school and getting stuck into work I’ve been a lot happier.
5. Good things come to those who wait but better things come when you work hard for it.
6. Not going to university doesn’t make you a failure. I left school with good grades, I was smart and could of had a ‘great’ future at university. But that wasn’t what I wanted. I left school and went to college to train 5 days a week in my passion, athletics. I chose the ‘easy’ option, but it was the best decision for me. I chose to travel to New Zealand rather than go to University. That doesn’t make me stupid, I’m still just as clever, I’m just going down a slightly different path to life.
7. True friends will stick around. I am a true believer of you are only friends with the majority of people in school because you see them Monday to Friday, not because you are genuinely friends. I can count on one hand how many of my school friends that I still speak too after leaving school and moving to the other side of the world, and no doubt they will be my friends until I’m old and grey!
8. Don’t let one step-back break you down.
9. If it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be. This covers every aspect in life, I have learnt that everything happens for a reason, and there is no point fussing and stressing over things that you cannot change that have happened in the past.
10. It’s ok to feel like your stuck in a rut. This is one lesson I’ve learnt recently. I’m not happy with a few things in my life at the moment i’ll be honest and almost feel lost because I’m not sure what I want to do career wise, I don’t have much experience or age on my side and I sort of feel like I’m drifting and not really achieving anything, but I know so many people go through this at a similar age to me.
11. It’s good to step out of your comfort zone – It can be hard but also so incredibly rewarding.
12. It’s important to do more of what makes you happy. At the end of the day, who is living your life? You, or the people impacting your life? You. You are the only one who knows how it feels to wake up early on a Sunday, or go to work dreading it, if you aren’t happy with something, go out and do something that makes you happy! (Even if that means waking up at 1pm every weekend)
13. Family and friends are important, never take them for granted
14. Removing negative people can only lead to positive outcomes. Removing anyone that reflects negativity in your life, wether it’s a friend, boy/girlfriend or family member will be the best thing you can do. If anyone is making you unhappy, you are better off cutting all ties with them and move forward with your life.
15. Home is a feeling, not a place. Home is where you are most happy, with whom ever you feel fully content with.
16. Save money as soon as you start earning. Putting £10/20 p/w away after every pay check will leave you with at least £1040 by the end of the year..imagine what you could do with that money. I always make sure I put money away to pay for things like weekend breaks away or dinner dates.
17. It’s ok to say no and become a granny at 19. Turning out a night out on the town for a chilled movie evening is so ok. Your body will thank you for it!
18. Trust no-one but yourself. The world can be a funny place at sometimes, and to be honest you only get out what you put in. Most people will only do things for you if it benefits them. So don’t get disheartened if someone acts kind towards you, to take the next step in their life.
19. Don’t take any day for granted. You never know whats around the corner.
20. I still have plenty of things to learn – I’m sure my twenties will be filled with plenty more life lessons, here’s to learning them as a proper adult.