By Jordan Mclain
This year I turned 20 years old… but do I feel like I’m 20 years old? No. I don’t even feel like I’m 19 years old. But you can’t stop aging, so I might as well look at it as a positive thing. Despite not feeling my own age, over nearly 20 years of living I have reflected my age through growth. Here are 20 things I’ve learned over the past two decades:
- Independence– I like to consider myself as an independent person. I love making friends and being social, but at the end of the day being by myself is one of the things I treasure.
- Intro-Extrovert– Like I said, I love making friends and socializing. However, sometimes I like to just sit back and observe. It really depends on my mood, but when it comes to being an introvert or extrovert, I’m definitely stuck in the middle.
- Adulting– Growing up, I’ve always heard people my age say something along the lines of being scared to “adult.” I can relate to an extent, however, I’m personally ready to transition to adulthood in the upcoming years and not have to rely on anyone except for myself.
- Sensitivity- Something I’ve definitely had to learn the hard way. I have taken certain actions toward me the wrong way and am learning how to not take those things too seriously sometimes.
- Positive Mindset– It’s not always the easiest to do, but whenever something stressful is coming up (like exams ugh) or something happens against my favor, I now monitor my thoughts and try to avoid negative thoughts by thinking positive things. It sounds cliche but it actually has worked for me and, because of that, I continue to do it.
- Helping– I’m lowkey that someone who my friends go to for help on things like schoolwork or advice, and I like to take pride in that. I realize in different ways that I am helpful and hope that I am appreciated.
- Music Taste– OK but for real, music is actually the best therapy. Whenever I’m on the verge of having a mental breakdown, listening to guilty pleasure songs really takes me to a different place and makes me feel nostalgic.
- Budgeting– I’m not saying this to be “quirky,” but I seriously need to stop spending money and start budgeting. I actually don’t spend too much and am pretty responsible with it, but I could dwindle down just a little…
- Managing Anxiety– Since the start of high school, I’ve unfortunately experienced social anxiety. However, with a better perception of how I view myself and building my confidence, it’s reduced and has gotten easier to deal with.
- Not Obsessing Over Grades– I’m the type of person who gets average grades, and I’m totally OK with that. I used to worry about getting higher grades, but now I mainly just focus on getting my overall work done the best I can. If anything, I focus on passing more than the “Dean’s List” or achieving a higher G.P.A.
- Focusing On The Present Rather Than The Future– I thankfully don’t worry about the future too much. I have the mindset of knowing that the future will fall in my favor, so I just focus on the present.
- Not Comparing Myself To Others– One thing I’m still learning is not to compare other people’s actions to what I would do. Some people might do things with the same intentions as me, but it could possibly come across differently.
- Keeping Busy– I like being busy and having something to do. With school and socializing, it makes the perfect formula for being on the go and having something to do 90% of the time.
- Importance Of Moderation– Although I enjoy being busy, I also love doing nothing and just relaxing. I like to maintain that balance of being social and being alone, so relaxing and settling down is something that is also necessary for me.
- Cooking And Cleaning– As Nicki Minaj once said, “Yes I do the cooking, yes I do the cleaning.” In all seriousness, I really do clean my dorm a lot and cook a good amount of times, so I’ll take pride in that.
- Contentment– One of the most prevalent things to me is not relying on other people for happiness. I know that a lot of people struggle with this, so I’m aware that I’m lucky to naturally be happy with just myself.
- Being My Own Best Friend– Tying into what was said above, I also view myself as one of my own best friends. I’m literally stuck with myself forever, so why not appreciate it?
- Self-Assuredness– This is something I’ve been working on for the past couple of years. In order to be confident in myself, I really have to push myself and go out of my comfort zone, and do certain things such as making plans with friends, taking pictures, etc., to maintain my confidence.
- Mental Aches– Whenever I get really overwhelmed, I notice my brain will literally ache and hurt, which is sort of weird. It’s not like a migraine or headache, my inner brain just literally aches. However, I try to find ways to release the tension and purge out the negative or worrying thoughts by having inner conversations, napping, and talking to friends, and other random things.
- Gratitude– Last but not least, not to sound stereotypical but I’m thankful and appreciative to live another year and continue to genuinely learn more things as I grow. The amount of opportunities and things I have makes me realize how privileged I am, and I should really show more gratitude toward my life.
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