inspired by Dearly Bethany’s video
Being 20 was an interesting time because it is the start of the third decade of your life. For many, it is a time of your undergraduate studies or some form of tertiary studies and also for many, you may be living away from family and loved ones. It is a time for self-discovery, independence, courage and adventure.
I was in my second year going into my third year of university and I remember it being really hard. They always said the second year of your degree in university generally felt harder as the grades count more and as such you are required to put in more effort. I had a lot of hard days, but I also had a lot of fun days. I generally don’t regret my time as a university kid, though I did wish I had done some things slightly differently.
I remember freaking out entering my 20s. I was like “oh here we go, entering into adulthood and expected to do all the adult things”. It is true, but it’s not as bad as I thought it would be.
6 Things I’d Tell Myself at 20
1. Give it your all for that degree and don’t look back.
Whatever form of education you are pursuing at that time, pursue it well. Work hard, study hard. There’s no short cut to success like the old fashion way of putting in your time and commitment. Give it your best shot and be proud of the effort you put it. No matter the outcome, you can at least know you gave it your all. Giving your all is better than regretting not doing otherwise.
2. You are beautiful inside and out. You must believe it to see it.
I had a seriously hard time accepting how I looked back then. I so badly wanted to look like this, look like that. In the end I would end up feeling somewhat satisfied with my look but deep down I still hated it. I wanted to look hot. I wanted to look cool. When I looked back at old photos after many years, I couldn’t believe it. I did look good, I believe I looked great. I had great skin and I was thinner than I expected to be. What was I thinking!? But I know, I know I only feel this way now because I have finally accepted myself and learned to love the body and look I was given.
3. Have the courage to make your own decisions.
A lot of people will easily make decisions for you if you don’t decide that you will. That’s just the way the world works. Advantages are taken without much mercy. To prevent being stepped over or being taken advantage of, you have to learn to think for yourself. Do what you feel is right for you and will contribute to your growth. Consult your trusted circle if you have to but in the end, learn to decide by yourself. It’s a good test of leadership that you will later on need in your career and when making other major life decisions.
4. Don’t be so quick to grow up. Be as young as you can.
I am guilty of wanting to have grown up so fast. I don’t know why, I just didn’t enjoy being young or being regarded young. I even disliked the association of being a young individual. I wanted to be as grown up as possible. But there is so much time for that. And when that time finally comes (and it already has for me by this point), you realise you wish you could be young and carefree again. Your youth will zap right past you. Enjoy every single moment you can.
5. Stay true to yourself and let your principles be your backbone in an ever-changing world.
Nevertheless, while being as young as you want to be, keep a hold of the values and principles you grew up with or are choosing to define you as you progress into adulthood. Choose values that you can fall back on. Let it be your guiding principle, especially in times when you begin to doubt or face pressure especially from life experiences and the company you keep. When you know who you are and what kind of person you want to be, you won’t let negative experiences hold you down.
6. Everything works out for the better, it always does.
I remember being a worry-wart and I still am unfortunately. I may not look it but I tend to over think situations and worry about everything, even the minute things. I remember when I went to driving school, started off poorly. I remember there was one Sunday morning I was so sleepy yet I had to attend a driving class. I almost hit another driving school car and was so traumatized by the experience I quickly concluded driving was not for me and that I would probably take public transport for the rest of my life. When I think about that today I have a good laugh because driving has now somewhat become second nature to me. Also, I actually enjoy driving!