20 things I learned before turning 20!

I am in the final stretch of my time being a “teen”. It’s crazy to think that I am turning twenty when I still feel like I’m 16 and in high school. I know 20 is not old or a shocking age, but I really do not feel like I am mature enough to be “in my early twenties”. So, now I’m basically an immature, 16-year-old high school student! Even better!

Even though I don’t feel like I’m ready for my roaring twenties, I have gained a lot of knowledge on life; especially, as a student and adjusting to a lot of new environments. I thought I would put together a little post to share my favourite advice, motivational quotes, and life realizations that have gotten me to the “20-year-old, semi-mature college student” I am today (that’s a bit of an upgrade, right?). I’m hoping some of these motivate you or help you through school, life, or a tough time.

1. I am going to start off with a “quote” that I always look to for strength. This quote is actually a bible verse that I am totally obsessed with. Even if you are not religious this verse can symbolize your journey and the people in your life that help you every step of the way. It is Philippians 4:13, which states:

“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”

I always think of this when I am struggling or need some encouragement in life. To me this means: I can take whatever is thrown at me, I know god has a plan for me and would not put a hurdle in my way unless it would benefit my future. There is a path or a plan for me and I have supporters everywhere cheering for my success. The hurdle could seem like the end of the world, but in 10 years it will be a very small bump that I won’t even remember. I love it so much, I even have it tattooed on my body and it is still my favourite thing ever.

2. The next one was a hard thing for me to remember and actually follow. I feel like a lot of us have a hard time with this in our life. But, always follow your gut and do what feels right for you! You know yourself better than anyone else, so listen to your body. Make sure you feel happy, comfortable, and confident, if you don’t you need to re-evaluate and change it. Don’t waste your time on something that you know isn’t right.

3. Mcdonald’s Cesar salads are the BOMB. Do not let your friends or family tell you other wise because it’s Mcdonald’s, they have the best salads and I don’t feel bad about it one bit. (You have to get crispy chicken though…)

4. Being a teenager can be hard, make sure you have time to be by yourself. Having “me time” is really important for you, take the time to relax and do something for yourself. Read that book you always wanted to, take a super cliche “romance movie” bath with candles and rose petals, or get ahead of your school work (never a bad idea, just saying). Just be alone and be okay with being alone. I am a MAJOR home body and I wouldn’t change that, I love my couch!

5. If you need to gossip or rant about someone, do it in private. We all meet people that rub us the wrong way, but don’t create unnecessary drama for yourself. Gossiping does not help anyone.

6. I know this is very cliche and you probably hear it a lot, but everything happens for a reason! This is 100% true because no matter the situation, it works out. Have faith that everything in your life is there for a reason, so chill.

7. Having a small group of amazing friends is better and more beneficial than having a large group of people who are fake/barely like you. Don’t waste your time on people that do not make you a better person or make you happy.

8. Being organized is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. Keep a planner and use it, stay on top of everything you need to get done. Especially as a student, planning your weeks ahead of time will help you feel less stressed. Do not allow yourself to get overwhelmed, even when your stress seems like the end of the world. (See #6 to back up this advice…)

9. GO. TO. THE. GYM. Just fit it into your schedule, you will feel amazing. I promise, it is not as scary as you think. Everyone is there for the same reason as you are! Make a workout set and know what you want to do before walking in, having a plan will make you feel more comfortable. If you want me to share my workout sets, let me know.

10. Don’t be mean, ever. Just don’t do it, be nice because nice people are happy people.

11. Life tip for anyone wanting a tattoo: find one you like, then wait 3-6 months before getting it. A tattoo is permanent, If you love it 6 months down the road you will still love it 60 years down the road! Don’t rush anything that is permanent, take your time.

12. Have personal goals and work towards them, this blog was a goal and a dream for me. I am so happy that I decided to commit and work towards having a personal blog.

13. Don’t apologize for putting your mental health before school when you feel like you need a break, you should not feel bad for saying that you’re going through something. Talk to someone and better yourself. Taking a day off to realign yourself and focus on you should never be shamed. I shrug my emotions and feelings off because I don’t want to sound like I am being dramatic, don’t do that. It will spiral and become something bigger so just be honest and ignore the hatters because it’s your body/mind.

14. Mac and cheese is always a go-to meal, even when I’m “being healthy”. I am always down for some KD. Eat what makes you happy, kids. (I’m almost 20, mom. I can eat whatever I want!)

15. Start saving money early, because you will always need money (literally always, welcome to being an “adult”). Be smart about your spendings and put money away from each pay check. In high school, it may not seem like a serious thing to have a budget but you will want all the money you can get when paying for College/University. It’s a rough one out there, buckle up!

16. I have very recently learned that I love Spaghetti Squash. Love it. I am also excited to start trying new food because, why not? Try something weird and maybe you will love it. (My favourite recipe from Peas and Crayons, you need to try it ASAP!)

17. A simple compliment to yourself in the morning can go a long way for your self-esteem. When you wake up, tell yourself one thing you love about your body or yourself. I call myself a genius and I am in charge of “taking care of the genius”, sounds weird but it helps with confidence. (feed the genius, shower the genius, clothe the genius… weird but effective)

18. My top three Starbucks drinks that will never let me down: Iced Match Green Tea Latte with Soy Milk, Strawberry Acai with coconut milk, and Iced caramel Macchiato (Cali style). My life is better and complete now that I have found these drinks.

19. When in a relationship or getting into a relationship, have your own standards set before hand. Don’t let the relationship set your standards. You need to know what you want or you will be blinded by what you THINK you want. I learned this amazing advice from Transformation Church/Pastor Mike Todd Relationship goals series, even if you are not religious I promise you will learn so much about dating from this series.

20. You are a flower, give yourself what you need to grow and you will flourish.

Wow, this was actually very hard to write! Sitting down to actually think about what I have learned and decide on the important ones was a TASK AND A HALF. I hope some of these sparked something in you or helped you feel motivated in anyway. 20 is a new chapter and I am excited to see what it has in store for me.

Thank you for your support, let me know on social media what your favourite advice/quote/realization was!

Merci a million times.

Love always, Sam