I just turned twenty last month and am now embarking upon the journey of the magical, unpredictable and terrifying decade that awaits me in my twenties. I realize that there are going to be a lot of things that I need to accept if I am going to survive the next ten years…

I am always inclined to expect perfection for myself and my life, but I’ve learned in my years as a teenager that having that expectation only hurts me. Many of you have probably done the same. Therefore I made myself this list. There are many facts of life that we all need to accept in order to find the happiness and satisfaction that we need as adults. Perfection is in the imperfect nature of growing up.

1. You’re going to be broke for a very long time. Stock up on Ramen and make the best of it.

2. The first time you fall in love probably won’t be the last. There are different kinds of love and people that will come into your life for different reasons.

3. You will undeniably grow apart from your friends in some ways. You’re going to move and get into relationships and careers that take up a lot of your time and rather than resent each other for that, cherish the time that you do have to spend together.

4. Nothing in your life is permanent. That’s horrifying and invigorating all at the same time. You have to embrace change and accept that it is 100% necessary.

5. You’re never going to look perfect, but you’re beautiful the way you are. Cultivate your perception of what you see in the mirror, and stop trying so hard to change it. You’re young and vibrant. Own it. Be you.

6. You’re going to feel alone sometimes. It’s going to seem like everyone has their own lives and you are floating in the ocean all by your lonesome. That’s okay. In the end, you can only really count on yourself, and you will become stronger from the moments you felt abandoned.

7. There’s never going to be a time that you will not need your parents and family in many ways. Keep them close to your heart.

8. You’re going to feel unappreciated, defeated, and disappointed at times. Those are the building blocks of who you will later become.

9. You’re going to change your mind about things. You can’t feel guilty about leaving a relationship, area or career if it’s what’s best for you. Changing your mind is what you’re supposed to do.

10. The job market isn’t what it used to be. Your college degree or work history isn’t an easy ticket to success anymore. You are going to have to constantly prove yourself. Hard work is good.

11. The past is over. You have to let go of every “what could have been” and go forward.

12. It’s not always going to be easy to be a good person. You’re going to have to fight for what you believe is right, and sometimes it will feel like no one is on your side. That’s ok, they don’t have to be, as long as you are.

13. Not everyone is going to like you, and if you think that it’s possible you will kill yourself trying.

14. You’re going to misjudge people. Don’t beat yourself up over trying to see the good in someone. Just be cautious and learn.

15. When you do find your person, they aren’t going to be perfect. Your relationship or marriage will be hard sometimes. It isn’t about thinking someone is perfect, it’s about knowing that they are perfect for you. You need to marry your best friend, not your “dream” man or woman.

16. Your body is going to change. Whether its due to having children or not having enough money for a gym membership, you’re not always going to look 20. I repeat from #4; you’re beautiful. Your body is supposed to change just like everything else in life does.

17. You’re going to fall on your face multiple times. This could from a relationship or job or really anything, but it will happen. You have to brush yourself off, and learn from your mistakes.

18. Not everything will be like you imagine it now. You may not want to dish out the money you’d need to have your Pinterest Wedding, or have the job you imagined for yourself, and that’s okay. Life isn’t a series of check-boxes you create as a teenager, it’s much more complex and unpredictable, and that’s what makes it beautiful.

19. Your core values will not always align with those of the people around you. But you need to stand by them.

20. You’re going to feel like a different person after these years, and probably know a heck of a lot more than you do now. It’s most important that you remember who you are in your heart. Love freely. Move towards your dreams. Accept imperfection, and realize that life will get messy, but it’s a beautiful mess and it’s all yours.


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What's your reaction?


  • In My 20z
    Posted March 27, 2014 4:33 pm 0Likes

    Reblogged this on IN MY 20z.

  • mylittlered1
    Posted March 31, 2014 1:42 pm 0Likes

    Reblogged this on mylittlered1.

  • Sam
    Posted April 1, 2014 1:07 am 0Likes

    Nothing is permanent? What if you come out of college, find a job you love, and work there the rest of your life? Or you find the love of your life and you marry them, and live with them the rest of your life. I found the love of my life when I was 17 years old, I’m now 21 and we still grow stronger every single day and I know we will be together everyday for the rest of our lives. Those are just a couple examples, but I’m sure there are a few more that could work. Other than that this is a good read with great points.

    • Ruecian
      Posted April 1, 2014 3:14 am 0Likes

      NOTHING is permanent, everyone is guaranteed death, and nobody knows exactly when that will be. Careers can fail, and if they don’t they will eventually be retired from unless you die beforehand.

      In all likely-hood even if your relationship continues to go well on both ends (4 years is by no means a guarantee that will occur) One of you will pass on before the other, in unfortunate cases it could be while you’re still relatively young.

      The main message is to embrace change, if you have a grand plan for your single dream job and your single dream spouse, guess what happens when either or both suddenly comes crashing down? You have to adapt and be willing to adapt or you’ll just waste the rest of your life.

    • BB
      Posted April 2, 2014 2:33 pm 0Likes

      Sam, I read your reply this morning. It made me smile. I like your optimism. The point you called into question was that nothing is permanent. You gave 2 examples of things that are permanent, 1) a job can be lifelong 2) You’ll love your girlfriend for the rest of your life. Those 2 items you mentioned hit close to me because I’ve experienced both. I’m 58 years old, I’ve been married for 35 years and I recently retired from my job that I had for 35 1/2 years. Your answer made it sound like those 2 thing will be easy. Believe me, they are not easy.
      Find a job you love and work there the rest of your life. That sounds easy. A no-brainer in fact. Well my young friend, there are factors you are not considering. What about when the job you love changes into a job you don’t love. In my case, technology was the reason things changed. I started in 1976 as a photographer/video producer for a large technical college. The needs of the college changed. I had no control over that. After 22 years I switched to the newly formed IT dept. For the first 8 or 9 years I loved those duties. Once again the needs of the college changed. The last 2 years were really a challenge for me because my job duties were things I was not at all interested in. Fortunately for me, my original contract said that if I worked at that place for 35 years I could collect a lifetime pension. Those benefits are no longer offered. If you have a similar job track as mine you will have to work an additional 10 years at least. That’s assuming you live very modestly and don’t rack up large depts. If the job changes (and it will) you may not enjoy the experience.
      You are deeply in love, you are also 21. I’m guessing that you met her in High School and are now in College. When you get out into “the real world” you will meet other woman that you will find amazing. The woman I was in love with when I was 21 is long gone. In fact I almost can’t remember what she looked like. How about the woman I married? Marriage is not always easy. You truly have to work at it. Most people don’t want to put forth the effort. I would say that when you are 30 years old you will look back at your reply and laugh about who you thought was the girl of your dreams.

      That’s enough for now. My comments are not meant to be criticism, just observations from someone that has experienced the things you assume are permanent.

      • samantha
        Posted April 3, 2014 12:45 am 0Likes

        Wonderfully put to the responses above. Life is quite simply unpredictable.

      • Podge
        Posted June 2, 2014 4:42 pm 0Likes

        But everything is permanent until proven guilty, and THAT is a scientific FACT, Mr. Buddha Man.

    • Laci
      Posted April 3, 2014 10:56 pm 0Likes

      Yes, NOTHING is permanent. I sincerely hope your relationship lasts, but I wouldn’t bet my life (or yours) on it. 21 is still very young, and since you started dating at 17 you are going to change a crazy amount by the time you reach your mid-to-late twenties. You may not even like the person who your dating has become or you may realize you aren’t compatible like you used to be no matter how much you love them. Trust me, it happens. It happens to many, many people. Half of all marriages end in divorce. Don’t live in a fantasy you may not be able to make come true, hoping for the best is all you can do. You can plan your life out, but life rarely, if ever goes as you plan it.

      Also, rarely does someone find a job and stay in the position for the rest of their working life. You can easily be fired, layed off, or find you want to do something else. You can spend years getting a degree only to work in the only job you can find (that you didn’t even need a degree for). People die, move, go broke, get rich and barely scrape by. I think the point of the article is that you need to expect the unexpected. Life isn’t all puppies and rainbows but it can be great if you appreciate what you’ve got and go with the flow! 🙂

  • L
    Posted April 2, 2014 2:57 am 0Likes

    Reblogged this on behindthesehazeleyes2.

  • makenna arensdorf
    Posted April 3, 2014 8:17 pm 0Likes

    Reblogged this on (( acrylic conception )).

  • bangone
    Posted April 4, 2014 12:47 am 0Likes

    This is true. I’m in my late 20’s and it’s true that you will change your mind a lot but as long you learned from it. Things will definitely change so much when you almost reach 30, when your in the age of 20’s you will go through so much but as long you learn from your mistake, you’ll be fine.

  • notesofstacie
    Posted April 4, 2014 1:21 am 0Likes

    Reblogged this on notesofstacie and commented:
    This girl nailed it!

  • Cassie Schmidt
    Posted April 4, 2014 3:15 am 0Likes

    Reblogged this on Cassie Schmidt.

  • manduns
    Posted May 17, 2014 12:12 pm 0Likes

    Reblogged this on surrounded yet free.

  • charliesfreedom
    Posted September 18, 2014 1:23 pm 0Likes

    Reblogged this on Charlie's Freedom and commented:
    Couldn’t have said it better!

    • Lexi Herrick
      Posted September 19, 2014 1:56 am 0Likes

      Your twenties are so crazy haha there’s always wisdom to share!

  • smile
    Posted July 18, 2016 7:00 am 0Likes

    Your posts are always so inspiring 🙂 I just turned 20 last week and I am so glad I fell upon this one 😀 Always keep keeping
    ~An African girl in her 20’s

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