20 Things I Learned at 20

You must have guessed it from the title- it’s my birthday! I’m no longer a teenager (that makes me very sad) and I’ve lived two decades on this Earth. Two decades sounds like a lot! That means 20 years that I’ve woken up in the morning to a brand new day, learned something or experienced something new in each of those days. While I can’t recall each and every day of my life, I think all of us end up remembering the important days- like your first day of school- or the important experiences that help shape your personality- like the first book you bought with your own money. (My first book was Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, by the way). 
Instead of reminiscing through the events, I’m going to be talking about 20 things I learned that I felt are important to know about when it comes to being a teenager and generally about life and people.

1. It doesn’t matter if you don’t look good in the picture. It’s the memory that counts. A couple of years later and you’d be happy to see yourself in those pictures- regardless of how you look- rather than being completely absent in a picture full of your friends. Take a break and say CHEESE!

2. You’ll come across people and you’d think that the two of you would be friends forever. Well, newsflash- people change, things happen and you end up breaking apart. The next time you see them, they will look like a stranger and you will feel like a stranger and there’s nothing you can do to turn back time.

3. You don’t “own” people. It’s okay to feel hurt when people change- especially when it’s an overnight metamorphosis- but harboring a grudge for that? That’s just wrong. People change and you should too.

4. Learn to let it go. Small arguments and fights don’t matter in the long run and are only a source of negative energy like anger and regret.

5. The beauty of people on social media is directly proportional to the amount of makeup and type of filter applied.

6. No matter what you do, you’re going to be tired and worn out. The least you can do for yourself is pick a career where you’re doing something you enjoy.

7. It’s okay to say no, it’s okay if you can’t complete requests. It’s okay to take little breaks every now and then.

8. You’ll cry a lot. For no reason. Get ready.

9. If you have an opinion about something, learn to express it correctly. Don’t step on other people or trying shutting them down, even if they’re being stupid. It’s your job to keep your higher moral ground.

10. It’s okay to turn your friends down if they’ve got plans and you’re just not in the mood for it. Do what makes you feel comfortable.

11. Don’t feel bad about your decisions and don’t think about what might have happened. Your decisions can’t be changed and living with the consequences is your job. That’s what being grownup is about- making decisions and then taking responsibility.

12. You’ll come across obnoxious people. You’ll pass by obnoxious people. You don’t need to do anything more than that.

13. Don’t trust people unless they give you a good reason to. Therefore, always keep a backup plan for everything.

14. If you had a bad experience with someone, there’s two things you need to learn from it. Beware of that person and don’t be that person.

15. There’s a lot of fake people out there. Don’t be surprised about it. Take the plunge and talk to everyone anyway.

16. Learn to be independent. Get work done in person or on the phone.

17. Art. Be creative when you can be and want to be.

18. Blogging is a great decision. I sincerely advise you to start blogging if you don’t and to keep up the great work if you do!

19. Plan your day, your goals, your dreams. Get it out on paper. It makes things look possible.

20. If you have a problem about something, talk to someone about it. Just getting it off your chest can help put things in perspective and make the light at the end of the tunnel easier to see.

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And that’s twenty things that I’ve learned! Of course, there’s a lot of other things too, but these are the most relevant when it comes to giving advice to teenagers. What kind of life lessons have you learned so far? Which do you think is most important? Have a nice day!

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Author: Kanra Khan

I'm a Pakistani American student of medicine, or more precisely, an almost-graduate of MBBS Class of 2019. I like to write about my experiences in med school and my adventures in life, which range from traveling, to art, to blogging and photography. Like what you're seeing so far? Consider exploring a bit more! The Lunar Descent is endless.

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