I turned 20 years old on the 12th of February, and to be honest nearly I'm still coming to terms with the facts that a) I'm no longer a teenager and b) I am officially in my 20s. It's a funny feeling, and one that I think is going to take some time to get used to as I keep almost putting my age as 19 on forms and surveys! (Just a note to say that I wrote most of this post several months ago but as I was incredibly busy with uni I didn't get round to publishing it, but I thought I would do it anyway as I like to document these things.)
My actual birthday was a very low-key affair, I went for lunch at my favourite place to eat with two friends and we had a lovely time until I managed, like the child I am, to spill my entire glass of elderflower pressé into my lap, luckily narrowly avoiding my phone. I had to sit in wet jeans until I got home and it was a cold, cold day so generally quite unpleasant. Then a couple of days later I had a proper party, which was 1920s-themed and honestly the most fun time I've had in a while. My uni house had a massive living room/kitchen space which was ideal for parties, so I took full advantage by blinging it up with loads of sparkly and gold decorations. Then I got my mood lighting set up and cooked a load of food and people started arriving, (nearly) all dressed in their flapper best so we just had a good time and grooved to my electro swing playlist and then we watched the The Great Gatsby film with Leonardo di Caprio aka my favourite movie adaptation of one of my favourite books of all time.
To mark the momentous occasion of reaching the big double decade I thought I'd share a mixture of general and more specific and personal things/advice that I have learned in my 20 years of being alive. I wanted to make this into a sort of '20 things I know at 20' post after watching Hannah Witton's '25 Things I've Learnt in 25 Years' video but I couldn't think of enough things so we're going with what I've got.
- Being an adult does not mean you have all the answers and know exactly what you want to do with your life. It's OK to take longer to figure it out.
- If you're a introvert, it's important to balance your time alone and the time you spend with other people. Too much of either one isn't good for me personally.
- Do things at your own pace, life is not a race. Especially in this socially-mediated world it's easy to compare yourself to other people and use their achievements as standards you feel you have to meet or benchmark goals you feel you need to achieve.
- It's important to listen to your instincts about people - if you get a bad feeling, take a step back.
- Take lots of photos, of everything. Photos are the best way of keeping a memory alive, but make sure you're living in the moment too.
- Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Have lots of friends in lots of different groups.
- Sending important emails is a natural part of growing up, there's no way to avoid it.
- Welcome change into your life. Just because things don't stay the same doesn't mean they will be worse.
- Follow your interests. I mean that in term of pursuing your hobbies and passions, but also simple things - like if you realise that the vast majority of films you've ever watched have been very mainstream and not your cup of tea, make an effort to look into things that fall off the metaphorical beaten track.