Firstly, man I love alliteration. Secondly, I turned 20. It was a while ago but it was truly one of the best birthdays I have experienced in two decades (oh by the way, thats a thing I try to insert into conversations organically now). This year started off quite terribly if I am being completely honest with all of you. I just wanted to curl up into a ball and watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine and never leave my bed. But that doesn’t fix anything. So I got my shit together and attempted to kick everyday in the butt (only after approx 3 coffees though). Here are is some revelations I have had since turning twenty.
20 Life Lessons I Have Been Taught so Far:
1. Hangovers are worse in your twenties. (I swear to everything holy in the Vatican that I am STILL recovering from my alcoholic celebrations.)
2. Pot plants, whilst good in theory are actually very hard to take care of. Also don’t name them, you’ll get attached and then get very upset when they die. (Hang in there Boris the Basil, I promise I’ll water you someday soon)
3. Putting together furniture is hard. Doing it by yourself? Impossible. Ask your exasperated roommate for help. After she finishes making fun of you, it will become a fun bonding moment. (It took 14 hours for me to put my bed-frame together. It was 12 hours of complaining and then 2 hours of actual work.)
4. If you haven’t practiced good study habits by now, a third year university student, then quite honestly, you never will. Accept it and move on.
5. Moving out of student accommodation will do wonders for your mental health and overall outlook on life.
6. Run. Get the hell out of bed and go. You will already feel stronger and happier for it. Plus, buying activewear is fun.
7. Surround yourself with friends who encourage you to be a better person. The people who you hang out with are a reflection of where you are now. If you don’t like being swept up in drama and bullshit, don’t be friends with those kinds of people. Simple.
8. No matter how often you think about what happened back in January, there is nothing you can do to change it. When it becomes overwhelming remember: this too will pass. Lean on those around you for support. They love you.
9. Waking up early in the morning makes you feel like a better person. It encourages mindfulness and makes you reflect on a lot of things. (Like how you should have gone to bed earlier.)
10. Vodka makes you cry. (While we are at it here, stay away from absinthe.)
11. Salmon will become your go to dish because its freaking delicious and so easy to make!! (Method: on an oven tray, layer baking paper down. Place salmon onto tray and drizzle with olive oil, and add sliced lemons, garlic, parsley and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Put into an oven preheated to 190 degrees for approx 20 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes. Delicious!)
12. Stick to your gluten free diet. You are a Coeliac. It doesn’t matter how much you love Tim Tams, they are gonna make you feel ill. (BUT DAMN HOW GOOD ARE DOUBLE COATED TIM TAMS YOU GUYS?!)
13. Read Rupi Kaur. It’s gonna heal you. (Thank you Connie and Alley for sending poems for strength and power.)
14. When in doubt, call your mum. She will always know how to fix it. (But brace yourself for the incoming lecture about how you did everything wrong. Yes, the slides will be available on blackboard.)
15. It’s 2018, if you want to practice your faith, do it. (Psalm 46:5)
16. Put less sugar in your coffee so that you don’t have to look your barista in the eye and ask for 4 sugars in your 8oz latte. (I can no longer afford to get caramel shots so I guess this is just my life now.)
17. If they really loved you, they wouldn’t treat you that way. (Only a coward leaves when the going gets tough. You always deserved better than that.)
18. Aggressive female empowerment is incredible. So are your friends. (Lentil Pals, I love you gorls. You guys are my cheer squad.)
19. No more instant coffee. The stuff tastes like sadness and deadlines.
20. You are stronger than you think you are.
So here I am, 20 years old and I can open most salsa jars without assistance. I am an official adult. I wash my clothes every week instead of buying more. I put lemon slices in my water bottles. I don’t have time for bullshit. I am on track with my degree and know exactly where I want to be. I am caffeinated and damn, I am motivated.