I have a tradition on this blog that for each of my birthdays I write a numbered list of how many things I’ve learned according to the age I am turning. As I tried to generate a new list of 20 things I’ve learned at 20, I thought it would be much more suitable to sit down and just write. No lists, no bullet points. Though I have much more life to live, I think the things I have to say about it are worth hearing.

As I grow older, time never fails to go by faster. I am now realizing the amount of time I have left in life and all the things I wish to cram into every moment of it. No one knows when their last day on earth will be. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, or maybe 30 years from now. Sometimes I get stuck wondering if today were my last day on earth, would I be happy about the things I’ve done and what I’m leaving behind?

In short, the answer is yes.

I have a lot to be proud of.

But I would like to focus in on these last 2 years of my life. I know I’ve said it a million times before, but college has really changed me. Though I am still so young, it feels like I am already living a dream. Not long ago, I was uncertain about where I’d end up or the person I’d become. Today, I’ve been given a new lease on life, I sit in classrooms that overlook New York City, and I am more myself than I have ever been before. And at 20, that is what I’m most proud of.

I used to be a people pleaser. I used to be so concerned with what others thought of me. I used to compare myself to everyone else, but not anymore. These last 2 years have presented me with so many opportunities for self-growth. I’ve learned that we judge ourselves too harshly, and the flaws that we see, others don’t. I’ve also learned to put myself first and do what brings me the most joy. By realizing these things, I’ve found happiness and confidence in who I am. I’m no longer concerned with what others are up to and I don’t look at anyone else as my competition. No one can teach you these things. It took years of going through tough shit that I learned them on my own. I trained myself to think this way, and at 20, that is my greatest accomplishment.

Despite some questionable choices I’ve made in the past, I would say I’m pretty wise. Like any other age, 20 is another chapter in life. It signifies the beginning of a new decade that is to be filled with more milestones, memories, and lessons.

At 20, I struggle to form coherent sentences, I make dumb jokes that only I find funny, and I still feel like I’m 12. Nonetheless, I have gained a deeper appreciation for life and the people and experiences that make it so beautiful.

Until next time.



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