Congratulations, you’re twenty.
It has been said that this is the most pointless year of your life. You can’t legally drink or gamble yet, but you also can’t chalk up stupid mistakes to being a teenager anymore. Sounds horrible right? The thought of turning twenty scares me. I’m not just young and dumb anymore, I have to get my sh*t together and figure out what I want out of life. People in their twenties are supposed to have their life together by now, right? They graduate college, get jobs, travel, fall in love, set goals and just generally know what’s up. I’m not ready for that. I still just want to run around foolishly and blame it on the fact that I’m a stupid teenager. It’s the same part of me that hates being a sophomore in college because I can’t blame any mistakes on being a stupid freshman.
I’m going to be twenty. Letting that sink in is quite scary but…I can’t change that. I can’t stop it, time keeps moving no matter how much I don’t want it to. So I’m going to do the only thing I can do at this point- embrace it. It isn’t pointless, it’s a beginning of another wonderful period of your life. Your twenties are hopefully where you will truly find yourself and establish what you want out of this world. I’ve watched my siblings all thrive immensely after graduating college, moving to foreign cities, finding the loves of their lives, and embracing change as it hits them in the face. Your twenties are such an exciting time and that excitement should start at midnight on your birthday, because oh what a time to be alive, my friend. So here are my tips on how to tackle the big two-oh, ‘cause basically turning another decade old, no matter how many, is scary.
1. Write a ten year plan.
(Yes, we are now at that state of our life where we write ten year plans) but don’t go too hard on yourself with goals. Simply set up a basic structure of what you want out of life and what you want to accomplish within the next ten years. This could be about what jobs you want to take in order to eventually land your dream job, or marrying your high school sweetheart and having eight babies between now and then, or a list of places you want to travel to, or it could be all of these things combined. This will help you feel less scared about where your life is going and help you focus your efforts on accomplishing these things. Hopefully, though, one of your goals is to get a dog because let’s be honest, everyone needs a dog. That is a fact.
2. Embrace the change of the decade.
Go out celebrating. Party like it’s 1999. Or stay in and play board games while listening to Taylor Swift with your best friends. Do something. Don’t ignore this day because it is important and you will never get the chance again to celebrate your twentieth birthday. Celebrating will remind you that this is okay, you won’t turn into a pumpkin at midnight, and twenty really isn’t that bad.
3. Hang a stupid photo on your wall.
I know this sounds completely absurd but have you ever seen a random photo on the internet that made you laugh for minutes on end till you cried? Because I have. So see a woman with her head stuck in the doors of a septa bus. It’s hilarious I promise. And it also makes for a great story when people come over. This won’t change your life or have any long lasting impact but it’ll be a nice reminder that life doesn’t always have to be so serious. Twenty isn’t that different, it’s still all shits and giggles if you work hard enough. You will be okay and every day you will smile at least once.
4. Take one step towards a lifelong goal of yours.
This will also help you feel more established in the fact that you’re going places and doing things, not just spending your life cramped up in your bedroom. This could be starting a small savings fund for a trip you want to take (yes, ten dollars is a start), or as large as buying a dog because like I said, we all know you want one. Any step no matter how big or how small is a start. Don’t sit back dreaming because now, of all times, is the time to do.
5. Take a deep breath.
I find that this applies to most things in life. In and out, in and out. The thing we do most on a day to day basis. Nothing drastic has to change if you don’t want it to. Your world is not crumbling down around you just because you turned twenty. Say goodbye to those teenage years because they were rough on all of us, can we all just collectively admit that? They sucked. They were awkward. They were challenging. That’s over now, you survived them, so give yourself a pat on the back,
drink a glass of wine, and take a deep breath because you did it.
This is your time. This is your life. Take this advice and run with it; do what you can while you can because you will only be this young once. Don’t only view turning twenty as a waste of a year, but make this year as amazing as you can. Don’t sit back and let life pass you by just because this year is “a pointless year.” If there is one last thing to say, which there is, is to be brave. Take risks because this is the time to do it because you, my friend, are only young once.