20 Things I've Learnt in 20 Years


Today is my 20th birthday! I feel very weird about it. I’m no longer a teenager which freaks me out but I also feel like I’ve been part of the 20-something generation for some time now. Anyway I’m officially joining the 20-something club today! Who knows if that’s a good or bad thing? I’ll let you know in 10 years. For now, let’s go with good because I’d rather not live my life with a constant sense of impending doom.

On that positive note, here’s all the things I’ve learnt in the 20 years of my life so far, that is other than learning to walk, talk, eat, write, read… you get the idea. Really, this post is more about what I’ve learnt in the last 5-10 years of my life, but I’m sure some of it started to click a little bit earlier and 20 things in 20 years sounds much better so there you have it.

Anyway, let’s start my 20th year off with a little less rambling than normal and get on with the post! Here are the 20 things I’ve learnt in 20 years of being alive…

1. I’m a very hard working person and that’s probably one of my best and worst traits.

2. It’s ok not to enjoy the same things as everyone else.

3. I’m an introvert… definitely.

4. However much I think otherwise, I enjoy exercise and it’s one of the best things for my mental health.

5. Friendship is so, so important.

6. I’m a summer person through and through- the only thing I like about winter is Christmas. Period.


7. I have a sweet tooth.

8. It’s important to be engaged with politics but not at the expense of your mental health. It’s possible to be engaged without it being overwhelming but there’s a fine line.

9.It is actually possible to drink too much water! I am living, breathing evidence! It has affected my sleep and it’s just very inconvenient to need a wee all the time. But then again, nothing beats a refreshing glass of water- I’m an addict!

10. Travel is the best thing to spend your money on, or at least I think so. New clothes are all well and good for a couple of weeks or a month at best, but the anticipation, experience and memories that travel provides is unbeaten in terms of its longevity and how it can make you feel.

11. I’m happiest when engrossed in a book, preferably on a beach, and reading is something that I’ll never get bored of. I am a bookworm, always have been, probably/hopefully always will be.

12. I am a cat person and no one brings me joy like my little (he’s actually huge) cat Harley.

13. Working 24/7 doesn’t make you successful or even productive. Time off from work is so important and you can excel in your work without dedicating every breathing moment to it, probably even more so.

14. It’s ok to admit that you’re not coping with something and to ‘give up’. I’m not the most resilient person in the world and I’m learning to accept that. There’s no point pushing yourself through something you hate just to prove something to yourself or the people around you.

15. There’s nothing more rewarding than a good bargain from the charity shop. I will never stop feeling smug over my £2 favourite ever pair of jeans that I found.

16. Always eat the ice cream, or the chocolate, or the crisps. Restricting your diet is tiring and boring. To quote the great philosopher Drake, you only live once, and I’d like to spend my one life eating as much delicious food as possible.

17. You’ll never regret taking photos on a film camera. Whatever the cost and the hassle, they’re so worth it.

18. Romantic relationships don’t have to be easy to work. The harder times make the good times all the more incredible and they’re both just as important. I’ve learnt never to take advantage of any of my relationships, but particularly romantic ones, as the joy they bring and the things they can teach you are often unmatched.

19. Liverpool is the best city in the world.. I’m not biased okay? Honestly. I’m yet to visit a city with people as friendly as in my home town and that’s always the thing that makes me most homesick when I’m anywhere else. There are many other amazing things about it, but that deserves a blog post to itself.

20. Finally, life has bad moments, life has good moments, life has extremely mundane and in-the-middle moments. All of them are overwhelming. All of them will usually make you feel as though that’s what life is like when you’re in them, which can be as depressing as it is exhilarating. Perspective is key and learning to appreciate these moments, whether they’re minutes, days, weeks, months, or years, will only ever make you develop as a person. And I’ve done a whole ‘lotta developing over the past 20 years, let me tell you! (Very aware that this sounds like something a life-coach would say, but it’s my birthday so just let me get away with it, pleeeeease?)


Anyway, happy birthday to me! I’m off to drink cocktails in a hot tub whilst having a massage. Joking! I have an exam tomorrow and I’m not drinking alcohol at the moment, so I’m probably currently sat at my desk with a glass of water (or cordial, I mean it’s my birthday, I’ve gotta live it up a little!) 20 is a very adult age anyway so I might as well embrace it! Here’s to a great 20th year with more life lessons, more ice cream, more quality time with my cat and the people around me (but most importantly, my cat) and more of doing what makes me happy!

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