12 Things I’ve Learned Growing Up As A 20-Something

Twenty20 / pepparkaka1
Twenty20 / pepparkaka1

1. Red lipstick is powerful.

When I was in my early teens, my mother always tried to get me to wear red lips. She insisted it would complement my dark hair and fair complexion. For years I refused, thinking it made me look like some sort of sad teenage prostitute.

During my first year of college, one of my best friends offered to do my makeup for a concert we were going to. She painted me with crimson lips, and since then I’ve rarely left the house without them. When I’m wearing red lipstick, I feel unstoppable. I encourage every woman (or man!) to try a pair of red lips on for size. It’s amazing what they can do for your confidence.

2. I hate country music with a burning passion.

This is something that will most likely never change.

Classic rock is where it’s at. I grew up with very cool parents who introduced me to music from their generation. The very first band I remember hearing was Three Dog Night. My dad would play their cassette tape in the car, and I’d sit in the backseat and bob my head to “One is the Loneliest Number.”

My mom loves Fleetwood Mac and used to sing “Rhiannon” while she was doing housework. I used to think she was saying “Brianna,” until I got older and learned the real words. The fact that my parents introduced me to good music at an early age has molded me into the creative person I am today.

3. I don’t believe in separating work from play.

If you could do both at the same time, why wouldn’t you?

Every single person who enters and exits your life did so for a reason. As of right now, I’m not sure if I believe in Christianity’s idea of God. However, I do think there is some sort of higher power that has a hand in everything that happens in our lives. That’s not saying I don’t believe in coincidence, because I do, but on a much smaller scale. I feel that everyone who comes and goes throughout our lives is meant to make some sort of a change, to teach us something.

4. Never compromise your individuality to fit in.

Unfortunately, the society we live in tells us to look and act a certain way, to like certain music, to be interested in certain things, etc. I spent most of my high school career trying to fit in with my peers. I even took a job at Hollister, a popular clothing store aimed at teenagers, because I wanted the employee discount.

Looking back, I wish I had known that after graduation, I would literally never have to see any of those people again. Being in college is an entirely different experience than being in high school. In college, everyone dresses how they want and no one judges them for it. I love the freedom and diversity that being in college allows me to have. I finally feel like I can wear whatever the hell I want and no one will say anything about it. And even if they did, I would probably just tell them to get bent. I can say stuff like that in college without getting detention.

5. Treat yourself with respect.

No, this isn’t some bible-thumping PSA about the dangers of premarital sex.

I’m talking about self-love. I often find myself critiquing my own physical appearance and basically just bullying myself. Sometimes I don’t even realize how much damage I’m doing by comparing myself to other people. I think it’s important to take time out of each day to treat yourself, whether its taking a hot bath, buying something you’ve been wanting for a while, or just taking a personal day to catch up on some much-needed sleep. It’s the little everyday things that count, so go ahead and splurge on an overpriced coffee drink at Starbucks. You deserve it.

6. Don’t let your relationship define you.

Once two individuals start referring to themselves as a unit, once “I” becomes “we,” that’s when people lose themselves. You never want to become someone’s bitch.

7. Drink water.

Lots of it. I mean, don’t drown your internal organs, but drink enough so that your pee doesn’t resemble apple juice. Too graphic?

8. Take care of your skin.

Remove your makeup before bed every night, try to eat healthy and moisturize daily. Your skin will thank you when you’re old.

9. Compassion for others is one of the most beautiful qualities a person can possess.

Outer appearances don’t make you beautiful. True beauty lies in the desire to help others without expecting anything in return.

10. I have a serious caffeine addiction.

Coffee runneth through my veins.

11. You shouldn’t feel obligated to keep someone in your life if they’re not bringing anything positive to the table.

I had this epiphany recently. Whoever came to mind first after you read this is probably the person you need to cut ties with. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

12. I hate Christmas music, but if I had to choose a favorite, it would probably be “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

I don’t know what that says about me… Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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