1. Hold onto your friends.
Don’t take your friends for granted. They are amazing and they love you. And they only have your best interest in mind, even if it means stopping you from taking that ninth shot or pulling you away from the hot guy you were making out with at the party. Don’t take advantage of them, they really do care about you.
2. Sometimes people change.
You’ll meet people who you’ll get along with, and you’ll become friends. It’s life, that’s what happens. You bond with people who enjoy the same things as you. But sometimes people will find new hobbies and new interests. New friends. And the new friends might expose them to situations they’re not used to. They always say that in college, people are experimenting with who they really are and who they want to be. If your friend decides to be a raging alcoholic, just know that it happens. And be there for them when they come out of it or fall from grace.
3. Be the shoulder to cry on.
If people come to you for advice or to talk to, be honored. This is a time in people’s lives where they’re careful and cautious about who they trust. If you’re that someone, embrace it. Some people who outwardly seem perfectly fine actually are the ones who need to talk and it’s a great feeling when you can be that person they’re finally able to be honest and comfortable with.
4. It’s okay to cry yourself.
Crying is natural. Do not feel dumb if you just need to cry. Let it out. Life is stressful, especially when you’re dealing with everything else that 20-somethings are forced to deal with. Sit down and cry. Cry to people who can comfort you and make you laugh. Don’t take life so seriously, everything’s going to be okay.
5. Occasional bad grades aren’t the end of the world.
Yes, your future might consist of grad school or you’re applying for a super competitive internship at the biggest business in the state, but getting a few bad grades on exams isn’t the end of the world. They aren’t going to care that you got a C- on your core curriculum class your sophomore year of college. Talk to your professors, study a little harder; you’re going to be fine.
6. You’re not stupid.
That being said, getting bad grades doesn’t mean you’re stupid. Some teachers simply don’t give great grades unless a student is perfect. And we all know that perfect is hard to achieve. Don’t continuously degrade yourself if you just can’t get that organic chemistry problem. Or if you can’t solve the case study in your criminal justice class. It happens. You’ll get it.
7. Your parents love you.
The constant phone calls and text messages and care packages aren’t your parents trying to smother you. The lectures about drinking too much and that drugs are bad aren’t because they don’t trust you. They just want the best for you and couldn’t stand to think about their lives without you in it. Tell them you love them too, even if you are feeling smothered.
8. Love yourself.
You are an amazing person; find someone who will see how amazing you are when you don’t have to undress or pretend to be someone you’re not. There is someone out there who will see your beauty, in and out, and will embrace it and love you for it. Don’t let your extreme sarcasm or your extreme shyness keep you from finding that person who will love you for all of you. Not only is everybody’s personality different, but so are their bodies. You. Are. Beautiful.
9. Being in a relationship isn’t always fun.
Yes, I know many people who are happily in relationships after their sophomore year in college. And I’ll give these people the acknowledgement they deserve. However, this isn’t always the case. There will always be those people who only want a hook up, but will sweet talk their way to it. Tricking innocent and hopeless romantics into their sexual trap only to end up hurting them in the end. Occasionally, pulling the “friends with benefits” card only to abruptly end it and then you find yourself in the friend zone. And let me tell you, that’s not a fun place to be.
10. Bitches will still be bitches.
In high school, the common thing was “When will I get away from all this drama?” Well, depending on where you go to school and who you hang out with, you’re still going to have drama. People are just mean creatures. They will say things to bring you down, attempting to lift themselves up. If they found out you hooked up with their significant other once upon a time, they will do everything in their power to make your life hell. One night when you’re at the same party, it might get real. Although you could deal with the drama you should have left behind in high school, don’t be that person.
11. It’s okay to let loose.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t always a bad thing. Take risks and have a good time. You’re young once, so embrace it and let yourself go. It’s okay to laugh at yourself if you do something embarrassing. Make memories. It’s important to do things that you’ll be able to look back on ten years down the line and just laugh at what you and your friends did — and then realize you’re not 20 years old anymore.
12. Take care of yourself.
Getting black out drunk four nights a week probably isn’t the smartest idea when it comes to taking care of your body. Getting drunk every now and again is fine but be careful. Don’t skip showers. They are important and nobody likes sitting next to the smelly kid. Dry shampoo after a night out works wonders. Go to the gym every now and then or walk around and take it all in. Life’s too short to sit on your bed or the couch all day and not do anything.
13. Drunk-ordering food isn’t bad.
When you’re drunk, you love food. Even more than normal. Order that extra large meat lover’s you’ve been craving for the longest time. Order those cookies when you really want them. Sometimes you eat a lot, and sometimes alcohol is involved, but it’s really not the end of the world. Go enjoy those calories, kiddo.
14. Enjoy life.
Look around and realize how beautiful the world is. For the first time, you’re independent and can really see the world how you want to see it before having too many responsibilities on your hands. Remember that and smile. The world is a beautiful place with endless opportunities awaiting you. Have fun and enjoy all the little things. You’re 20-something years old. You’re too young to not see the beauty in life.