20 Things I Learned Before the Age of 20

It's hard to believe that I've been alive for two decades. It feels like just yesterday that my brother and I were either playing under the dining room table, getting in fistfights, or having secret club meetings in his closet (Yes, we had our own club. Yes, it was lame).

 Over the past nineteen years of my life leading up to today, I've learned many valuable lessons. Although I'm happy that a new chapter of my life is about to begin, I am thankful for the things I've learned along the way. Here are 20 of them!
  1. If someone or something makes you unhappy, cut that person or thing out of your life as soon as you can. Don't waste time getting sucked into toxic relationships. It isn't worth it!
  2. Get exercise daily. You'll be less stressed and you'll feel better about yourself.
  3. Drink water–– lots and lots of it! It helps your skin tremendously. I stopped drinking Diet Coke a little over a month ago and started drinking only water instead... it helped clear up my acne so much!
  4. Always carry at least $20 in cash. Admittedly, I need to work on this, but it's so helpful to have. Some restaurants only accept cash, and it's good to have in case you forget your debit/credit card!
  5. Your mother knows you the best. Listen to her when she's giving you advice, because she's probably right.
  6. Have manners. Hold doors open for people that have their hands full. Send thank you notes. Thank your parents when they take you out to dinner. Be respectful towards your peers.
  7. Being on time is important. Always wear a watch.
  8. It is 100% okay to make mistakes. Mistakes will teach you valuable life lessons, and the learning they provide will also help prepare you for the future.
  9. If you can afford to travel, then travel. Whether it's with your family, high school, college, or friends, just go somewhere. Learn from your travels and soak up the culture. Take thousands of photos.
  10. Focus on the positives, and don't dwell on the negatives. You're lucky to be young, free, and alive. Don't let small, insignificant problems get you down!
  11. Great friendships are the best. If you've found great BFFs, don't let them slip away. Cherish them and keep them close. Real friends will always stick around, even when life gets tough.
  12. Always put your best friends before your boyfriend. No, I haven't had an actual boyfriend yet, but I've seen girls ruin great friendships over a guy. It's not worth it!
  13. Find a passion that excites you. For me, it was blogging. I started blogging a little over a year ago and I've had so much fun along the way! If you're good at something, it doesn't hurt to give it a shot!
  14. It's perfectly okay to have an occasional lazy day filled with Netflix binge watching. Just make sure all of your schoolwork is completed first!
  15. Always have a hair tie with you! It sounds dumb, but sometimes you just have to put your hair in a ponytail.
  16. Go out of your way to remember people's names, birthdays, and other small details about them. It shows that you care!
  17. Take schoolwork seriously. Set goals for yourself and strive to achieve them. When you accomplish them, you'll feel so much better about yourself.
  18. It's okay to drink and go to parties when you're a teenager in college, but be safe! Never, ever get in a car with a drunk driver and never drive drunk. If you're walking around at night, always have a friend with you. Use common sense.
  19. If you want the extra Oreo, then eat the extra Oreo. Life is too short.
  20. It's okay to ask for help! You don't have to struggle alone... Whether it's on a school project or a personal problem, there's almost always someone who would be glad to assist you. If you're falling behind in Biology, go to your professor's office hours. Meet new friends in study groups. If you just need someone to talk to about life, go to a counselor!


  1. Ahh Happy Birthday! I am loving this post, everything you said is seriously so important! MY favorites are the one about eating another oreo, and the one about staying positive. Staying positive through all situations is hard, but it's definitely something that takes practice.


  2. Happy birthday! Following a passion from a young age certainly helps a lot, in my case it even made career choosing easier. It's really important to start working on something you'd need for your future self.
    Noor's Place

  3. Aww, happy *slightly belated* birthday, Isabella! So many of these are too true, from Mom knowing you best to having cash and a hairtie on hand! Hope your day turned out wonderfully!
    xx, Mikkaela
    The Southwestern Prepster

  4. Love this list! Thank you for writing this, I can definitely relate to many of these life tips, especially listening to your mother, being on time, not letting a guy come before a true friend, and cutting out toxic relationships. Love you're style as well!

  5. Yeah it’s quite good that you learned it quite early in your life. Many people don’t realize what a monster drunk driving can be and how their lives can be completely ruined. While working with Los Angeles DUI attorney I saw so many teenagers involved that I thought what’s happening to all of them!