Every so often I find myself reminiscing about my early 20s wishing I had done some things differently. As much as I would like to go back in time to reduce these wrinkles and bulk up my savings account, I’m loving the path my life has taken. I’ve written my 20-year old self a list of things to keep in mind over the next decade. I hope some of you can either relate or are in your 20s and can put some of these into actual use!
Dear 20 year-old Kate,
Surprise! You made it to 30. I know that might come as a shock considering how well you’re taking care of yourself. Now that I’m 30 and obviously have life completely figured out, I thought I’d pass along the wisdom I’ve gathered over the past 10 years.
- Stop drinking Diet Coke immediately. The sooner you stop, the longer you’ll keep that kidney functioning properly – says the kettle to the pot… While you’re at it, maybe a few less keg stands would be good too.
- Start using eye cream, a good moisturizer and wash your face every night. Besides, waking up with those raccoon eyes is so not attractive.
- Enjoy those grande full fat pumpkin spice lattes with whip and that metabolism that goes with it while you can. (It’s like I can hear angels singing…)
- You know those ultra-comfy gaucho pants you keep wearing? Stop that. They are not cute.
- Think about your future but throw that 5-year plan complete with magazine cutouts of your perfect wedding day out the window. It doesn’t really work that way.
- Get your ass out of the tanning bed. Look at Nicole Kidman – never had a suntan in her life, and she is a wrinkle-free goddess. And because we are one in the same, I know you’re thinking, “but you didn’t say anything about lying out in the sun”! Yes, enjoy the pool and the beach, just be sure to slather on the sunscreen. Sunspots will never be on trend.
- You know those Pokey Sticks you keep eating from Gumby’s Pizza….yeah, those are delish. You can keep eating those.
- Cut it out with the drunk dials. Put. the. phone. down.
- Start saving in a 401K as soon as possible. Be honest, you don’t need a brand new game day outfit to wear to each football game. Believe it or not, when you’re 30, you will actually wear the same outfit each weekend for good luck – and yes, each week you will wash it yourself. PS: Go Seminoles!
- Life really does get harder. I promise. Put your worries in perspective and enjoy being young.
- Still lovin’ those Rainbow sandals? Yeah, me too. Apparently you’re supposed to stop wearing them in your 30s. Lame – let’s just ignore that rule entirely.
- Prioritize working out now. I know how hard it is to squeeze it in between that one Friday morning class and happy hour, but it will only make it easier to fit it in to your routine as life gets more and more hectic.
- Make tough decisions based on what you are less likely to regret 5 years from now – like whether to buy those new patterned white-washed jeans or not.
- Double the amount of water you drink each day – and no, vodka waters don’t count.
- Spend your time with the people that matter most – the people you see being by your side over the next 5, 10, 15 years.
- Stop wearing those trendy 1 pound earrings to bed! They’re slowly tearing your earlobes!
- Be open to meeting new people. Everyone is on a completely different journey and has a truly unique perspective to share. Learn from them.
- In about 7 years you’ll start to want to come home around 1am instead of 4am. Shocking, I know – who does that? But when you get that urge, just go with it… It will also help you cut down on those 3am calls with the pizza delivery guy.
- Interview potential roommates before you decide to move in together. Not everyone is awesome. Watch ‘Single White Female’ – just sayin’.
- You have to kiss a few frogs to recognize a prince but don’t waste too much time on jerks. There are genuinely good guys out there.
- The Rolling Stones in all their infinite wisdom were right; you can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need…
Okay, so I admit it. Maybe I don’t have it all completely together just a decade later. Sometimes I even find myself repeating some of the same mistakes and buying into the latest trends. All I can say is 40 year-old us will for sure have life completely figured out. Until we speak again in 2024, be well.