20 Things To Know Before Turning Twenty!


So, I’m ~finally~ 20 years old. Congratulations to this earth for getting to witness 2 decades worth of my greatness. JK JK. It’s a blessing to have had such a fantastic first 20 years on this planet. I am all about keeping good karma; so in order to say thank you for a beautiful 20 years, I’m giving you 20 of my favorite life lessons! Grab a snack and get ready for the knowledge that I am about to unleash onto the internet!

I apologize ahead of time for the cheesiness of some of these, but they are just too real to leave out.

1. Don’t be afraid to be quirky.

I am so weird. I mean I have a pretty basic taste when it comes to fashion, TV, movies, and other pop culture things. But, I have a strange sense of humor and enjoy having long talks about chemistry. Yeah, I’m a nerd and I’m not ashamed. I’ve been told many times that I’m weird and that somehow it’s a bad thing, but let me tell ya: don’t be boring. Having different ideas and being able to accept that, makes you extraordinary.


2. Big dreamers make big impacts.

Don’t EVER let anyone tell you that your dreams are a. too big, b. unattainable, c. ridiculous, or d. ludicrous. Dreamers created TVs, airplanes, cell phones, and MP3s. Challenge yourself every day to think bigger. {Cue corny alert}. We’re setting the path for the next generations; if we stay narrow minded and primitive, we set the bar low for them to come and be trailblazers in their own right. And with the issues they’ll probably see, it’s crucial we KEEP the big thinkers around. Think big and then work hard to get there.

3. If you’re feeling frustrated, listen to some new music.

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4. Dessert is an essential part of every balanced diet.

I’d recommend that you always have a dessert handy for a rainy day, or any day really. There’s nothing wrong with being a phenomenal cupcake maker. I promise that you’ll need a chocolate cupcake after the impossible biology midterm that had nothing to do with anything. Oh, ha ha.

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5. Failure gets you one step closer to success.

6. Trust others, but not with your wallet.

You might think that in your well protected bubble of a college campus, that it’s okay to leave your laptop, wallet, cell phone, social security card, and original birth certificate laying around the first floor of the library for 7 hours is a semi-good idea. It’s not {even I’m guilty though}.

ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. I had a freak experience with this while in Houston where my wallet was almost stolen from me. {MIND YOU, I WAS JUST SOBBING OVER ME BEFORE YOU WHEN THIS HAPPENED.} I was so engrossed in my novel that I didn’t notice the sly guy eyeing my wallet that was just sitting on the table in front of me. BAD MOVE, GABS, BAD MOVE. Keep your credit cards and cash close to you and stashed in a bag at all times, even in your neighborhood Starbs.

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7. True friends will NEVER make you doubt yourself.

Your friends will support you in everything that you do. They might tease you for always having a new plan or having a crazy agenda. BUT THEY WILL NOT CRITICIZE YOUR NEED TO GET INVOLVED. Your passion is not a joke, and it most definitely not something that you should ever feel embarrassed about. Caring does not make you lame; crap on that. Being passionate makes you human, and it gives you something to live for. Be involved and love every second of it.

8. Cut out the negativity.


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10. Don’t burn bridges, but do move on.

I’ve burned down {I mean to a crisp} some relationships in the past because I was too immature to realize that I was doing it to begin with. Like, don’t do that. The ability to forgive, to admit wrong doing, and to see many perspectives is something that you learn over time. I really wish I would have learned this sooner. It would have given me the opportunity to mend relationships I wish I still had.

If you have issues in a work setting, respectfully try to work it out. Don’t throw a fit or have a public meltdown. It won’t help if you’ve unleashed your knowledge of condescending verbs and nouns on the entire staff. Kapeesh?

11. Social media CAN be good.

Ice Bucket Challenge. #BodyPositivity. #BringBackOurGirls. They all build awareness for important social issues that otherwise would probably have been glossed over. The internet is frequently used to spread hate, but it can also do a lot more than that. Be a part of the positive moment: spread love, information, and most importantly a respectful attitude.

12. Respect for authority is essential.

I cannot tell you how many people my age think that are too big and bad for their authority figures. It can be anything from professors, parents, and/or other public servants. Your ability to respect authority and conduct yourself accordingly is something that is more often than not taught through your parental guardianship, but in case they skipped this lesson: Be respectful of those with authority. This is very different from succumbing to their ill wishes or policies that you disagree with.

I’ve seen my ability to respect the wishes of those responsible for me, conduct meaningful conversation about things I’ve disagreed with, and suggest alternatives has awarded me with something that cannot be bought or bartered for: mutual respect.

13. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.

14. There’s no such thing as being too appreciative.

15. It’s okay to be a grandma and do grandma things.

Drink tea and watch Gilmore Girls. Wear Birks and socks. Spend a Saturday night in with your roommates learning how to knit and making fun of old yearbook pictures. It’s okay to slow down and take things at a glacial (slightly elderly) pace.

16. Take time to reflect on where you’ve been and where you want to go.

I like to sit on our back porch sometimes with Coldplay playing in the background, munching on some ice cream while writing in my planner/journal. It helps me reflect on the current status of my life. Sometimes I can be so go go go that I forget to just take a step back and breathe. Writing down my goals helps me really hone in on what I want to refocus on! It helps so much.

Image517. Stay organized and be informed.

I can’t stress how important it is to have your life together as a high school and college student. Practicing this during your school years will have you on top of the game as an adult in the workforce. Employers can sense preparedness a mile away, and you want to prove that they won’t regret hiring you! Make sure you have a system that works for you! I hate color coding {literally can’t see it’s relevance} and I use Post-It notes like a crazy person! I think being organized and always knowing my info has put me ahead of the game at most points of my life!

18. Turning 18 makes you a legal adult, but you’re not necessarily ready to adult.

There were so many things I hadn’t done at 18. I hadn’t written a check to actually pay for something. Didn’t budget for rent, cell phone bills, nor electricity. Flying alone was a foreign concept for me, and I hadn’t spent longer than a week away from home. Health insurance really hadn’t been a concern for me and finding health care professionals never crossed my mind. There are so many things that you still have to learn before you really can view yourself as an adult. It’s a learning curve; don’t stress about not always knowing what to do.

19. Junior year is always the worst (& best).

Junior year tests you. It always begs the question: what’s the next step? There are so many highs and lows that you’ll probably have more mini meltdowns than you care to admit. Each of the junior years will present you with stressful questions that seem increasingly silly as they pass and you move on to the next step in life. Trying to figure out where to apply to college while learning to drive is stressful, but is nothing compared to trying to pass biochemistry while studying for the MCAT and looking for internships. Stay balanced and remember that it’ll all figure itself out if you stay organized and on top of things!

20. Find your voice, confidence in that voice will follow.

I started this blog in late May 2015 because I didn’t feel like I had my own voice yet. I knew I had something I wanted to say or something that would be valuable to others, but I wasn’t sure how to channel that productively anywhere else. After I found it through writing here on the blog, I’ve become much more confident in what I have to say and my ideas in real life. I’m entering my junior year full of plans for my scholarship program and life in general! I feel much more creative and inspired and that’s awesome. If you’re feeling like you’ve lost your way, start writing. Anywhere will work: in a journal or a private blog, or even starting your own blog!


There you have it. The 20 most important lessons in 20 years on the planet. I’m super excited to see what the next 20 years have to offer and the lessons I’ll learn along the way! Hope you enjoyed my little pieces of advice!



  • Wanda Amorose

    What a very cool list Gabby!!

  • Love this list! I’m turning 20 in a few months and I’m so nervous, this list definitely cheered me up 🙂
    paige // eyeliner wings & pretty things

    • I feel like your twenties are supposed to be fun, but end up being a struggle sometimes! I know the blogging community will make them a whole bunch better! I’m glad you liked it 🙂

      xo, Gabby

  • So sweet! So positive and mature (is that weird to say). I’m 21 and the whole thing about being 18 not making you an adult is so true. I think when I was 16 I was like “I can buy lottery tickets, I’m an adult” and at 17 I was like “I can drive a car now!” and so on and so forth. Now I am just like “I can do everything I could do before yay!”. Still don;t feel like a “real” adult yet.

    ANYWAY awesome post <3

    • YES girl! I turned 18 and then went off to college and each year I learn more and more that I don’t know how to do a bunch of stuff! Thanks for reading 🙂
      xo, Gabby

  • Caitlin

    You have such wonderful points! Love it!

    • Thank you for stopping by! I’m glad you liked it 🙂
      xo, Gabby

  • AcrossTheOrdinary

    This is such an awesome list :). lovvveeee it.

    • Thank you! So glad you like it 🙂
      xo, Gabby

  • Happy birthday, Gabby!!!! This list was awesome and full of such good advice – I highkey relate so much to the grandma thing. PBS shows and early bedtimes until I die!!

    xo, Alison

    • You are too sweet! Thank you 🙂 #grandmasunite
      xo, Gabby

  • Sheridan Vance

    Great article!! I wrote a similar one. I especially love your number 10. So true. Mind checking out my article? https://www.theodysseyonline.com/20-twenty

  • Bailey Humphrey

    Happy birthday! Love love love these life lessons!