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20 Things I Learned At 20



20 Things I Learned At 20

Caitlin Rance

jeans & a tee

I've officially travelled around the sun 20 times. Right? Isn't that how it works?

***Update: Yes! I 100% had to google to make sure it does in fact take 365 days to travel around the sun. The only person I feel like apologizing to about this hiccup is Bill Nye.

 During this past year-long adventure of being a 20 year old human being, I gained a few more notches on my belt—in terms of knowledge—that I would like to let you in on. 

Although, I should mention, I ate 3 mini cupcakes and then a greek salad right before writing this.

Does that make me less qualified to give you advice? 


1. Push yourself to do the scary things in life. Like moving to a country for five months without knowing anyone. Although the world can be a scary place, the comfort zone is even scarier.

2. Knowledge IS power. Even if you don't want to seek it out through a conventional way like a brick + mortar school, there's no reason why you shouldn't continue your education. You can basically take courses for free via YouTube (people have literally uploaded semester long lectures on anything and everything.) 

3. You'll probably realize this every year, but always remember the universe works in mysterious ways. Deep breathes. Things always end up making sense with time.

4. Eat more fruits + veggies. 

5. Being young allows you some room to act irresponsibly from time to time. Don't act this way with your skincare routine. Don't sleep with your makeup on. Wear sunscreen. Drink water. Invest in a moisturizer + eye cream. If you're breaking out a lot, GO TO THE DERMATOLOGIST. Skin isn't as forgiving.

6. Recognize your dream. Like the one thing you secretly want to do but you've pushed so deep down that even you sometimes forget it's your dream. It'll be scary, but so worth it when you wake up one day and get to do the thing you've always wanted to do.

7. Listen to more podcasts. There's nothing like sitting on the train heading to Whole Foods for guacamole only to hear the most inspiring piece of advice that you almost want to pull the emergency lever and ask if the conductor will allow you to recount this now newfound advice over the speaker to the other passengers.  

8. No one cares. About anything. Except maybe themselves. 

9. Less social media. The notion of remaining relevant is totally fake and also dumb. Post photos when you want to but then leave it at that. Check in on the people you genuinely care about. Everything else is just taking up space.

10. Write every day. Even if it's only 5 words and those 5 words are: I did absolutely nothing today.

11. Meditate! It's not as hard as you think, and it may just be your absolute saving grace.

12. Stop consuming cow milk: it's most likely the reason why you're breaking out + feel bloated 24/7

13. If you ever get the opportunity to travel, whether it's to the next town over or to a whole different country, always say yes.

14. In continuing with saying yes to trips, say yes in general. Unless you feel peer pressured. In that case, say no .

15. There will be points throughout life where you feel like you have 0 friends. Don't stress this. You will find your tribe. 

16. Accept the weird quirks about yourself that you used to cry over. You'll realize how silly you were for ever thinking that way in the first place

17. Take time to get to know yourself. What music do you actually like? How do you actually want to dress? What do you actually like to do on the weekends? Nothing sucks more than pretending to be someone you're not. 

18. Stop listening to certain songs on Spotify with the private session on. Embrace the fact that yes you may in fact like [SOME] country music...

19. Everyone you meet does not have to like you or be your friend. Basically, get over yourself. The people who get you will get you. The people who don't..wont.

20. It's ok to say no. Seriously. You don't owe anyone you're undivided time 24/7. 

(and a bonus because why not) 

21. We literally live on a rock orbiting around in space. There's nothing conventional about anything and no one knows what's going on or what they're doing. It's okay to feel scared and confused and excited about life all at the same time. And now this is sounding like an Odyssey article. 

Being 20 allowed me to shed my teenage years and start feeling out the water of 'adulthood.' While I by no means see myself being an actual adult until I'm at least 45, I think it's important to both embrace the fact that I'm growing up, and also the fact that I have no idea what's going on.

Like ever.

And that's okay!

Here's what I'm listening to today