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  • Writer's pictureBailey Martindale

A letter from my 29-year-old self to my 19-year-old self + Advice from 60 other women

It's the turning of a page. The end of a chapter. As the 2010s come to a close, the end of my 20s are also coming to an end. As we head into 2020, I will turn 30 in April. With the end of my personal decade and the calendar decade, I've spent a lot of time reflecting. I hope my 20-year-old self is proud of the woman I am today. I've learned a great deal throughout these years and this decade. Everything has changed yet so many things have remained the same.

As I reflect, I keep thinking about what I've learned and what I'd tell my younger self. As I sit and think about who I was 10 years ago, here are the lessons I have for myself and maybe for other young girls out there as well.

• Move away from home Embrace being away from your safety net. Get comfortable being alone. Learn to enjoy your own company. If you cannot be happy with yourself and depend on others for your happiness, you will continually be unhappy. Get out of your bubble. Experience other cultures, other geographies and other types of people. Learn to make new friends and try new things.

• Fall in love with yourself

You'll never find happiness or lasting love if you can't love yourself first. Stop chasing men or other people to fill a void. Quit trying to conform to what you think other people you want to be because you think that will bring you happiness. Dig deep and do the work. Fall in love with yourself. Learn about yourself. Challenge yourself.

•Spend time with people who are different than you

Get out of your bubble. As a young, straight, Christian white girl, don't just hang out with people who are like you with the same tendencies and hobbies. Spend time with other cultures, people who practice other religious beliefs, those who come from very different backgrounds, those who are different ethnicities, those who have different sexual orientations, those who participate in hobbies or activities that are very different than yours. When you only spend time with people who are like you, you have a very limited world view. It hinders your ability to have empathy for people who are different than you. Get out there. Get out of your comfort zone.

• Say yes to as many opportunities as possible

Even if it's something you usually wouldn't do or don't know how to do, just do it. Maybe you just moved to Utah and you don't know anyone. Go to The Sundance Film Festival alone. You might get to meet John Legend and have an incredible night. Say yes when someone invites you to travel. You'll likely create incredible memories. Go on dates with people you usually wouldn't. You might learn something about yourself or have an incredible time. Go to the networking event or the concert, even if you don't know anyone. You're likely to have a great time.

•Understand not every friend is for a lifetime - some are just for a season

It sucks to lose friends. Sometimes you will even lose them over something stupid. It doesn't always make sense. Sometimes you will be mad about it. Often you will be hurt by it. It's ok. Let go gracefully and love them from afar.

•People will disappoint you

Sometimes it's a family member, sometimes it's a lover, sometimes it's a friend, sometimes it's society. There's always going to be disappointment. Don't dwell on it. Pay attention to it, learn from it and move forward. You can talk about the disappointment, you can sit and feel the feelings just don't say there.

• You're going to get your heart broken, a lot. By lovers, by friends, by injustice, by cruelness. But you're also going to experience a lot of love. Cherish the love that's shared even after the heartbreak. Don't hold onto the pain. Don't focus on the hurt. Remember the good. Be thankful for the amount of love you've seen and received throughout your life.

•You can't change him... or anyone

No matter how much potential you think someone has, you can't love them for anything more than who they are now. You can't push them to change. They won't change unless they want to and you don't want to ever try to change anyone. It isn't your job to change people, it's your job to love people.

•You're going to lose people

And god it hurts. A lot. You're going to lose family members, friends and even lovers. It will feel worse than anything you've ever felt. It will drop you to your knees. But I promise the pain will ease up with time. It never goes away. You'll always miss them but it will get easier. Missing them and the pain will come in waves. Focus on the good memories. Cherish the moments you had together. Try to live your life in a way that honors their legacy. Do things that would make them happy or proud.

•Take as many photos as possible

Like I said, you'll lose people and you never know when a memory is all you have left. Make sure you have photos to hold on to. Often they end up being all you have left. But also take memories to take you back to moments you want to remember. It's really cool to sit back and look through moments in the past - whether it was an incredible concert, traveling across the world, or just silly moments with loved ones.

•What you put in your body matters

Where you come from, everyone eats things fried, smothered in gravy or drenched in butter. You're going to learn that what you put in your body impacts your gut health, your brain health and your overall wellbeing. Eat vegetables and fruits. Drink a lot of water. Stop consuming so much sugar. Stay away from processed junk. You'll feel better both mentally and physically.

•What you feed your mind is important

Continually seek to learn. Read all of the books. Listen to audible. Listen to podcasts. Watch YouTube videos. Never stop learning. You can never learn enough. Meditate and learn the power of intention and manifestation. Focus on what you want to happen rather than what you don't want to happen.

•Go to therapy

You have trauma to overcome from your childhood. You're dealing with transitions and life phases that are hard. You're dealing with grief. You're trying to break generational cycles. Therapy is both healing and preventative. You will learn so much more about yourself and learn how to navigate the world in a much better way.

•Embrace your quirkiness and uniqueness

Stop trying to fit in or be like everyone else. The world needs you. There is no one in the world that is just like you. Your uniqueness makes you special and the world could use what you have to offer. Trying to be like everyone else is exhausting and it will leave you unhappy. Stop trying to mold yourself to be what you think others want you to be. If they don't like you, it's their loss. You'll find those that do.

•Don't let your doubts fuel you

Doubt can kill more dreams than anything else. But the big lesson is that fear and doubt aren't real. Your mind is playing tricks on you. If you tell yourself you can't do something, you can't. If you tell yourself you can, you can. It's really much more simple than we realize.

•Don't live life lukewarm

You're going to watch so many people living lukewarm lives. They just wander through life unhappy. Don't do that. If you don't like your job or career, get a new one. If you don't like where you live, move. If you don't like how your health or body is, fix it. There is no reason to live life in a mediocre way, life is short. Live life on fire and make the most of it before it's over.

•Never question being vulnerable or authentic That takes courage. Not everyone will appreciate it. You might even feel foolish sometimes but there are people you are impacting even if you don't realize it. Never stop sharing.

•Put your stubbornness and ego aside

You're one of the most stubborn people. Often, that can be used for good. Other times, it will hinder you. Learn to be self-aware and learn when you need to reign in the stubbornness. It's not worth losing things that are important to you and it can often make life much more difficult than it needs to be.

•There's something to learn from everyone in every situation

Never underestimate people. Whether they are the janitor or the CEO, you can learn something from them. Sit and talk with people, often. Just spend time with them, ask them questions, hear their stories. You never know where it can lead.

•Always tell people how you feel You never know when you won't see them again. Telling people how you feel can change your relationships. Don't hold things in and fester. If someone hurts you, tell them. If someone impacted you, tell them. If someone made you smile, tell them. Talking about feelings can be transformative.

•Communication can make or break any situation Whether it's work, romantic relationships, friendships, injustice or anything else - communication is the most important aspect. It's not always easy. You can't assume someone knows something. Sometimes it takes a little bit of conflict. Often it will feel uncomfortable but later, the relationship or situation will be so much better off.

•Be an empathetic human Think about how your actions or inactions impact others. Think about how your words or lack of words will affect others. Have empathy for what others are going through. Try to look through the view of someone else's lens. Just because your life isn't impacted the same way, doesn't mean something doesn't impact them greatly. Step outside of your own feelings.

•The answers won't always come when you want them

There are going to be moments that you are frustrated, angry, sad, or any other emotion and you don't understand something. You will want to know why but you don't always get the answers and you have to learn to be okay with that. The answers might come later but they might not. And that's okay.

•You're not for everyone and that's ok

Appreciate your people even more for that. Stop trying to be something you're not just because you want to fit in with certain people. You don't need to change for people to love and appreciate you. If someone thinks you're too much, they're not your person. You will find where you fit.

• Don't try to diminish your intelligence

You're going to be told that being smart isn't sexy. They might call you a know-it-all. You might hear that you're a nerd. You'll probably get made fun of at some point. Don't listen to it. Don't try to play dumb. Your brains and your intelligence will take you far. It is both empowering and sexy to be intelligent. While looks and the physical aspects fade, you will always have your intelligence. Make the most of it and use it to improve your life.

•You don't need to sexualize yourself

There are going to be a ton of marketing messages aimed at you over the years implying that you need to be sexier in this way or that. You'll also probably hear it from other people. You need to work out more, you need to be skinnier, you need to be curvier, you need to dress this way, you need to wear this kind of shoes, you need to get botox, you need to get fillers, you need to apply more makeup, you need to be tan... the list goes on. Focus on what makes you feel good. Do what makes you enjoy yourself.

•Give as much love as possible

It won't always be reciprocated. Sometimes you will wonder if it was worthwhile. Never doubt showing as much love as possible. It can change lives. Love everyone. Whether you can love them in a big way or small, just show and share love with them.


Travel as often and as far as possible. Experience other foods, other cultures, other geographies, other religions. Immerse yourself in everything in the area. Taste the food, take in the history, admire the architecture, bask in the beauty. Take photos and have as many experiences traveling as possible.

• You can be fierce and feminine

You're going to hear and think that you need to be aggressive and firm to be a leader. That isn't true. You don't have to be so hard and tough all the time. You can be a leader and still lead to your femininity. There is nothing weak or wrong with being feminine or a leader. You can actually do both. You don't have to be a leader or strong like a man, you can be strong and a leader like a woman. Embrace what makes you feminine.

Take these lessons and work toward an even better you and decade as you step into 2020 and your 30s.


I asked women across Facebook who were about to turn 30 or in their early 30s what their advice would be to their 19-year-old self and below are their fantastic pieces of advice.

Randi Slusher Headed into 20’s: explore everything that interests you. Don’t listen to anything but your heart when it comes to your career path. Stay away from people who don’t value or respect you - both friends and relationships.

LaQuisha Moore I left my 20’s in August and honestly 30 has been mind-blowing in a positive light. I would tell my 19-year-old self, it is ok to say No, it is ok to protect your peace, it is ok to have boundaries, it is ok to not be included, it is ok to not be ok. I implemented all of these in the short few months of 30 and it has been the game-changer.

Heather Huff I turn 30 Jan 4th. Find yourself first, not after you’re in a relationship.

Maya Emm Biggest lesson: learn how to depend on yourself for happiness. Not your relationships, your career, or materialism. Also cats. More cats.

Alyssa Wright Your happiness and more important than making others happy. Take care of yourself first.

Nilufer Arsala Be kind to yourself, drink less alcohol and more water, save money, don't give up. enjoy your alone time because when it's gone you never get it back. Also, you don't need the approval of anyone else. Ever. *EDIT to add- I'm turning 40 in 2020, but I still wanted to participate. I should also add~ read all the instructions~ to my list.

Chelsey Evans What I’d tell my younger self: Travel more and buy less stuff, especially fast fashion. Date around and don’t pursue someone that doesn’t make you a priority. Invest in your quality friendships more, over quantity. It’s okay to do things your parents don’t approve of if it’s right for you. Do stuff alone more often, don’t wait to find someone to go with.

Allie Thomas To my 20 year old self, take care of YOU! Don’t let your own happiness ever be dependent upon others. Learn to be happy with yourself, by yourself. You’ll save yourself a hell of a lot of heart ache, anxiety and depression when you can learn to love yourself without depending on the acceptance of others. Do what YOU want. Ultimately it’s your path and no one else’s and it’s important for you to be proud of that path. Also, go to the damn dentist!! Floss EVERYDAY! Find the balance of things that help you mentally, physically, creatively & monetarily. As for my 30-year-old self, I turn 30 this coming year and truthfully cannot wait! My 20’s were amazing, mainly in the last half of my 20’s. I learned more about the value of experience vs physical things & cannot wait to take that with me into my 30’s and see how much more of this amazing world and life there is to experience!

Lauren Bryan Always listen to your gut. 99.9% of the time it will lead you in the right direction. Do not be scared to take the leap to move across the country and change career paths. A lot of your closet “friends” right now aren’t going to be life long friends. Ands that’s ok! A lot of people come and go in our lives. Let them go if it’s time to move on. Stay single and live girl! Remember “the one” you’re intended to find in life isn’t a guy (or gal). It’s yourself. Once you discover who you truly are, there are plenty of people who can compliment you and fulfill that part of your heart.

Monique L. Roberts I’m in my 30s now but I will pass along this advice: Take care of your health. Focus on yourself. Do what you feel is right for you. People may judge but the ones who have your back will be supportive, which bring me to... Don’t waste time/energy on people who aren’t supportive of you. Surround yourself with people who accept you, flaws and all. Your circle will get smaller but the time spent with your crew will be so much more fulfilling.

Cut back on drinking. Hangovers are a whole new ballgame once you hit 30. They will take you out for an entire day, at least. When it comes to dating, sometimes the person you think isn’t your type is exactly your type. Your priorities in what you want in a partner change and mostly superficial things you thought you wanted will take a backseat to someone who is invested in you and building a partnership together. TRAVEL. As much as you can. Spend your money on experiences rather than a fancy bag or shoes. But if you can afford both, treat yo self! If you don’t have kids/a partner, this is the time when you are really coming into yourself and establishing who you are as a person/career wise, etc. You will realize that you have stopped caring about a lot of stuff and that’s great! That mental space you’ve cleared out you can use to focus on living your best life! Take advantage of alone time. Sounds depressing but this has changed me completely.

Renée Michelle I'm also in my 30s. The lesson to my 19 year old self: you really don't know everything.

Allie Brendel I turned 30 this year! Going into your 20s: Save your damn money. Believe me skipping a few bar nights here and there will do you good! But also listen to your gut, and if you aren’t happy don’t just stay in a situation because it is comfortable. IE Job or relationship. Love yourself. 100% be who you are not who you think others want you to be. What I am looking forward to in my 30s: More nights in, getting married, owning a home. All the “adult” things. What I have learned turning 30 is that you have to do things for yourself. Don’t pass by opportunities because you have fear about them. Take the risks. Life is too short not to do what you love! Overall ladies, I think the thing I have learned most is to love myself over the last decade. I thought I did, but it is a true love. I respect myself, and love everything about me. And the stuff I don’t love? I work on it, not try to ignore it. I guess that is the biggest difference! I quite like being 30!

Rachel Norman I loved all of these, ladies. I wish I would of had ya’ll around 5 years ago when I turned 30! That being said, welcome to the club! The 30’s aren’t too bad!

Ally Fiesta If my boyfriend even says he doesn’t want to ever get married, accept that and move on. Biggest regret of my 20s.

Katie Patterson I'm 33 but my biggest advice to my 19-year-old self would be: Dump him. It WILL NOT get better with time.

Veronica Young Seriously girl, save some money each pay period! Don’t just say you’re going to! Actually put away 10% of your paycheck every pay period and keep it for rainy days, travel days, and most importantly, treat yourself days. Oh, and you can literally have whatever guy you want, so do not settle for what’s in front of you. It’s okay to say no.

Nicole Murray Ill be 34 next july.. and this is a msg to my younger self... ~The world doesnt owe you anything.. so don't act entitled. Everything worth having in life is worth working for.. and the struggle of getting there always makes the reward that much greater. The main thing I would tell myself is that YOU ARE YOUNG, use your body while its still able to be used... I never would of thought I would be in so much pain after I turned 30.. I never thought I would be this young, sitting here watching normal people do NORMAL things secretly wishing i was able-bodied enough to do the same.. even simple things, like standing at a kitchen counter cutting veggies... without being in horrible pain doing so... Don't wait for life to come to you and submit to you, you have to grab it by the horns and dominate it.

Micaela Hines I would tell myself going into my 20s: “Shit’s about to get REAL!” I’m looking forward to stability in my 30s (Job, marriage, friendship, etc)

Collette Berenguer My next birthday is the big 3-0!! I’m pretty pumped about it actually. I’ve seen a few people mention it already but it’s a big one. I did do it and I think it’s the best advice ever. Save your money. Live below your means. Dramatically below your means if you can. Then, you have the freedom to travel, leave a partner, leave a job, start a business, move to a new city, and overall take risks that otherwise you can’t. Then, all you need is the guts to take that risk!!!

Lauren Cordina Whatever you do, don’t sleep with them on the first date

Erin Rogers I am turning 30 in 2020! The lessons that I would tell myself is to enjoy every moment and life really is short. Your time is so valuable and spend your time doing things you love and with people who are deserving of your time. I would also tell myself to spend money wisely and don’t open more than one credit card!! Spending with money that isn’t yours can be dangerous. Lastly, I would tell myself not to care as much about what people think. Take risks! Do what makes you happy. What I am looking forward to in my 30s is starting a family. I’m ready for the next step in my life and relationship and cannot wait to have children. I am also looking forward to completing my master's degree and furthering my career. So excited for the next decade!!

Monica Baumgardner LOVE YOURSELF. NEVER BEG FOR SOMEONE TO LOVE YOU. Biggest lesson I learned 29-30.

Monica Baumgardner Also, drinking at bars every weekend isn’t worth it.

Aubrie Reiersgord Dear 20-year-old self, cherish your friends more, they won’t always be around. Also, the road to success is long and sometimes boring, so bring snacks and take pitstops to reawaken the adventure!

Monica Baumgardner Take care of your health. You get one body. And you can really mess it up if not careful when you’re young. So eat well, move, and live well. Your habits will help prevent some chronic diseases. Which...all of this circles back to loving yourself. Respect your insides. Take care of your mental health. Aka love yourself. See a therapist. travel. Money comes and goes. Experiences over STUFF.

Gabi Zonfrelli Stop worrying about anyone else and what they think about you and focus on being a good kind person and the best version of you. Also people you thought would be there forever will walk out of your life and you have to let them go. You also have to be prepared to walk out of peoples lives that no longer build you up or add happiness to your life. Of course as everyone else has said start healthy habits! Learn to cook healthy, start exercising regularly, practice mindfulness, learn emotional intelligence, stress management, and how to forgive yourself and others.

Elizabeth Brasher LE Turned 31 this year! I have been looking forward to 30 since I was a kid - it felt like a “real” adult age. Lessons to my not-quite-20s? Get rid of toxic relationships, not everyone deserves your politeness and my personal favorite “trust your gut” seriously listen to it, it will keep you out of bad situations. In the 20s: focus on your passions, take regard of your mental state, keep yourself healthy inside and out. Also aging totally exists wether you like it or not. And into my 30s? Timing is everything, you will find your place

Lara Elizabeth After thinking on this a little more, I think I can actually summarize most of my thoughts with one basic principle: DO NOT SETTLE. Period. Don't settle for a job you don't love. Don't settle for a relationship that isn't exactly what you want. Don't settle for friends who don't reciprocate. Don't settle for "okay" when you know something can be great. Don't settle for poor health. Yeah, it can be really fucking scary to walk away from a relationship or a job or friends you've had for years, but I wasted SO MUCH TIME pouring myself into people and things that were not meant for me. I wouldn't go back and change it because I learned really important lessons, but I can say that every single time I've let something go and decided not to settle, something amazing came along. Trust yourself. Trust your skills. Trust your inner circle. Everything else will fall into place if you reserve your energy only for the things and people that matter most.

Natalie Haddad You are running your own race. And nobody knows how fast or slow you’re going, or why, and that’s the point. So no need to compare. Just do what you need to do to get where you’re going. You are running your own race.

Chiara Granado 30's are the best. I am 33 and I remember my 29th year and I lived it up but also welcomed a new decade with open arms. Truly, the 30s are soooo awesome! and one thing for sure: You really start to stop comparing yourself to others and living your own path. you realize, wow, I have my life and I have to got to do this right. Don't live for others expectations. Do it your way, but with grace and a good attitude.

Monicita Bonita Oh goodness. 💜Don’t plan anything around the expectation that someone else will be loyal to you. 💜People don’t change, don’t wait for it to happen. 💜Don’t be afraid to do things alone. 💜Don’t settle on anything. Not a guy, not a car, not a house or an apartment or anything else. If you don’t love it 100% it’s not for you. *this is something I actually have done, but I think is good advice for anyone* 💜 take classes to learn how to do everything humanly possible. Learn how to surf, learn how to sky dive, learn how to sail a boat, learn how to ride a motorcycle. don’t be afraid of any of it, and if you are, then just do it scared.

Daenna Fickey Start investing early and often. Never stop learning.

Brandy Lynne Heilig This is a great reflection exercise! I just ended my 20's in Nov and boy could I write a book on do's and don'ts. Would I change anything.. probably not because I learned those lessons, heartaches and happiness all through experience. Plus isn't that why our parents are wiser because they did it on their own and they tried to warn us but didn't listen :) Here are a couple things to share. 1. Don't be afraid to be alone. You're stronger than you think. 2. Try new things, you only live once. 3. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is never a bad thing, just guard it. 4. Don't be afraid to ask for help. 5. Self doubt is your worst enemy! You can do anything you put your mind to! ...

Katelynn Wilms Travel as much as you can, put as much money as you can in your 401k, and limit the number of tequila shots you have.

Christina Carpenter Learn how to work out now... it's harder when you get older! Running isn't as bad as it seems. We all may have been thrown in the oil at the same time....but we don't all "pop" at once...(like popcorn) You do you, boo. Don't be too judgy, love others and seek to put yourself in the shoes of others. You never know what other people are struggling with or what they have come through. Mary Kay didn't start her makeup company until after she "retired," so there is still time for you to do amazing things with your life.

Katherine Anna Keep building the life you want. Travel, workout, and take care of yourself. You will be much more happy.

Karla Orduna You don't have to fit into the mold you've been told by society, live your life how you want to. Travel, save more, have fun, be more open with your friends, build better friendships, NO ONE is perfect.

Emmarie Jackson Dont be afraid to try new things. I regret not doing that in my 20s. I'm now 44 and just recently discovered my passion for art and photography. Had I started sooner, I probably would be a more established artist today.

Shea Pulis Heading into 20s: take out the least amount of student loans as possible and don’t buy a new car as soon as you get your first big girl job. Set up direct transfer from your checking to savings each month. Looking forward to in 30s: starting a family and climbing the professional ladder. Biggest lesson going into 30s: never pay the minimum payment on anything especially student loans. Time heals EVERYTHING. Work hard and save when you’re young so you can enjoy your life. TRAVEL ALWAYS.

Ashley Gray Don’t stay in toxic relationships because of how much time (years) you’ve put into it. Time is a reason to leave, not stay.

Caity Wasden Cummings Ashley Gray or just keep them at arm’s length and don’t invest unless they do too. I don’t love burning bridges but I also hate investing in a relationship that has no benefit, or worse, brings negativity, to me.

Danna Johnston Maintain positive friendships and keep them close. Those will be your rocks later in life. Travel when and while you can. Be a good influence on those around you and stand up for what is right. Your happiness in your 30’s is who is in your life. Things are just things. ❤️

Danna Johnston 30’s have been less going out, in bed by 9, day drinking instead of finest outfit and hitting the bars at 11pm, pregnancy and first child. Spending time with The best group of friends and family around! I’m 33 but those are my thoughts 🤪

Kelsi Kay I’ve definitely learned to let things go and not worry about what i can’t change! Who my real friends are! Some that I’ve been friends with since elementary school are still my best friends and some over the years have faded off! Spending more time with family. Travel more and spend less on material things

Rachel K Burton That Change is required. So run toward it, not away. To eliminate distractions. And that Isolation is not the same thing as loneliness. Isolation is where you find yourself, and grow, and if that’s what you want to have to lock in that tunnel vision or your path will take 10x longer or you will veer off. To have quality relationships. Learn why you have the people in your life that you do, and be okay will cutting out what doesn’t serve you. To say no. A lot. To practice voicing what you believe, understanding you will at first be nervous, and concerned but that one day it will become normal. And you won’t have to fake confidence. And that glass ceilings are real. BUT that doesn’t mean efforts are in vain. Learn to tie your work ethic to your character not a task. Hate your job? Work like you’re the CEO anyway. Consistency and Work ethic is not giving your all to what you love- that’s easy. Discipline is doing that when you’re drained, and hate what you’re doing. That will lead you to the skills that get you where you want to be. And mostly- TURN OFF YOUR NEGATIVITY. Never say anything bad about yourself, your abilities. If you fail, which we all do, talk about what you learned and now know how to fix. Talk about your strengths, and your beauty outside of references to your body.

Jannie Brown Do not stay in toxic friendships. It is no fun for anyone. I have learned their are 30 something mean girls who are your “friends” you know the base of the story. Also, I wish I would have majored in a occupation not a theory. For instance If I could go back I’d switch from business to psychology. But then I wouldn’t have my best friends from college. I am 34 and I’ve learned to not sweat the small stuff and focus on your partner, kids, business etc your real friends will love you No matter what you do or say! ♥️ turning 30 was so refreshing for me! I hope it is for you too!

Katherine Curtsinger Don’t cling onto relationships that no longer server you, whether it’s family, friends or the “love of your life." If you can’t pay for it in cash, just wait. Credit cards aren’t worth it. If it won’t impact you 5 minutes or 5 days from now it’s nothing to worry about. Get work experience in college, even if it’s just waiting tables, you’ll thank yourself. Your phone is not your life, put it down more than you’re looking at it. You’re allowed to say no.

Beige Jackson Wait for the person who loves you for who you are, dont settle or be in a hurry. Also, stand up for yourself when its needed. It will make you more confident in yourself!

Nikki Admire That everything comes in time and you don’t have to accomplish everything by a certain age just as long as your working towards your goals in life.

Josalyn Johnson Heading into 20s: 1. Do not feed into pressure to get married and have children. Do it when YOU are ready. 2. When job hunting, don’t just look at the salary, make sure to take into consideration the benefits that a company/organization offers. Health insurance, 401(k) contributions, pension, etc. 3. It’s never too early to think about your future and retirement. Start a savings and 401(k). 4. Travel as much as you can. Experience new things and cultures.

Tigg Alexandra Spend money on experiences, not materials. I wish I had more experiences with my Dad, even if it wasn’t something I’d enjoy. Sometimes it’s about the other person, not mutual interest. Tomorrow isn’t promised. Don’t get married to the golden handcuffs. The money was nice, but having quality time with the people I love is nicer. Visit at least one new country per year. Be involved in a community. Careers exist without a college degree. Don’t let the man fool you.

Amber Hoopert 20's- In emerging adulthood, we want to buy clothes and materialistic things on impulse... even though you do not have the means to buy these things, you want to in order to impress others but truly, deep down, nobody cares what you are wearing or what you have so impress yourself and don't follow what everyone else is getting. Be yourself. 2) Don't go through these years aimlessly in college and accumulate debt when you don't truly know what you want to do in this life. Work, travel, meet people, etc. until you find your purpose. 3) Starting at the bottom of the totem pole will teach you the biggest lessons. Don't try to hurry to the top of a company or career. Take in the stepping stones. 3) Yeah partying is fun and all but you will find longer lasting friendships with people that you meet in another setting such as life groups, school clubs, etc. And you won't sleep your life away the day after partying and will be a more productive human aspiring for greater things.

Catherine Roberts Learn to recognize toxic ppl for you and stay away. Stick w college, you don’t want to go back. Work through college and take out as little as possible. Drive that car until the wheels fall off, no payment = happiness. Spend the money on the honeymoon not the wedding. Start a savings for retirement even if your job has no options for you. Oh most importantly, if he’s a jerk to you once he will be again. Pick someone who is smart and makes you laugh and walk talker. Damn, the more you know 😂

Erin Neal Advice to 20 Year Old Me: 1) Open the shampoo bottle pointed away from your face. 2) Choose a handful of people who's opinion you care about, and everyone else can suck it. (Don't actually tell them to suck it, though. Just think it.) 3) If you want an honest assessment about your appearance, ask a child. 4) You can have fun and be chubby. Literally nobody cares. 5) Kindess is, like, so hot right now. I mean I have way more but I'll stop.

Amanda Williams Advice to 20 year old me: Don't get married young because you feel like you have to. Don't get discouraged with your education because you feel like everyone else is finishing before you. I wish I would've traveled more before having kids. I wish I had slowed down and embraced every 'little' moment because in hindsight they became a bigger moment

Marsha Marie Blunt All parents make mistakes, no one has it all figured out. You only get one life, make the best of it, debt free, worry free and guilt free. Spend time with your family, especially parents, they’re not around forever and you’ll regret it if you don’t. Memories are far more important than materials. We don’t all have the best memories, but today is a new day. Live it!

Andrea Wright You will lose friends and gain friends at almost every major life event you experience. Most looking forward to the busiest time of my life 😂. My kids will go from 4 & 5 to 14 & 15 over the next 10 years and it’s freaking me out a little. So most looking forward to just doing all the things with my family.

Koreena Dawn Walker You are only the victim if you write the story that way.

Laura Hendrickson I'm doing the same!! I turn 30 in February. Here were a few of mine: 1. Choosing who you marry, if you marry, will impact your entire future, literally. So choose very carefully. 2. Community is absolutely vital. You don't have to have a dozen best friends, but you need at least a handful of people who will walk shoulder-to-shoulder with you through the good, the bad, and the really bad. 3. You don't have to have an eating disorder to have an unhealthy relationship with your body. Self-obsession and self-loathing are both unhealthy, and God did not create you for that nonsense. 4. Break-and-bake cookies will never be as good as homemade ones. Stop being lazy and just buy some baking soda already.

Jordan Bodie Wash your face at night. Don’t sleep in your contacts. Stick to a bedtime. You get more of what you accept. The harder it is, the more proud you’ll be that you got through it. Save money when it doesn’t matter, so you can spend it where it really makes you happy. Book your hair appointments before your roots are bad.

Nicole Robie Don’t feel pressure to pick your forever career. It’s okay to change and try out other things. Also, community college is not “second-best”

Amanda Boston DeLozier Stay in your own lane. Don’t compare where you are in life to where your friends are and get disappointed! Everything will happen when it’s supposed to happen!

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