20 Things I Figured Out in 20 Years

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1. Your self esteem is your own job. Not your friends’, not your boyfriend’s, not the media’s.

2. Revenge isn’t your job; leave it to karma. As hard as it may be, you’ve got to suppress the Blair Waldorf within for your own peace of mind. It may sound like a great idea now, but it’s not. No matter how much of a bitch she was or how much of an asshole he was, taking the high road gives you a (completely valid) sense of superiority.

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3. Make a habit of exercising early in life. As you get older it’s harder and harder to add things to your routine that you’ll actually stick to.

4. Start your days off with upbeat music. Getting out of bed is a lot easier with Chief Keef yelling at you.

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5. Get to know people before you dismiss them. We all tend to kind of scowl at the girl standing in the same perimeter as our crush even though she’s really just in the pizza line and doesn’t care about you or the idiot you’re obsessed with, and write her off as a conniving bitch for all of eternity. Don’t do that. You’ll miss out on a lot of great people that way.

6. Don’t allow yourself to be defined by boners. Don’t be foolish enough to think that a man’s erection is some sort of accomplishment or badge of honor. Don’t seek validation from anyone but yourself, and don’t use your body to try to get it.

7. There’s nothing noble about being sad. Cheer up.

8. Get out of your comfort zone. Make conversation with people you don’t know in class. Talk to the really good looking guy standing in front of you at Dunkies. Compliment strangers. As hard as it is to believe, being shy is something you can outgrow if you try hard enough.

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9. Make a habit of being nice and pleasant, even when you don’t want to be. It builds character.

10. Learn to prioritize. This should probably be number one.

11. Understand the importance of presentation. Don’t leave your house looking or feeling like less than an 8 on a 1-10 scale, unless it’s for food or an emergency.

12. Guys can be much more honest and straightforward than we give them credit for. It’s not always the case, but a great deal of our issues with the opposite sex have more to do with our own naivety and projection of our fantasies onto them than anything they’ve said or done. If you haven’t seen it yet, or you need a reality check, watch He’s Just Not That Into You. It’s a game changer.

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13. Also, most of your girlfriends are idiots when it comes to the opposite sex. Don’t listen to them.

14. There’s nothing wrong with liking sex or porn or “flicking the bean” as I so affectionately began calling it after seeing The Ugly Truth, but NEVER discuss these things with a guy in attempt to make him like you. These things should be kept relatively private. Keep them off of social media.

15. If you’re doing it for attention, it’s probably a bad idea.

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16. Most liberals don’t know what they’re talking about. Most conservatives don’t know what they’re talking about.

17. Some friendships have expiration dates. That’s okay.

18. Contrary to popular belief, love doesn’t have to be messy and complicated to be real. Sure, challenges strengthen love, but a lot of people retweet cliche quotes about chaotic love to reassure themselves of their own dramatic relationships. Listen to a personal favorite of mine, Lovin’ You Is Fun.

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19. You don’t have to like things because other people like them. You don’t have to dislike things because other people dislike them.

20. There’s nothing wrong with being full of yourself. What else are you supposed to be full of? I’d rather be around someone constantly commenting on how ridiculously good looking they are because they genuinely believe it than someone pretending to think less of themselves to appease the masses.

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