Lately I have been reminiscing a lot about my life before the big 20 and I have had series of flashbacks play in my head. I realized that life after the age 20 has been moving so fast paced. I really wish I could put its pacing on the exact opposite of what I have right now. Growing up, is that great fear I haven’t been able to overcome.
Being a teenager is fun, and filled with its own perks. Life seems like it just started and you are in a new stage. You start being independent a little and living life as you think is best for you.
Memories are built from this stage onward and you look forward to the age 20 to get your full independence, leaving the teenage years behind. But you know what you need to be conscientious and shrewd not to make a mistake at this point. I will list out 14 things to do just before 20. Some I did, some I learnt, some I should have learnt;
- Have a relationship with God: This comes first because when you get your relationship with God right very early in life every other thing in your life falls into place. If you think you can’t feel God; seek for him diligently and you will find him. Proverbs 8:17: “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”
- Learn to take care of yourself: This is the point in life when we as human beings gain partial independence from our parents or guardians. To gain trust as you grow older show that you can take care of yourself from this stage.
- Set (a) goal(s): Be it long term or short term just set a goal(s). Do yourself a favour, by WRITING it (or) them down, it will help you put yourself in check. For me my mum made me create a yearly plan for my life, which was pasted right beside my dressing mirror. I saw myself in the mirror and I read my goals everyday.
- Be self motivated: To do or achieve something because of one’s own enthusiasm or interest, without influence from other people or situations is being self motivated. The situations around you might not motivate you, but if you are your driving force, nothing can keep you derailed from your goal.
- Make the best of friends: This is the point you meet friends who are true and at their realest without any form of intrusion from the real world. You should make the best of friends now. Let me chip in this that most of my closest friends right now I made them in my teenage years. “Choose your friends with caution; plan your future with purpose, and frame your life with faith”.- Thomas S. Monson
- Make friends with people older than you are and higher than you are in life: This people have been there done that, they have made their mistakes and learnt from it, making friends with them will help you make fewer mistakes than your peers.
- Attend programs and seminars: Go out and engage with like minds, meet new people and make new friends. Though your parents might not allow you go out in your early teens but in your late teens they sure would. Seminars or programs will help you at this stage in life.
- Make impact, be a volunteer: This is the point you have to start learning life is not all about how much money you can earn or have made but how much lives you have touched or impacted. Be the reason why someone has a smile on their face. One of the most fulfilling moments of my life is seeing people smile and happy when I volunteer.
- Learn something new or different: It might be a skill, trade, language, musical instrument etc, just learn something different from the norm, it will make you stand out among your peers. For me I have learnt three trades at different times of my life and still secretly wish I learnt a language or musical instrument when I was younger.
- Make a bucket list: I define a bucket list as a list which contains all the fun things you (might) want to do before you get to a certain age just because planning for things before you die is a long way to go, so I like to write it by age. I never heard of a bucket list till I was 19 going on 20, so I created mine; list of things I wanted to do before I clocked 21. I did some of those things like learning to drive, being on a plane, going on a family picnic etc
- Discover purpose: Purpose is simply defined as the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. Discovering purpose can not be done of your own will but seeking God, remember God came first in this list, Right from my undergraduate years I have kept on discovering purpose and I am still on that journey. “Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning. Without meaning, life has no significance or hope.”- Rick Warren “You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
- Be accountable to someone: Choose someone to be accountable to, who necessarily won’t judge you for you actions or wrong doings but will correct you in love and advice you on how to go. This person doesn’t necessarily need to be you parent but a trusted adult or maybe your youth pastor will do.
- Have a role model: Looking up to someone who you will want to be like or see your older self be look helps build you mentally to live up to that standard.
- Get a Job: No matter how little it is get a job and know what it feels like to work. This will not only help build your Curriculum Vitae/ Resume but help build your work experience. I worked for three months in a digital advertising firm without pay when I was in my third level in the University and did it pay off? Yes it did; within that time I learnt to compose a professional mail, tag posts correctly on social media, interact well with people in an office space etc.
Like I stated earlier I didn’t do all of this things on this list but I did most of them and I am doing very well now as a young graduate with no regrets whatsoever. This is what I would have told my younger self or my younger sibling if I had any. If you didn’t do any of this before the age of 20, it’s not too late to do them.
How helpful do you see this post and what do you think I missed in this list of things to do before 20? Let’s discuss in the comment section below and don’t forget to share with your friends, older ones and younger ones.
*** Apologies this post is dropping late, my gadget malfunctioned and I had to take down the unfinished draft that was posted previously. Thanks for always.