The Care and Keeping of a 20-something

One thing I have learned as I’ve started my 20’s is the importance of self-care. When you’re a teenager, no one bats an eyelash when you drive through Taco Bell before a Friday night football game or when you forget to take your makeup off before you go to bed.

But we’re not teenagers anymore. It’s time to start getting our stuff together, ladies. So to get started, here’s a short list of tips I use to stay on track in my self-care routine.

  1. Eat better, live better.

Taco Bell and Sonic runs are the best, and for a college girl on a budget,  they can be lifesaving when you a) don’t want to cook or b) don’t know HOW to cook. There is a stigma around healthy eating. Fast food is cheaper, quicker, and tastes better. But that’s not necessarily true. Grabbing an apple is just as easy as grabbing French fries. And it makes you feel SO MUCH BETTER. Here are some of my favorite snacks when I’m in a pinch and want something a little more on the healthy side.

2. Take your makeup off.

Don’t go to bed with makeup on. I mean it. You will get wrinkles. You’re going to clog up your pores. And no one wants to wake up like this.

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3. Breathe.

Seriously. Sometimes it’s just that simple. Take a minute, put things into perspective, and ask yourself if it’s really worth getting yourself all worked up over. 9/10 times it’s not. Take some time to do something you love. Read a book, go for a run, or make some coffee (or do all three of those things-you do you, girl!), and let your mind relax for a little bit.

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What are some of your favorite ways to take care of yourself?

XOXO,

Ali

 

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“I’m Grown.” (I think)

Since coming to college, I’ve uttered some variation of this phrase time and time again.

“I’m grown.”

“I can do this by myself.”

“I don’t need help.”

My whole life, I’ve been surrounded by strong, independent women. My mom, female family members, teachers, and mentors have all influenced me from day one. I’ve always thought I was pretty independent, too. I can pick new things up pretty quickly, I don’t mind being by myself, and I don’t ask for things to just be handed to me. But there’s more to it than that. Despite my so-called independence in my newfound decade of life, I still carry some of the qualities that are far from desirable for an independent woman.

In anticipation of turning 20, I read all the articles you could think of. You know the type. The “20 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do By 20” articles. Like this one. In my extensive research, I came to a frightening realization.

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I WASN’T PREPARED. I DIDN’T KNOW ALL OF THESE THINGS. HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO CARRY ON? I’VE BEEN TELLING EVERYBODY I’M ALL GROWN UP.

After a meltdown that looked a little something like this….

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…I had a particularly lengthy chat with (you guessed it) my mom, and I came to another realization. It was okay that I was still unsure. Being independent doesn’t mean that you know it all. As a matter of fact, part of becoming independent is admitting that you DON’T know it all.

I’m not perfect.  Sometimes I’m still a little too stubborn and proud to admit that I need help. I also sometimes forget to set my alarm for class in the mornings or to set a timer when I’m making macaroni and cheese out of a box. But, hey, nobody’s perfect.

The truth is, I will probably never be telling the truth when I say “I don’t need help”. No one really is. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Read on for my next step towards independence…

XOXO,

Ali

The sophomore slump..and other complaints

Turning 20 hits you like a freight train. You’re no longer a teenager, and the world wants you to know it. Twenty is a weird age, y’all. Some seem like they already have it figured out, and some people have no clue what’s going on. If you’re like me, you’re somewhere in the middle. You still eat food from a drive-through a little more often than you should, you watch four Netflix shows at a time, and you kinda-sorta-maybe know what you want to do for a career after college.

In my freshman year of college, all that stuff was okay. You get a free pass when you’re 18 and living on your own for the first time. No one says anything when you spend most of your free time calling your mom asking how to do your laundry or wondering how long you can leave your leftovers in your mini fridge.

But then you become a sophomore. Your major is picked (maybe), you’ve settled in, and somehow there’s supposed to be a magical transformation where you’ve got your whole life planned out through retirement. The acceptable answer to “What kind of job do you want to get with your degree?” or “When are you going to settle down?” is no longer “I don’t know.” You’re supposed to know. You’re 20 years old. Better figure it out soon. It’s terrifying, to say the least.

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I get it. I get that I’m paying a ridiculous amount of money for an education I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with yet. I get that whole “when I was your age” thing (because apparently 20-year-olds used to have everything all figured out). But no one prepares you for turning 20 and having to figure it out all on your own. A big part of why I wanted to write this blog was to help with that. It’s okay to not know everything just because I’ve somehow kept myself alive for two whole decades. I know that.

Urban Dictionary defines a “sophomore slump” (or “suffermore year”) as “the year you learn more about yourself after being jaded about college because freshman year is over and it’s time to get serious”. College student or not, everyone has their own equivalent of a sophomore slump at some point or another, and they’re right. It is time to get serious. But that doesn’t mean you have to have it all put together the day you turn 20 years old.

Your 20s are supposed to be a time to figure out who you are completely on your own time, and no one figures it out at the same pace. That’s not a bad thing. If anything, it’s a great thing because it means you’re learning to think for yourself and really, truly figure it out as you go. So here’s to figuring it out together.

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I hope you enjoyed, readers! Till next time…

XOXO

Ali