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Advice For Women in Their 20s

4 Things I Wish I Could Tell Every Other 20-Year-Old Woman

Just in case you haven't heard it in a while . . .

That thing you're worrying about? It's not as big of a deal as you think it is.

Although it can feel like all hope is lost when your Snapchat is left unopened, or your text has been read 20 minutes ago, or you just discovered the angriest pimple on your chin, I promise you, life will go on. There were so many days when I felt my life had ended only for it to begin again in the morning. Even when I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life in my university counsellor's office my first day of freshman year, even when I got pink eye in not one but two of my eyes during the first round of sorority recruitment, life went on.

Just because there are bad days doesn't mean that this is a bad life; I've actually found that life's little tragedies do a fantastic job of providing clarity. Who is there for you when you're sobbing on your bedroom floor and what did you tell yourself to get yourself back on your feet? Those people, those words, are worth the battle wounds.

You are doing great.

I don't know if you've been told lately, but you're absolutely killin' it. Being 20 is such a weird existence and simply staying afloat is a victory. I'm always overwhelmed by how much is expected from our demographic, and even more so by how much we expect from ourselves.

If you're anything like me, you're allergic to compliments — I can't take praise when I feel as though I'm a work in progress. I think it is important, though, to brag a little — even if it's to yourself, in the mirror, flexing those almost-abs. I think it's important to dream big and recognize how far you've come. I worked two internships this Summer and waitressed on the side and still made it to yoga a few times — and I think that's pretty badass. What are you doing to improve yourself or achieve your goals? And can I get a hell yeah?

You are loved and you have so much love to give.

When it comes to finding your other half, the wait is worth it. Believe me when I say that you will know when you meet the right person — and until then, don't settle for anyone who treats you like you're ordinary. The man or woman of your dreams is going to look at you as though you might be magic, and it's going to feel as though you are. Respect your body, protect your heart, raise your standards, keep an open mind, and stay the hell away from Tinder.

The only person who deserves you is going to be the one who thinks they don't, the one who values your company more than your appearance, the one who can't believe their luck. Don't stop looking until it's comfortable — yes, there will be sparks, but falling in love will ultimately feel like letting out a sigh. It'll feel like finally coming home.

You are beautiful.

Not only in the way that you look, but in the way that you are. It took me a long time to realise that beauty isn't soft skin or shiny hair or a small waist — beauty isn't found in body parts or single characteristics, but in the wholeness of the person. I find myself noticing beauty in others effortlessly — I notice my mum's strong shoulders and delicate collarbones, I notice how my best friend's nose crinkles when she laughs, I notice my co-worker's endless eyelashes. I notice everything that I seem to overlook when looking at myself. Never forget that while you're pinching the soft part of your stomach or wishing your nose was smaller that somebody else may be noticing all your tiny details, your unparalleled and undeniable beauty.

If you needed these reminders, send them along to another woman in your life — time spent focusing on self-love and self-confidence is never wasted. And most of all, remember to be kind — not only toward others, but toward yourself; it only took me 20 years to start to realize that kindness just may be the key to everything.

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