5 Words of Wisdom to Learn Before You Turn 20

Photo by Matthew Ball from Unsplash

For my first blog post, we aren’t going to talk about the wonders of being 20. We aren’t going to talk about how everything’s going to magically put things into perspective at this age
because it’s not. It’s never going to turn out right without your hard work.

We aren’t going to talk about how your mind feels like exploding every time someone asks you what you want to be 10 years from now. I bet you think about it every minute of your life.

Your future. It’s scary, isn’t it? The fear of the future never goes away, and it’s great that it doesn’t. 


The idea of uncertainty is mind-boggling, but it’s all we have. The fear allows us to be strong because somehow we never know what we’re up against; it’s what keeps us going. 
When you see someone your age making it in life while you’re still in the same place as that someone was years back, you just feel like trash floating in a stagnant canal.


Sure, you may feel happy for your friend and you may even support him in his endeavors, but you can’t help but ask yourself, “What about me? Where am I going with my life?”


The answers to your questions will shape differently when they come from different people. This blog post isn’t about life as you turn 20 or what to do now that you’re 20. This is about your journey way before that.


Remember, what you feed your mind is as essential as what you create out of it.





It’s inside all of us, that sliver of entitlement. We all have pride in each one of us, and that’s not a bad thing. What’s worse is when you think you’re above everybody else and expect a special type of treatment from people (even when you don’t deserve it). Sorry to rain on your parade, but you don’t deserve anything without working for it. You can’t say you deserve to achieve a dream you did not plan for, sacrifice for, or even fail in.

Don’t expect life to lower down its walls for you, it’s not. You will need to climb over it brick by brick to get to the other side. Don’t expect people to be kind to you because you’ve been kind to them. Don’t expect bills to stop growing just because you’re going through an emotional breakdown over the past weekend, it’s not. Life doesn’t care if you’re not ready for it, but it will surely make you care. It’s all part of the process. Hold on and don’t let go. You will make it.




Be careful with whom you trust your plans. You need a friend who celebrates with you in your seasons of joy and mourns with you in your seasons of pain. It’s okay if you don’t talk with your friends every day, what matters is you feel their presence in your journey despite their absence (through the unconditional support they give to you). Stop tolerating friends who show signs of jealousy and hate for your plans. Remove them from your life if all they give you are doubts and reminders of your weaknesses. Thank friends who support you and make you aware of your mistakes, but do not allow them to build in more fear in yourself.

People are tricky, including yourself. Sometimes you meet people who genuinely pray for your success and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes the people who have been in your life for the longest time aren’t meant to be in it for another day. Sometimes the people you’ve let go of are the ones you yearn for when you feel like drowning, and it’s okay to swallow your pride and let them back in. 




Trust me when I say, that the pain you’re feeling, whatever it is, will not last. Even if you feel broken or torn for feeling unappreciated or unseen despite all your efforts and silent successes, always remember that there is a purpose why people are blind to them. There is an incredible purpose for your pain, and that’s okay if you can’t seem to figure out it all yet. You are given that challenge to test how much burden you can take, and when you pass that test, eventually you’ll thank yourself for not giving up.

Acknowledge the problem you’re in. Take a deep breath and think about ways to alleviate your situation without dwelling more on the failure. Remember your goal, your dream. Put in mind the days you’ve invested into reaching this point of your journey, and tell yourself how stupid it would be if you were to give up because everything isn’t working out well at the moment. Remember Advice #1, you don’t deserve anything until you work for it. 




Pat yourself on the shoulder in the face of failure. That means you’re moving forward. That means you’re trying. That means you’re not in the same place as before. Most people think failure is the end of success which is wrong. The mistakes you’ve made are a manifestation of your commitment to your dream. You’re getting out of your comfort zone and trying out new strategies to attack the problem.

Enjoy failure, especially in your teens. Enjoy the fact that you don’t know everything and you can’t learn everything in a single day. You need people to help you get out of that quicksand. Don’t be stubborn; you’re still learning like everybody else. Either in success or in failure, you need to constantly sweat, bleed, and suffer to grow. The reason you feel like giving up is that you’re still gradually transforming into somebody who can take it. You’re still in transition, embrace it. 




Fear is like a gigantic force field separating you from your dream. Don’t allow that force field to discourage you from going past it because you have the power against it. Only you. It’s normal when you want things to be under your control. You want everything to be organized and perfect and according to your daily timeline. That’s a great attitude for a dreamer to have, but remember that you’re only human and it’s impossible to wrap everything around your finger.

You need to find a balance between writing everything down and ripping out the same page if in case the circumstances don’t fit. Versatility and resiliency are very important attributes to learn. That’s the paradox of life — the beauty and disaster works simultaneously.

Stop being afraid of failure. Stop being afraid of the time you might waste doing something entirely different because it’s never time wasted. The time you waste is the time you don’t work for your dreams. Thinking about it, the fear overwhelms you, but that’s because you’re looking way too far from where you’re supposed to.

Your life doesn’t only begin and end in birth and death. Life begins and ends anytime you want it. When you stop believing in yourself because you’re tired of failing, then you’re on the road to the death of your life, your dreams. That’s when your life ends when you’re not trying anymore. But when you take that step, when you put on that shower cap, when you put on that pair of shoes, that’s when life starts again.


“The path to whatever your notion of success is will likely not be linear. Don’t take continuous personal growth for granted. Just because you’re older doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wiser. Your 20s will be full of failures. Let them happen and learn as you go.”

Holden Desalles

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

46 thoughts on “5 Words of Wisdom to Learn Before You Turn 20

  1. Hello, Idol Monik!! I'm so proud of you for finally taking the first steps of your dreams. You know that I'm always amazed by your works especially in writing because I know how eloquent you are. More of this pleaseeeee. I'll be sure to comment in every blog you make. Can't wait for you to be a famous writer soon


  2. What a nice timing to read something motivational before reaching my twenties. Can't wait to read more of this. Glad to be able to partake this journey of yours. Keep shining Nik, can't wait for you to bloom in this field, happy that you're slowly reaching your dreams.


  3. “Fear is a myth”. People who constantly doubt on taking risk should be reminded about this line. It is an inspiration to extend our limits and explore what's beyond the other side of the mountain. Nice����


  4. Entitlement is something so many young people tragically suffer to overcome. It's definitely a transition from being taking care of by your parents to adulthood. That entitlement mindset has to be left behind once you step into the real world. Nothing will come to you unless you make a effort and go get it. xo Erica


  5. I love this blog! I'm going to share it with my students when we resume in class next week. There are definite take-aways in this for them (and me), so thank you for sharing! 🙂


  6. I have visited your blog, I read your posts with pleasure, congratulate. Wishing you all the best in your studies.I share stories on my blog that will change your perspective on life. You can visit my blog and read my stories.storiesademincik.blogspot.com


  7. Loved this post. All 5 pieces of advice are valid throughout your life. I liked the “Stop being afraid of failure.” Reminds me of a quote I have kept with me for so long:”Never risking failure means you never give yourself the chance to succeed.” ~Unknown


  8. This is a really great article and excellent advice! I hope that everyone who needs to find this, does because you've laid out some of life's truths so nicely. Giulia, tidbitsofcare.com


  9. This is a really great article and excellent advice! I hope that everyone who needs to find this, does because you've laid out some of life's truths so nicely. Giulia, tidbitsofcare.com


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