10 things that you should know about adulthood before turning 20

More than just ‘it’s hard af’

Know how to depict real friends from someone who's there to watch from the sidelines

As humans, we tend to appreciate any type of attention given to us, and at times, fake friends know exactly how to deliver just what we want. Everyone has gone through some type of betrayal at this point, and yeah, it really sucks when we thought that there was no beef. The fact of the matter is that it's never your enemies that betray you; it's the ones you care about that carry that power. There's no promise that all of your friends (like the ones you met at orientation or the ones you randomly met in the line for Late Nite) are genuine at the moment, but if you know who the close ones are, stick to them. Once you find out who the fake ones are, let them go and move on with your life. Everything becomes much easier once this happens.

A true sign of friendship: people who do High School Musical jumping pictures with you

Mistakes are OK; try not to repeat them

Perfectionism exists a little in all of us, but maybe that's just our inner editor trying to guide us to something that is nearly impossible. We have all made the wrong decisions at times, like going out for Thirsty Thursday when you know you have an 8 am the next morning. What's important is remembering not to replicate those mistakes, but to learn from them, and maybe even do a little self examination from each mistake (ex. recognize school is more important than the chance of seeing Josh from Sigma Apple Pie). Sometimes, mistakes can even lead us to a brighter light and beneficial for self growth.

There is a difference between being a 'thinker' and a 'do-er'

We all know someone who is 'all talk.' Don't be that person, because you will get in the habit of loving to hear the sound of your own voice. People who talk the talk don't always walk the walk. Instead of thinking of how you're definitely going to ace your Chem midterm, or bragging about how successful your new mixtape will be, just put in hours daily. Focus on the quality of the work before you start advertising it. If you're able to do this, it means you have proven to yourself that your own judgement is good enough.

another day of sun(burns)

A post shared by Sam Spotswood (@presidentspotswood) on

Taking accountability is crucial

Some people have trouble taking ownership of their faults, and not being able to take responsibility of their actions. Because of this, these people don't taken seriously. Own up to your actions and take responsibility. It's respectable – and most importantly – it's a crucial characteristic that that enables you to build stronger relationships. Accountability is the first step into maturity and true adulthood.

Invest your time in multiple hobbies, and learn how to balance them

Not to romanticize time or age, but every second passed is a second lost. If you are interested in something, make time for it. Whether it's being able to play the UCLA fight song on guitar (even if you have practiced 100 times, still practice more), or setting time goals on a painting, or signing up for that one Fiat Lux, you are keeping yourself busy and your mind flowing.

Pro tip: light candles around your work space. It lightens things up 🙂

Learn time management as early as possible

This means means being mindful of your time, and setting schedules – writing out your class schedule on a notepad/sketchbook, or even jotting down reminders about term papers and final exams on a sticky pad can be helpful. Finding balance is one of those things that anyone can learn to do, with time and a LOT of patience. Being able to do that is a direct key to success.

This is for those "multiple tabs are open in my head" people!

A degree does not mean automatic success

Education is truly a privilege (especially being here at the #1 public university). It's important to know that getting a degree does not guarantee a stable career or secure a future. Connection, networking, and consistency should also be priorities; join clubs, IM sports, volunteer organizations to feel out your interests and meet new people that might lead to new opportunities. You may be happy with where you are at once you get your degree, and that's definitely fine, but you should also consider it as an invitation for a new starting point. Change is the only constant in life, so make sure you have 'back-up' plans (academic, personal, and financial).

High school was a bust, who else is happy that it's over

You will get what you give

It's evident that hard work and determination will get you to many places, but some people can be blessed with luck, like that boy that didn't even open his history textbook and still aced the midterm. Those people may be temporarily happy; but they'll be doomed once they reach actual adulthood and realize that they have no idea how to really earn something. Don't depend on luck or chance as a habit. Instead, build a strong foundation, get thicker skin, and gain experience, so that if luck does come in the way, it's the cherry on top (and your hard work is the banana split).

You never stop learning

Growth happens everyday, whether it's good growth or bad. Our brains are capable of doing more than what we know, which is why we may tend to underestimate ourselves quite a bit. There is always room for growth, and always room for improvement in everything you do. Instead of rolling your eyes and responding to someone's advice with "I know," try to actually listen. You might just get something new out of this interaction.

That learning grind never stops

Get advice in abundance

Advice can always be great, but it can also be the opposite. How can you avoid being led down the wrong mental or physical route? There are two ways. One, cover your ears when someone wants to give you a life lesson (you can totally do this, but it's frowned upon…so if you don't want to hear it just go on a mental vacation and keep smiling). Two, pick out certain people you look up to and trust, maybe they're your good role models, maybe they're an icon. Given that they are all human, each of them will have their own unique set of words that may be personalized for you. What you can do is listen to each and every one of them, get an average of what parts actually make sense, and then apply that directly towards your situation or life in general. The point of advice isn't always to do exactly as you're guided to, but to consider your options, and when you consider multiple options, it's easier to get a feel of where you may stand.