20 Things I've Learned Before I Turn 20

Let's start by saying yes, I'm a 19 year old junior in college who STILL hasn't turned 20 yet. My birthday is December 29th and I can honestly say that I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to it. Every year for the past 19 years I've been so excited for my birthday, but now I'm no longer going to be a teenager, and I'm one year closer to having to pay for insurance and cable and that's scary. 

anyway..

In my current 19 years of life I feel like I've accumulated enough knowledge on getting through life that I want to share it! 

1. your parents may just be your best friends

Growing up I definitely took my parents for granted. My parents are divorced and remarried so I have four wonderful parents, and in high school I was so concerned with spending time with my friends that I didn't get to know my parents. Obviously I knew my parents, but I didn't spend time with them as much as I should've, or realized how close we could've been if I had spent more time with them. 

2. save your money

When I got my first job in high school I literally spent my entire first paycheck on a Backstreet Boys concert ticket. That trend basically carried until my sophomore year of college. I was not a saver until I became dirt poor and had no choice. Save your money early - poor college you will thank you later. 

3. make time for yourself

It's great to join 3 clubs and play a sport and take 2 APs, but don't forget to take time for yourself. Freshman year of college I tried to do it all and everything crashed and burned around me. Having 2 hours for yourself is going to be so much more valuable then being able to add your name to one more club. 

4. don't over plan

We all know I'm obsessed with my day planner, but over-planning and over scheduling can sometimes put more of a burden on our lives then it can be helpful. I love block scheduling my free time for studying but I was getting to a point where I was literally scheduling when in the day I was going to brush my teeth. When I got to that point breaking my schedule gave my anxiety. Its better not to overplay your days and give yourself unnecessary anxiety until you need that. 

5. spend more money on experiences

Stop saving up for another purse you don't need or those trendy jeans you want and save up for a plane ticket! I regret how much money I've spent on items I don't even have any more and how little of the country (let alone the world) I've seen. 

6. your friends will change and thats OK

This one was the hardest for me to grasp. I always thought my true few from high school would be my ride or die, but my parents were right. Their still my friends, but we talk like my parents and their old friends do (not often). And overtime we see each other its mostly just catching up and "we'll have to do this again's." It's OK to have your friends change. It might be scary, and you may feel lonely for a while, but its ok. 

7. its not the end of the world to fail

When I got to college I was convinced I'd get the same grades I got in high school (A's + B's). No. That's not what happens in college. I actually failed a class and it almost killed me. But it took a long time to realize that it wasn't the end of the world. 

8. don't let one setback break you down

Going back to failing^^ I was so let down after that that I thought I should transfer schools. Letting one setback get to you like that rather than letting it empower you will break you down. Turn these mini downs into motivating factors to get you doing better in the next thing you're doing. 

9. making coffee at home will save you

I recently discovered how nice it is to not have to leave my apartment to get coffee that tastes great and costs half as much. It's so nice and my wallet is a fan. 

10. don't forget to take pictures of yourself

In the day and age of Instagram aesthetics, we sometimes get so caught up taking pictures of places, things, other people, that we forget to get in the picture and we forget to ask people to take our pictures'. Take your picture, take a picture with no makeup on, with a crappy outfit, just goofing off with your friends; because you're gonna want to remember those memories a lot more than you're gonna want to remember your 3rd iced vanilla latte of the day. 

11. waking up early makes the whole day feel more productive

I started waking up around 6/7 every morning and it has literally felt like I've added a second day to my life. Mornings are now my most productive time, and you just get so much more stuff done, even if you just wake up an hour earlier than you normally would. 

12. drink more water

Standard life advice. It's good for you. 

13. it's ok to stay in

I'm not a partier, and I always used to feel guilty when I politely declined going out, but it OK to stay in. Even if you love going out but you need a night to yourself, or if our like me and you go out to be with your friends but its not really your thing. Its ok to stay in. 

14. don't wait until your gas light comes on to get gas

We all know when we need to get gas, just go get it. Don't be lazy and wait for the light to come on, one day you're gonna run out of gas on the highway and AAA won't be there to save you. 

15. keep your room clean

This is especially relevant if you life in a small university provided bedroom. Keeping your room picked up, things off the floor, and your desk relatively clean makes your mind feel so much clearer. 

16. you can't please everyone

Attempting to be a people pleaser will stress you out. Do the best you can, and accept that not everyone is going to love everything you do. 

17. don't paint your nails before you go to bed

No matter what you think, they will get smudged. Just wait until morning. 

18. say yes more

Don't be afraid of new opportunities. Say yes to more things that you'd typically be afraid to do. (example: I conquered my irrational fear of avocados this year, and now I love guacamole.)

19. don't be afraid to say no

This is similar to make time for yourself. If you're someone who says yes to doing everything needed for everything and everyone, its ok to say no. Someone else can handle that part of the group project. And someone else can bake the cupcakes, and make the banner, and pick up the groceries, and do everything else. 

20. be yourself

Always stay true to who you are. Wear what you like. Eat what you like, when you like. Watch the shows you like and hang out where you like. Don't let anyone else determine what you should be doing with your life. 


xoxo

AME

Skin Care Essentials with Clarisonic

Before I got to college I never really took care of my skin. Honestly it drove my parents crazy how little I cared about washing my face or even taking my makeup off. But as soon as I got to college it was like my skin changed. 

I HAD to start taking care of my skin religiously or I would break out. The amount of stress and lack of sleep I experience on a weekly basis means that If I didn't have a skin care routine, I would be seriously acne prone. 

Up until last month I had been taking my makeup off with a make-up wipe, using a daily cleanser, 2x a week acne scrub, weekly face mask, and daily night cream and morning moisturizer. I thought this had been an effective routine, until I started using my Clarisonic. 

Oh my gosh the first day I used my Clarisonic I could not believe how much crap was still on my face!! In order to get the best results, you're supposed to take your makeup off before you use the Clarisonic. So I used a makeup remover wipe and some eye makeup remover. Then I started using the Clarisonic and realized that even though I may have thought my face was pretty clean, or my makeup was removed, it was definitely not. My skin had never felt so clean or smooth than that day! It felt like I had just gotten a facial. 

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My new routine is remove makeup, apply cleaner to Clarisonic and use for 2 minutes, night cream and morning moistierizer, and weekly face mask. I also have fallen in love with the Clarisonic brand cleanser and clay masks! I like to use the Clarisonic every other day, and on the days I don't use it I still use the cleanser to help take off all my makeup. 

The difference in my skin is actually incredible. I've had one facial in my life, and when I use the Clarisonic Clay Mask then take it off with the spin head brush my skin feels identical to when I had that facial. 

A Clarisonic is definitely a splurge item, but it definitely makes a huge difference! If you're interested in getting one (or you want to add it to your holiday wish list *wink wink parents*) HerCampus and Clarisonic are offering 15% off using the code HERCAMPUS now through October 31!

Have you used a Clarisonic? How do you like it / Which brush head do you have? Obviously I'm obsessed! 

xoxo

AME

This post is brought to you by Clarisonic and Her Campus Media

Life Updates ( I joined a SORORITY)

(psst. this post is going to be just basically balling and life-updating because it's necessary)

Because this post is super rant-y I broke it up into chunks, so bear with me ;). 

These past few weeks have been CRAZ-ZAY. Papers, and mid-terms and meetings.. oh my! Oh [by the way] I joined a SORORITY. If you've been following along for a while you'd know that I went through Panhellenic Recruitment last fall at my university as a sophomore. Unfortunately I did not find my home last fall, but it did lead me to finding my home at Tri Sigma this fall!

rant

This is officially the 6th week of school I'm about to take my 3rd midterm for one of my 5 classes, I just submitted a project proposal, we finally heard back on a grant we had a proposal for last week for the annual conference that I help run, and I get my new member pin for Tri Sigma today, not to mention I have work at 5am. Oh my gosh just talking about my life is making me exhausted.

life advice (kinda)

But more than ever being so busy and stressed has made me really realize how truly happy I am with my life right now. Early on in my college career I couldn't confidently say I was happy with where I was: I wasn't doing as well as I wanted academically, I wasn't as close to any of my friends as I had been, I started questioning where I was going to college, and I just felt like I was going through the motions.

But now I just feel so happy being at UMass, with my group of friends, with my classes, and most importantly with my amazing relationship with my boyfriend and family. I have gotten incredibly close with my parents since I've been at school and I absolutely love it! If you're a senior in high school start spending tim with your parents now, because trust me, you'll miss it. 

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life update

So I joined a sorority! Tri Sigma just re-colonized here on the UMass campus so technically I'm a founding sister (but also not technically because there used to be a chapter here. It's complicated.) What that means is there are 110 total girls in my new member class and 110 total in the chapter. All of us accepted bids on the same day and we will all be initiated on the same day (except for my roommate because she was in Tri Sigma at her old school.) 

I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I feel like the reason I didn't find my home last year was because I was meant to do this. I was meant to put the work in to creating the framework for a chapter. I love putting 110% of myself into everything I do, and I can't wait to do that with Tri Sigma. 

(also I'm so excited to shop tf out of Etsy for some fun Tri Sigma swag! let me know your favorite places to get sorority swag!)

ending thoughts

Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to chose one thought over another
— anonymous

I'm so thankful for all of you who have read this and everything I have in my life! Thank you guys for just being awesome! Let's get through midterms together! 

xoxo

AME

How to be a Morning Person

I always get asked how I wake up so early so consistently while at college. If you don't already know 4-5 days a week I start my day at 5:00AM and if I don't wake up at 5:00AM I sleep in until 5:30 or 6. This is partly because 2 days a week I work on campus at 5:45 in the morning, and partly because I just like it.  

Becoming a morning person is as easy as developing a routine. 

The Night Before

| Go to sleep at the same time every night |

This is the most important part of becoming a morning person, or just developing a college routine in general. There are no consistent class, meeting, or study schedules so its important that no matter what you plan to do during the day Monday-Friday you set a reasonable 'bedtime' every night. 

I've been using the new bedtime feature on the clock app with the new iOS 10 update and I really like it! 

For reference, I try to make sure I'm in bed by 10:30 PM every week night. This doesn't mean I'm sleeping or tired, I'm just in bed starting my wind down routine. {mine involves twitter and candy-crush, but typically this is when people turn their phones on silent and read.} 

| Plan a yummy and healthy breakfast | 

Having a delicious breakfast to look forward to makes you excited about waking up and starting the day! I always make sure my breakfast is yummy and healthy so I feel good all day. 

Part of my routine is that I like to have consistency, so I have literally the same basic breakfast every morning right when I wake up, then closer to when I have class (10 AM) I'll have a second, random breakfast. 

My early breakfast is green tea and oatmeal, and for second breakfast I'll either have some eggs, toast and coffee or a protein shake to-go. 

|Set out your clothes | 

The night before plan what you're going to wear the next day. The nights before I have work I lay out my uniform for work, and the outfit I'll be changing into for class when I get back. 

Having everything already planned makes the morning so much less stressful. 

| Organize everything you'll need for the next day | 

In keeping with minimizing stress, I always pack my backpack the night before and pick up my room a little bit. When I pack my backpack I make sure I have everything printed I need for class, or I make note of anything I need to stop and print, and I pack some snacks. 

Since I spend most of the day on campus and have large breaks between classes I bring lots of snacks and all my chargers and headphones to make sure I won't have to come back to my apartment during the day. 

The Morning Of

| Wake up at the same time every day | 

As important as going to bed every night is, waking up at the same time everyday is arguably more important. I know that I can't control when I fall asleep {I know that nights before I have exams I can never sleep}, but I can control exactly when I wake up. 

By waking up at the same time everyday regardless of when you fell asleep, you'll start to almost train your body to a new schedule. It'll become easier to sleep at the same time every night, and soon waking up early will just seem normal. 

| Update your planner and Schedule your day | 

I always pull out my planner in the morning and make sure I've crossed off everything I finished, and moved everything I still need to do over to the current day. I also look over the hourly schedule part of my planner and fill in anything that's not already there. 

If you don't have a day planner you should still schedule out your day. I recommend doing this because it just reminds you of meetings you may have forgotten, and it can help you see where you have time in the day to do homework or go to the gym. 

| Take time to do something you love | 

When you wake up as early as I do you have to reward yourself. I never have time during the day to watch the videos in my Youtube subscription box so while I get ready in the morning I watch videos from all the people I subscribe to! 

Other suggestions would be to read a book, go for a run, blog {something I do the mornings I don't have work}, pretty much anything you love to do but don't normally have time to do during the day. 

Knowing you're going to wake up and do something you love will help you jump up when that alarm goes off. 

pro-tip

Hitting *snooze on your alarm actually makes it harder to wake up. If you know you're not going to be able, or want to, wake up at a certain time one morning, rather than hitting snooze for 15 minutes, set your alarm 15 minutes later. This is why I sometimes "sleep-in" for a half an hour certain days of the week. 

What's in my Backpack YOUTUBE VIDEO

We're trying something new today! Instead of a traditional post I published my first ever YOUTUBE VIDEO all about what's in my backpack! You can check it out below, but be sure to subscribe since this will be the only video I post on this site.

Let me know what you guys think, what videos you want to see, and in general any tips you have for filming! I definitely noticed some things I need to change for next time and can't wait to get the hang of using my camera for more than just photos!