Thought Catalog

10 Things Every 20 Something Needs To Master Before They Turn 30

Posted: 16 Apr 2016 02:00 PM PDT


1. Letting Go

You’ll learn to move on from your past. Letting go is tough but spending so much time on something is also tough. There is only so much a person can do to make something better, if it doesn't work move on. You will learn to have a limit on how much you can hold on to.

2. Independence

You’ll learn to take control of your life. You learn to take care of yourself instead of impressing everyone else. You will want to take risks and try new things because you know you are now getting older. You learn to love yourself and enjoy being with yourself. Being alone is more desirable than being around with friends.

3. Responsibility

You’ll learn to know when something is right or wrong. You learn to make better choices. It is not all about partying anymore or drinking all weekend. There is more to life than fitting in and socializing.

4. Priorities

Love is not that important and if it is than you make sure it's worth it. Many people in their 20s are single and willing to stay single for their careers and or until they find the right person. Many students in college are more serious about their education than slacking off. When you are in your 20s you have your priorities straight. You know what you want; you just don't know how to get there.

5. Flexibility

Although you know what you want, you have to be flexible because it will all happen very unexpectedly. Plans are not permanent and things can change any time. That is the good and bad part about being in your mid 20's. You could be starting a job and next thing you know you are now moving to Italy. You might have no plans to be in a relationship, but next thing you know you're getting married. The good thing is you are still young so it is going to make you feel alive and even stronger.

6. Exploring

You will learn to explore your options. You might have to do a job that is not in your field. For some people it's not the best option but if it's a good opportunity, always be willing to explore it and see where it can take you.

7. Change

Along with exploring come lots and lots of change. Your life will change so much in just a few years. I sometimes feel like I am much older because so much has happened in just a year. It may not seem like a lot, but when you think about high school, you will feel very old. There will only be more change and you have to open your arms and welcome it, because it is great. Yes, you will feel tired sometimes, and exhausted, you might want to give up, but it is all worth it, and you have to keep on going forward.

8. Sacrifices

You will have to make choices and some serious sacrifices. While I was in school I had to live alone away from my family. I felt guilty all the time, but I knew I was doing something great not only for myself, but for my family, and our future. I know my mother is very proud of me now. It is tough but sometimes you have to be selfish, if you want to do more than the minimum. Being in school is also sacrificing the other things I could have done. I did not get to travel, or work as much. I am taking a risk no matter what I choose to do, but it all helps to where I am going.

9. Confidence

The confidence you had when you were a teenager or the confidence you were trying to develop will not be the same as when you are in your 20s. Now this confidence will be about enjoying being you. It is being confident in all of the mistakes you made and not feeling bad about it. You will be happy and carefree not sharing the same taste in music as everyone else.

You won't want to confine into the same stuff and routines as every person in their 20’s. Just because all your friends go to clubs doesn't mean you have to. You will be happy just staying home and watching “The Bernie Mac Show” all day. You might even find better friends that enjoy doing the same things as you.

10. Learning

What you will learn the most in your 20s is that in everything that happens, there is something you will learn. You will learn life lessons in every little and big situations. You will learn to love yourself before loving others, and you will learn to change when you are ready to. There will be so many new insights about your life and you will find yourself growing and blossoming into so much more than you could ever imagine. TC mark

I’m A Runner — And I’m Still Running Away From You

Posted: 16 Apr 2016 01:00 PM PDT

Camila Cordeiro
Camila Cordeiro

Someone I was dating once called me a runner. He didn't call me that because I actually enjoy physically running. In fact, I hate running. He meant I ran away from places, people and things that make me feel unhappy. To be blunt, he was telling me, in a poetic way, that he thought I ran away from my problems. To an extent, he's right, here's why:

Running is exhilarating. It's an incredible feeling to be in a new place, meet new people and experience new things. When I go somewhere new, I get the chance to start over, and to be a different version of myself that wouldn't make sense, or wouldn't work in my previous environment. In this instance, running has been incredible for my sense and awareness of self-discovery.

It's not so wonderful for developing lasting relationships. It's not true of all kinds of relationships. I've met some of the most amazing friends in the places I've run to. They are people I will never forget, and always grateful to have in my life. But, I have this wonderful habit of falling for a new man right when I'm about to move to another state. Not joking.

My last four 'relationships' have all started literally within weeks of me moving.

I have a tattoo that says 'Wild at Heart, Gypsy Soul.' It couldn't be a more true statement about me. I'm not wild in the sense that I like to party. Wild may not even be the right word for it. In fact, the right word is probably restless. I yearn for adventure. To try new things. Experience new places. Meet new people. So I guess that makes me a runner. And for all you astrologists out there, a true Sagittarius at heart.

I know I'm a strong, stubborn and for the most part, a sane individual. But this last 'breakup' really got to me, and I'm still struggling to deal with it.

Basically, I dated ‘Ghost’ long distance for 7 months. Then one day, less than 48 hours of seeing him for what I think will be the last time, he stopped talking to me. 7 months of talking, texting, meeting his friends, meeting his family, then one day NOTHING.

It's been a little while since it initially happened, and I'm still confused. Still hurt. Still angry. There are still days that I want to cry (and I don't cry), and scream. Days I want nothing more than to be with him. Day where I never want to see him again. And then other days I feel great, like I can take on the world.

So I'm moving on, in typical gypsy fashion. I'm making a change, and running again. Running to a place where I previously discovered the best version of myself.

My dear Ghost, there's a good chance I'll never see you or speak to you again. And, on the off chance you read this, know I forgive you. Truly. I want you to be happy, I want you to be successful. I just wish you would have given me more respect in ending the 'relationship.' I am afterall, a fellow human being.

In the end, I guess you could blame it on my gypsy soul. But I wouldn't have it any other way. TC mark

We Stayed ‘Just Friends’ But I Care For You So, So Much More Than That

Posted: 16 Apr 2016 12:00 PM PDT

Joselito Briones
Joselito Briones

As I reflect on our past together, I begin to really wonder what it means when they call you "the one who got away.” To me, it is when we had a regular relationship. With that, came arguments, disagreements and hurt. But we also had smiles, laughter, us building up one another, and supporting each other.

We were a team. We had the same interests, we had the same goals, we had the same aspirations and we had the same visions for our lives. We could have built an empire up from the ground and stood tall above everything we encountered.

You are a bright, incredibly sweet man with a dash of sassy, bold, and confidence. You know exactly what you wanted to do and how to get your goals accomplished. You are the beautiful and kind model. You are insightful, kind, caring, and remarkable. Your personality is one-of-a-kind. You are stubborn (I prefer hard-headed), you do not veer from your decisions once they are made, you stay in your little bubble when you get angered, frustrated or sad and down.

I am a kind, sweet, charismatic and optimistic man who perseveres in the face of an obstacle. I knew how to keep your spirits up, I knew how to get you to quietly laugh with that subtle smile whenever you were sad. I knew how to change your attitude and mindset into a positive one when you were having difficulty with a situation. I always wanted to see you smile. If I ever was the cause of a frown upon your beautiful face, then I worked endlessly to make up for what I did and recapture that same mesmerizing smile that made me speechless; you most definitely deserve every happiness in the world.

So yes, our relationship had its ups and downs, as does every relationship. We took breaks from each other, we did not speak to one another for a few months and we sometimes clashed. But one aspect that set us apart from the rest is that we both ALWAYS knew that we would be there for one another through thick and thin, through rain or shine. We always found our way back to each other.

When you and I parted ways, we both knew the impact it would leave on us. I, still having feelings for you, and you still caring, you wanted to remain friends. You knew I highly was against the friend zone; I, however, made an exception to the rule. You and I became friends.

Being JUST friends with a guy you have strong feelings for is one difficult task, but you do it because you still CARE. One of my best friends once told me that, "Having him in your life as even just a friend is better than not having him (in it) at all." But how does one be just friends with someone they have strong feelings for? It is impossible to do so, but I do it because I still care and respect him so incredibly much.

People tell me, "Oh you guys did not work out because you two are not compatible." UH HELLO… We had feelings for one another and we both are so alike. We would have been an adorable, powerful, bold, confident and happy couple.

The one thing that made you go away, in my opinion, was bad timing. We would talk for a while, then take a break. We would reconnect and then, take a break. For a few years, this went on. It is NOT that we aren't compatible — because WE ARE. Deep down, we both know we're compatible. We just have not found the right time for us.

People tell me that we might have"grown apart" but that, too, is almost too silly to stand. Our dreams, goals, aspirations and visions for both our lives are basically identical. We did not grow apart; it just simply means it is not the right time. But the one day we ARE at the right time I will STILL be supportive and I will be here for YOU, patiently waiting to build OUR successful empire. TC mark

It’s Normal To Think You Will Never Fall In Love Again (But I Promise You Will)

Posted: 16 Apr 2016 11:00 AM PDT

Look Catalog
Look Catalog

You were hurt badly in the past, burned by love you thought you had. You decided then and there that you would never love again, that you would never let yourself love someone enough to hurt you. So you closed yourself off. You shut everyone out: your family, your friends, maybe even your pets. If you didn't let anyone in, they couldn't shatter you.

Despite shutting everyone out, despite turning off every emotion, you yearned for human companionship. You searched for someone, anyone, who could hold you the way your body and soul craved, all while not letting yourself get hurt, because you couldn't afford to shatter yet again.

Eventually, you stopped looking for someone to fulfill your craving. You let a few people in, trickle by trickle, just to stave off what you thought was going to be your spinsterhood. Slowly, these people got under your skin, behind your walls, you couldn't get them out, didn't want to get them out.

“Fine,” you thought, friends can't shatter me. So you opened up a little more. You became the third wheel, you listened to your girlfriends gush about their love lives. All the while, you were slowly resigning yourself to face life alone. You believed you had it all figured out. You went from casual relationship to casual relationship, hopping beds the way planes hop countries.

You grew tired of this too, and stopped dating altogether. Some time passed, and before you knew it, you were single and fine with it. You were comfortable with yourself. You took yourself out on "solo dates" to your favorite restaurant, to the movies to see the film you desperately wanted to see, to museums and amusement parks. You did all the things you would with a significant other, but alone. And you enjoyed it. You loved yourself.

But then you went to some event, maybe a party your new best ­friend threw. You said you would go, but you'd be responsible —­ no hard liquor — since you know how you can get while drunk; jumping the first thing that moves. And so you were, sticking to light beer and wine all night, staying away from the shots of tequila and bourbon.

Then you saw him. His eyes drew you from across the room. He sat in the corner, talking to one of your mutual friends, holding a beer. His gaze stayed on you for just a fraction of a second longer than they should have. He looked away, yet you kept staring. There was something different about this one. So you struck up a conversation you can only half remember. Something about ice and zip ties, but who knows, you got drunk off that stare.

Months pass and now you're falling. You fought it for so long, but you can't help it. Your life revolves around him. You still manage to be your own person, but he's in your every thought. He keeps your demons at bay, fights them by your side. He holds your hand and whispers sweet nothings in your ear. You tell him the truth and he says it right back.
You're the girl who said she would never do it, would never fall in love. Yet, here you are, laying in his arms, watching his favorite show since you both already marathoned yours. You ate pizza earlier with your feet in his lap and his hand on your calf.

You both need each other's touch like you need air, and when he leaves for the night, it feels like your heart was ripped out of your chest, like you can't breath. You tear up, you ask yourself why you let yourself fall in love. You question why you gave someone the ability to break you, shatter you into millions of little glass shards, so small you'd never be able to piece yourself back together.

But then he texts you those three little words you need to hear, and you know he feels it to. You aren't alone in this plummet toward him, because he is falling just as hard and just as fast. And you smile and say goodnight to him, both of you promising to text each other the next morning. And then you fall asleep, a smile on your face, the sweatshirt he left behind on your pillow.

Drifting away to dreamland, you think one last thought: maybe falling in love isn't such a bad thing afterall. TC mark

If You Do This At Cafés, You’re A Monster

Posted: 16 Apr 2016 10:30 AM PDT


As your typical yuppie #millennial college student, I spend a lot of time drinking coffee and buying said coffee at various cafes.

I’ve noticed this trend with people at cafes. It almost always happens when you’re in a hurry, and want to get your food and/or drink and GTFO.

So, most cafes I’ve been to have one line. There is one line where people get in line, stand in line, and wait for their turn to be assisted. This is literally one of the most banal, basic, and most commonly understood systems in the world. No excuses here, we all understand this system, right??

I was trying to grab a coffee and donut at a coffee shop in Ohio State’s architecture building, when two older men got in line behind me. Frustratingly (for everyone), the line was insanely long, but that’s the way our good green earth works sometimes. The two men began chatting about how they had Very Important Work to do, and hated waiting in line. No shit, we all do.

Then suddenly, totally without warning, one of the dudes tapped me on the shoulder:

“Excuse me, is this the line for food or coffee? Because we only want coffee,” this aging man in a grey suit asked me.

“There’s only one line,” I responded with a friendly (maybe) laugh.

The man turned around and began talking loudly with his equally obnoxious companion, totally ignoring what I had said:

“No, all these people are in line for food,” the fuck said while pointing at the food case. “We only want coffee. We just go to the coffee line.”

Apparently, the “coffee line” is just cutting the entire line before the food case, and placing themselves ahead of like a dozen people — most of whom were not, as I told the men, waiting for food. They were waiting for THE LINE to move.

At the time I sort of dismissed this incident as just two overly entitled assistant professors who had a bad meeting of the pretentious academic subcommittee. But oh, how wrong I was.

Just yesterday, I was at a Bruegger’s and, once more, placed myself at the back of a lengthy line. This line wraps past the food counter, where someone can order food or pass, and then loops to the cash register where you then check out. So, it might be acceptable to skip ahead of someone who ordered food and is waiting for it once you get to that point, but it is not acceptable to just start your own fucking line on the other side of the cafe.

After standing in line for about 90 seconds two girls in (matching?) summer dresses walk in.

“Are we getting in the food line or the coffee line?? Do you want food??” One basic asked the other.

After discussing this issue for some time, the two girls elect to get in the “coffee line” which is just them walking straight up to the counter.

And here’s the thing: the poor cashier was already fucking busy. He was literally bouncing around between filling iced coffees, getting sodas, and running the cash register. So imagine the man’s internal pain as he was forced to deal with these two girls who just walk up to the counter, as well as the people who have been waiting in an admittedly really long line prolly for a really long time. It’s nuts.

And here’s the thing: People followed their lead!

As I — and half a dozen other good people — stand in the ACTUAL line, a second line forms in front of the cash register of people who “just want coffee” or maybe “just a muffin” too. Or maybe “just a bagel” too — oh, also can you heat that up please? But we don’t have to stand in the actual line, cuz we’re only getting a coffee, muffin, and a bagel that we want heated up.

STOP. Stop it. Stop inconveniencing literally everyone else just to save yourself three minutes.

This is just self-excused selfish bullshit. Unless you are actually patronizing a location that has labeled separate lines for separate products — which some large scale cafes and eateries do — just stand in the line. Just do it. Anything else is just you telling the world, “My time is more important than yours.” You are literally stealing time from people who are complying with societies’ expectations that leave us ALL better off.

This is textbook Prisoner’s Dilemma. We are all better when we comply, but as more and more people defect, the expected outcome gets worse and worse.

Just stand in the fucking line. Otherwise you’re a monster. TC mark

This Is How Anxiety Takes Over Your Life (And This Is How You Take It Back)

Posted: 16 Apr 2016 10:00 AM PDT / LaraBelova / LaraBelova

My first job out of college was stressful to say the least. I would make a small mistakes and get yelled at almost immediately, and without real explanation. I would perform to the best of my abilities and still be insulted or ridiculed. My best was not good enough. My 150% effort was irrelevant in other people’s eyes.

So, I started coming to work by 7:30 am. I would clean the offices, wipe down the whiteboards, empty the dishwashers, and make sure the copiers were on. I would run from kitchen to kitchen, stocking up the coffee to make sure each flavor was full. I would sprint down the halls to make sure everyone had the correct newspapers and would be in a full sweat by 8:30 am.

I didn’t have to do this. I didn’t have to run around the office building like I was training for a marathon. But, I thought that if I did this, then people would appreciate the effort. And maybe then, I would feel more at ease. Maybe then, I would feel more comfortable in a place I had to spend eight hours of my day at.

I did everything outside of my job description just to please people, just to get a simple “thank you” or even a nod of encouragement. I did everything in my power to do as much as I could in a day, to feel some sort of release afterwards. But, instead of feeling good about myself at the end of the day, my anxiety came back in full force.

And it kicked me in the ass. Hard. Combined with the pressure I had put on myself, mixed with the stress of this job’s work environment, I crumbled. It happened on a Wednesday. I remember not being particularly stressed out that day and everything seemed to be going fine. Then, around 2:30, I felt my hands and feet go numb. I was knocked down by a burning in my chest that felt like a match was lit right at my heart. I remember my body feeling like it was going to turn to dust any minute. I called my mom in tears, and she drove me to the ER.

I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I had experienced panic attacks before, but they never were as severe as this one. I thought that this had to be a stroke and I remember people in the ER looking so calm and collected. But, my insides were on fire and I wanted to shout out, “I’m dying, can’t you see that?” Finally, the nurse did an EKG on me and other typical tests you see them do on Grey’s Anatomy. When she got the results back, she looked at me and told me — “You’re fine.”

But, I wasn’t fine. And I’m still not fine. How can someone who has a panic attack for three hours straight be ok afterwards? I had run from my anxiety for ten months, and it had finally caught me red handed. I had hit a dead end, but also began a new chapter in my life. I learned that I was not Hercules, but I was a human being who had limits. And that was ok.

I’m learning and realizing that sometimes, we all need to slow down. To take a breath. To walk instead of run. It’s ok to not be the best at our job. It’s ok to leave a job that you find is causing you harm. It’s ok to pause when you need to pause. Ask yourself if what you are doing is benefitting you, and if it’s not, then stop. Please talk to someone and don’t keep your demons to yourself, because it will only make them stronger.

This world can be a scary place full of uncertainty and of pain. And if we all keep sprinting and rushing to the finish line, we are going to burn out. We need to take everyday to be kind to ourselves and to press pause on our lives for a moment. Take a second to gather all your negative thoughts that are trying to spill out of your brain, and let it out. And then let it go. It’s ok to crumble once in a while, but it’s not ok to ignore what your body and your brain are trying to tell you. So, don’t brush it off. Listen. TC mark

OSU Students Respond PERFECTLY To This Pro-Trump Message Chalked On A Campus Sidewalk

Posted: 16 Apr 2016 09:30 AM PDT

This morning Ohio State students woke up to an unfortunate message chalked on one of the main sidewalk paths through our campus green space (The Oval).


Students were pretty surprised to see this messaged — that was chalked in the dark of night — scrawled out on campus the day before OSU’s biggest visitation day of the year.

But how people responded was absolutely incredible.

Facebook / Hanna Detwiler

Students from all corners of campus and walks of life came together to chalk over the message with colorful pictures and phrases of love, acceptance, tolerance, and diversity.

And some of the messages are really quite touching.

Facebook / Hanna Detwiler

This one is awesome too:


My fellow OSU students kept chalking message of love until the ugly “Build The Wall” message is barely even visible.

I talked to Hanna Detwiler, a friend who participated in the event and took many of these awesome pictures:

I saw a picture of the Trump drawing so I went to go check it out and a group of students were chalking positive messages all over it. Of course I had to join in! Free speech goes both ways.

You can say whatever you want, but people can reciprocate that as well. You can say something racist, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t allowed to retaliate in an equally peaceful way. You want to spread the hate, we’ll spread the love, obviously you can see what’s more popular.

Facebook / Hanna Detwiler

And maybe this is how things get better. Not by pretending hate doesn’t exist, or yelling about hate at the top of our lungs — but by simply covering it up with love.

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 2.02.06 PM
Facebook / Hanna Detwiler

Love Trumps Hate. At OSU, and everywhere. TC mark

What It’s Like To Party When You’re Not A Big Drinker

Posted: 16 Apr 2016 09:00 AM PDT


1. You never know what to order.

"I'll have whatever you're having" is your favorite phrase. There are way too many types of vodka and whiskey for you to keep track of. You'll just drink whatever is handed to you so you don't have to go through the trouble of actually picking a drink out yourself.

2. The bathroom is your best friend.

Your bladder isn't used to all that liquid, so you have to run off to find a toilet every five minutes. Your friends have no clue if you're peeing or puking, because either one is a possibility when it comes to you.

3. No one understands the concept of sobriety.

If you decide to skip the alcohol altogether, everyone will ask you if you're sick, a designated driver, or a pussy. They'd understand your decision if you were fresh out of rehab. But turning down a drink by choice? That's crazy talk.

4. You're tipsy after your first drink.

Your friends are chatting like everything is normal, even though they're on their third mixed drink. Meanwhile, you've only had one light beer and you're already starting to feel out of it. Your healthy little body can't handle it.

5. You do a double take at the bill.

Eight bucks for that teeny tiny shot you gulped down in two seconds? That can't be right. Thank goodness you're a lightweight. Otherwise, you'd be spending a fortune for one drunken night of fun.

6. You aren't bribed by free drinks.

When your friends invite you over for a few beers, you want to know who else will be there and what else they have planned. The promise of free alcohol isn't enough to win you over. You actually want to know that you'll be surrounded by good company. Otherwise, what's the point?

7. You're more judgmental than you'd like to be.

You don't want to be an asshole, but sometimes it's hard not to pass judgment on the dude throwing up in the bushes with a red solo cup still in his hand. Some people just don't know when enough is enough.

8. You suck at drinking games.

When it's time to play Quarters or Flip Cup, you have to ask someone to remind you of the rules. You even suck at classic games like Beer Pong, because you're the only one who hasn't been playing it since you were in high school.

9. You feel super self-conscious about everything.

Alcohol is supposed to make you feel more confident, but it has the opposite effect on you. You couldn't keep up with conversations about craft beer on a normal day, but while your head is spinning and vision is splotchy? You know you're going to end up sounding like an idiot.

10. You end up with a horrible hangover.

Your friends are used to drinking, so they're comfortable getting three hours of sleep and then waking up for an eight hour shift the next morning. But you? You feel like an anvil fell on your head and an elephant is crushing your stomach. You're calling out for work, no doubt about it.TC mark