5 Things I learned whilst I was 20:

Words by Michelle Andrews.

Today is my 21st birthday, and therefore marks The 20s Diary’s one year birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY CHILD!

I’ve done some super-duper-serious thinking (involving deep introspection and reflection, which resulted in violent bouts of shuddering), and have come up with the most important life-lessons I learned this last year.


1. Putting “1-0-0” into the microwave timer doesn’t equal 100 seconds… it equals a minute

Before you all collectively faint at the realisation of how idiotic I am – it’s true, I failed to realise that entering 1-0-0 will cook my morning oats for one minute, not the 100 seconds they so desperately require. And yes, I now have a firm grasp as to how weak my microwave-game was for the first 20 years of my existence. Rest assured, I have seen the yellowish light, and my wave-game is considerably stronger now. I feel like I can trust you all with this information and believe we can put this behind us forever. We are all friends, and I am revealing this to you in a safe space of mutual respect and trust.

It never happened.

It NEVER happened, you guys.

Stop. I don’t know what you’re talking about.


I don’t even like oats. What? you must be thinking of another person. Huh? Stop speaking. Stop. Is your fly undone? Is that 13?

2. Full-time work is harder than full-time study
Yep, I’m calling it. I’m putting an end to the long-running debate once and for all… the arguments for each side have been considered, and I have arrived at my decision: full-time work is harder than full-time study. Not harder in the sense that full time workers have to deconstruct what Max Weber REALLY meant when he theorised Bureaucratic Societies, of course, but harder in the “I want to gouge my eyes out and drink battery acid” sense.

Feel free to go ahead and say that I am wrong, and point out that I am merely a bludgey Arts student who wouldn’t know the true meaning of University study (while we’re all here, a round of applause to anyone who has to do unpaid healthcare placement). But whatever, you don’t have to hear the terms ‘essentialism’ or ‘Foucauldian’ on a daily basis like I do.

Long story short: I would much prefer listen to my radical-feminist Lecturer complain that ‘doing it’ missionary-style conforms to the patriarchy, than listen to a disgruntled mother-of-three complain about the no-refund policy for the fortieth time that week.


Anyway, having had experience on both sides of the fence, I gotta say that full-time work is more taxing. It’s menial and mind-numbing and monotonous.

(Now a round of applause for me for using a big word and weaving in some serious alliteration at the end there, FUCK YEAH Arts degree! And to think people told me you would be useless…)

3. Quinoa is pronounced ‘keen-wah’ and Acai is pronounced ‘ah-sigh-ee’

Holy shit-balls, if you’re a stereotypical White-Girl-With-An-Instagram-Account like me, you want to get this one right if you’re attempting to blend-in with the indie crowd at Nutrition Bar/Combi.


4. Traveling Europe with my best mate was the best thing I have ever done

Sure, she came home with the story of when I kissed the boy with a Boxing Kangaroo/Southern-Cross tattoo at a London pub, but she gave me plenty of material to use in her 21st speech too. Although I did completely drain my bank account, to witness Emily getting locked in a Barcelona toilet cubicle and having to be broken out by the Bar Staff was priceless.

I choose not to dwell on the fact that I stacked on the KGs like fat was the new black – and I refuse to regret those mammoth servings of deep-fried calamari and the daily doses of pistachio gelato. It was TOTALLY worth it.


5. Openly blogging is scary as shit, but it’s equally rewarding

Running this blog for a full year will be without a doubt one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Fighting the crippling urge to delete posts, or even delete this blog all-together has proven difficult in my weaker moments.

When I went public with this blog, I was petrified of what people would think of me. I spent the entirety of last year hoping people would never mention it in conversation, and feeling overwhelmingly self-conscious when they did. In the year of 2014 I probably removed my blog-link from my social media accounts more times than I ate undercooked oats.

I can’t believe how much my attitude towards it has changed since the new year.

For all of the negative thoughts that cross my mind, there is most definitely sufficient reward. At the end of the day, it’s who I am, and I can’t imagine living any other way.

Sure, it makes me different… but I am not about to apologise for being myself. I’m 21 now, and I feel really positive about where i’m headed.