Venting at Vingt: 20 Things I Learned Before Turning 20

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, and everyone else inbetween, The Rebecca Project proudly presents: Venting at Vingt, a three day mini-series focused on turning 20 and what that means to me. Be sure to come back for new posts coming out tomorrow and Thursday.

There are three things that I look forward to every September:

  1. Brand new stationary for school.
  2. Starbucks launching their Fall drinks menu.
  3. A personalized birthday email from everyone’s favourite French orphan, Madeline.


Let me explain…

When I was younger I was OBSESSED with Madeline, so much so that I used to secretly wish to get appendicitis just so that we could have matching scars. I read all her books, watched her on TV, played with her dolls (and bought all the additional outfits), and even begged my parents to sign me up for the Madeline Fan Club.

Then on my sixth birthday, something amazing happened. I received an email FROM MADELINE HERSELF wishing me a “Bonne Anniversaire” (well actually it went to my parents email but you get the gist).

I was elated!

And it turns out Madeline is really on top of her sh*t because she’s sent me an email every birthday since… and to be honest, I still look forward to it.

This year I’m turning 20, and that scares me because it feels like I’m starting a whole new chapter that I’m not quite ready for (more on this tomorrow), so I rely on the little things, like emails from feisty French red-heads, to remind me that while a lot has changed, a lot of who I am at my core has stayed the same. I’m still a little too loud for most people, I still walk around with large knots in my hair, and I still hate anything banana flavoured, I’ve just learned a thing or two along the way.

So with out further ado…


Here are 20 things I’ve learned before turning 20


  1. It is easy to say “that wouldn’t happen if I was in charge” when you aren’t the one in charge
  2. Everyone is a little stupid when hormones get involved 
  3. Just because you can drink someone under the table doesn’t mean you should (You don’t get a medal, you just get a hangover)
  4. Don’t forget your ID at home
  5. Make sure to drink a lot of water before taking a urine test
  6. Mint tea is delicious…always 
  7. I cannot and will not pull an all-nighter 
  8. Being empathetic is almost always more important than being right
  9. My perfect night out involves the following: Dinner at a low key restaurant, a comedy show or some weird indie play, a giant plate of nachos with extra guac, me in bed before midnight (No clubs, no matter how fun friends promise they will be)
  10. Statement necklaces can elevate any outfit. Own many and wear them often 
  11. Quebec City is beautiful, and rich in history, and centered round a castle. In short, it has newly become one of my favourite places in the world
  12. You can still put your language skills to great use even if you don’t always know when to conjugate to Subjonctif 
  13. It is true what they say, doing your eyebrows (and doing them well) totally completes your look
  14. Though the situation might not always be your fault, you are always responsible for your actions. Don’t play the victim, it isn’t cute
  15. Problems are an essential part of life, so try to find problems you enjoy solving
  16. Audiobooks will improve your life greatly 
  17. Frivolous things like getting my hair, nails, or eyelashes done (Thanks Francette) make me really happy and my bank account really sad
  18. Bullet journaling doesn’t fix all your problems but it will at least help you document them
  19. You will gain weight if your diet consists solely of burrito bowls, popcorn, and veggie stir fries
  20. Things will always get better, and then they will get worse, and then better again. Keep taking things one step at a time and you will make it through


As I head into my 20s I know that I have a hell of a lot more life lessons coming my way, and I’m gonna have to learn them whether I’m ready or not. So I’m gonna do my best to put my big girl pants on and face the world head on, knowing that somewhere some Madeline-loving six year-old is cheering me on.

À la prochaine,


Twitter: @RebeccaKGL

Instagram: @RebeccaKazdan

P.S I did this same post last year, so if you looking for more wisdom you can check out the 19 things I learned before I turned 19 right here


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