I wanted to have this posted PRIOR to me turning 25 however, that just didn’t occur.
Below are 25 things I have learned during this first quarter of my life; read through and share your thoughts are additional things you have learned in the comments section!
Liquid calories aren’t going to derail your health
I always used to think “I’m not losing weight because I put creamer in my coffee”. That’s not a thing. Despite articles online labeled “Why Your Coffee is Making You Fat” and “How to Lose 10 Pounds Just By Giving Up Coffee”, the fact of the matter is that your coffee probably has very little to do with your overall health (of course there are always exceptions). Having a Cold Foam Cold Brew a couple of times a week is not going to immediately put you in a category of dangerous health; Komboucha has calories and no one writes articles about it being bad for you. Being MINDFUL of the coffee you drink is more beneficial than just assuming all coffee drinks are bad.
Go for quality over quantity for friendships
I have two friends from high school that I still hang out with (not that I had a TON of friends in high school as it was but still) and I’m not out to add to that group necessarily. You don’t need to be the person who has so many commitments they don’t have time to put in the work to really engage in and grow those friendships; be the one that has a handful of incredible friendships, and give those your utmost attention.
Girl friendships are important
I have always had insane social anxiety, especially around girls my age however, as I have grown, I have noticed that is has become increasingly important to have strong female friendships. I consider every single bridesmaid from my wedding someone I can count on, and someone that means the world to me. Instead of running from female friendships because I was uncomfortable, I worked at the ones I had.. Besides, what guy is going to watch Grey’s Anatomy with you or go on day-long shopping sprees while you complain about something JUST to complain??
Relationships take work
I’m not talking about having to put so much effort into getting along with someone that you EXHAUST yourself; I’m talking about putting in the effort to spend quality time together and go on adventures with just you and your significant other – and no, sitting in two separate rooms watching two different television shows doesn’t count, even though you are both technically “home” together. Sometimes you cancel plans to drive them to the airport, and sometimes they take a PTO day just to reconnect – you get out of a relationship what you are willing to put into it.
Secrets are brutal
It’s a lot less taxing to share too much than to not share a thing. If you are struggling, you won’t always get by on the notion that you can fix things yourself – tell someone when you are having a rough time, no matter how silly it may sound in your head. “Hey, I want to take some pills right now” – that doesn’t make you sound crazy, it makes you sound like someone who knows enough to reach out and seek assistance to keep them from falling back down the rabbit hole.
Macros aren’t necessarily all they’re cracked up to be
I’m not saying “don’t track your macros”, I’m saying that you need to do what works for you. If tracking your macros helps you stay healthy and keeps you from going into a mental tailspin, do it. However, I’m here to say that if an app tells you that you need 205 carbs a day and 54 fat, having 210 carbs and only getting in 45 fat is not going to immediately derail your entire life. There is a time and a place for counting macros, and it’s not always going to be in recovery.
Food is not going to hurt you
Unless you have a clinically diagnosed severe issue with gluten, it’s not going to hurt you. Going dairy free is not some magical diet hack. And opting for “calorie-free” options are NOT going to be as great for your digestion as you may be lead to believe. That’s it.
Victories feel better when you work for them
I bought my very first car all on my own late last year and let me tell you, it felt GREAT. My bank account probably didn’t feel the same at first, but knowing that I put in the work and saved money and made smart decisions to get to that position and was ABLE to make such a purchase all on my own felt great – relying on your parents for every little thing as you get older isn’t going to teach you much, nor is a new car going to feel as great if someone else is buying it for you. (And I mean new to YOU, not necessarily BRAND new)
You don’t need to drink just because everyone else is
If you want to go out to a bar with friends and they want to drink, great. Don’t let anyone pressure you into drinking or doing things that you personally don’t feel adds any value to your life. Some people like to go out and drink, some people don’t. It’s that simple, and you don’t owe it to anyone to drink just so they don’t have to drink alone – that’s their problem, not your’s.
Experience will teach you more than a classroom will
I didn’t go to college right away like everyone else around me and, when I finally did go, I worked full-time and took classes at a community college. To this day, I believe I learned most of what I know going to work everyday and interacting with those around me than I ever did in a classroom. I will also never understand the role a science requirement plays in an Employment Law degree program.
It doesn’t sound like much, and it probably sounds EXPENSIVE, but so is going out to the bar or club every weekend and drinking. Save up and treat yourself to a trip to Chicago or Disney World or anywhere else that you have never been before. Make last-minute flight decisions, and bring along people you love. Go on new adventures and try new foods and deal with your fear of flying later.
If someone positively impacts your life, tell them.
Someone inspired you to try something new? Tell them. Someone inspired you to go back to school? Tell them. Someone inspired you to order steak instead of chicken at Chipotle? TELL THEM. People like to know when they have made an impact.
If someone NEGATIVELY impacts your life, deal with it
Whether it be confronting them or realizing your life needs some rearrangements and they no longer fit, deal with those negative emotions. It’s going to take a larger toll on your walking around with that weight on your shoulders than it would be to deal with the situation and move forward.
Go after what you want, don’t wait for it to come to you
I beat out Bachelor-level candidates for an internship when I was 20 years old and had yet to graduate with my Associate’s degree. I didn’t NOT apply because I didn’t have a piece of paper signed by a stranger telling the world I had the ability to do the job well – I applied because I believed in the company and the position and the knowledge that I could do really well. And I did – not all big opportunities are going to find you, sometimes they need to be found.
People are not staring at you in the gym or on the beach
Everyone is so worried about their own damn selves to focus on how much you can bench press or what you look like in a swimsuit. Truth is, they are probably no more comfortable in their swimsuit than you are, and they might just be wondering how THEY look in theirs. It’s hot out, put on your swimsuit and have a good time; stress leaves weird tan lines.
Credit cards are the devil
Yes, everyone should have one credit card for simple reasons (building credit, emergencies, etc.) but if you can’t pay off the balance every month, it will come back every 30 days to haunt you. As much as it hurts at first, work with the money on your paycheck, not that magical gift card feeling of a Visa and you will be much better off.
Dress for yourself
No guy is going to see you on the street and think “DAMN she looks flawless in the new BCBG High-Low Jacquard Dress” (trust me). Dress for how YOU feel and how YOU think you look; after all, you’re the person you spend the most time with so yes, your opinion counts.
Cookie dough is not going to make you sick
I mean, it might but, believe it or not, the “salmonella” everyone always warned you about comes from the flour, not the eggs. So do you because #yolo and eat the damn cookie dough.
School is expensive, put in the work
If you’ve ever failed a college course, you know the difference between struggling in high school. When you fail a college course, you are out $1,200.00 and no, they don’t refund that because you’re “sorry” for not trying harder. College is expensive, so put in the work and make it worth your while. Same as with relationships, you will get out of college what you put into it.
Take the path that makes sense for YOU
You don’t need to go to a 4-year university because everyone else does. You don’t need a date to prom, or to buy a brand new house. The path that works for you is the one that was made for you – living in a split-level that was built in 1980 and toting a community college degree doesn’t make you homeless and dumb. Case in point: one of my “community college” professors also taught at a private institute so #smart
You can’t please everyone
Again, YOU are the person you spend the most time with. Focus on making yourself proud and everything else will fall into place or out of your life – the first is meant to be and the latter never stood a chance.
Let. Shit. Go.
Yes, you probably should have been voted “best hair” but guess what, no one will remember or CARE about that 72 hours from the moment it’s released. And no, you didn’t make every green light and was late to work twice this week but it’s in the past and you can’t change the past. Let it go and move forward with positivity.
You don’t need a lot of THINGS to be happy
I have friends that go shopping for new things every other day and let me tell you, they still aren’t that happy. Yes, those $160.00 sandals are cute but I was able to make my car payment on time and still have money left over to fill the gas tank so really #winnerwinnerchickendinner
Water is your best friend
When you’re sick, when you’re healthy, when you’re tired, when you’re cold, water is going to be your greatest asset. This may seem like a “filler” of things I have learned but trust me, nothing feels worse than being dehydrated in the middle of the day and not having the energy to go to gym because you need more water (also not drinking enough water makes your pee stink so….)
Help your friends move
Don’t make a stink about it, don’t complain about how it’s taking away from your day and you could be doing such and such instead. Just be a good friend, help them move, and accept payment in the form of pizza.