I recently turned 24 years old, and I have to admit that it was actually a really hard birthday for me. I was having a life crisis of sorts where I was constantly thinking in my head – Where am I supposed to be at this point in my life, have i accomplished enough in my life, and other related questions.
Admittedly, there are a lot of things I wish I had a grasp of and totally understood, and there are things I wish I knew earlier. Here are some things I’ve learned and some that I probably still need to learn:
1. It’s not the end of the world
This one thing that happened today isn’t going to dictate the rest of your life. Face it head on, deal with it, don’t let it take you over, and get ready for the rest of your life. I’ve gotten caught up in things before, and it’s part of being human…we’re uncomfortable with change. But, change is what happens every second of every day. While it may feel like the end of the world today, and in this moment, it probably isn’t.
2. Choose your friends wisely
Having a great group of friends is important. Ya maybe that one group of people you hung out in college with is a total blast, but are they real friends? The people you spend your time with effect you a lot more than you realize. Make friends with people who impress you, people you wish you were more like and trust me they will rub off on you.
3. Build a strong relationship with your family
Don’t let arguments and disagreements get between family. When the going gets tough, you’ll need eachother.
4. Relationships don’t and shouldn’t define you
Being single isn’t a bad thing. It’s an amazing thing! Learn who you are, figure out what you want and always go after your own goals. Don’t let your life be dictated by a relationship with another person. Make the choices that are right for you while you’re young. When you’re ready you’ll meet the right person.
5. Take your education seriously
Don’t skip class, don’t come to class hung over, and always study for your tests. It really pays off in the end. Your education costs a lot, so make the most of it…take every opportunity to learn and grow.
6. Read everyday
Read and learn something new every day, whether it’s the news or a fictional novel..read! You’ll develop better communication skills.
7. Don’t lie
It’s never worth it and it always comes back to bite you in the butt.
8. Love your body
If you feel like you need to get in shape, get in shape. But don’t criticize yourself, starve yourself, or work out excessively. Practice a healthy lifestyle.
9. Getting drunk gets old
First of all most alcohol tastes gross, and isn’t that good for you anyway. You end up making bad choices and your body feels bad the next day. Trust me it gets really old really fast.
10. Travel the world
Explore new places, try new foods, and try to learn everything you can about the entire world. Simply go out and adventure while you’re young.
11. Nobody cares what you wore yesterday
They probably don’t even remember and if they do they are stupid anyway.
12. Think twenty five times before you get a tattoo
Removal is much more expensive and you won’t think it’s so cool when you’re older. I don’t have any tattoos…yet
13. Be mindful of your personal life
Yes, there are a lot of cute people out there..but more than likely you won’t be too happy if you’re giving it away to every person that comes knocking on your day. I’m not saying stay bundled up and don’t get physical. I’m just saying be mindful of the number of people you get down and dirty with. A one night stand isn’t worth it..it’s not respecting you or the person that you’re with. period.
14. Understand the value of money
Until you start working, money is a confusing thing. It’s important to understand the true value of money, come up with a budget, and create a savings plan. Don’t use a credit card except for real emergencies and then pay it off as soon as possible.
15. Be smart on the advice you give on marriage, money, and kids
Everyone has their own relationship, their own way of raising kids, and their own ideas of money. Be mindful of this. Don’t give unsolicited advice.
16. Even when you ask people to be honest, they might not be
Don’t just accept what people say to be true. Be sure that you can trust them…that’s not to say be overly skeptical, but be smart with who you trust and what you trust them with.
17. Understand the value of a thank you note
Write thank you notes for everything that people give you and mail them promptly. Always thank people for anything they’ve done for you, or just the fact that they were there from you. They’ll appreciate it in the end.
18. Don’t cheat
Never cheat on someone, if you’re thinking to cheat you probably shouldn’t be with that person. I’ve never cheated, but I’ve definitely been cheated on…and it never works out well for anyone.
19. Learn to say no
You don’t always have to say yes to everyone that asks you for something. It will wear you out, and you won’t learn boundaries.
20. Be open about your past
Your past has made you the person you are today, you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Don’t go running your mouth to everyone who asks, but also don’t hide it..especially from people close to you.
21. Unless there’s a fire, you shouldn’t be yelling
Don’t yell at another person even when you’re very very mad. It only makes things escalate and go to a bad place that you’ll regret going to. It’s not worth it.
22. There’s a difference between thinking something through and over-thinking
Don’t make decisions on a whim, but you don’t want to over think something to the point of anxiety. It’s important to understand the balance.
23. When someone’s upset, it’s not always about you
People aren’t always mad at you, and you shouldn’t take their anxiety, stress, or frustration personally.
24. Failing isn’t a bad thing
Sometimes you totally and completely fail, and that’s totally ok. It’s what you do after you fail that shows your character. Failing is actually really healthy and it’s how you learn.
These are just a few things I’ve thought about in my 24th year. It’d be a lie to say I have no regrets, but I also am happy with a lot of the things I’ve done with my life. At the end of the day I’m constantly learning and growing as a persona and I think that’s what matters.