As I mentioned in Monday’s post, this week was my 25th birthday! It was a wonderful day. I started a new job, Dave made my favorite food for dinner (spaghetti!), and my best friend bought me a cake. Definitely a successful birthday. Since 25 is a milestone birthday (a quarter of a century – holy shit) I wanted to write a blog post to commemorate it. In honor of turning 25, I’m sharing today 25 things I’ve learned in 25 years. Some are comical, some are serious, all are true.
1. Mom really does know best.
2. Sometimes it’s better to be a little irresponsible to have an awesome life experience. And sometimes it’s better to miss out on some fun to be responsible. The trick is being able to tell the difference.
3. Your metabolism at 25 will NOT be what your metabolism was at 18. It sucks.
4. Pets can be an amazing addition to your family. Make sure to appreciate them and love them. I also learned that I’d rather stay home on Friday night with our dog than go out.
5. Leave room in your budget for take-out. Expecting to prepare a home cooked meal every night is absurd. Whenever I do plan on preparing a home cooked meal every night, I waste groceries because we will inevitably order take-out anyways.
6. Don’t be afraid to join in during college. Every time I stepped out of my shell and joined an organization, introduced myself to someone new, etc, I was thankful I did. And most of my amazing friends came from the rare moments that I did step out of my shell. So did my husband.
7. Planning a wedding was simultaneously one of the most and least fun things I’ve ever done. In the end it was the best day of my life because 1. I married my best friend and 2. We had the wedding Dave and I wanted and not the wedding anyone else wanted us to have.
8. A job or employer that makes you feel mentally and emotionally beaten every day is NOT worth it.
9. I don’t like having short hair, and I regret it every time I cut my hair. This lesson obviously hasn’t totally sunk it yet, because I just chopped my hair above my shoulders a couple of months ago. And here I am, wishing I had my long hair back.
10. It’s okay to change your mind about what you want to do. Just because you got a degree in accounting and snagged your first job as an accountant doesn’t mean you have to be an accountant your whole life! You can totally change gears and become an artist. These days, most people aren’t sticking with their first career. Had I stayed on my original course right now, I would be a journalist for a newspaper. And broke as all heck. Instead I’m I work in state politics and aspire to work full-time as a blogger one day. People change. Let your goals change with you.
11. Learn to write well. You’re going to have to be able to write for college (essays, research papers, etc), job hunting (resume and cover letters), and your future job. I can’t begin to emphasize how important it is! I wouldn’t have my blog if I weren’t a strong writer, and I definitely wouldn’t have the job I currently do. So do yourself a favor and pay attention in English class.
12. Save your money when you can. I remember being in high school and having so much money from my job, and no financial responsibilities. So what did I do? I spent it on useless crap. Though I had more bills in college, I still wasted a lot of money. And I’m kicking myself now as Dave and I are wanting to buy a house! Finally we’re learning the saving lesson. It doesn’t seem fun to save when you’re 20, but at 25 you’ll be glad you did it!
13. You’ll get what you earn. No one in the real world owes you anything. You aren’t entitled to good grades or a great job. It’s your responsibility to earn them! Start early and build that resume, because the people you’re going up against for jobs will have done so.
14. I’ve learned to tell the difference between toxic friendships and good ones. Some people just aren’t good friends and don’t add anything positive to your life. Learn to identify these people so you can get them out of your life as quickly as possible.
15. Insecurity doesn’t have an expiration date. While I’m not as shy and nervous as I was 7-8 years ago, my insecurities haven’t gone away. I’m still shy. I haven’t burst out of my shell and become a social butterfly. And that’s okay. What’s important is that I continue to work on it all the time.
16. That heartbreak you’re feeling at 18 isn’t going to last forever. I promise. In fact, it will disappear a lot faster than you think.
17. That $200 speeding ticket is not worth getting there 5 minutes earlier. Especially since once you get pulled over, you’ll be 20 minutes late. Trust me! When I was 19-20, I spent over $1000 on speeding tickets. Wow, that was stupid. I was broke because of it. And I damn near lost my driver’s license. There’s nowhere you’re going where you can’t get 5 minutes later if it means getting there safely and without a ticket.
18. Don’t change for anyone. Especially not a guy. And at the same time, don’t expect anyone to change for you.
19. There is a time and place to be drunk. You’ll get in wrong a few times, but those embarrassing moments will help you learn for the future.
20. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. We’ve all heard this advice before, but it’s worth repeating. And it’s definitely a lesson I’ve taken to heart. This has been especially important for me to remember as a blogger. There are so many amazing bloggers out here. Some have been blogging for five years and some have been blogging five months. Either way, they aren’t on the same exact path you are. Comparing yourself to other people and defining your success by them is only going to kill your self-esteem.
21. Back up your computer. Save your work.
22. Friendship is a two way street. When you graduate and move away from your friends, it’s easy to lose touch and go months without taking. Make sure to keep putting in effort. You don’t have to talk every day, but you have to be there when it counts.
23. College is not the best time of your life. It’s four years very early in your life. It will help shape your future, but it won’t overshadow it.
24. You’re responsible for your own happiness. Experiences and change aren’t going to come find you. If you hate your job, find a new one. If you want to make new friends, go make them. Your life is totally in your control. If things don’t go your way, in the end, you’re the only person to blame.
25. At 25, you still won’t have it all figured out.
What important lessons have you learned in your life?
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