I just celebrated my 25th birthday yesterday! Yup—I turned a quarter of a century old! I’m sure many others have said the same about their lives, but I feel like I have experienced a lot in 25 years. From moving a few times, making the most out of high school, experiencing loss, graduating from college (twice) and university, and landing my dream career, I’ve had so many great (and not so great) things happen to me in what feels like the blink of an eye.
In today’s blog, I’ve decided to share 25 of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in 25 years.
- Always be curious. As a child my parents said that I was extremely curious and inquisitive. I asked thousands of questions (sorry mom & dad!) and genuinely had an interest in learning about everything. Now, at 25 years old, I truly believe I still have that same thirst for knowledge and I am always willing and excited to experience new things and expand my skill set; I think that traits such as these are extremely valuable to possess.
- Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, your intuition is probably right.
- Don’t be afraid to say “yes”… When I was 22, I was presented with a short-term job offer hours away from my hometown. Without hesitating, I jumped in! The job didn’t turn out to be all that was promised, but I enjoyed my spring & summer living somewhere I may not have had the chance to otherwise and made some pretty amazing memories.
- …But also learn when to say “no” (and don’t feel bad about it). This one was hard to learn, but it’s okay to be “selfish” sometimes and turn down opportunities, offers, or anything that does not serve you. If thinking about doing something causes uneasiness or feelings of stress, don’t pursue it; this goes back to #2.
- It’s okay to be an introvert. Growing up, I was always shy and extremely quiet, yet I still excelled at certain “extroverted” things (such as presentations, group projects, etc.) the older I’ve become. Being an introvert really isn’t the end of the world, and I don’t feel that it’s ever put me at a disadvantage. Being quiet and independent has helped me in my career as I am able to put my head down and work diligently on projects and stay focused on tasks.
- Learn to let go of friendships/relationships that are not mutually beneficial and/or are extremely one-sided. Surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you and vice versa.
- Everything happens for a reason. I know—cliché, but it’s 100% accurate. Think about one pivotal moment in your life and all the things that that one moment impacted. Now think about how different everything would be if that one moment didn’t happen. Whether good or bad, everything that happens is meant to.
- Quality over quantity. I apply this concept to many aspects of my life—friendships, work, possessions, etc.
- You can get through the worst day of your life. I can count two instances in my life so far where I felt like the world was literally crumbling around me—both instances dealt with loss. What I learned was that with a great support system and some time, you will be able to get through it and smile again—no matter how impossible it may seem in the moment.
- Moments not things. You’ll always remember amazing memories, events and adventures. Don’t spend time and money collecting stuff that you will likely forget about as time passes.
- Snap a lot of photos of loved ones and moments. Always try to document absolutely everything. Don’t ever be left feeling that you should have spent more time capturing certain moments—you can’t go back.
- Treat yourself. Yes, it’s wise to save your money, but you should also reward yourself sometimes, especially when achieving goals you have set for yourself.
- Read/watch/listen to the news. Educate yourself on what’s happening in the world and learn to formulate your own opinions.
- You just can’t please everyone — and that’s completely okay.
- Sometimes you just need a good cry. Nicholas Sparks’ movies/books can help you with this.
- You’re on your own path. Don’t concern yourself with what everyone else is doing. If it makes sense for you, do it.
- Moms really are always right. I still haven’t figured out how this is possible, but it is.
- Dogs are the best ever. Seriously.
- Your parents can end up being some of your best friends. I know mine are. Take it easy on them; they genuinely want what’s best for you.
- Forgiveness is important. Don’t hold onto grudges. Learn to forgive, let go, and grow.
- Being alone is healthy. Take time time for yourself to enjoy some R&R; it’s good for you.
- Don’t take everything at face value. Oftentimes there’s more to something beneath the surface.
- It’s good to get away. Staycations or vacations, just change your scenery.
- Always be grateful for every moment of every day.
- Do what you love and forget about the rest. It’s your life to live, not anyone else’s.
And there you have it! A list of things I’ve learned throughout a quarter of a century. I’m extremely excited to see what I learn in the next 25! Cheers!