25 Things I’ve Learned in my 25th Year

In exactly two weeks, I will be turning 26. I have this habit of always doing a self-reflection of sorts right before my birthday. Analyzing what I’ve learned over the last year – or just reliving past shenanigans. That sort of thing. So apart from frantically worrying about what kind of healthcare I will receive now that I know longer can be on my parents’, here is a list of things that I have learned over this past year:

  1. Just about everyone I know is in the process of getting married or having children, and yes, there is a part of me that yearns to wear that white dress. But alas, that’s not where my life is. And that is okay.1
  2. It (sadly) is about who you know sometimes, and not necessarily your skill set. So network, Forrest, network.2
  3. We are getting to that age where we cannot just spend frivolously. So besides saving up for new tattoos and organic chia seeds, it is crucial to have a monthly budget as well as a diverse portfolio.3
  4. Traveling is a must. So side note, save up money to travel, too.4
  5. Getting your heart broken still sucks. And it will always suck.5
  6. Prior to turning 25, I had never gone anywhere near coffee. And now…coffee. Coffee. COFFEE.6
  7. Friendship requires effort. This past year, I have had to let go of two people I thought I would be friends with for the rest of my life. In return, I got one friend who is closer to me than anyone I know. And you know why? Because she and I both put in the effort to be there for each other.7
  8. With each passing day, my parents’ way of thinking becomes more and more relatable.8
  9. And like my parents, I have learned the beauty of staying in.9
  10. And I should clarify, that money isn’t everything. It’s true – money cannot buy you happiness. But it can give you the options to choose among various activities or events or trips that will, inevitably, make you happy.10
  11. Mastering the art of the perfect grilled cheese.11
  12. Work your ass off each and every day. Seriously. It will pay off.12
  13. People will judge you. It’s up to you to determine how you feel about yourself regardless of what people are saying.13
  14. Invest in yourself. Particularly your health. No, it’s not necessary to have a six-pack stomach, but it is necessary to stop drinking that six-pack of beer oh so often.14
  15. As Sam Cooke says, a change gonna come. Change is a part of your twenties. And as Kate Sanders says, embrace it. Fear it.15
  16. It is crucial to trust your gut. It hasn’t failed me yet, and I’m sure yours hasn’t failed you.16
  17. I still find myself doing this from time to time, but I have to tell myself to try not to compare myself to other people. There is always going to be someone better off, someone worse off – someone prettier and more amazing. And some of these people might be complete strangers. But you know what, you gotta do you.17
  18. I still feel like a kid. I still act like a kid sometimes. I am wise enough to know that I am not one, however.18
  19. I’m really not the dating kind. Sure, I like to flirt, but I am a control stability freak.19
  20. I need more sleep in my life. Because five hours? Not about it. I blame you, grad school.20
  21. But seriously, grad school, thank you for teaching me prioritization, strategic marketing, and for stealing any semblance of a social life.21
  22. For the most part, I am okay with being alone. I said for the most part.22
  23. Job hunting can – and will – make you crazy. It will make you bat shit crazy.23
  24. I am in need of a fresh start. For me, I believe this involves a cross country move. New York? Connecticut? DC? I am open to suggestions here.24
  25. I am still not sure of the person I am becoming. I know what my values are and have a basic overall sense of what I want out of life, but I think the whole point of living is to constantly grow. Because really, what happens after you “become” anyway? Cheers to growing old, up, and out of who we once were and who we were always meant to become.25

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