25 Things I Know Now That I’m 25

Yesterday I became a quarter of a century old, which is odd to say. I want to give you a little impression of what I have learnt up to now (in no particular order).

  1. Be positive. The world is full of negativity and chaos. If you allow negative vibes into your head, that dark cloud will follow you everywhere. Stop for a minute and think about your life: things are good right now, right?
  2. Your parents are on your side (and are pretty cool). They were embarrassing to you as a teenager, they know that and it can’t be avoided, but now is the time to enjoy them. Fun > fighting.
  3. People can be pretty horrid (you’ll understand this if you’ve worked in the service industry). Remember: Everyone is just trying to get by. Leave a tip, keep your cool, smile and say, “thanks!”
  4. Save your money. I grew so tired of my parents pleading for me to put aside small parts of my pay cheque into a savings account. Now I get it. You never know when you’ll lose your job or need to move out of the apartment away from your crazy roommate.
  5. WTF does “on fleek” mean? I have no idea and I don’t even care to Google-it. You’re going to become out of the loop on weird trends, memes and phrases on social media and you won’t even care.
  6. Today, right now, realise that you cannot do everything with everyone. The sooner you accept this, the happier you’ll be. Stop regretting things that you haven’t done and just enjoy the ones you are doing.
  7. Remember those telly programmes your mother (or father) would watch? (House Hunters, Designers Challenge, Gardening by the Yard, etc.) Now you’re watching them, looking for a lamp or paint colours.
  8. It doesn’t matter where you live. I get upset realising I have four more years in the city where I went to university (my boyfriend accepted a residency position at my alma mater). But every place has charm and secrets waiting to be unlocked, and with an airport just minutes away, I can hop in and out whenever. (Positive outlook!)
  9. Veer from the plan. When I was sixteen, I created a plan for my life and thought I needed to follow it precisely to be happy and fulfil my dreams. Had I followed that plan, I never would have lived in Germany nor met my boyfriend.
  10. Pack up and move. Almost every blog or weird reflection piece always suggests moving and they couldn’t be more right.
  11. Engage in your past. Revisit your hometown, your grade school, your first apartment, and the place of your first family vacation.
  12. True friendships pickup right where they were left off. My group of friends has dispersed out into the world, but with gChat and group texts, we’re always connected. If you haven’t heard from someone you miss in a while, pop them a text or give them a ring (preferred, I promise). You’ll know instantly if that friendship is still worthwhile.
  13. You don’t have to be friends with everyone.
  14. Love yourself. Look in the mirror every morning and accept the person you see.
  15. Be alone and enjoy your own company. If someone judges you for being alone, they’re not comfortable with themselves. Their loss, not yours.
  16. Change things. If you’re not happy with things in your life, change them. Now. Stop putting it off.
  17. Log off Facebook. Comparing yourself to friends, or anyone for that matter, is a waste of time. Be happy and comfortable with who you are and where you are.
  18. Life is too short. If you hate your job, quit. Do something that makes you happy.
  19. Use your vacation time.
  20. Get outside yourself. Step out of your comfort zone and experience a different culture. The world is bigger than you and if you haven’t discovered that yet, you need to.
  21. Get lost. If not in a foreign country, then on the ride home. Take the road less travelled (by you).
  22. Exercise. Your metabolism gets worse as you get older — trust me. Try running, brisk walking, bicycling or engaging in recreational sports (all of which can be accomplished while you travel the globe).
  23. Dress appropriately. That doesn’t mean you have to dress like your dad. It doesn’t mean you have to dress old. Ditch the graphic tees and athletic shorts, buy a pair of jeans that fit and have them tailored to your body, find a brand of shoes your feet love and learn to layer.
  24. Travel. Now. Seriously. There’s something to be said for exploration and travel at every age. You gain insight, you learn about yourself and others, and best of all, you return with amazing stories to share.
  25. There’s so much you don’t even know yet, and that’s the awesome part about being alive (and young).

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