25 People On The One Thing They Wish They Knew At 25

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been asking friends, followers, and family to tell me the one thing they wish they knew at 25 (an age I will personally be turning in five days). Here, some of the wisdom they shared with me.

1. Patti, 51

“You should move to the big city, but there are ‘big cities’ other than New York. You can get the urban experience in a lot of different places, for a lot less money.”

2. John, 34

“Just because you’re young does not mean you have no value in the work place. A lot of people are going to treat you like you’re lucky to have a job, and maybe at first you are, but if you do things well you should be ready to ask for things.”

3. Karen, 45

“Let the little arguments with friends go. Yes, they hurt your feelings, but it doesn’t matter. You probably hurt theirs somewhere along the road and they are letting it go, too. No one is perfect and we’re all a little too sensitive.”

4. Elia, 37

“Don’t worry about what your friends are doing. It’s not just Facebook, we were always worried about whether or not we were maturing as fast as our friends. But it doesn’t matter, their happiness is not your happiness.”

5. Rich, 50

“You have no obligation to keep hanging out with the people you grew up with.”

6. Marcus, 31

“Spending a ton of money on alcohol is just about the dumbest thing you can do with your life. If you’re going to spend money on going out, at least spend it on dinner, because then it’s an experience you remember.”

7. Aisha, 29

“Traveling has to be a priority, if it’s something you want to do. You can’t just say ‘I want to travel’ and hope that you will find the right moment. You don’t just stumble on the right moment, you have to make it and fight for it.”

8. Jerome, 40

“You’re never going to be perfectly happy in a relationship, but you shouldn’t expect to be, especially at that age. There’s too much change that creates natural tension at that point in your life.”

9. Vera, 56

“Don’t settle for anything. It kills you quickly.”

10. Therese, 67

“You’re so, so young.”

11. Charlie, 41

“Dress well, and take care of yourself. Manage your appearance, because it influences other people’s expectations of you, and it lets them know how seriously you take yourself. Always look like you know where you’re going.”

12. Jeanne, 70

“Always look for a good deal. Save your money where you can.”

13. Helen, 33

“Don’t let people tell you who you are, even if you really want to be their friend. If you feel like you are playing a role when you hang out for someone, that means they have more power than you. Don’t let them.”

14. Julia, 49

“Getting married can wait. Build something.”

15. Clara, 45

“Spend more time on kisses, and wait longer to have sex. Let anticipation build.”

16. Mike, 28

“Just remember that pretty much everyone has debt and that it shouldn’t stop you from going for what you want. Don’t kill yourself trying to pay it off as fast as possible.”

17. Sarah, 53

“People care about themselves 99 percent of the time. When you find someone who actually cares about you, hold onto them. It’s very rare to find someone who actually listens when you are telling a story.”

18. Len, 44

“Get out of your hometown. Maybe come back someday, but for now, leave. See something else.”

19. Joy, 48

“Be on time, because there is nothing worse than someone who has a reputation for always being late. It tells people that you don’t care, and it sucks!!”

20. Christophe, 35

“Invest in a good pair of shoes.”

21. Justin, 29

“If someone acts distant and not interested in the first few weeks of dating, don’t pursue it. It just makes you look like an idiot.”

22. Marie, 47

“Your friends don’t know any more than you do. You might look at someone and think that they know exactly what they’re doing, but they’re struggling and living life and making mistakes. They just put on a better show.”

23. Jean, 74

“Always have a clean house and something to eat for when people come over. Make people feel happy in your home.”

24. Annie, 36

“It’s never too early to start thinking about money.”

25. Camille, 29

“You’ve already lost a lot of friends in the past few years because your lives are changing so much, and you’re going to lose more over the next few. But that’s a good thing. If all of your friends stayed the same that would mean that none of you was evolving or doing new things. It hurts to say goodbye to people, but it’s even worse to always stay the same. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Check out “How To Be A 20-Something” from Thought Catalog Books here.


image – moriza

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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