28 Lessons I've Learned Over 28 Years
LifeLife Lessons

28 Lessons I’ve Learned Over 28 Years

1. Experience will only take you so far on a job interview; you have to show them that you have the passion and determination to get the job done. Anyone can be taught how to use a certain program; not everyone can be taught to have motivation.

2. Who we elect into office impacts us greatly. Get involved in politics. Learn as much as you can about every candidate before making a decision. You don’t have to follow your family’s political views, if you have a difference of opinion.

3. You need to play a level of office politics in order to survive. A good work ethic is not enough.

4. People who don’t like you, most likely don’t because they’re envious of you. Whether it’s your co-workers, relatives, or acquaintances, you were given an opportunity, or you possess a skill set, a personality trait, or a strength that they wish they were offered and/or held themselves – even if they don’t outwardly realize it.

5. Your parents are going to die, so be cognizant of how you treat them, what you say and how you spend time together. If you choose not to have a relationship with them, that’s fine, but think about how you can live with yourself after they’re gone. What did you need to say? What did you need to resolve? Address these things while you still have time. Life can change by tomorrow.

6. Death affects everyone differently and there is no right or wrong way of grieving. Period.

7. You can’t have fear dictate your life. If you want to move, then move. If you want to change schools, then change schools. If you want to sever ties with a toxic relative, then you’re allowed to do so. If you want to quit your job because it’s negatively weighing on your mental health, then do it. Life is allowed to be messy sometimes.

8. Never stay at a job when they offer you more money to stay. It’ll be fine for a month or two but eventually, you’ll realize how badly you want out again because money was never really the problem as much as it was the environment.

9. You don’t have to do something you don’t want to do. And you don’t owe anyone an explanation for it otherwise. Ever.

10. Love really does find you when you least expect it.

11. There are serious consequences to spending frivolously in your twenties that will detrimentally impact your thirties, your ability to travel, find a house, start a family, and even have basic freedoms. It’s inevitable to change things, but be cognizant of how much you’re spending and figure out a concrete plan to pay it all back before it gets out of control.

12. Workplace retaliation is a real thing, even if you think your boss would NEVER do it.

13. You’ve always had a sense of what you wanted to do with the rest of your life, so don’t spend your 20s floundering. Instead, take steps to learning your craft, looking into options or even volunteer work to help you gain experience in your field and to feel fulfilled.

14. The older we get, the more the world tells us what kind of man or woman we should be. The real question should be: who do you want to be?

15. Just because your parents don’t like something, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad. If you want to elope, then elope. If you want a tattoo, then get a tattoo. If you want to grow out your hair, then let those luscious locks flow. If you want to move to a new city, then pack your bags. You’re living your life on your terms because your parents already lived life on theirs.

16. Your feelings are valid. Always. But, so are everyone else’s around you. Take a step back when someone tells you that your actions hurt them. Just because you think differently, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

17. You don’t have to feel bad for your choices if they were the right thing for you.

18. If you’re battling depression, hanging around friends might seem like the last thing you want to do but it’s actually the healthiest. You will always feel better surrounding yourself with people you enjoy, even just momentarily.

19. You don’t have to be particularly good at anything to do it for fun.

20. Relationships are always going to be work so don’t listen to anyone who says a good relationship shouldn’t feel like one. Friendships, relationships, marriages, they require constant communication, understanding, patience, and empathy. That is work. But it’s work that’s worth it.

21. There is no shame in going to therapy and getting help for something you can’t handle. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; not confronting your issue is.

22. Don’t spend every weekend on chores. Your house is just going to get dirty again later that night.

23. Comparing your status with someone else’s is a waste of time; you don’t know what opportunities they’ve been given, worked for, or what their journey has been so don’t compare the two.

24. It’s really foolish to still eat like a teenager when you’re a grown adult. Eat a balanced diet, drink water and don’t freak out when someone offers you a vegetable with dinner.

25. You don’t need to have a house, have a marriage, have a baby by the time you’re 30. If you’re not ready for those things because you’d prefer to travel, because you’re trying to jumpstart your career, because you’re still reeling from loss or low self-esteem, because you genuinely enjoy your apartment, because you’re not sure where you’d like to settle down, because you’re just NOT READY to make a gigantic lifestyle change, that is okay. That is totally, totally okay.

26. The family you’re given at birth doesn’t have to be the family you have in adulthood if they’re not supportive, encouraging or kind to you.

27. Dressing in the clothes you feel prettiest and most confident in says a lot more about your personality than conforming to the same pair of Ugg boots and Victoria Secret sweatpants everyone else is wearing.

28. Don’t hide what you like, whether that’s video games, comic books, makeup, Disney mugs, big earrings, flashy outfits, musicians, and everything else in between. When you hide your enthusiasm about the things that make you ridiculously happy, you’re not really being yourself. There’s no point living life as anyone but yourself because your uniqueness is valued.

Related

About the author
Mid-twenties something navigating through life one cup of coffee at a time. Read more articles from Courtney on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.