Twenty-five is a weird age. I am no longer considered early 20s, I can have a quarter life crisis, I’ve got a wrinkle by my eye, I prefer staying in now, and I’m just as close to 30 as I am 20. My early 20s were filled with all sorts of travels, marriage, moves, new jobs, puppies, and lots of life lessons.
Here are 25 things I’ve learned in 25 years:
1. Drink. More. Water. This isn’t a question or a suggestion. It is a requirement! Everything in your body benefits from water. EVERYTHING! So drink it. Drink it before your morning cup of coffee. Drink it after your morning cup of coffee. Drink it with every meal. Just drink it, okay!
2. Self-love and self-care are hard. I don’t think it’s something you should ever stop working at. It’s not selfish, and it doesn’t mean you don’t love other people. It simply means that you love them enough to take care of yourself, both mentally and physically.
3. It’s okay to say no. I’ve always been a people pleaser and constantly worried that if I didn’t try to accommodate everyone’s needs, then someone would be mad at me. But you know what? The world didn’t end when I started putting myself and my needs first. I also think that more people respect me for it.
4. Life is short and moments are fleeting. I think this speaks for itself mostly, but for the love of god, put your phone down and enjoy the moment. Enjoy your grandparents’ stories even if you’ve heard them 100 times before. One day you’ll miss them.
5. Your parents, siblings, and grandparents will become your best friends and biggest supporters.
6. Learn to love the art of cooking, even if it’s just mastering the perfect mac and cheese. You have to know the basic essentials and if you need help, call me!
7. SUNSCREEN Skin cancer is no joke! Use sunscreen like your life depends on it because it does!
8. Healthy hair is important! You look more put together and professional when your hair looks good. So find a hairdresser you love and keep them. That’s right, Heather, I’m talking about you! Thanks for always making my hair look bomb!
9. Speaking of looking put together, find a makeup routine that you love and master it. Even if it’s just mascara and blush.
10. It’s okay to fall in and out of love with hobbies. I used to love reading, but now I’m lucky if I can finish a book. I used to hate decorating, but now I want my house and every other house to look like it just came off of Fixer Upper.
11. Plans don’t always work out. Actually, they don’t ever work the way you want them to. God’s timing is perfect. Trust in his timing.
12. It’s okay to drink. It’s okay not to drink. You don’t have to explain your reason for doing either. And it’s never okay to ask why.
13. Never stop learning! I love learning one thing new a day, even if it’s some useless fact. It helps keep your mind sharp.
14. Try new foods and try things you never used to eat. You might be surprised by how your palette has changed and that you now like olives when you hated them before. I don’t think I’ll ever grow to like tomatoes, peaches or onions, but I’ll never stop trying them.
15. Find a podcast that you love to listen too, one that inspires you and makes you think. I love the Rise podcast by Rachel Hollis and Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger podcast.
16. Stop trying to keep up with the Kardashians — or at least, trying to be like them. You do yourself no favors by trying to be someone you’re not. Be you!
17. Plants make your house/apartment/condo smell good. No, really! They help filter the air. Buy a couple of low maintenance plants — I promise they work!
18. Make friends. The world is a lonely, hateful place without them. You need people in your corner who think the sun shines out of your ass but aren’t afraid to tell you when you’re in the wrong.
19. Be in someone’s corner. Be the friend that you wished you had!
20. Love! Love hard and with all your heart. Love with every fiber of your being. You’ll be surprised how good love makes you feel!
21. Do one thing a year that really awakens your soul, whether it’s turning a hobby into a dream, traveling, or reading a really good book. Whatever it is, do it!
22. Say goodbye to toxic people. It does you no favors to keep them in your life.
23. Travel! Go to places you once dreamed about. Breath the air from the Rockies and eat a fresh, warm croissant on the streets Paris. Wherever your dreams take you, GO!
24. This one applies to all you married 20 something-year-olds… when you want to start a family with your spouse is no one’s business but your own. You do not — I repeat, DO NOT — have to justify why you don’t have kids to anyone. Enjoying married life with your spouse is so much fun!
25. Buy good, sexy, underwear and throw away the ones with holes! I am convinced your self-confidence starts with your skivvies!
I’ve learned a lot in 25 years, but my favorite thing I’ve learned is don’t be afraid to find yourself in the madness that is growing up. That’s half the fun!