There was a series of articles circulating the web last week about the age of twenty-four. Apparently, according to experts, this age is the last year of adolescence. Whoa! Well, hold on just a minute! Who could have guessed that I was still a raging insecure teen with a never-ending list of drama? Me, that’s who. Of course we are still teens at twenty-four. We still have no idea what to do with our lives or with our careers or which TV series to binge watch again.
Even though I sometimes feel exactly like I did in high school only with the added benefits of having my own money and my own place, I still feel I have indeed grown a little bit. I have managed to pick up some useful information here and there. So here are twenty four things I have learned in my twenty four years of existence so far:
1. Value those moments when your mom tells you exactly what you do not want to hear. The reality is if someone cannot tell you the harsh truth to your face, they do not care about you. But your mom does. She always has.
2. As corny as this will sound, your parents are the only ones who will support you not matter what. No matter how many times you lie or how many times you fail or how many mistakes you make, your parents will always be there for you. Always.
3. It really does not matter how many friends you have. What matters is how many of them you can truly trust.
4. Speak to your loved ones every day. Their every thought is about you and silence can hurt so much.
5. Don’t smoke. Just don’t.
6. Education is important. It expands your mind to greater horizons. It teaches you lessons. Don’t take it for granted.
7. Read as much as you can while you’re still in school. Read whatever you want. Because chances are you will not have enough time for this after high school. And you will regret it.
8. Skip class if you want to. Some of my best memories are from when I was skipping class. But remember to be smart about it. It’s about picking your battles.
9. Cooking is such an underrated skill. It is unbelievable how much money you save if you know how to cook at least a few different meals.
10. Spend your money on what really matters. One year from now that overly priced dress will be in the back of your closet, while you will still be wishing you could have taken that trip.
11. Exercise. Exercise when you’re happy, exercise when you’re sad, exercise when you’re fucking angry. Your body will thank you in so many ways.
12. Remember that social media is a trap. Life happens when you’re not active on social media.
13. Sex is wonderful. It’s amazing; with the right person; at the right time.
14. Don’t just give yourself to anyone. Your body is precious.
15. Alcohol can be so liberating. It loosens you up and allows you to have a good time. But it is perfectly fine to stop when you feel like you want to. Don’t let yourself be pressured.
16. Remember that you can indeed say ‘no’ to people. Don’t just go along. It’s your life we’re talking about.
17. Respect and appreciate your relationships. No matter what.
18. Love will come. Don’t chase it. But while you wait, learn to love yourself first. It is so important to love who you are and be happy with the person looking back in the mirror.
19. Be mindful of what you can do to improve your future. Every day.
20. Wake up really early and enjoy those quiet moments before the busy day rolls in. Sit back and thoroughly plan your day. Your mind needs this.
21. Try and not hold any grudges. Let out any anger you might feel at that moment and just forget about it. You’re only punishing yourself.
22. Don’t be rude without a reason. Negative energy does exist. If something bad does not happen now, that doesn’t mean it will not happen later.
23. Don’t ever forget where you came from. Don’t forget who gave you life, who gave you wings and who supported you always.
24. Your future is bright. It will all be fine. You will be fine.
Of course, I have many more things I could write about. However, these are the most important ones to think about at the beautiful and difficult age of twenty-four. It’s your last year of adolescence, so make it count.