1. How to be independent. Sort of. Independence means that you have some sense of self-reliance in navigating through life, using your best judgment, reason, and resources.
2. How to ask for help with humility. Surprise, surprise, you will need help in your twenties; probably more than you thought you would. And you will have to know when to close your eyes, and remember what your knees are for as you call a parent, sibling, friend, mentor, etc., when you find yourself in need.
3. How important family is. I understand that not every family deserves praise but for many people, it really hits you just how darn lucky you are to have reliable people who are always there when it matters. And you will regret all those silly adolescent moments in your past when you “just couldn’t wait to leave home.”
4. How many few real friends you have and how great it is to have real friends at all. You will watch the numbers of friends you have become smaller and smaller. But you will also hopefully maintain and even make some indispensable bonds.
5. How to be practical rather than optimistic about your finances. Because bills, bills, bills…and they are now a fact of life.
6. How to save money for a rainy day because rainy days in life are inevitable.
7. How to communicate what you need from any relationship. Because if you don’t ask, you shall not receive.
8. How to be kind to others and expect nothing in return. Because that is what part of being a good person means.
9. That not every battle is worth winning and some are not even worth fighting for.
10. That it is better to suffer and be true to your beliefs and principles than to live in deceit. But more importantly, that your principles are actually from your own discernment.
11. That you are not always right about people, and that first impressions aren’t everything.
12. That people, no matter how different they may seem from you, deserve a base-level human respect.
13. That the majority isn’t always right; and the majority isn’t always wrong.
14. How to let go of painful childhood memories. Because you can leave some things in your past behind, and you don’t need to be defined by them.
15. That people will disappoint you, even people who you would have bet on. That you have to learn to forgive them. And sometimes, you have to learn to forget them.
16. That people will surprise you; sometimes complete and total strangers will be the ones to stick their neck out for you.
17. That most people are doing the best they can with what life is throwing at them.
18. That even though people don’t change very quickly, they can change.
19. That YOU can change.
20. That nobody but you is responsible for your happiness.
21. That the world owes you very little.
22. That failure is inevitable but it is not the end of the story.
23. That you can pick yourself up even after the biggest failures and the most painful disappointments.
24. That you are very lucky and blessed to be alive at all.
25. That despite circumstances, injustices, obstacles, and fear, you have even the tiniest power within you to try to live a good, worthy life.