Last month, I turned the whopping 25. Commence the quarter-life crisis… Truthfully, I can’t exactly describe how I pictured myself at 25, but I can tell you it’s not where I am right now: Living with my roomies (I refer to them as mom and dad – but you can call them whatever you’d like), single, unemployed, and fairly confident I am still hungover from two weekends ago.
However, after four to six vodka sprites, the clock struck midnight on the anniversary of my birth and while I was sure as hell no Cinderella, I could now rent the unaffordable car of my dreams so who’s the real winner here?? (Don’t answer that). During the next few weeks being my quarter of a century self, I began to realize 25 things that I wanted everyone in my boat to realize too…
1. Hangovers are now hell. I got this one out of the way first because I’m sure you already know it. I, too, cannot believe that in 2015 we don’t have a better cure for this, but I’m working on a patent for an over-the-counter IV of Diet Pepsi – don’t you fret!
2. My parents are two of the coolest people I know. I actually enjoy hanging out with them. Shout out to them being the best DDs I could ever ask for because home girl still hasn’t figured out how to handle happy hour.
3. They’re coming… Full force. Full speed. They will hit you like a wrecking ball. No, I’m not talking about Miley Cyrus’ questionable Instagram posts. I’m talking about the marriage proposals and baby announcements from all your friends. I’m not anywhere close to that point in my life nor do I want to be. Do you recall the Miracle of Life video in high school health class? Hard pass, but I’m happy for you all.
4. When are you going to bring a nice boy home for Christmas? If I had a dollar for the amount of times I’ve avoided this question, my student loans would be a breeze. Anyone know a quick and easy way I can explain to my grandma that I changed my Siri voice to an Australian male to get a little more testosterone in my life? Either way, being single right now is normal. Slow down on the right swipes and relax.
5. Take time to figure out your passion. I feel like I have more degrees than a thermometer and it’s hard to admit after seven years of college that I don’t know what I want be when I “grow up.” I thought I should know exactly by now. I know what I like to do. I know what my degree is, and I slightly know what I’m good at, but my type-A Venn diagrams haven’t pointed me in the right direction yet. I’ll keep looking, and you should too.
6. Speaking of growing up… I refuse to do so. I’ll do the full-time job gig. I’ll save money and join a retirement system. All of those important adult things, but I will never stop laughing at inappropriate things or animal GIFs. Why? Because you’re never too old to have fun.
7. TWENTY-FIVE. IS. NOT. OLD. I didn’t realize this at first. I dreaded this birthday for weeks, if not months. Then I realized only living ¼ of your life is like only eating ¼ of the loaded fries in front of you… and we all know that’s nothing.
8. People are different and that’s totally okay. We all have different stories, flaws, insecurities, talents, and skills. That is what makes this world so exciting. Accept everyone for who they are.
9. Your world is filled with two types of people. There are the people that will lift you up and help you through life. And there are the people that will drag you down – deeper and deeper. Rid yourself of the latter. Right now.
10. Your friend count will lessen but they’ll also become stronger. I hit a huge roadblock when I graduated college – I didn’t have my best friends within five minutes of me. It’s tough, but here’s why it’ll be okay: those friends listen differently. They listen fully. If you don’t have someone like that, find one. And be that person when your friends need it.
11. Your friends’ opinions on who you are dating are worth something. At least take time to listen to them. If they hate your significant other, it could be a red flag. Remember, they know you; hear them out.
12. Ask for help. If you are depressed, sad, hurting, I know it’s not easy to do, tell someone. Tell anyone. If they don’t listen or don’t care, please refer back to #9.
13. I’ve finally fully accepted that I’ll never be able to rock a pantsuit. If you’re a female that can, you are a gifted, beautiful creature and I’d like to give you a high-five. TEACH ME YOUR WAYS.
14. Not every decision is going to be a right one. You cannot be afraid to try something new or take a risk. Mistakes will be made… which brings us to #15.
15 All mistakes can teach you something. I wholeheartedly believe that people look at failure too negatively. It’s inevitable. Take your failures as a lesson not a fall. Do not ever let your mistakes become your identity, but always remember what your mistakes have taught you.
16. Be honest. Something in our brain paralyzes honesty. I read once that it’s a lack of courage that prevents us from being honest. What if I told you that the large majority of our peers are in the same place – say what you feel.
17. We don’t really know what we’re doing most of the time… but the thing is we’re all in this together. We are all trying to figure life out.
18. Forgive. Forgive the high school jock that teased you about having a uniboob in gym class. Forgive your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend that broke your heart. You know that Kelly Clarkson hit, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” Those jerks made you who you are today. They made you a better person.
19. Stop hating people by association. Just because he cheated on your roommate’s cousin does not mean you HAVE to give him the cold shoulder. The same goes for that girl you’re giving dirty looks because she hooked up with your best friend’s boyfriend three years ago. You only “hate” them because someone told you that you should. We need to stop creating judgments of others based on everyone else’s opinions.
20. What you believe is important. We all play a part in the world. Millennials can and will change the world. We are by far the most educated generation. We know technology like the back of our hand. Get out there and show your skills. If we don’t use what we know, who will?
21. Your dreams are very achievable. Don’t ever stop working towards them. We live in a world where a mere 8 years ago our phones flipped open and had *gasp* buttons! Look where we are now. Our possibilities are endless.
22. The way we treat each other matters. This is simple. Smile at strangers and be kind.
23. Look around. There is so much to see. Travel. Take pictures. Go somewhere with no cell service every once and awhile.
24. You are beautiful. As much as society tells you otherwise, you are made up of more than your looks. If you are smart, kind, funny, strong, everything about you is beautiful… Remember that.
25. Above all, do not be afraid to be YOU. Do not change for anyone but yourself. Be in love with who you are. Embrace what makes you original.