1. Applying for jobs you assume you’re under-qualified for. When you’re fresh out of college, it really feels like every job description requires you to have eight years experience and come loaded with at least three super powers for an ENTRY-LEVEL job. But that doesn’t mean you should talk yourself out of even trying.
2. Reaching out to people you assumed didn’t want to keep in touch. We never want to be the one who reaches out first, because in a way, it makes us vulnerable. Being the one who initiates plans makes you the one who wants it more, somehow. But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter who reaches out, and whoever you worry doesn’t want to hear from you likely does. You have nothing to lose by taking the first step.
3. Going on a trip abroad. There are a lot of reasons not to travel. Money hang ups and vacation day restrictions are 100% legitimate reasons to push the trip off until next year. But there’s also something to be said for committing to the idea, and then figuring out how to make it work money-wise. That doesn’t mean you need to book a flight tomorrow, but making travel a goal might make working and saving money feel even more purposeful.
4. Investing. No one WANTS to put their money away where they can’t see it, and can’t use it, but future-you will be forever grateful.
5. Being honest with people. Telling someone when you care about them. Telling someone when their behavior is offending you. Telling someone the things you bite back for no reason.
6. Being honest with yourself about how you really feel, or what you really want. Because no one else is going to do that for you – it has to be you.
7. Being compassionate, instead of brushing people off, because you think you’re supposed to be “strong.” Strength doesn’t come from being devoid of emotions, or being cold when someone first approaches you instead of welcoming. It doesn’t mean appearing overly confident and acting like you don’t need people. None of those things are synonymous with true “strength.”
8. Moving. Going somewhere new is daunting, not only because it involves putting yourself out there all over again, getting comfortable in a new place, and making a new home for yourself, but because of the preparation that has to be done beforehand.
9. Asking your parents for advice. It’s nearly impossible to imagine any parent as a 20-something, but if they’re ridiculous pictures with 70s/80s hair prove anything, it’s that they once lived their YOLO years and know what the ups and downs are like — at least in some respects.
10. Caring about the Superbowl half time show. You shouldn’t feel ashamed of your very real desire to watch and screen for potential nip slips. It’s a totally natural impulse.
11. Taking the high road. Always the less tempting route, but always the route you’ll prefer in the long run.
12. Putting money in savings, instead of spending it when the check hits your account. All the temptations around you can talk you out of this; the new purse you realllllly want, or a night out to celebrate the fact that you have money again. Don’t give in.
13. Telling someone how you really feel about them. There is never as much time as you think there will be to be honest about your feelings. People move. People get into relationships. Shit happens. Tell them now, before you miss your opportunity.
14. Admitting when a friendship isn’t working. The sooner you can admit it, the sooner you can work it out, or at least talk through things without feeling like there are empty obligations between you two.
15. Leaving a job you hate. Leaving security behind is terrifying, and I personally think it’s only a good idea if you have a) savings, and b) a plan. But all scariness aside, even when there’s something to be said for getting that year on your résumé, there’s also something to be said for getting the hell out of a toxic situation.
16. Watching reality TV. You are not above The Bachelorette. In fact, you are seriously missing out if you aren’t watching.
17. Trying online dating. It’s going down, I’m yellin’ Tinder.
18. Giving someone completely unexpected a chance. Because you likely have much less to lose than you stand to gain.
19. Staying in. Don’t succumb to the pressure if you don’t have the energy or the money. Skipping a night out never hurt anyone.
20. Dental hygiene. You need to floss. Every. Single. Day. Once your parents stop paying for your cavities, you realize how expensive they are, and you will never want to go back to the dentist’s office again. So start flossing.
21. Chasing down what you really want. Out of life. Out of your job. Out of your relationships. Don’t let your standards slip because you feel like you don’t deserve to keep them high. Don’t let your standards slip because you don’t want to make the effort to raise them.