25 Life Lessons To Learn Before You’re 25

This year, let’s give back. So instead of writing some pseudo-narcissistic article about woe-is-me on my birthday, I’m hoping these tidbits of inspiration can help you in your journey (or at least aid in avoiding the same fuck ups that I did). Good luck, you’ll need it.

1. Learn to cease seeking approval from your parents.

2. Now that you’ve learned that, unlearn everything you have been taught to know about yourself. Discover and define who you are on your own terms.

3. Run away just once in your life. Seriously, just drop everything. You don’t have to go away for good, you can always make it a quickie getaway trip the next town over, but go where absolutely no one knows who you are, no matter how uncomfortable that makes you feel. Book a train, bus, or plane ticket to somewhere and don’t look back. Do things you would never do. Talk to people at a coffee shop when you normally would never approach them first. But why make a mess out of your perfectly good routine, you ask?

4. I understood myself only after I destroyed myself, and only in the process of fixing myself did I know who I really am.

5. Stop being scared to look like an idiot. Chances are you already look like it trying not to look like it, so you might as well do justice to the task at hand and give it your all.

6. Never get into anything half-assed, especially relationships. If it feels like you’re the only one emotionally invested in a friendship where the other person is “too busy” to hang out with you UNTIL they’ve got a problem, light the match and burn that bridge.

7. It is necessary to cut out people of your life and never look back. Friends, best friends, family, or parents. Let go of people who no longer contribute to your growth. I mean it! If your father has walking all over you, walk away. Because if not now, when?

8. When you do let go of anyone or anything, let go gracefully.

9. Like scrolling past a stupid Facebook post or petty meme about your favorite TV character instead of writing a raging litany about it in the comment section. Practice the art of scrolling past irrelevant noise.

10. It’s not cool to hate things and constantly talk about it – it’s boring and exhausting. It’s okay to like the color pink; it’s okay to like Spice Girls; it’s okay to dress hipster; it’s okay to like using Facebook. No, she’s not a hoe for often wanting to go clubbing. No, he’s not a faggot for not wanting to get pissed drunk. Annoyed that some girl puts quotes as captions for her selfies? Get over it.

11. You are a reflection of the type of media you choose to consume.

12. People will always find something to dislike and sometimes that will be you, and that’s fine because they are them and you are you. Don’t let anyone’s opinion of you dictate how you feel because people’s perception are always limited to what they see and hear. You know yourself and that is enough. If it isn’t, change that.

13. Just because you disagree with someone else does not mean you have to fight about it.

14. People always find out the truth, always. Think twice before you spill your guts in the heat of the moment like how annoyed you are at your workmate to a person you think you trust.

15. Actually, practice not saying anything bad about anyone. Sure, eventually getting irked at someone is normal. But as much as possible, if you don’t have something nice to say, better to zip it than regret it because you’ll either be hurting someone or (eventually end up) hurting yourself. Practice distancing yourself from negativity, especially if it’s coming out of your own mouth, and try to see how many days you can go without gossiping or backstabbing. See what that does for you.

16. I am more powerful (and hot) than everyone who has hurt me. We are only as hurt as we allow ourselves to be.

17. Self-confidence is good and is much better than self-loathing. Don’t stress about being mocked “overly confident” as long as you know where you stand. The label “over-confident” sometimes exists in the eyes of people who lack any.

18. RESPECT other people’s “No.”

19. If someone cheats on you or fucks you over, dump his/her ass. Cut the “But I love them!” BS. Stop putting up with other people’s shit. You’ve got enough of your own to deal with.

20. Open your mind and realize you are but a tiny microscopic blip in the universe. Do not let this frighten or discourage you, let it humble you. Travel and experience as much as you can. Most especially, experience the humans around you. Be aware of everything and everyone – the environment you are surrounded by and even the wars and civil conflicts in SEVERAL countries hundreds of miles away from your own.

21. For the love of Jesus Christ, realize romantic love is not the only form of love and that being in a relationship does not ever equate to happiness.

22. Cut your hair, get a tattoo, experiment with whatever make-up you want. Be ugly. When your heart loses your fear of looking ugly, it has more space to love yourself. (If someone is rude enough to make you feel crap about your haircut like “You look more beautiful with long hair! I liked you better then.” then reply with “Then grow your own damn hair, John.”)

23. Realize self-respect comes from yourSELF. You could be a stripper, or have had 50 one-night-stands, or eat the jellybean that fell on the floor, and still respect yourself. Do whatever you want, dude. Do you.

24. You shouldn’t have to convince someone to want you so stop trying. Find someone who knows what they want is you.

25. People will either like you or they won’t, and that’s okay. Learn to like yourself instead. TC mark

I asked women to be honest about their Instagram photos

“The essays in this book are short and sweet, and incredible. Love love loved this.” — Alex

“I’m so in love with this book! It’s so moving and some of the stories bring me to tears not because it’s sad, but because it’s relatable and shows that we’re not alone.” — Kendra

This is the reality of Instagram...

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