I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my age recently. Where I see myself in 5 years, in 5 months even. What it means to be a year out of college. The fact that I’m not working in the public health field like so many of my peers.
At the age of 23 I feel pretty confident in my choices. I feel as though I have definitely learned a thing or two that would have been nice to know 3 or 5 years ago. Of course, the whole point is finding out the hard way, right? Here is a list of 23 things, big and small, that I consider to be lessons learned.
1.Without a doubt, you will always be your biggest critic. Don’t set constant expectations that get in the way of you actually enjoying yourself. If you’re a perfectionist, give yourself room to breathe.
2. Be comfortable with your own presence. You will be with yourself the rest of your life. Venture out on your own if you tend to be only in groups. If you’re constantly wanting to evolve yourself in some way for the sake of yourself, make it a priority.
3. It is never too early to organize finances and constantly be aware of your expenditures. It’s not all boring or stressful, saving up money for traveling or things that are important to you can be a very rewarding experience.
4. Do not hold on to one-sided relationships. I’ve been so much better at simply eliminating one-sided relationships that made me feel as though I was giving more than I was receiving. It’s unfortunate and sad sometimes to move on, but you don’t want negative influences. Surround yourself with people that believe in you.
5. Keep your passport in a specific location at all times. Not just when you’re traveling, even when you’re home. Putting your passport somewhere random is not “safe-keeping.”
6. If you need to wear a fanny pack to avoid losing your ID at the Gorge and shamefully picking it up at the guest services station, just wear it. Trust me.
7. Drinking alcohol should only be consumed when you actually want to. There will always be events, parties, and people to go with. If you want to sip kombucha on a Saturday and have your own spa night with your cat, do it. There are no rules.
8. Please, do leave high school behind you. Don’t dwell, hold grudges, or divert back to your shortcomings. There is a reason it was only 4 years of your life. No need to relive it.
9. Take compliments. As a person who gets slightly bashful or makes a joke out of compliments I receive, I’ve learned to accept them. Weird lesson learned huh.
10. There is nothing wrong with being selective. Do not succumb to the idea that being single means you have to spend your free time “swiping right.” The downsides of online dating apps include your thumb getting sore and stumbling across someone in your high school class. So awkward.
11. Build up a wardrobe with pieces that allow you to get ready in 10 minutes, without looking like you got dressed in the dark. Hint: more neutrals.
12. When buying a pair of nice jeans, do make sure you go a size down. This avoids literally feeling $100 slipping off your waist. Jeans stretch out a lot, apparently.
13. Experience a customer service job at least once. I’ve been in both the retail and restaurant industries, and it has humbled me as a person. When I go to stores I never make a mess, and when I go to restaurants I’m never high maintenance. Because I know what it’s like on the other side. Don’t be disrespectful to people in these roles.
14. Find a routine that works for you and be diligent about keeping it. As a blogger I have to constantly manage myself, or work doesn’t get done.
15. Do not sleep in your makeup. Ever.
16. Break the pattern of negativity between competitive females. Support other women. We really can all coexist, I promise. (Sorry guys, that was gender specific)
17. Say yes more often. Sometimes, getting a little less sleep or going outside your comfort zone for a new experience is so crucial to putting yourself out there.
18. Always network. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, constantly consider chances to network. The world is full of opportunity, and the more you connect with people that might open an awesome door for you, the better. Worst case scenario you have enlightening conversation.
19. Have conversations of substance. I recently spent two hours with good wine after work discussing religion and culture with a complete stranger I was introduced to. Learning about his travels and how we views other cultures was refreshing. Sophistication in your 20’s also shows people that the millennial generation is a force to be reckoned with.
20. Be brave. Take some chances. You are not a byproduct of something bigger, you are your own person. You can make mistakes and take the road less traveled. You can take that road ten times. Don’t pressure yourself to fit the mold.
21. Have global awareness. Tune in to the news. Don’t be the only one in the happy hour group that doesn’t know more than the news headline.
22. Ask for help if you need it. To other individuals that prefer to do it all alone: sometimes it is just the right thing to do to ask for some support. You’re not weak, you have those people around you for a reason.
23. Love yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should someone else? ❤
I hope these 23 things were insightful! I hope you had a productive and amazing week. xx