I just realized that I am going to be 25 years old this summer. 25. Yes, Halfway to 50. Yikes.
So here are 24 things that I have learned in my 24 years of existence.
1. Always wear sunscreen. Indoors and out. I have worn it everyday since I was 22. I can’t believe that it took me 22 years to figure out that my Irish blood does not tan very easily. I peel like a mofo and my nose is constantly red if I forget to wear it on a sunny day. You know those nights when you go to the bars and get carded? And then for an instant you feel really young? Yea…I credit that to my spf 15 moisturizer.
2. If you are bothered by something or have something on your mind, talk about it. At least write it down. My boyfriend is constantly doing things that irritate me. I think that is part of a relationship…..Anyways, if he did something that I cannot stop thinking about, I text, email, talk to him about it. I get it off my chest. And then I let it go…. A.K.A. “Nic you need to stop leaving empty pop cans all over the living room”. There. It is off my chest. I can stop fuming about it….
3. Processed carbohydrates and sugars are super nasty. Instead of dumping tablespoon after tablespoon of sugar into your tea, opt for some agave syrup or pure honey. Buy whole wheat bread and pasta. Grind your own peanut (or cashew, almond) butter at your local Co-op. Don’t buy Jif. Look at the ingredient list on that stuff….ew.
4. Make new friends. Don’t be shy. Go to events that interest you and you will meet people with the same interests. Duh….if they are there, they probably have at least one common interest with you. Get their number. Facebook them. Then invite them out for drinks sometime with your friends. It works every time. That is how I meet my friends.
5. Who cares what you major in at college or what your GPA is? It doesn’t matter at all. All that matters is the internships that you get, your interpersonal skills, your work ethic, and most importantly – the connections that you make. I didn’t get my job because of how great I was in class. I got it because of who I knew. Make friends with the professors and they will hook you up with a sweet internship or job. I know wayyyyy to many people that are so obsessed with school and maintaining their GPA, yet they have no work ethic or even any work experience. Without great personal skills, experience and connections….you will go no where.
6. Stay active and you will never complain about being out of shape. I don’t go to the gym everyday…or even every week. But instead of driving places, I walk. I take my dogs out everyday to the dog park or for a hike in the woods. Just get outside and get on your bike. Ride to work. You will save money on gas and be really energized by the time you get there!
7. Enjoy your own company. Go out to lunch alone and people watch. I do it all the time! Walk around town and window shop by yourself. I have some friends that absolutely refuse to go places alone. They feel like everyone will be looking at them because they are solo. Just because a friend cant make it to that concert or play tonight, doesn’t mean that you cant go by yourself. If you can’t enjoy your own company, how do you expect anyone else to enjoy your company?
8. Wear whatever the hell you want. And if you know me, you know that I stay true to this one 😉 If someone judges you because of how you dress…they probably suck. My style is what makes me who I am. I don’t mind going to the store in bright rain boots, a skirt and a hat. I dress however I please. I have had people look at what I am wearing and say “are you really going out in that?” Those kind of comments just make me want to dress more eclectic and crazy. Patterns and colors don’t have to match. Just be who you are.
9. Cook at home instead of going out to eat. You will save tons of money, and have leftovers for lunch the next day or two. Plus, it is fun! I love trying new recipes and inviting friends over to help me eat them.
10. If someone makes you feel bad about yourself….get rid of them. There are over 300 million people in America. I am sure you will meet more friends. Why keep hanging out with someone that kills your self-esteem? I have lost several friends over the years because they are rude, inconsiderate or just make situations bad. And guess what? I made better, more respectful friends that support me and what I do.
11. Memories are worth way more than money. It may seem impossible, but it is true. I went to Puerto Rico last month and was on a tight budget. There was a sailing trip that a friend and I really wanted to do but it was $50. For some reason, I almost bailed out on sailing because it cost too much money. Then I thought, “really? $50 isn’t that much. Shit, I spend that much at the bars on a weekend. I may never get to do this again”. So I spent the money and did the trip. It was the best $50 that I had ever spent. I will never regret it. So don’t bail out on cool things because they cost a little extra than you wanted to spend. Just do it. Rent that pricey cabin in the backwoods instead of staying at a cheap motel in town. The memories that you make will always be worth more than the few bucks you save.
12. Don’t buy the cheapest version. Buy the second cheapest. Vodka, electronics, shampoo. I save a lot of money this way and still get some good stuff. If you buy the cheapest stuff, you are guaranteed to get crap. But the second cheapest is some medium quality product! Think of it this way…. 5-O clock vodka or take the next step up and get Smirnoff….Yea. Smirnoff.
13. Floss. For realz. It’s pretty gratifying in a slightly disgusting way.
14.Buy second hand. Everything. Clothes, jewelry, furniture, wine glasses. I love resale shopping. You find some really cool, unique stuff! Why would you go to a store and pay full price for expensive picture frames, when you could get a few for 99 cents and slap some paint on them? No one will notice.
15. Don’t make excuses. Just man up and do it. If friends ask you to go out for drinks and you say that you don’t want to spend the money, go anyways and get a water. It will be way more fun that sitting at home in front of the TV. And if you realllllly don’t want to do something, come up with a better excuse than “I’m tired” or “I have so much homework”. We all know that you are staying up playing farmville… I bail on things all of the time. Mainly, I just want to relax because I am on the go too much. But at least I tell people straight-up that I don’t feel like going to do something. I admit that I am lazy. Haha.
16. Don’t ask questions if you can’t handle the answers. If you are a little chubby, don’t ask someone if that outfit makes you look fat. If you know the answer, just keep it to yourself. And never ask your boyfriend if he has slept with that girl that keeps writing on his facebook wall. You may not hear what you want to hear.
17. Be spontaneous. Get on the dance floor and bust a move. Drive 30 miles to that restaurant that you have been wanting to try. Make the last minute decision to go on a camping trip for the weekend. Make your life a little exciting.
18. Budget. a)Figure out how much you make a month, and b)how much your bills are. Then subtract B from A. This is how much money you have to spend. It is pretty easy. I have been doing it for a while and I never overdraft my account. Sometimes it can be a little depressing, but at least you are not in the dark about your expenses. And if B is higher than A. You need to get a better paying job, or cut back on your spending!
19. Learn how to edit photos. I hate it when people post pictures with red-eye and the skyline is all crooked. Download a good photo editing software and fix it before you share it. It is really easy. Plus, you can make blemishes non-existent for your profile pictures 🙂
20. Don’t argue with stupid people. It will only make others questions your own intelligence. When someone says something absolutely absurd or incorrect, just stare at them. Some people can’t handle being wrong. so just let them think they are right. Be the bigger man.
21. Volunteer. Walk dogs at the humane society, plant flowers in town, help out with charity events. You will feel a lot better about yourself and you will meet amazing people. I started walking dogs at the local shelter years ago. It is a great feeling to run and play with a dog that has been locked in a cage all day. You bond with the animals. And it’s an even greater feeling to see that dog get adopted. I try to help out with local events as much as possible. I feel more a part of the community.
22. Do NOT be lazy on the weekends. You gotta milk those 2 days for all they are worth. Don’t sleep in too late because you will waste the day away. Get up early and have breakfast with a friend. Load up the car and go fishing. Take a day trip to a state park. Do not spend your weekends inside in front of the tv. I have really learned this since I started working a full-time job. It may be tempting to relax and do nothing. But why do I work 40 hours a week? So I can sit at home and sleep in on Saturday? No. So I can have fun and do the things that I love!
23. Keep in touch with old friends. With facebook, skype, cell phones, etc. there is no excuse. If you are reminiscing about times with a high school friend, text them. They will love knowing that you are thinking of them. I love getting random texts from people that I haven’t seen in forever. Plus, if you keep in touch with them, you may have a couch to crash on when you come to their town 🙂
24. Always act like you know what you’re doing. Even if you really don’t. Confidence is everything in the world now-a-days. Walk into a job interview thinking that you can conquer the company. Ask that cute boy at the bar for a dance. You will be surprised at how far confidence will get you.