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25 Life Lessons I've Learned At Age 25

'Twas the week of my birthday and all I could do was think. I pondered the meaning of life and all I've learned as I neared age 26.

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1. Your money habits during your college years will follow you. Spend Wisely.

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I'm kicking myself for the countless trips to Victoria's Secret in college with friends spending money I didn't have. Had I just put that money away, paid off student loans and budgeted my money better I wouldn't have had to ride the fiscal struggle bus in my early 20s.

2. Your relationship shouldn't resemble a Rihanna/Eminem music video.

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You know what I'm talking about: that hot, passionate, full-of-sparks but oh-so-dysfunctional relationship that's more hot and cold than a valu-pack of Icy Hot at your neighborhood CVS pharmacy. When it's good it's GREAT but when it's bad it's AWFUL, detrimental to your sanity, and does more harm than good. I call this the " Rihanna-Eminem-Set-The-House-On-Fire" relationship; it's toxic, it's a waste of your time and if you had any dignity or self respect you'd run the other way, and fast.

3. The best revenge is happiness.

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I once was a girl who loved to make a point when she's been scorned; also known as revenge. Wanna know the best way to get revenge? Do absolutely nothing. Just be happy. Show that person that you can live a beautiful life without them and the negativity they brought to your life. Shake it off, take a deep breath, and live your life.

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4. Social Media can ruin relationships.

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This tidbit of advice probably sounds strange coming from a social media marketer and blogger, but hear me out. My previous relationships were in the limelight of social media and it caused nothing but problems. Yah, we had a bazillion likes and dozens of people telling us what a cute, perfect couple we were but at the end of the day, but what did it do for us as a couple? Nothing. We were forced to portray a certain image online. I fell into a trap of worrying what everyone else thought. That took my time, attention, and focus away from what was truly important: the relationship itself.

5. Mom is (almost) always right.

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Much pride needed to be swallowed adding this to my list, not gonna lie.

I've always been one of those kids who needed to learn the hard way and this is what I've learned: more often than not, your mom knows you better than anyone...maybe even better than you know yourself. Nine times out of ten, my mom was right. It would have saved me a hell of a lot of heartache had I listened to her, and she may have one or two less grey hairs on her head (Sorry, Mom).

6. Do what you want.

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Forget what society says you should be: a housewife, a college graduate, a dutiful son or daughter.

A mom.

A husband.

Earning six figures at a 9-5 job you hate.

Who do you want to be? What do you want to do?

P.S. Somebody is going to always have some sort of unwanted commentary about how you're living your life. Tune it out, this is your life.

7. There's a difference between being spiritual and religious.

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I've discovered the difference between being spiritual and being religious. My spirituality strengthened once I stepped outside of the four confining walls of this box we all call religion.

I believe one's faith is a personal and private part of everyone's life, and nobody should depict what that should look like for anyone else except themselves. I can't tell you how many friends I have who have been cast out of their churches or driven away because someone thought they had the right to tell them how to live their life.

Your belief system, whatever that entails, should never be judged or criticized.

8. Your job should bring you to life, not make you dread the day.

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Aside from sleeping, most of your hours within your day are spent at work. Why spend the majority of your life doing something you hate? Who cares what Salary.com predicts you'll be making, do what you love. I guarantee, if you do something you love it'll never feel like work.

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9. Your body will change; love it anyway.

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You're going to put on weight. You're going to look bloated. You're going to age with time. It's life. Weight fluctuates, looks come and go, and we all go through changes.

Don't hate your body for it, love it anyway. Embrace it.

10. It's never too late.

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Do me a favor for a second: check your pulse. Ya breathing? Well then that would mean that you're still alive. Guess what? As long as you're alive, you have the power to start over. It's never too late to be who you want to be. What are you waiting for?

11. A boy will be intimidated by your success, a man will love you for it.

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This one is for the ladies. In a society where the strength and success of the professional woman is rising, it's important you find a partner that loves and respects you for it. If he cops an attitude about or acts intimidated then it's probably time to move on. Find someone who loves you for the strong, independent, capable woman you are.

12. Your body will kick you in the ass if you don't take care of it.

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You only have one body, and at some point it will get your attention and tell you to slow the F*** down. Give your body a break. Sleep more. Eat right. Otherwise, you'll be spending years trying to bring it back to normalcy.

13. Justin Timberlake is and will always be sexy.

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This one has absolutely nothing to do with life lessons or any sort of sage advice I've learned over the last 25 years I just felt the need to tell you that Justin Timberlake has been and always will be the sexiest man on the planet.

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14. The wedding isn't the finish line.

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So many of us think that's it, ya know? Find the guy or girl, get married, and then live happily ever after. I think our generation has deemed getting married, buying a house and having kids as our "Certificate of Achievement" if you want to be an adult who has their shit together. Not necessarily. Everybody has a different timeline, set of goals, hopes, and dreams. Getting married is just one of many routes one can take on this journey called life.

15. Karma is a bitch.

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I say this as somebody who has been kicked in the Latina ass by Karma, but also as someone who is waiting for Karma to strike those who certainly deserve it. It all goes back to the golden rule that our parents taught us: treat others as you wish to be treated. Follow that and you won't have anything to worry about.

16. Not everybody is going to like you.

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I've spent far too much time trying to get everyone to like me. Some people are just not going to like you. Invest your time, energy, and love on those who are worthy of it.

17. At the end of the day, it always comes back to family.

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Maybe it's not your blood-related family, but everybody has a group of people who love them unconditionally. A family is a place to find comfort and support. They're your people. They're the ones who you know that no matter what you did or who you've been they'll welcome you back with open arms. Cherish them. Love them. Appreciate them. Family is everything.

18. At some point your past will knock on your door. Don't answer.

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The past may be disguised as an ex-boyfriend, a decision you made coming back to haunt, or a reoccurring thought you can't seem to shake. Your past will try to haunt you and I've found it seems to usually be at a high point in our lives. So when the past taps you on the shoulder, don't look back. Press on, keep moving forward, let it be.

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19. You'll probably be poor in your 20s. Deal with it.

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There was a point post-college where I was seriously listing nearly everything but my right kneecap on Ebay in an effort to have extra money. Okay, slight exaggeration, but really....I was poor. With hard work and dedication, this too shall pass.

20. It's okay to not be okay.

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I've suffered with anxiety and depression for almost 10 of my 25 years. I dealt with it alone for the majority of that time. When someone would ask if I was okay my default response would be " I'm Fine". Here's the honest to God truth: I wasn't fine. So many people aren't fine and by the time people find out that they weren't find, it's too late.

It's okay to not be okay. Just ask someone for help. You'd be surprised who's suffering too.

21. Hurting people hurt people.

Author and Motivational Speaker Joel Osteen says it best:

“Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome. The last thing they need is for you to make matters worse by responding angrily.”

22. You can't half-ass love.

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Love is something you do whole heartedly. Notice I said "do." That's because love is a verb, love is an action. It's something you choose to do day in and day out. Society has warped our definition of love, suggesting its a feeling that should only feel good and if it stops feeling good then we must have fallen out of love. If that's how you feel, then you don't know what love is. Love is a choice. Love when it's hard, love when it's easy. Love with everything you have.

23. "Water Seeks the Lowest Level"

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"Water Seeks the Lowest Level" was something my mom used to always say to us growing up.

"HUH?" was our confused reaction in the backseat as she lectured us via the rearview mirror. My mom was telling us to spend our time with those who build us up, who make us want to be better, who challenge us. It's human nature to conform to those around us, so ask yourself: are those around you going to lift you higher, or cause you to stay stagnant?

24. Date yourself.

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It's important to date yourself regardless if you're single, dating, married, divorced.

That sounds really weird and very Oprah-New-Age-Hippie-ish, doesn't it? It's important though. Spoil yourself. Buy yourself something when you have a successful day at work. Splurge on a new pair of yogas when you hit your weight loss goal. Take yourself out for a cupcake, dammit.

Love yourself...you deserve it.

25. You become what you think.

Here's a challenge for you: throughout your day, assess your thoughts and feelings. Are they positive, or are they negative?

Last year I made the conscious decision to reframe my thoughts that raced through my mind at a million miles per hour. I replaced thoughts of doubt with ones of courage, thoughts highlighting my weaknesses with thoughts of my strengths. I replaced seeds of negativity with continued positivity. In turn, my life began to change.

Choose to walk through life looking through the lenses of positivity...life won't seem as scary, I promise.

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