Most life lessons can only be truly understood through hindsight. Growing up, maturing and actually becoming an adult is a long, sometimes frustrating process.
It’s okay if you don’t have your entire life plan mapped out, keep switching your major, or have no idea what you want out of a relationship—or if you even want one at all. Hell, it’s even okay if sometimes you feel like more than half the decisions you make are based on you just simply winging it.
Just make sure that, every now and then, you are checking in with yourself to make sure you are progressing, not regressing, and that, although it may not be happening as quickly as you want it to, you are learning from your mistakes and making a solid effort at becoming a good person.
Below are 25 things you should know before you are 25—and if you’re not there yet, rest assured that you still have some time.
1. When to cut yourself off at the bar. Blacking out is not cute and it does not make you cool.
2. How to make a sincere apology and actually mean it. Hint: It doesn’t involve an excuse.
3. How to apply your makeup without looking like a clown. Not saying you have to wear it, but it’s a skill a woman should have in her back pocket. Also, how to take it off before bed—even when you’re drunk!
4. Your own self-worth, and to be able to recognize when you’re not getting what you deserve.
5. How to put together a decent resume and write a killer cover letter.
6. When to keep your opinions to yourself, which is most of the time, unless you are specifically asked for it. Even then, make sure you aren’t hurting someone with your honesty.
7. Phone etiquette, a.k.a putting it the f*ck down when you are in public or talking to another human being.
8. How to effectively manage your time and find a healthy work/life balance.
9. Your female friendships matter.
10. Money can’t buy happiness, and it is always better to spend money on experiences, not material items.
11. How to dress for your body type.
12. When and how to follow your own instincts rather than the advice of other people.
13. Which one of your friends and acquaintances actually have your best interests at heart.
14. When someone is toxic and is more harmful to have in your life than they are helpful.
15. How to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty.
16. How to file your taxes.
17. How to budget and live within your means rather than living paycheck to paycheck.
18. How to negotiate, ask for a raise, or promotion at work.
19. Hard work often beats talent, and the things worth having rarely come easy.
20. Your attitude largely determines your circumstances—and your life is ultimately a reflection of your thoughts.
21. How to control your thoughts and stop negative self-talk.
22. The difference between your wants and your needs.
23. How to cook without using a microwave.
24. You never know what someone else’s life is actually like—and that social media is not an accurate reflection of someone’s life.
25. How to be alone and single without feeling unlovable or anxious all the time.