25 Life Lessons I Learned at 25

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I don’t know if it’s just me but when I finally hit 25, it felt like some sort of little achievement or milestone. No, I still haven’t found answers to life’s mind-boggling questions nor have I discovered a cure for a disease. I’ve lived and was given this new chapter in life—and that alone feels a whole lot of something to me.

I’m not saying that I’m this sudden expert at life because I’m clearly not. I’m just like any other 25-year-olds out there, still figuring things out day by day, experience by experience. But there are some things that I’ve learned and the key word being “I”. These are my personal thoughts and while they may not be applicable to all twenty-somethings out there, I’m just hoping that someone somewhere could get something out of what I’ve learned so far. To each his own.

  1. I once had a boss a la Miranda Priestly in Devil Wears Prada. It made me realize that three things: leadership based on fear doesn’t earn any kind of respect; there’s more to life than a toxic work environment that makes me feel scared; and I can easily take control of my life by choosing what things can affect me.
  2. Save up then spend what’s left of your salary. All twenty-somethings could use a lesson in frugality once in a while. I, for one, never want to have that feeling of waiting for my next paycheck because I spent the previous one without thinking. Living from paycheck to paycheck is not fun at all.
  3. There are a lot of ways to earn money only if you’re willing to really work hard for it. I learned to maximize what I can do—I taught dance classes, sold some of the stuff I don’t use anymore, and started from the bottom of the corporate ladder just to name a few.
  4. You might not know exactly what you want to do forever, but you’ll know what you won’t want to do with a bit of trial and error. I worked a couple of corporate jobs before realizing that it’s not for me and then switched to full-time freelancing instead. And I never regretted it nor do I feel like I miss that world.
  5. When it comes to friendship as you grow older—it’s should be quality over quantity. Having acquaintances is good but having a small yet solid group of your closest friends is all you really need.
  6. Some people leave college but never outgrow their college ways. Whether it’s in the way they think, act, or the things they say… some people (sometimes including myself) can’t help but revert to our old and immature ways.
  7. Family first. Just put some effort into showing them how much you value them while you can—remember that parents get old and you and your siblings are bound to have your own families someday as well.
  8. Staying single can be a beautiful thing. Don’t rush into relationship after relationship just for the heck of it. Taking a breather from it all and enjoying life by yourself can teach you a lot of things.
  9. Everyone will experience heartbreak and heartache, but it’s up to you how you deal with it. Take the road less traveled towards self-discovery instead of just drowning yourself with booze and all the negative emotions in the world. Fight hard to find the silver lining even when you’re at your lowest.
  10. Traveling is one of the best investments you’ll make. Traveling, and not just having a vacation, gives you a whole new perspective on life and a set of unique experiences that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. Instead of buying that expensive bag, put that money into your travel fund.
  11. Live simply so that others may simply live. It’s perfectly fine to splurge and give into the temptation of material things from time to time, but always remember that you can also put your money into good use through charity. Even just a little percentage of your money can go a long way for those who are in dire need.
  12. You’re blessed beyond belief no matter how you feel like you have nothing. Other people literally have nothing in their lives. Always be thankful and focus on what you have instead of what you’re lacking.
  13. Every day is a blank sheet. A new day used in thinking about the past is a day wasted. Make the most out of the clean slate you’re given with each sunrise.
  14. Self-entitlement can be your downfall. Never expect people in the real world to hand things over to you on a silver platter. If you want it, you have to earn it.
  15. Compare yourself to others but instead of letting jealousy ruin you, make it your motivation to strive and work harder. I have friends who I admit are more successful than I am but I don’t let that fact deter me from focusing on my own achievements. Instead, I let them inspire me with their work ethics and creativity.
  16. Love yourself. It doesn’t only mean treating and spoiling yourself to spas or to a shopping spree, but more of accepting both your assets and flaws and knowing what you truly deserve in life.
  17. Make time for those quiet moments. It’s important to relax your mind and body once in a while in order to keep you energized for all the stress and problems that each day brings.
  18. It helps to maneuver your strong negative emotions into something more positive. It takes some time and lots of discipline but learning how to make something good out of something bad could work wonders as you encounter a lot of challenges growing up.
  19. Chances are, you’re already taking some people for granted this very moment. Don’t. This is admittedly one of my biggest weaknesses because I’m really not expressive. But in a way, I’m slowly learning how to overcome it and show the important people in my life how much I appreciate them.
  20. Your fashion sense will get better in time. It might take some time and lots of worst dressed scenarios, but as you identify more of who you are, it’s a strong possibility that your personal taste in fashion will follow suit and improve as well.
  21. Time does heal wounds. Just be patient enough to work through whatever you’re going through day by day, and you’ll be surprised to wake up one day and realize that you’ve finally moved past it. Take the good from these experiences and leave all the shit behind.
  22. It’s okay to be scared and worried about your future, but do something about it. Don’t let the fear paralyze you, but instead let it wake you up. You may not have the solution right away but make sure to just keep moving, instead of waiting for the answer come to you.
  23. Value your health because you’re not getting any younger. What you do to your body now will reflect on how healthy you’ll be when you get older. A simple workout or healthy eating a day can do a lot of wonders for the future.
  24. Never make important decisions or pass on rash judgments while inebriated or while you’re drowning in anger and hate. It’s hard to take control over strong emotions but it worked for my benefit in saving my dignity and gaining respect from others and myself.
  25. Always, ALWAYS choose to be the better person in any situation. Don’t opt to be the bad guy just because it’s easier and it gives you a momentary high. It pays to be kind and not hold grudges even when you’re being put down. Bad karma is a bitch, good karma is rewarding.