At 24 years old, I feel like I’ve already learnt a lot about what is important and what perhaps isn’t. I have decided to compile a list of 15 lessons that I have learnt in my early twenties – please take everything you read with a pinch of salt. I am not claiming to be a guru, and I certainly do not know everything. BUT, this is what I have learnt and I would love to know if you experience similar thought processes. Enjoy.
1. The big wide world is not as scary as you think. Leaving university after studying for 4 years gave me major anxiety as I felt that I was out of the bubble of ‘real life’ for too long. But, turns out that everyone is facing their own issues and try to battle through life, so I’ve learnt just to get on with it and do what I think is best.
2. Nap sacrifices. As a lover of napping, I’ve come to realise (finally) that I can’t continue to lead a life with daily naps. A) it prevents me from having a decent night sleep (hello, beauty sleep), and B) I just don’t even have the time to nap. RIP naps, I will be back when I’m retired.
3. Start looking after your skin and get a skincare routine. Honestly, the best advice I’ve ever been given is to start looking after your skin in your twenties to keep a youthful appearance later on in life. Anti-wrinkle moisturisers?… get in my basket.
4. Hangovers hurt more, way more. Back in my uni days I was quite able to drink a substantial amount on a night out and wake up with a minor headache and still go to a 9am lecture feeling fine. How things have changed… A large glass of vino and I’m in bed nursing a hangover and craving all things greasy.
5. Everything happens for a reason – cliché I know. BUT it’s so true. Since I have been adopting this thought process I have become so much more relaxed and stress free, just knowing that it really doesn’t matter if things don’t work out, because another door will open, and an even better opportunity will arrive.
6. Save the dollar. Young people have got it extra tough with the expense of moving out and living an independent life. So, my advice is to start saving as soon as you can, even if it’s not much a month just put it away and watch the pile grow. You’ll be surprised how much you can save when you put your mind to it.
7. Count the blessings, not the problems. Honestly life is so much better when you become grateful for all the blessings you have in your life no matter how big or small. If you analyse all the problems, it can be easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of negativity… and nobody wants that. Be grateful that the lights turned green as you approached them, be grateful that the sun is shining – hope your feeling me and the positive vibes right now.
8. Friendships change. And that’s ok, because if people aren’t willing to support you then you are much better without them. Keep your circle small, it’s better to have fewer friends who you can fully depend on and trust. Stay true to your real friends, you will always need them.
9. Don’t give in to the pressure of being thin. Got a £30 a month gym membership but don’t go 5 times a week? Don’t sweat (no pun intended). Go when YOU want. Fancy having a chilled night with a pizza? Do it. Do what makes YOU happy whether that’s at the gym or not. Remember, everything in moderation.
10. LOVE what you do. There is absolutely no point in putting all your time and energy into your work life if you do not love it. Be real with yourself, if it’s not getting you out of bed on a Monday morning then it’s not right for you. Be wild and take a career change, you’ll feel so much better.
11. Sleep is SO important. It’s amazing how much a good night’s sleep can make you feel invincible. Try and set a decent routine and continue this through the weekends, getting up and going to sleep at regular times will get your body and mind into a pattern and I promise, you will feel so much better in yourself.
12. SEE the world. Experience new things and travel to new places. Visiting different countries and places really opens your eye to how amazing the world is, and can give you a new perspective. You can get some affordable weekends away in Europe – my personal recommendations: Prague, Barcelona and Paris.
13. Spending a fortune on makeup will not make you look better. Instead of investing in your make up collection, invest in your health and do what your body tells you. After all, the perfect base for makeup is great skin. Drink plenty of water, try and be healthy and consider taking some vitamins. When your skin is looking good, it will make you feel good and that’s something that makeup can’t do.
14. Everyone makes mistakes. Including you. Don’t worry about it though, we’re all in the same boat. Putting your hands up when you’re in the wrong and dealing with it will make you a better person in any scenario. ‘A mistake which makes you humble is much better than an achievement that makes you arrogant’ – love this.
15. Forgive and let go. Holding on to any form of anger is not good for you or your mind, it actually hurts you more. Let it go, you will feel so much better without a grudge hanging over you. Focus on yourself and learn to harvest positivity, you deserve the inner peace.