25 things I’ve learnt in 25 years
If you hadn’t guessed by the title, I’m 25 years old (ahem, or young – we’ll get onto that point later 😉 ) and it occurred to me, as I rung in the next quarter century of my life, that I had learnt a lot about life during the time I’ve been living in this crazy world and there are things I wish I had maybe realised a bit earlier or was told when I was a little younger. I’d like to point out that I have learnt more than 25 things in my lifetime LOL but these are just a few golden nuggets that came to the forefront of my mind. They’re not necessarily groundbreaking or unusual, but they’re real and lived haha so, I decided to share these things (as well as a few fun #throwbackthursday pics from when I was a lil bub!) and here they are, 25 things I’ve learnt in 25 years…
1. Life goes by quicker each year – cherish each moment
Do you remember at school your teachers at the start of each year telling you like when you’re in Year 7 how quickly your GCSEs will come around and the next thing you know you’ve blinked and you’re in Year 13… well, I’m here to tell you that they were right. Each year, your life goes by quicker with a flicker. The purpose of me telling you this isn’t to scare you. It’s to remind you to appreciate the moment, the present – don’t be too eager to get to the next stage. Your time is now. Something ironic about this point is that I actually revisited this piece of content this evening that I started a while back and do you know what the first line was – well I’ll tell you: ‘Last week marked my 25th birthday and rung in the next quarter century of my life. It occurred to me, as I sipped my celebratory champagne and gorged myself on vegan chocolate cake…’ last week? LAST WEEK!? I’M 26 THIS YEAR AKDJGASKJG that’s how quickly time has gone since I first had the idea for this blogpost… you see what I’m sayinnnnn. So STOP waiting for the weekend, for half term, for summer, for Christmas. You will be your happiest when you start living in the now and make the most of what you have in the present.
2. Love and be loved
All you need is love. Really doe. Yes this is a cringe alert (I can hear someone specific groaning miles away – you know who you are :P) but seri – the world needs a little more love – so love hard. Love your family, your friends, your boy, your girl, your goddamn barista! Just spread love and you will receive it tenfold. After all, what’s the point in living this life and experiencing these things, if there’s no one to share it with…
3. Do things that scare you
I’m not saying you have to go bungee-jumping if you’re scared of heights, or hold a tarantula if you’re an arachnophobic, but it could be anything. Anything that will help you get over your fear or make you more confident in said activity. It can be the things I just mentioned if you want – or it can be doing a presentation in front of a group of people, singing on stage or IDK even going on a tinder date haha. Earlier today a friend of mine who I met out at a club the other weekend said how brave I was walking into find them on my own when they were all out and I didn’t know where they were. To me it was second nature, but to her it was a big deal and she said she’d never go into a club alone. The comparison isn’t what matters – it’s all about what’s difficult for you to overcome. Everyone has different things that scare them. Just think of monsters university 😛 (if you’ve seen the film you’ll get me – if not, what are you doing with your life and why have you not watched it…)
4. Take risks
*Calculated risks. If you’re like me, you write a pros and cons list for. Absolutely. Everything. Do I go to this restaurant or this one? Do I get this bag or this one? Do I stay at this hotel or this one? Obviously these examples are very trivial but you get my drift… it’s hard to be a planner and just let go, but this is something I’ve massively learnt to do over the past year and in fact… I can’t even remember the last time I wrote a pros and cons list. I’m super chilled on so many decisions now – I just go with the flow, even if I have a slight internal wobble. Sometimes, you’ve just gotta take a risk, so if you’re unsure, but a part of you know you wants to do it (this part is important – don’t ever do something you know you absolutely 100% do not want to do), GO FOR IT… jut ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen? If your answer is something along the lines of you won’t like the food, then nevermind… you’ll survive. You won’t know unless you try. And think of it as more going with your gut than taking a risk and you’ll be Gucci! Some of the best decisions I’ve ever made were when I didn’t even really make the decision, I just took a risk and went with my gut. More on going with your gut on 18.
5. Be both frivolous and thrifty
This is an important yet interesting one. You’ll see I’ve put two juxtaposing things… that’s because I have learnt to do both. I’ve never been one of those people who can save every penny they make… that’s because in my personal opinion, I don’t want to end up having saved thousands and thousands of pounds but have no experiences to show for it and always said no to going out on adventures and experiencing things and hanging out with friends – obviously, not all experiences cost money, but you get where I’m coming from. On the other hand, you don’t want to spend all your money, always be broke and not have any money to invest in your future. Because, as I’ve often learnt the hard way, you must always ‘save for a rainy day’. Because they will come around to bite you on the bum. The way I would suggest, is making sure you firstly live within your means, and set a specific amount of money in your savings every week, but allow yourself to treats, never say no to opportunities that arise that won’t come around again and do the odd splash out when you deserve it! I saw something interesting the other day that said the simplest way to save roughly £1500 in one year without even trying… all you have to do is save £1 Monday £2 Tuesday £3 Wednesday and so forth every day until Sunday when you’ve reached £28 – do this every week for a year and BAM you’ve got yourself a luxury holiday… and, really, how easy is it to save the odd pound or two every day… you won’t even realize – promise!
6. You will lose friends and make new friends
This is a difficult one. But it happens to everyone. Losing friends is hard – but as you get older it’s often unavoidable – friends move away or start to get different interests, go to different unis, graduate at different times, go travelling… and then sometimes friends are just so busy with work, meet new people, start new relationships. And that is life. It doesn’t mean you don’t get along or aren’t friends anymore, it just means your paths aren’t crossing right now. And maybe you’ll rekindle it in the future. On the other hand, sometimes sadly, without warning, there are some friends, who unfortunately may screw you over, maybe stop inviting you to things and may leave you feeling like you’ve been dumped. I’ve spoken to so many of my friends (me included) that this has also happened to so if you have experienced this, just know you’re not alone. It sucks, but this is not a sob story, it’s life. Be pleasant to these friends, wish them well, and if you’ve tried your hardest with these people and get nothing back, then it might be time to let these people go. I am not suggesting you give up on people by any means – people that know me well know that I don’t let people go without a fight and I always always always believe the best in people – so the point is that every situation is circumstantial – because some people may be going through some personal stuff which may have caused them to be distant. But if you know for a fact there’s no reasoning behind this… and they’re just being mean, then you may need to think of it the same way about a guy or girl you are dating… if you’re always the one trying and they don’t ever ask you on dates, or they ghost you and you’ve done nothing wrong… would you bother dating them anymore? No is the answer. On the flip side, you also make a ton of new friends throughout your life! You’ll make new friends that you didn’t even expect… the more you do, the more you meet people, whether it’s through your work or hobbies, or where you live… the more friends you’ll make and often enough, these are the golden nuggets! Some of my best friends I’ve known for 8+ years, and some for only 2 years… some for only 2 months… time does not equal connection nor strength of relationship.
7. You may not marry your Uni boyfriend
Slightly controversial title, but this one cracks me up. I could write a whole other post on this but my two biggest female role models; my sister and my mum both met their husbands from a very young age. My parents, at 16 and my sister, at Uni, I think 19. To add to this, all my friends who I left for uni with seemed to get into long term relationships and are still with them now… and everyone always called Uni the ‘four year husband hunt’ so much that I was conditioned to thinking that I would have to follow suit and adamant that I would have to find my partner in crime there, because why should I be any different? I couldn’t possibly find someone better outside Bournemouth University, right!? W.R.O.N.G – at least for me anyway. There will be some lucky souls out there who did find their S.Os at Uni (as listed above) – I live for the love stories like that – and sometimes, I feel like it would’ve saved me a hella lotta heartache if I had too – but in reality, this didn’t happen for me – and if it hasn’t for you, trust me when I say this will be the biggest blessing in disguise there ever was – it will give you a chance to date many different types of people, which brings me to my next point…
8. You’ll date a lot
Unless you meet the love of your life early on, chances are, you’ll date a lot. And this has been the best thing ever, because every person I’ve dated has been better and better and now I know exactly what I do like and what I don’t… what is good behaviour… and what isn’t… and most importantly, I know my self worth.
9. Watch out for the f**k boys
You know the phrase. I know the phrase. We all know the phrase. Eat your vegetables, do your squats and don’t let boys be mean to you. Esp those f**k boys… I don’t need to describe them, y’all ready know who they are… and if someone’s face is coming to mind right now, ABORT MISSION, I repeat, abort mission.
10. It’s okay to say no
There are many different ways to look at this… but in this sense I mean if someone asks you to do something and you really really don’t want to or really really can’t because of time…or money! I am the type of person who will be loyal and reliable to you til the day I die…. I struggle to say to no to anyone because I don’t ever like to let anyone down… especially with plans. There’s nothing I find worse than a flaky person. I could be ill and still go through with something because I promised I would do it. So if you’re like me, learning that if you really can’t do something, you’re not letting that person down… is hard to accept – but it is OK – and chances are they’ll understand, especially if you have a solid reason.
11. Just say yes
This sounds a bit contradictory to my last point but I’m talking about something different here… I’m talking about if there is an opportunity that you have no reason not to take – don’t hesitate, just go for it! What’s that quote about, ‘you regret more than what you don’t do, rather than what you do do’…
12. Honesty is the best policy
I’m not talking about if someone performs a song infront of you and they can’t sing and you tell them they are terrible or if someone cooks for you and you tell them they would never make it to master chef…. I’m talking about if someone asks your opinion on an idea for a work project or even activities for when you’re on a trip – chances are, they’re asking because they genuinely want to know. And the last thing you want to do is end up going along with something that really doesn’t sit right with you – I don’t need to tell you to be tactful – you already know that – and it is all circumstantial, but try to be honest where you can. Also please always tell me if I have lipstick on my teeth or food in my teeth 😀 I am always grateful, never embarrassed.
13. Be true to yourself, have strong values and good morals
Stick to your morals and don’t lose sight of who you are. No matter if people peer pressure you into doing or saying something – stick to your guns and you will be just fine. And the most important people in our life will respect your reasoning, decision making – whatever it is, even if it’s opposing to theirs. Don’t pretend you like something even if you don’t, just to please the other person, or ‘fit in’. They’ll like you for YOU.
14. Never say never
Justin Bieber said it… so it’s gospel. Kind of joking… 😛 but really though, never say never. Never completely rule anything out because you don’t ever really know what’s going to happen in the future, or what opportunity is going to arise, or who you’re going to meet. It’s actually happened to me recently where I swore I would never do the same thing twice… yet here I am 3 years later doing the same thing and I couldn’t be happier. That sounds pretty cryptic but is true –and if even 3 months ago someone were to have told me this would happen to me I would have laughed so much. So essentially what I’m saying is, don’t count anything out and be open to all!
15. Set goals but don’t put so much pressure on yourself
Goals are good. Goals set you a standard for which you try to reach. But they’re also not the be all and end all. Things change and so do priorities and sometimes you can’t achieve one thing because something else took precedence, but it doesn’t mean you haven’t achieved your goal… it’s just a new goal. What I’m saying is, don’t pin yourself down to a list of things that you have to achieve in 2018 for example or else you’ll be unhappy with yourself because as that famous quote says ‘be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can’.
16. Your health is wealth
Invest in your health – this is really important and often underrated. Eat healthy but treat yoself, go workout but don’t run yourself to the ground. Find a good skincare regime that works for you. Drink a tonne of water! Go get regular check ups at your doctors, dentist and eyes tested! And don’t neglect your mental health, as this is just as important as your physical health. Whether it’s doing daily affirmations, or meditation – or just getting some headspace. Do what you feel you need to do. Take care of you, boo!
17. Your family is one of the most important things
‘Nuff said really. Doesn’t matter if they’re blood or not. The people who you regard as your family – keep them close to your heart and try not to take them for granted. If you’re lucky enough to still have your grandparents around – how about surprising them for coffee, baking them their favourite cake, or just going round for a chit chat, or picking up the phone – I guarantee it will be the highlight of their day. And yes, we all argue with our parents – and yes, they probably get annoyed with us at points just as much as we do with them. But, they do really have your best intentions at heart. They’re pretty cool really 🙂
18. Go with your gut
There’s a reason doctors call your gut your second brain… You know that feeling when someone asks you a question, and something automatically comes to mind before you’ve even had a chance to think… that’s your answer. Go with your gut and you can’t go far wrong. It’s your bodies way of telling you what sits right with you.
19. Ask questions
Be inquisitive! You never know what you’ll find out or learn that will serve you well in the future… or just be something really interesting to know!
20. Have no regrets
Everyone has regrets – but we shouldn’t – because at one point or another these choices we made were maybe right for us as the time, or they taught as a lesson… which can often be a blessing in disguise. Easier said than done but don’t regret anything – it’s all part of your journey…
21. Don’t be stubborn
In the past I’ve often learn this the hard way, but you don’t have to. If you’re ever in a situation where you have the urge to dig your heels in with that little voice inside your head saying “but I’m right, and they’re just not getting it” – just remember, everyone has different opinions, wants, needs etc. and you’ve got to ask yourself these questions: have I seen it from the other point of view? Will me being stubborn actually get me anywhere? Can we come to some kind of compromise so both parties are happy? And take it from there…
22. Have courage and be kind
“Kindness, is one of the most underrated traits in the world. We focus so much on material things and attention, but forget that it is kindness that brings us fulfillment that warms our soul.” – the better man project. And it’s so true. I always try to be kind in all that I do – I think it is a value as much as a trait and what bad ever came from being kind? And don’t forget, everyone you meet is a fighting a battle you know nothing about.
Another one of my favourite quotes is: “be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid” – so have courage, do what sets your soul on fire, – being nervous is part of it, it’s about how you overcome it – that’s courage.
23. Keep up your hobbies
It’s easy when you’re young, to get caught up in the throes of life – and I found this, especially in first year at uni – I was so busy making new friends, going out, having the absolute time of my life – but I did lose my hobbies I’d spent a lot of time enjoying at school, and I picked up a few of them again in 2nd year, but not all, and I’m not going to say oh I regret it, because all my choices got me to where I am today (see point 20 haha) but it is really nice when you leave uni, to have some hobbies, because once you leave uni, although you get a shocker from how busy you are ‘adulting’ and working errday on that 9 to 5, there’s nothing more satisfying than enjoying those other activites. PLUS, the beauty of life is that you can always try new things and make new hobbies! For example… this blog of mine was a hobby I made POST uni only a couple years ago!
24. Karma is real
What you put out into this world, is what you manifest and what you get back. So spread nothing but positivity and love and that is what you will receive.
25. Love yourself first – learn to be your own best friend
I shouldn’t have to caveat this, because y’allll ready know what I mean, but this is by no means in an egotistical sense. It’s in a “the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself” – this was a little golden nugget I picked up back in 2010 when I was obsessed with The City (comment below if you watched this post The Hills just to get your whitney fix haha!) and Diane Von Furstenberg couldn’t have been more on point with not just her clothes, but her quotes. The other quote that’s been circulating for a while now is by the extremely talented poet RM Drake – who says: “I know how you feel when you’re alone, lying on your bed looking at your phone as if it’s meant to bring you peace from all the demons tugging at your head. You ask yourself: who in the hell will love me? And you should always remember how no one will, not ever, unless you love yourself” so show yourself some self love – because you are shining more than you know!
26. Age is just a number
First of all, I’m aware the post is titled ’25 things’ and I’ve just gone ahead and done 26… WELL GUESS WHAT IT’S YOUR LUCKY DAY haha and second of all, I’m also aware I am whipping out allll the quotes today, but why fix what ain’t broke. I’ve been seeing on twitter lately this ridiculously relatable tweet from @lynzfrazer who is also a blogger, that says: “You need to destroy the idea that there’s an expectation to do things by a certain age. You don’t have to be married with kids at 25. It’s okay to not have your dream job at 30 or to not have graduated by 22. There are no rules to life life is neither a race, nor a competition”. And this to me says it all. Your life wont go at the same pace as other peoples and that’s ok. There is no expectation. Just do you.
Whatever stage you’re at, you’re still INCREDIBLY young and you’ve got your whole life still ahead of you… the best is only just beginning.
If you’ve got to the end of this long assss post, I love you like no other!!!
So I guess I have a question for you… are there any life lessons you can relate to, or any that I haven’t spoken about that really speak to you? I’d love for you to share it with me so comment below!
Thanks for reading,