25 Things For 25-Year-Old

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Welcome to 25 Things For 25-Year-Old!

25 things for 25-year-old – the big two five! Good for you that you’ve made it through a quarter of a century, and I’m very sorry that you feel old when I phrase it like that.

Not to discount all the lovely lessons you’ve learned along the way, but I remember exactly how I felt at 25 and boy did I still have much to learn. Even today, while I’m well past that ripe young age, I’m still learning lessons constantly, only affirming that I know nothing in the scheme of things.

So take this list with a grain of salt, young reader. I’ve learned a thing or two that’s served me well over the years, and some of it can work very well for you, but not everything I say is a hard and fast fact. Find what works for you and do it.

Without further ado, the 25 things every 25-year-old needs to hear!

1. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – drink more water.

They recommend eight glasses of water daily. Those are 8 ounce glasses, so you’re looking at 64 ounces in total. That’s a half gallon.

Are you drinking a half gallon of water every day? You’re supposed to!

Water is essential for literally everything your body is doing– every metabolic process, every biological function, everything that goes in the casa of your body.

The plot thickens– this age old advice about eight glasses of water is only a general guideline, because some experts recommend half your body weight in ounces. For the petite people in our audience, that means a 120-lb individual can skirt by drinking 60 ounces, while someone at a hefty 200+ will need 100 ounces or more!

With this in mind, make it your personal mission to drink plenty of water every day. Your body will thank you for taking good care of it!

2. Start saving like yesterday.

I remember my youth fondly, spending each paycheck on my immediate essentials, cool new clothes, the best video games, and plenty of lavish nights out with bottles of premium booze all around. We went to the coolest spots and spent with reckless abandon, because YOLO! Who needs to save when today is worth celebrating?

Life is about balance, kiddos. I’ll never tell you not to live it up and celebrate and enjoy the time you have doing things you love to do and spending time with people you love to be with, but you have to look out for your future too.

Start a retirement fund and do it now. It could be a standard IRA, Roth IRA, employer-matched 401(k) if you’re one of the lucky ones who gets that sort of thing; however you can put money aside today, do it.

It doesn’t have to be a substantial sum. A little bit goes a long way thanks to compound interest. A small percentage of every paycheck compounded over time will be of little consequence now, but forty to fifty years down the line can mean an additional hundred thousand dollars or more!

Don’t sleep on the power of compound interest!

3. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – take care of yourself.

All that stuff your parents and doctor tell you to do? You should do it.

Get eight hours of sleep as often as possible. Floss regularly. Eat your vegetables. Limit your screen time, especially right before bed.

This goes beyond your physical health though and extends to your personal appearance. Even if you’re anything but vain and you’re more of a “don’t judge a book by its cover” kind of person, understand that your personal appearance tells a story to people you meet, and it’s prudent to show the best version of you as often as possible.

Keep your fingernails trimmed and clean. Trim facial hair if you’re sporting it and get regular haircuts. Shower, people. I shouldn’t have to tell you that one, but I will because it’s important. Use chapstick. Moisturize.

You don’t have to be firing on all cylinders all the time, but at the very least you should be cognizant that these things matter.

4. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – don’t compare.

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We’re in the age of social media. In just a quick flip of our dainty little finger, we can have all the details and tidbits about someone’s life, or so we think.

When we see vacation pictures and high school acquaintances looking absolutely stunning in a swimsuit in Bora Bora, it can be infuriating while we’re riding public transit to a 9 to 5 job that’s barely giving us enough income to scrape by.

When we see everyone smiling on social media, it makes us compare ourselves to them. How come they get to go on vacation? What do they do for a living that they can afford that Maserati? They’re getting married now!? Before me!?

Why are they better than me?

Not only is this a pointless exercise that only hurts your self-esteem, it’s not even correct. Social media is basically a person’s highlight reel, and it leads us to conclusions that may not be accurate.

Maybe the Maserati isn’t theirs. Maybe the vacation was fun, but they are now heavily in debt because of it. You just don’t know.

Don’t beat yourself up by comparing yourself to others. The only thing that matters is what you’re doing for yourself today, and what others are doing is their business.

5. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – be responsible with credit.

Have you been building credit?

If not, it’s time to start, and it’s time to start doing it responsibly. Experts have many different recommendations for the best way to do this, but generally there are a few factors that influence your credit score:

•Your credit usage

•Your payment history

•Your number of open accounts

•The length of your most recent account

The most significant factor to keep an eye on is your credit usage. Some folks swear that carrying no balance is the best way to go, but lenders like to see some balance so they can see that you know how to manage debt without going under or missing payments.

Experts recommend no more than 30% of your credit limit be used. If you’re maxing out your credit cards, your score will suffer, even if your payments are on time.

That said, payments should always be made on time. Period. No nuances here. Just make your payments on time. Set up auto-pay if you have to.

6. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – “No” is a full sentence.

Not to sound like our parents here, but sometimes the answer is no because that’s what the answer is.

Many of us feel a subconscious need to justify saying no to people, even if they don’t ask why. It’s almost like declining an invitation is a personal offense and you need to soften the blow by providing context.

But you don’t. If you don’t want to go drinking until 3 AM the day before a big work presentation, you don’t owe anyone an explanation.

The same goes for seemingly benign small talk questions like “are you going to get married” and “do you want kids.” Many folks expect the answers to these questions are “absolutely” and they look at you like you’re out of your mind if you say no.

Worse yet, they might give you that knowing smile and a condescending pat and say, “You’ll change your mind.”

You don’t need to dive into your personal reasons to do or not do anything. All that counts is that you know what you want to do and you know why.

7. Red flags are warnings, not challenges.

We’ve all been there. We’re out on a date and we’re enjoying our night when, suddenly, there it is! A red flag! Something serious that should be a dealbreaker but, instead, we think it’s not that big of a deal. We’ll get used to it. They’ll grow out of it.

Or the worst offense in this scenario– we think we can change them.

Red flags are warnings. Don’t set yourself up for the uphill battle of changing who a person is to fit your mold of “perfect” if you can clearly see evidence of otherwise.

Take the cue before you get in too deep and part ways before things get ugly.

8. Show up for the people that show up for you.

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Life is all about push and pull, give and take, balance.

You always want to be there for your friends and family in whatever way you need to. If they need a babysitter last minute, help them out if you can. If they’re hosting an open mic night, go be in the crowd to show support.

If they would do the same for you, do it for them too.

That said, make sure you don’t overextend to those who don’t honor the balance. If you have a friend in a band who only calls you to promote their new music and local gigs, it’s okay to let their calls go to voicemail or kindly decline.

We only have so much time. It’s only right we spend it with people who truly care about us.

9. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – Forgive.

Of course, people mess up sometimes. You’ll mess up plenty of times along the way, even if it’s the same mistake you’ve made a thousand times before.

Don’t beat yourself up over it. We’re only human. Learn to forgive yourself.

And learn to forgive others too. Some people deserve a second chance to make things right if they let you down before, especially if everyone can acknowledge that things got out of hand and they came to recognize in the end that everyone loves and cares for one another above all else.

If they really, really did you dirty though, you may not be able to let them back in. Try to forgive them anyway, not because you should be friends again but because it’s hard to carry around that anger and hurt for the long haul.

Even if forgiveness is just a means for you to move past the more traumatic events, try.

10. Avoid toxic jobs, relationships, and people.

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Not all of us land a slam dunk job out of the gate, but we excuse it. We’re “paying our dues” and working our way up the ladder to achieve real professional purpose and status and whatnot.

Or are we just pouring all of our life force into a job that does nothing but drain our energy?

It’s one thing to have a job that isn’t great all of the time, but if you’re feeling beaten down regularly because of the poor office culture, abuse from customers or clients, bad management, and other toxic elements in the workplace, it’s time to go.

No amount of money is worth your physical and mental health.

The same goes for relationships and people. If you aren’t happy to be with the people you spend your time with and you don’t want to see them, don’t want to talk to them, want to avoid their calls and avoid them at all costs, it’s a clear sign that something is very wrong.

You need to address it and fix it if you can, but it’s also okay if you can’t. Some relationships simply run their course and you wind up outgrowing them, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

11. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – learn a few great dishes and cook often.

I’m going to tell you a secret now. When you’re trying to balance a budget and you can’t easily tell where all your money is going, the answer is probably food.

Dining out, takeout, and delivery are very expensive, relatively speaking, and if you’re going out or grabbing food a few times a week, those numbers are going to add up fast. If you’re having drinks on top of that, forget it. You’ll be spending a bona fide fortune on food.

If you’re one of those folks that “never learned” to cook, there’s no time like the present. With recipes online, step-by-step guides, and YouTube, Instagram, and other ways to see people making tasty dishes, you basically have no excuse anymore.

Learning to cook a few tasty dishes not only helps you pocket some extra cash each week, but it also impresses when you’re having guests.

12. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – Travel.

 

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Even if you love your hometown, get out and travel.

The world is full of beautiful places to see and explore and experience, and there are people vastly different from you with unique cultures, traditions, history, and, of course, cuisine!

If your means allow, try to travel and see as much of this world as you can while you can. It’s a worthwhile pursuit, and will always leave you with some new perspective.

Plus, a vacation never hurt anybody, did it?

13. Try new things, even if you don’t think you’re good at them.

You’re out at a bar that’s hosting a karaoke night. You friends throw on “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper and start dragging you to the stage. You say, “No, no, no…I couldn’t” and so eventually they unhand you and go have fun all on their own.

That’s all good and fine if you really just don’t want to do karaoke, but if you like to sing and you’re just scared to do it in a public setting or you’re worried that you’re bad, you need to reassess things a bit.

Lots of people want to try new things, learn new skills, or do something different, but they worry that they won’t be any good. Some even get to the trying part and quickly talk themselves out of it.

“I’m too old to try earning my black belt now.”

“I can’t practice saxophone in my apartment. The neighbors will get mad.”

“There’s no point in writing poetry. No one will read it. No one will care.”

Don’t talk yourself out of doing things you want to do and don’t worry about who else might notice or care. The point is you care, and that’s enough.

14. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – ask questions during conversations.

In case no one put it to you bluntly yet, people often love talking about themselves. There’s a fine line though between sharing tidbits about what you’re up to and railroading a helpless victim with your huge ego.

It’s fine to share and fill in your friends about what you’re up to, but don’t forget to turn the focus sometimes.

“And what have you been up to?”

15. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – buy a wet vac.

Seriously. They’re like $50 and you’ll really be glad if your toilet overflows or you have a huge leak. It beats the heck out of throwing down bath towels, squandering rolls of Bounty, or slowly picking it up with a regular mop and ringing it out little by little.

Just get the wet vac.

16. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – go to the doctor.

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Another one of those age-old tidbits that we tend to ignore.

We’re supposed to visit the doctor once a year for an annual check-up, but who has the time? We’re too busy with work or our social lives or our side hustles, passion projects, travel plans, family obligations– you name it. Many of us only go to the doctor when we’re sick and it’s more than the sniffles.

Do your best to visit at least once a year to your general practitioner and visit specialists for those little things to get some clarity. It helps to know that the dry patch is psoriasis and that you’ll need a medicated cream to manage it. That way you don’t need to keep spending $10 on over-the-counter stuff at CVS just to watch the flaky patches keep reappearing.

By the way, if you don’t have good health insurance then you can totally ignore this tip. Medicals with insurance are bad enough, but without you’ll probably go bankrupt within a year.

17. Build good habits and practice consistency.

Habits take work and dedication. Quitting smoking, for instance, isn’t achieved by not smoking for a day. That’s a great start, but you won’t truly build the habit unless you repeat it the next day, and the next, and the next, so on and so forth.

Exercise is like that too. Don’t let me talk you out of having that latte tomorrow morning since you hit the gym bright and early, but you can’t say you’re living a “healthy, active lifestyle” unless you’re trying to exercise a few times a week.

I don’t recommend a latte after every one of those workouts, but a small reward for your consistency helps keep you motivated.

Do your best to identify healthy habits or things that you would like to practice and make it your mission to engage those things regularly. Over time, the habit will become internalized and you will be able to confidently say that it’s part of who you are now.

The key is consistency.

18. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – be reachable.

Have you ever heard about “the three day rule”? It’s that tactic your friends advise you to use to avoid seeming too eager after meeting someone new or having a first date.

It’s a faux pas to reach out right away and tell them you had a nice time. And if they make the first move, you definitely shouldn’t text back right away. That’s just pathetic, right?

Wrong.

As you age out of the game-playing tactics in romance, people tend to prefer others that keep things real. No one has time to navigate hot-and-cold behaviors or perceived apathy, and they don’t want to text you only to hear back a half a week later after they’ve long since moved past the thought or feeling they wanted to share.

We all have our phones on us constantly. If you see the message and you value the relationship, don’t make someone wait unless you’re really, truly busy.

No one thinks you’re cool because you let it go to voicemail and waited two weeks to bother calling back. At this age, they actually think you’re kind of a…you get the picture.

19. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – be on time.

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Being on time is also super important now too. Well, it actually always was important, but some of us didn’t care.

If you were lucky enough to have a teacher that didn’t flunk you or boot you out for being late constantly, you should thank them for their flexibility but also curse them for not showing you some needed tough love.

Your boss won’t be as kind, and employees that are constantly late are often subject to disciplinary action. While it’s not as egregious to miss the 9 AM clock-in time when your day is just sitting at a desk doing office tasks, being late for important meetings, especially those that involve pitches or business dealings with clients, sends the wrong message and could cost you a huge account.

That translates to big dollars and cents. Your boss won’t tolerate too much of that, and it could have an impact on your personal bottom line as well if you’re botching meetings left and right by simply not getting out the door with enough time to make it.

Being disciplined at work and fired are pretty concrete, and it’s easy to understand the implications here. You may not get as much feedback from friends who used to joke that 3 PM in “you time” means 5:30.

It doesn’t age well and it stops being cute. Some friends might speak up and try to work it out with you outside of a joking context. Others might just put distance between you, choosing to hang with people that could be bothered to meet them on time so they’re not stuck sitting around deciphering if your “on my way” text means you just woke up or you’re actually nearby.

Do everyone a favor and just work on being on time. Your time is not more important than everyone else’s.

20. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – take breaks.

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We love to work in America. It’s often praised by bosses and fellow employees when you keep your head down and power through, even if it means missing lunch, even if it means staying until into the evening.

The occasional grind to get important work done is a worthy achievement, and sometimes you really need to do it. Other times, what you really need is to step back and think about things a little.

Can you do your best thinking when you’re hungry or tired? Is it going to be a good product if you have been looking at it for eight hours straight without blinking?

You need breaks, and at work it is your right to take them. Most employers subtract the break anyway if you exceed a certain number of hours, so they make you pay for it even while they’re verbally pushing you to just “keep at it.”

All things considered, though, you will think better and produce better work if you step away here and there and have a quick drink of water or grab yourself a cup of coffee from the place down the street you like.

21. Achieve financial independence.

“Financial independence” means different things to different people. Some people don’t consider themselves there until they amass enough wealth to ditch the 9 to 5 and do the things they want with their free time. Others consider just graduating past the “paycheck to paycheck” grind as evidence of financial independence.

For our purposes here, just try to get off your parents phone plan ASAP. It’s great they floated you this long, but you’re approaching 30 and you should be responsible for your essentials now.

22. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – don’t throw pity parties.

One of the biggest secrets no one tells you is that none of us really know what’s going on around here. We’re all just faking our way through life, thinking we know stuff that we don’t, and doing things that we think are right only to have it all blow up in our faces time and time again.

Such is life.

But the point here is that everyone is having a hard time, and so most people will feel less than sympathetic if you push yourself past the brink and go on a certified tirade about how hard it is to be you.

Chances are the person you’re throwing that energy at also is fighting a battle you can’t see. They also have a laundry list of things they’re trying to do and roadblocks in the way keeping them from getting there.

It’s even worse if you take that pity party and take out your frustration on someone, because chances are that it’s not their fault you’re overwhelmed.

We all could use more compassion, but a tantrum isn’t the way to get it.

23. Forget “the timeline of your life” and just go with it.

Did you have a picture of where you saw yourself at 25? Did you assume you’d have a strong career path, a mid six figure job, your own place, a spouse, maybe a kid on the way or at least a really cool dog– something like this?

How many of those boxes did you check?

Whether you said all of them or none, it doesn’t matter. The thing about it is that life doesn’t happen on your schedule, and you don’t just get to have those things just because you’re 25. And that’s okay.

It’s better to wait until you’re 30 or older if you haven’t found that special someone or if you realize your career path isn’t what you envisioned and you want to pivot. There’s no rule that says you have to hit these milestones at the pace that society expects you to hit them at.

Do things at your own pace on your own timeline, and don’t rush through things just because you think you’re getting old. It’s about the journey, not the destination.

24. 25 Things For 25-Year-Old – stop apologizing!

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How many times have you said “I’m sorry” recently for things that really warranted no apology?

We do it a lot. Maybe you handed someone a pen and they dropped it. “Oh, I’m sorry.” Maybe you’re in customer service and the customer misunderstood the policy despite you telling them over and over and over again. “I’m sorry about the misunderstanding.”

Many of us have a habit of over apologizing, and it needs to stop. Don’t shy away from honest words you say, don’t sugarcoat truths, don’t dance around direct feedback, and don’t you dare accept the burden of someone else’s stuff. If it’s their fault, don’t own it. That’s not your job.

On the other hand, it’s important to recognize when you are wrong and when you should own it. In these scenarios, you definitely should apologize, and mean it too.

Don’t spit out the word “sorry” like some sullen second grader that the teacher forced. Really take the time to come around to what you did and how your actions affected the other person.

Own it, be accountable for it, and apologize for real.

25. You won’t always be ready.

Some things really require a lot of thought, decision-making, preparation, and the right timing. There is such a thing as analysis paralysis though, and sometimes you might overthink things a bit and miss out on opportunities while belaboring the process of picking the right time.

You want to do what you can to make sure you’re considering all the factors, especially in big decisions like leaving your job, leaving a relationship, getting married, or having a child, but it’s also prudent to recognize that you may never feel 100% ready.

In the end, if you know what you want and you’re “not sure”, it might just mean that you’re scared and that’s okay. That said, there may never be a real “perfect” time, so don’t let the fear keep you from doing the things you want to do.

If you know you want to do it, the time is now.

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