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I know I mentioned this already, but it’s almost my birthday. The countdown has officially started, and there are only three days left until my birthday. I don’t know which I am more excited about, the free food or the free drinks. Last year was a bit of mental health, personal growth, and self-discovery journey.
In honor of turning 24, I decided to share 24 lessons learned in 24 years. This post is slightly different than my usual content, but I wanted to share some aspects of myself this week with my readers.
By doing this, I hope to learn something new about myself and see room for growth. Also, it lets other people close to my age know that they’re not alone in not knowing some of these things. So, with that said, here are 24 things I’ve learned in 24 years.
24 Lessons Learned
- My mental health matters and is the most important thing to care for:
Over the past year, I had to defend some of my mental health choices, even when I shouldn’t have. This taught me to stand up for myself and that protecting my mental health is essential to my sanity and overall health.
- It’s okay to cut off toxic people, especially loved ones.
A lot of people aren’t going to like this. But, it is okay to cut off toxic people from your life, especially loved ones. The pandemic showed the true colors of the people around me, and unfortunately, that led to me cutting off ties with several of my loved ones. However, it was more important for me to cut them off and have mental peace than being constantly brought down by their negative energy.
- Adulting sucks.
I stand by this. Adulting sucks. I cannot believe I have to worry about bills, health insurance, the pandemic, and everything else. Sometimes I wish I was a child, where the only thing I had to worry about was how to write a love letter to my class crush and play with my barbies.
- Everyone needs a mentor at some point in their lives.
If you haven’t found a mentor, you should. I have a career mentor, and she’s excellent. A mentor guides you towards your goal and provides you with advice, support, and friendships. You can have a mentor for anything. Find a mentor that suits your personal and professional wants and needs.
- How to budget correctly.
If I’m honest, I never learned how to budget until last year. Then, when the pandemic started, I was forced into learning how to manage and track where each dollar was being spent, especially after rebooting the blog and creating my Etsy business. Budgeting is sometimes tricky, but I am happy I learned it because I saved money.
- Home-cooked meals are better than ordering out.
I’m guilty of ordering out whenever I get lazy. But, part of my laziness comes from the fear of cooking a bad or unflavored meal. However, since I started learning to cook more, I’ve realized that homecooked meals taste better than ordered food.
- How to run a business
Many of you probably laughed when reading that. But yes, I learned how to run a business properly. By this, I mean that I’ve learned time management, time block, customer service, marketing, and pricing my products. Running a blog and an Etsy business is not as simple as some people think.
- How to build my credit
The American education system failed me. At 23 years old, I could not figure out how to improve or work on my credit. I had some idea of what to do but didn’t understand the full scope of it. Now, I know the difference between the various unions, card types, interest rates, and loans to make educated decisions.
- Fitness is not for everyone.
I tried so hard to get into fitness. But I’m not too fond of it–the afterpain, the time, the idea of it. Fitness is not for me, and that’s okay. I prefer to do yoga, meditate, or do at-home workouts with a Youtube video. I used to feel awful for not doing the heavy lifting, but now I know that as long as I move my body.
- I hate having long hair.
Growing up, I had long hair. But, as I got older, I realized that I hated having long hair. After chopping off my hair, I discovered that I was much more confident with short hair than long hair. So, I plan to chop off my hair again.
- College is a Scam
I know what you’re thinking. “That’s the only way to get a real job.” I’m telling you, that’s a lie. Having a college degree means nothing to most employers, and I know this from firsthand experience. Employers care about their employee’s working experience and not their education. I have lost many marketing, communication, and administrative jobs to high schoolers simply because they have years of experience working at their local family business. So stop telling kids that going into debt is the only way to succeed in life.
- You can negotiate your student loan payments after graduation.
When I graduated with my Bachelor’s and Master’s, I had no clue how to negotiate my student loan payments. However, depending on your loan provider, you can arrange the amount you want to pay monthly. All you have to do is call and ask, and someone should be able to assist you.
- Student loans suck, but there is a way to manage it.
Any American college student or graduate can vouch that student loans suck. They come with high interest and principal rates that take more than a decade to pay off. However, there is a trick to managing them. It would help if you always started making payments at least 25% more than your interest rate while you’re in school or deferment. These payments help lower the interest rates and the amount you owe, making it easier not to pay as much after graduation.
- Romantic relationships are not perfect, but that’s ok.
Sometimes I look at the Instagram couples and wish my relationship resembled theirs. But then I think about how fake those relationships are and become thankful for mine. Sometimes my boyfriend and I argue, but that is supposed to happen. If we never discussed, then I would be worried about the authenticity of our love.
- Being older doesn’t mean you’re more mature.
I hate when some adults think that being older equates to maturity. People in their 50s and 60s behave like 10-year-olds when something does not go their way. But, this applies to everyone. There are times where I am more mature than my age and times where I act like a toddler. It’s human nature.
- College Isn’t For Everyone.
College was embedded into me throughout my childhood. Now, I wish it wasn’t. But, I saw firsthand that some people could not handle the pressure of going to university, and that’s okay. But, not finishing or going to college makes them any less worthy than someone who chooses to have that experience.
- Overnight shifts suck.
Fun Fact: I used to work overnight at Mcdonald’s while I was studying in college. I wouldn’t say I liked it. The people were groucher because they barely slept the night before, and the manager barely did her job. I used to get in trouble all the time because of her.
- Your true calling may come from nowhere.
When I started my adulthood journey, I swore that working for the needy and writing news articles was my calling. However, I soon learned that it wasn’t. My true calling is to share my stories and inspire the younger generation and people my age. Sometimes what you think you should do is not your true purpose. Your true purpose may be something you never even considered.
- Blogging is more complicated than it looks.
Who knew blogging took so much work. I swore that blogging was writing and publishing an article online. But it is much more than that. Blogging consists of proofreading, marketing, editing, copywriting, advertising, financial considerations. So basically is a full-time job.
(Psst…want to get a FREE printable self-care checklist? Snag yours below! Once you enter your email address, you’ll be sent an email with information on accessing my free Resource Library. The self-care checklist is in the library under Self Care Resources.)
- Self-Care is vital to mental health.
One of the most significant issues I had throughout college was finding time for self-care as my mental health deteriorated, so I made my sense of self. I discovered that I was suffering from depression through therapy and medication because I needed to make time for myself more. Now, I make sure to practice self-care every day and not let anything get in my way.
- Money really doesn’t mean happiness.
The pandemic made everyone’s life difficult. Many of us lost our jobs, clients, and sources of income to provide ourselves and our families with the things we need. This showed me that money does not mean happiness. While it may have sucked, what made me happy during the pandemic were the more minor things in life, like waking up healthy and snuggling my boyfriend. But, anyone can rip money away from you at any time, and it’s important not to tie your happiness to it.
- How to use concealer, contour, and foundation correctly.
This may sound dumb. But, it took me forever to learn how to use concealer, foundation, and contour correctly. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me.
- You don’t need to be on every social media platform.
When TikTok came out, I immediately made an account. But, after posting one video, I quit. Now, I only use my account for watching other TikTok videos. The point is, you don’t need to join every new social media trend. It’s overwhelming. Stick to what you know.
- Invest in yourself to succeed.
Many people assume that buying yourself the latest things makes you bougie or materialistic. But, it’s crucial to invest in yourself if you want to succeed. For example, I treated myself to the latest Macbook Pro because iI knew it had the best capabilities for graphic design and video. I also brought ten suit sets and flats for interviewing and working. If you want to make it and be a specific type of person, why wouldn’t you spend the money to be that person?
What I am Looking Foward to For Next Year
I hope you enjoyed my list of 24 lessons learned in 24 years. Next year, I am looking forward to starting my career and beginning my journey towards true independence. For the next year, some of my goals are to pass my driving test, get a car, move into a new important, and find a career. I also want to monetize my blog and turn this into a platform anyone can go to.
Sometimes getting older is a scary thought, but I look at my birthday from a different lens. My turning 24 means that I survived a year healthy and am one step closer to my personal life goals.