25 Lessons in 25 Years

It’s finally happening: I’m turning the big two-five this weekend. I guess in reality that’s not as significant as turning 30, but now I will be able to rent a car without those ridiculous extra charges. It also means I get to mooch off my parents’ health insurance for one more year. So, you know, big stuff.

But in all seriousness, a lot has happened over the last 25 years of my life – more than I expected. So without further ado, here are 25 lessons I’ve learned in 25 years.

  1. Some of the best conversations you can have take place in a parked car at 2 am.
  2. High school is not necessarily the best four years of your life. People really need to stop saying that to naïve 14-year-olds who start thinking to themselves, “God, this is as good as it’s ever gonna get?” It’s not. Life gets way better in your 20’s.
  3. Your mom is not always right. But she is a lot of the time.
  4. Singing in front of people is not as scary as imagining singing in front of people.
  5. Saying “thank you” can go a long way.
  6. Grief never fully goes away, but you will eventually get to a point where you think of the person, and instead of crying, you smile.
  7. Having a few really solid friendships is way more satisfying than having a bunch of flaky friends.
  8. A $5 pizza buffet is not worth it, no matter how broke you are.
  9. Fries and a Wendy’s chocolate Frosty, however, are totally worth it.
  10. If you’re a white female filling out your college graduation photo form and you put your identifying characteristics as “similar to Lionel Richie,” they will send you the wrong photo in the mail.
  11. It sucks working crappy retail jobs, but they make you truly appreciate the better, higher-paying jobs you get down the road.
  12. Skydiving is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have.
  13. Tattoos and piercings are not that painful – sometimes they help ease the pain.
  14. Spending your Saturday night eating discounted cupcakes at Walmart in the middle of the night isn’t pathetic if you have a friend who does it with you.
  15. Hold onto handwritten letters and cards.
  16. Read books by people who don’t look like you or live like you. You will be amazed by how much you will learn.
  17. If you have the means to travel, do it. Even if it’s just setting up a tent at a campground half an hour away.
  18. Sometimes dogs are the best listeners.
  19. It really is possible have a completely equal partnership in a relationship.
  20. Most high school friendships end the summer after graduation.
  21. Never put the entire “Alvin and the Chipmunks” soundtrack onto your playlist, no matter how catchy you think it is at the time.
  22. Writing is some of the best free therapy you can find.
  23. People will talk down to you because you are young, and even more so if you are female. It’s best to learn how to stand your ground now rather than later.
  24. If a random guy you don’t know asks you for nudes, have your brother send him a picture of his nipple.
  25. It’s okay to feel like you still don’t have it together. Most of us don’t, anyway.

Alright, that’s it. Time for cake!

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