Things I learned by the Age of 26

In honor of my 26th birthday which I celebrated recently, I am sharing with you the top 26 things I’ve learned in my 26 years of life… (in no order)

-> Be outgoing and take chances. It may be uncomfortable but you will regret the experiences you didn’t have and the relationships you didn’t nurture during the times you sat at home instead of going out with your friends.

-> Get rid of the people who are bringing out down. They are not worth it. Seriously.

-> Be a good person. You may not always be the most popular person in the room, but being a good person speaks volumes over the amount of money you have and how you got there.

-> Always find opportunities to learn. Opportunities to learn are opportunities to grow.

-> Network, network, network! It really is about WHO you know.

-> Jealousy is normal, especially when it comes to people more successful than you. Use that jealousy as motivation to do better.

-> You are going to have a boss and coworkers that you HATE. Be the bigger person, don’t let them get to you and work hard enough that you have THEIR job one day. If that doesn’t work, buy a pair of headphones and listen to music at your desk.

-> At some point you are going to hate yourself because of a decision you made. Let me tell you though, it is much harder to hate yourself than to love yourself. Bad decisions happen, but it will pass.

-> Don’t change for someone. It’s not worth it and doing so compromises your values and feelings.

-> Romantic comedies can ruin your life. Don’t expect true love to be exactly how it looks in the movies.

-> Money isn’t everything — but it is something. I convinced myself in college that I didn’t need money to be happy. It turns out, money is necessary for things like food and rent.

-> Don’t depend on others. At some point they will disappoint you but this doesn’t mean to write off people completely.

-> Don’t rush. You still have time to find that job you love and get married if you haven’t already. (I have to admit though, this is still hard to accept.)

-> Exercise. You metabolism may still be running strong, but healthy is more attractive than skinny. Plus it will get you into good habits for the future.

-> Be able to hold a conversation with ANYONE. It’s amazing to me how many times I’ve had things go my way simply because I could speak with someone effectively. Be meaningful and interesting and don’t forget to ask questions. This also applies to interviews.

-> Learn how to manage your finances. At 26, you are probably in debt but it’s not the end of the world. Don’t wait to pay off your debts before you start saving.

-> Admit when you’re wrong. It’s hard, but necessary.

-> Know when to pick your battles. The older you get, the more you realize the things that used to seem like a big deal, really aren’t worth the fight.

-> Accept criticism. It may be hard and the other person may be wrong, but hearing feedback will make you and your work better.

-> Learn how to take a compliment. You are awesome, so own it!

-> Stand up for yourself. Defend your decisions, tell someone they are being a jerk and get that raise you want.

-> Dress to impress. First impressions are important but so is confidence. Be comfortable in what you wear and realize that your shorts from high school may not be flattering (or appropriate) anymore.

-> Stop being a people-pleaser. Sometimes you need to do things for yourself. Plus, making promises you know you won’t be able to keep will hurt both you and the other person.

-> Be open to new ideas. Understand that your opinions can change. Just because you have an opinion about something one day, doesn’t mean it will be the same when you find more information on the topic.

-> Have fun! You may be concerned about money, finding a job, or your relationship, but growing up doesn’t have to suck.

-> Be thankful for what you have. It may not be a lot, but it is something that someone else is wishing for.

That’s a wrap… feel free to share your thoughts in comments. 

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