24 Things I’ve Realized by the Age of 24

In the spirit of my 24th birthday – and because I enjoy making lists – I’ve written a list of things that I have come to know and acknowledge as true (most of the time at least), in my near quarter-of-a-century on this planet.

  1. Constructive criticism is vastly important to personal and professional growth. Don’t take feedback so personally.
  2. Heartbreak is always temporary. It’s on you to decide what your definition of temporary is, and then act accordingly.
  3. Dating is an adventure. Sometimes these adventures are short, sometimes they go on and on and on. Enjoy it, but let it go when the time comes.
  4. Take risks and do your best to not fear rejection. The worst that can happen really isn’t as bad as your mind is making it seem.
  5. Money matters, but so do your dreams.
  6. Recognize the difference between your wants and your needs.
  7. Learn to be independent. That includes knowing how to do laundry, knowing how to cook basic meals, and knowing how to feel fulfilled without the company of another.
  8. Don’t let people mistreat you just because you need a job.
  9. In a relationship or a friendship, if all you do is inflict pain on each other, walk away. In fact, run.
  10. Remember that most people only post the best of the best of their current situation on social media. Don’t be blinded by the faux glitter.
  11. When you compare yourself to others, you’re forgetting that you are own little world of intricacies.
  12. You are special, but not everyone else may feel that way. Find a few people that think you’re special and you’re set.
  13. Yes, some people get everything they want when they want it. Most people have to work hard for anything they want though. Lose the sense of entitlement.
  14. Find a mentor, a confidant, someone who you can talk to about your goals and who can provide you with sound advice.
  15. If you haven’t started working out consistently, start. Your body, your mind, and your lover will thank you.
  16. Have a hobby. Read, write, exercise, go hiking, do something rather than Netflix binge-watching all weekend.
  17. Friendships will dwindle in quantity as time goes on. It’s partly on you to make sure that they do not dwindle in quality.
  18. Travel! See the world! Do the things that you won’t be able to do (as freely) if marriage and the family life is on your distant horizon.
  19. Relationships are basically about vulnerability, accountability, communication and honesty. You really need all four for it to work.
  20. You may be bordering on full-fledged adulthood, but you should still take your parents’ advice and hear them out. They have a few decades of experience on you.
  21. You’re busy and may be stuck in the monotony of everyday life, but try to be spontaneous every once in a while.
  22. Forgive people. This is good for both you and them. You might not be friends ever again, but the ability to be civil is beautiful.
  23. The most logical course of action is usually correct. Overthinking is a terrible, terrible thing.
  24. Time is of the essence.
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