As I turn 24 soon, there are several things that I have learned along the way that I wish I knew prior to turning 24. A few of these I have lived by and thought it would be nice to share (not in any specific order).
1. SOMETIMES LIFE DOESN'T GO AS PLANNED.
Sometimes things don't work out and that's okay. You can only plan so much of your life but life is a rollercoaster and it's unpredictable. I read this somewhere and it applies to this: “Just because things could have been different it doesn't mean they would be.”
There are times when my mood gets ruined by an event or bad situation. I find smiling and being around/talking to close friends distracts me and helps brighten the mood.
3. START TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF.
It's time to put yourself first. There's too many instances where young people are sacrificing themselves e.g. for school. Start exercising. Start eating healthier. Start that skincare. Self-care comes in many forms. Do what is best for you.
4. LEARN TO SAY NO.
You have the right to say no. You don’t need to please other people. You don’t need to care what others think. Saying no doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or being selfish. It means you are prioritizing your health and interests.
5. BUT IT'S JUST AS IMPORTANT TO SAY YES.
Don't miss out on opportunities that you know will benefit you. It's important to step out of your comfort zone every now and then. Sometimes you’ll end up learning something new and you may feel happy and content by the end.
6. IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY THEN DON'T SAY ANYTHING.
Gossiping is a no-no for me personally. It's toxic and damaging to yourself. There's really no benefit in it. Don't say anything that you'll regret later.
7. LEARN TO ACCEPT AND LOVE CHANGE.
It helps you grow as an individual. Staying in one spot and not growing is not rewarding. Things may take a path that you didn’t plan but that’s okay. God is the one who is the Planner.
8. IT'S OKAY TO BE ALONE.
It’s okay to not have a large group of friends. Be independent. It's okay to just stay at home and take time for yourself. Go to the movies or eat at a restaurant alone. Getting some time to unwind and think to yourself.
9. ALWAYS GIVE PEOPLE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT.
You never really know about a person’s life and the difficulties each person is going through. Everyone makes mistakes so be kind (and don't be a rude customer).
10. ALWAYS KEEP SOME EXTRA CHANGE ON YOU.
Someone may ask for change or you may need change for some food. There's no harm in giving out money for someone who needs it. Don't be selfish about money because it'll always find its way back to you.
11. SAVE, SPEND, AND SHARE.
It's important to save majority of your money, spend a little to treat yourself every now and then (this excludes necessities), and give some money to charity. Everything in life is about balance.
12. BE THE FRIEND YOU ALWAYS WISH YOU HAD.
As we are taught, treat those the way you want to be treated. Friendship is a two-way street. We may not be able to support each other at the same time, but knowing we are always there for each other (within our capacity), is a beautiful thing.
13. BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN IN YOUR LIFE.
How else would we appreciate the good ones. It's also how you let it affect you and how you handle it. Don't ruin the day for yourself.
14. IT'S BETTER TO BE REALLY GOOD AT ONE THING THAN BE MEDIOCRE IN A LOT OF THINGS.
At least target your energy on one thing at a time instead of juggling multiple things at once.
15. OWN UP TO YOUR MISTAKES AND LEARN FROM THEM.
Being held accountable and growing from our mistakes is what life is all about. No one is perfect and we must strive to be better always.
16. ASK FOR HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT.
People can only lend a helping hand to you for so long until you let them in your life and help them help you.
17. YOU'LL FEEL LIKE YOU'RE LOST.
We're all still learning about ourselves even after formal education so it's okay to not know all the answers.
18. DON'T GIVE UP ON SOMETHING UNTIL IT GIVES UP ON YOU.
Give it the best you've got and if it doesn't work out, at least you know you did the best you could.
19. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.
Compare yourself with yourself. Set goals to beat yourself not others. You are your benchmark, not anyone else.
20. NOT EVERYONE IS GOING TO LIKE YOU.
We tend to be people pleasers especially when we are young. It is totally normal if some people don’t like you. As long as you and your close circle are content with yourself, that’s all that matters.
21. IT’S OKAY TO SWITCH CAREER PATHS WHEN YOU’RE DEEP INTO IT.
Mariam (our Founder and CEO) switched undergraduate programs years into what she was in before. She was unhappy for years and decided to do something for herself.
22. BEING DIFFERENT IS TOTALLY FINE.
What sets you apart career-wise and in life is your personal brand and how it sets you apart from the crowd. I wish I knew that before trying to mould myself to society standards. Now, I’ve learned to embrace my individuality.
23. THERE’S NO TIMELINE FOR ANYTHING.
You don’t need to be married by a certain age. Get your Bachelor’s by a certain age. Nothing is on a set timeline except one that is written for you. Both Mariam and I got married at 23 even though she is still in university and I have graduated.
24. YOU AND SOME OF YOUR FRIENDS WILL OUTGROW EACH OTHER.
Sometimes you need to set people free in order to grow and vice-versa. People have unique experiences and sometimes they clash with each other in ways that inhibit one from growing.