So I turned twenty-five a few weekends ago. Usually, aging a year gives me anxiety. However, I was actually pretty pumped to turn twenty-five. Sadly, this was due in part to my year as a twenty-four year-old turning into a bad year, and I’m a little relieved to leave it behind me. I’m thinking twenty-five has to be better — although my first full day as a twenty-five year-old began with an evacuation drill at work. But I’m also kind of excited for this new phase of my life I seem to be entering. Twenty-three and twenty-four were my first two years out of college, and it’s really taken me that long to acclimate to the real world and build a life here. Those two years were full of feeling lost, desperate for a job where I wasn’t chained to a reception desk, and making far too many mistakes with boys who were, generally, the most frustrating human beings I’ve ever encountered. Now, I no longer call myself a recent college grad, which feels pretty good, since being a recent college grad kinda sucks. And since I’m a writer and observant and thoughtful and whatnot, I thought I’d make a list of twenty-five lessons I’ve learned in my life.
1. Don’t live every aspect of your life around other people. Your own happiness is so important, and if the people in your life truly care about you, it’ll be important to them too.
2. “Nice Jewish guys” aren’t always so nice.
3. If a guy doesn’t text you back for 9 hours, don’ t make the, “Oh, he’s probably at work,” excuse. No guy in his twenties works for nine hours without looking at his phone. Odds are he doesn’t really care about whatever you have with him.
4. On a similar note, when you sense a guy you really like isn’t that into you, get out. Get out now before you get even more emotionally involved. If he really likes you back, he’ll contact you and step up his game.
5. (This is my last guy-related lesson by the way) You don’t meet future significant others at bars. You meet hookups.
6. Always tell the bartender when it’s your birthday. You’ll get at least one delicious free birthday shot from him.
7. Eat good food. Like, really good food. Life is too short not to.
8. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Everything and everyone have the potential to let you down.
9. You can leave schoolwork to the last minute, but not work at a full-time job.
10. Don’t let the employees at a clothing store pressure you into starting a credit card there.
11. Take advantage of internship programs in college.
12. Don’t ever turn your back on something you’re passionate about.
13. Take some serious time to study the real estate market in your desired city before you start appartement/ house hunting. It’s important to know what your budget can get you, and to know a steal when you see one.
14. Always space alcoholic drinks with water and DO NOT drink on new medication.
15. Vary your sentence structure in your fiction and/or nonfiction writing.
16. Don’t go to Down, the club under Howl at the Moon in Boston. I don’t have enough time to explain, so just trust me.
17. If you aren’t allergic to any of the ingredients, try chicken and waffles as soon as you can, despite how weird it sounds.
18. At work, do every job you’re given as well as you can, and then ask for more. They just love it when you ask for more.
19. Get a dog at some point in your life. Everyone should experience the love their pure hearts give you.
20. Treat your parents better than you treat anyone else because they love you more than anyone else does.
21. Never ignore what you want. Acknowledge what it is and go after it. No, I’m serious. Go after it.
22. Be honest with the people you want to keep in your life. You have a right to choose who you want there, and they have a right know exactly where they’ll be.
23. When you have a new significant other, try to make time for your friends, too. They’re the ones who will comfort you if you break up.
24. Kiss frequently. Kissing is great.
25. Never let anyone in a higher position convince you you’re wrong if you know that you are %100 right.
One more for good luck:
Read good books and get utterly lost in them.