25 Essential Life Lessons for a 25-Year-Old
Life Lessons from a 55-Year-Old Mom to a 25-Year-Old
In this blog post, I’d like to share twenty-five life lessons I’d love to tell my 25-year-old self if I could. Since I can’t, I’ll tell you. And hopefully, you can benefit from them.
Not all lessons may apply to you and that is perfectly ok. This is like the little plate at the cash register – Take a penny. Leave a penny. Use what would benefit you.
First 5 Life Lessons
1. Laugh daily. It is so healthy to get a good laugh, and today it’s so easy with YouTube, Shorts, etc. The other day I cracked up at the jokes in Reader’s Digest.
2. You have time. I see so many young college students eager to be done and out in the world of work. Enjoy your time in college. If you really want a higher college degree, go for it. It will be harder to get once you begin working and start a family. Savor the free time you can get. You will have a lifetime to begin work.
3. Stay healthy. Walk more, drive less. Read more, watch less. Drink more water. Take care of your teeth by brushing them twice a day. When you lose those babies, that’s it! It’s a lot harder to lose weight than to keep it off. Work on staying close to your ideal weight. Stretch your muscles daily. Develop a skincare routine.
4. Spend time with your grandparents. They have so much to teach you before they are gone. Give them a chance. You will not regret it. Learn about their childhood. Oh, the stories you will tell the next generation about them!
5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Yes, that’s the title of a trendy book, but it is so true. Life is too precious to spend on the things that in the end, mean very little if anything at all.
6. If you have children, enjoy these early years with them. Take time off work when you can to attend their games. Snuggle and read a book with them. They don’t care about your work, your status, or your position. They care about how you make them feel when they are with you. Make that time, however little or much, matter.
7. No one in the world will love you like your parents. Their love is beyond compare. I say that as a mom of two. Most parents do the best they can. Hindsight is 20/20. Are there things I wish I would have done better? Definitely! Did I do the best I could with the knowledge I had at the time? Definitely! Give your parents a break! (If you grew up in an abusive household, this clearly does not apply to you! I’m sorry for your upbringing and wish you healing.)
8. Choose traditions that you like and keep them alive. They will bring you comfort and joy as the years pass by.
9. Not everyone who you consider your friend truly is one. (This applies to family members, too.) Learn to distinguish true friendship from acquaintances. You will be much happier if you figure this out sooner rather than later.
10. Practice your faith. You don’t have to be Mother Theresa or the Pope, but establish a relationship with God. However, that may look to you. Maybe it’s a 5-5-5 practice (5 minutes of Scripture, 5 minutes of prayer, 5 minutes of journaling). Maybe it’s listening to the Bible In a Year podcast on your way to work or school, using a Scripture and Prayer Journal, or attending Sunday worship. Whichever way you can, build your relationship with God. He’s always waiting for you with open arms.
Next Ten Life Lessons
11. Surround yourself with a community of believers. This one goes hand-in-hand with the one above. In order to keep and grow in your faith, it is important that you surround yourself with people who share your faith and who can guide you. You will develop and grow like the people you surround yourself with. Choose wisely.
12. Go out with friends and family rather than via virtual or text messages whenever you can. There is nothing like spending some quality face time with people you love. (And maybe put your cell phone away during this time so you can enjoy it.)
13. Build good habits. Want to learn about building and living good habits? Read Atomic Habits by James Clear. What a great book!
14. Start saving. Create an Emergency Fund for yourself, but also a fund for something you would enjoy, like traveling. When you are older, you will have a lot more time on your hands and less money. Start saving now. Build your 401K fund. If your employer matches, then save at least the employer match amount. If you don’t, you are leaving money on the table.
15. Get a hobby or learn a sport. It will keep you active and engaged with the outside world. If it can be a group thing, even better.
Enjoying So Far? I hope so. Let’s continue.
16. Stay in touch with your high school and/or college friends. I lost touch with most of my college friends until Facebook made an appearance. When I got on Facebook, I was able to find and stay in touch with both high school and college friends. I remember how amazed I was that I could keep in touch with them.
17. Meet people from as many ethnicities as you can. Get to know them, their culture, and their country. Learn about the foods they like to eat and what “family” looks like to them. Ask how things compare to where they live now. Try their foods. Open up your palette to different flavors and textures.
18. Keep your resume always up to date. You never know when a great opportunity will show up. Don’t stay stuck in a job that you hate. Yes, all jobs have boring aspects and days that you just can’t wait for them to be over. But every day shouldn’t be like that. You should enjoy most days. If not, then while you keep your current job, be on the lookout for other opportunities.
19. Travel. Travel as often as you can. Learn about other cultures. Visit museums. Sit at a local café and watch people doing everyday life. Talk to locals. Take pictures. One thing I love to do is take a mental picture. When I see something I just love, I stand there for a minute in silence taking it all in… the sights, the smells, the sounds. Traveling helps you learn to appreciate other countries and appreciate yours as well.
20. Try new things. Don’t do what you always do. If you enjoy reading romance novels, then try reading a murder mystery. If you enjoy video games, try a board game. It doesn’t matter, just try something new. Try playing a musical instrument or drawing or a sport you’ve never tried before. Who knows? You may be a prodigy and not know it. If you aren’t, well that’s ok too.
The Last Five Life Lessons
21. Dance. You don’t have to be a ballroom dancer (although if you want that, that’s freaking awesome!). Just dance. Dance in the privacy of your bedroom if that makes you feel better, but turn up the music and dance. Feel every muscle in your body moving to the sound of the music. Close your eyes and let your body enjoy this moment.
22. Pick a cause and give it your TIME! Yes, time, not money. If you want to give them your money, do so, but that should not substitute your time. It is your time that will help the most and will have the greatest effect on you. It will change you and it will further your cause’s efforts.
23. Practice prudence when posting on social media (or allowing others to record you). It’s one thing to get drunk with your friends after your heart has been broken, and quite another to have a video of you vomiting in the bathroom stall back when you were young just as you are being considered for a position as judge of the high court.
24. Trust your gut. I wish I would have trusted my gut more when I was younger. It has never steered me wrong.
I’ve saved the best for last.
25. If you are a working mom (or dad), cut yourself some slack. You CANNOT, I repeat CANNOT do it all alone. It takes a village. Hire help wherever you need it.
For a good part of my career, I left home on Monday morning and didn’t return until Thursday night. In the beginning, I would take those three days to clean the house, do the laundry, and make sure the kids had everything they needed for the week. By the time I was done, it was time to pack up again and leave. I hired help and have never looked back. It saved my marriage. We raised great children, my house was clean, the laundry was done and the time I had at home, I spent enjoying my family.
If you want it all – career and family – you CANNOT do it alone.
And with this said, don’t judge other moms who choose to stay home and bring homemade cookies to the school fundraiser. We all live life as we choose to live it. There is no shame in either option. Build your village proudly and don’t allow ANY mommy shaming!
At 25 I thought I knew it all. And for the most part, I did a pretty good job. But at 55, I can look back and see where I could have done better. It will be the same for you. Hindsight is great!
I am not telling you anything I haven’t told my own children. I wish someone would have given me these winks of wisdom when I was 25. Best of luck, girl! You’ve got this!
Take Action Today
What life lesson has someone shared with you that you have found invaluable?