birthday cake candles

Things I’ve learnt about being 25

I read somewhere recently that the logical side of your brain doesn’t develop properly until your mid-twenties. Strange, right?

Also a valid reason to blame for the questionable fashion choices, bad haircuts and terrible decisions about awful men in the last seven years of your life. While I’m a little bit dubious as to whether your sanity is dictated by the number of candles on your cake, even I have to admit that turning 25 has involved a bit of a turning point for me.

I was a seemingly overconfident nineteen year old – when I wasn’t talking to anybody and everybody in the student union nightclub and drinking double vodkas like there was a shortage, I was rocking up to seminars with UV paint on my face from the night before. Being at university will do that to you – a small bubble where you can feel safe before being plunged out into the world at 21 with no job, no money and a space in your parent’s house if you’re lucky. Ok, so I’m being overdramatic, but in the last four years it has taken me to build up my ‘adult life’ – flat, car, job, boyfriend, food processor, I have learnt a lot about myself and hopefully, I’m about to impart some of this wisdom.

No-one teaches you these things

School didn’t prepare me much for the adult world. I’ve never had to draw a stem and leaf diagram or play Mary had a little Lamb on the recorder since the day I discarded my school uniform. Instead, I’ve had to learn new things like how to read an electricity bill, how to do well in a job interview or how to check my car’s engine oil. Then there are the really important things, like patience. Good things come to those who wait, you know.

Stop bloody worrying about everything

As the popular 90’s hit by Baz Lurhman dictates, ‘worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.’ I’ve spent far too many of the 25 years I’ve had worrying about things that don’t matter – what I look like, how much money I have, what people think about me. I’m resolving to do a lot less of that in the next 25 years.

No one cares what you look like in a bikini

Seriously. On a same note, no one cares what you look like when you’re sweating it out in the gym, or when you’ve nipped out for milk without mascara or when you’ve just come off a ten hour flight looking like The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Stop stressing – it’ll stop you living a life.

All the cliches are true about friends

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve known some 12 years and others a few months, some friends will be there for you and some won’t. Sometimes the people who really know you will be half way across the world, and sometimes the people that think about you the most don’t always say it.

Treat your body for how it feels, not how it looks

This is a difficult one, but when I was living off vodka and fish finger sandwiches as an 18 year old, I was more than happy when I could slip into a smaller dress size despite the fact I got a throat infection and nearly knocked myself unconscious on a toilet lid. Nowadays, I’m slowly learning to spend less time worrying about the number on the scales and concentrating on how strong my body feels when I’ve been for a run or packed in my 5 fruit and veggies a day.

Rejection makes you stronger

Whether you’ve been dumped by someone you supposed would be the The One or you didn’t get the job you were meant to, nothing hurts like rejection. After graduating, I spent a lot of my time wondering whether I was in the right direction job-wise and being rejected made me learn a lot about myself, like how much I was willing to take.

You’ll never know everything

When you think about it, 25 is a miniscule number. No one thinks you should have everything figured out by now – it doesn’t matter whether you’re still living in your parent’s house studying or you’ve got three kids, you’ll never know everything. That’s the point though, right?

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