Monday, April 21, 2014

25 things I've learned before 25

It's weird being a quarter of a century old! The great thing about being in my early 20's was all the experiences I've had so far. Granted, I haven't really had that many, but I've had enough to learn a thing or two. This post is to impart some of that wisdom on all the other 20-somethings of the internet. So here's a list of things I've learned (and wish I knew earlier!) before I turned 25.

April Sprinkles: 25 things I've learned before 25

  1. Stop drinking soda! Drink as much water as possible all the time. Not only did I feel so much prettier and lighter than I did while drinking soda, but I was happier too. My complexion improved, my attitude improved, and I lost weight! Water is amazing.
  2. Cooking at home isn't actually that hard. It takes some practice to get the hang of it, and a couple of burnt dishes before you improve, but you'll get there eventually! Four years ago I had never cooked anything on the stove except for ramen. Now I feel like if I put my mind to it, I could cook anything I like! Just read all the instructions completely first, and then try it! You might be surprised of what you can accomplish. I even wrote my own recipe!
  3. Slowly cut out fast food from your diet. Maybe limit yourself to a certain amount of trips a week. Your wallet and your body will thank you. Believe me, your metabolism won't keep up with you forever. Everything bad for you is okay, but only in moderation. Also, you need to start eating more green things. We're not talking jelly beans here either. I mean broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus, lettuce, etc. You might be surprised at what your body starts to like once you get closer to your mid-20's. I used to hate broccoli, now I eat it several times a week!
  4. Clean up after yourself. Whether you live in a dorm/barracks, an apartment, a house, or even with your parents you will learn very quickly that there won't always be someone there to pick up after you, and no one actually wants to. Take a little time each day to put away clothes or pick up trash and do dishes. (Side-note: do dishes every day, or every-other day. It will save you time and grief.) Just simply make an effort. Your friends, your dates/partner, and your health will thank you. If your surroundings are clean, you'll feel a lot better about yourself and your life and will have fewer things to worry about. I learned this the hard way when I lived in NC. Roaches like your leftovers. Gross! Also, I developed an allergy to mold because of my poor cleaning habits and the house I was living in.
  5. Take classes that matter, but also take some classes for fun. My first year of college I took a "Rock History" course. It was by far the easiest class I had ever taken in college and it really helped me balance out my first term and get used to college life. I'd also suggest taking yoga to give yourself some time to relax during the day. Plus you're improving your body as well as your mind! Win/win!
  6. Read. Just read all the books. I would personally suggest anything by Jane Austen or John Green. Don't forget that libraries can be your best friend! That reminds me, I need to get a library card one of these days.
  7. Learn all the adult things they neglected to teach you in high school as soon as possible. Taxes, balancing checkbooks (which I still never do, by the way), budgeting, taking care of your vehicle, rent, computer care, sex ed (if your school and parents sucked), etc.I know they aren't fun, but they're necessary and important. I'm lucky that my dad helps me with most of these things, but I know someday I'll need to do all these on my own.
  8. Dating sucks. Online dating sucks. Boys suck. You thought they sucked in high school? Wait till they're able to get drunk publicly. Also there's a certain group of boys that will pretend they like you simply to get some. It's awful. I wrote a whole post about stupid things guys do on dating sites on my Tumblr. Welcome to the wide world of dating, where everything sucks and the points don't matter.
  9. Learn some self-defense tactics and carry pepper spray or a knife. Always be aware of your surroundings and protect yourself. I like the idea of being a self-rescuing princess. I've never been personally assaulted, but I've had friends that have been. I'm not saying that they weren't prepared because there are some situations you simply can't prepare for. But our society has a bias towards men that allows "boys to be boys" and they teach defense to women instead of teaching boys not to hurt them. So be careful out there!
  10. Relationships and friendships take work. You have to be a friend to keep friends. Relationships are two-way streets. (How many other cliches can I use? Do you get it yet? lol.) Some friends are awesome and will stay friends with you even if you don't talk to them much, but others need more attention to keep them in your life. I wrote a post about that too.
  11. Talk out your problems. If someone hurts your feelings don't let it stew, tell them how you feel! (But without blaming them. Use I-messages.) Making compromises and understanding how others feel is how you make relationships last. Most problems come from miscommunication. It's a waste of time to stew over something stupid if you can clear it up by talking. If you're in college I recommend taking a psychology or a sociology course at least once. Both give you better ideas of how to handle situations.
  12. Have at least one job where you work for minimum wage in retail or the food industry. You will learn to respect the people who work at your favorite stores and restaurants a lot more, and you will also learn to hate people just a little more than you did before. It's important. Working at a craft store made me realize how lazy people can be. Now I regularly spot things out of place, especially at the grocery store. One thing I'd like to tell you from my experience is that cashiers and sales associates prefer that you bring items you don't want up to the register. Especially cold items. Come on people!
  13. Be as open-minded as you possibly can. The world is a huge place filled with billions of people. You're not the only one with opinions and you won't always be right. Hear things from another person's point of view for a change so you can be more flexible. It will make you a better, well-rounded person.
  14. People will like what they like. You have your own preferences, right? Well so does everybody else. Generalizations about what girls or guys like is just a waste of time. Some guys like things, some guys don't. Some girls like things, some girls don't. It's as simple as that. All that matters is if you like something someone who likes the same things as you will come along eventually. 
  15. Don't change who you are to be with another person. Don't ever allow someone to make you change and don't expect others to change. Additionally, don't give up your dreams for anyone. This is your life and you should live it however you want while keeping the future in mind. It took me a five year failed relationship to realize that I practically gave up my future for another person. He didn't want me to, and I didn't either, but I wanted adventure and I thought I loved him. Which leads me to my next point.
  16. You don't have to stay with a person if they're doing things you don't like or appreciate. If you're being treated badly, you don't have to stay with someone regardless of if you "love them." love won't change a bad relationship. You have to work and make things better. If your partner isn't willing to change, find someone who will. This also applies to friendships. You don't have to settle. You'll regret it later. If you plan on cutting someone out of your life, it's best to just do it as soon as possible. Out of sight, out of mind most of the time. Hey, it worked for me... twice!
  17. High school never ends. (Hey, there's a song about that already!) But whether you're 20 or 50 people will still act like they're in high school no matter where you work or go to school. You just have to learn to deal with it. 
  18. Keep your frivolous drama off of facebook/social media. Everyone is judging you and you're making a fool of yourself. Find another way to vent like a friend to talk to or a journal. Some things just need to stay private. Also, these days companies and colleges have more access to your accounts than you realize. There's always the chance you could get fired for what you say online.
  19. Developing your own style can take years of work if you haven't got it down already. Also, you don't have to spend a lot of money to look great. Sales, thrift stores, Plato's closet, and consignment stores all have potential for giving you great items for a great deal. You'll get there eventually. Maybe watch some What Not To Wear to make sure you're on the right track! It might also be a good time to get rid of all the clothes you've saved from high school or middle school. My confession, I had a pair of workout pants from 9th grade! That was 10 years ago for me. Get rid of that stuff!
  20. Make mistakes and learn from them. As long as they aren't really stupid mistakes that can potentially screw up your life like drunk driving. I'm just saying, don't be afraid of messing up. Everyone does it and it's a good experience. Just don't let the sense of failure fester too long. Kick yourself a little for whatever it is and move on. You're a better, stronger person now!
  21. Respect yourself and everyone else. You are not the center of the universe and probably won't be the most important person in the world, but you are important. You just aren't any better than anyone else. They may rank higher at a job than you, but they aren't any better and you aren't any worse than they are. Don't ever think you're worthless because you're not.
  22. Love yourself and your body. I'm planning on writing a more in-depth post about this later. It took me years to get to the point where I accepted what I see in the mirror and just do whatever I can to make myself look the way I want to feel. Your body doesn't deserve to be treated badly. If you love it and take care of it, it will love you back. If you really don't like what you see, then work on changing, and don't give up!
  23. Do something a little outrageous before starting your career. I wish in college I had dyed my hair blue or gotten a crazy piercing or something. Something I would be able to recover from easily, and not something permanent that I would regret later. Instead I stayed plain and have always regretted it. I envy people who are able to express themselves that way.
  24. Start cutting out your bad habits now or as soon as you can feel motivated enough. In 2011 I stopped biting my nails for a while, and it actually worked somewhat, but I ended up going back to my old ways. Here I am again growing them out and it's going well so far! Identify the things that are holding you back, figure out a way to solve that problem and cut them out of your life!  
  25. Life is short, have fun once in a while! Let loose and enjoy yourself! I was so deprived of friendship and fun for the past few years that I've spent the last few months between here and Tacoma visiting my besties regularly. It was a necessary part of the healing process, believe me, lol. 
Now it's time for me to really focus on what I want to do with my life. I'm still confused but I at least have a general idea of where I want it to go. I just don't know how to get there from here.

In other news, my birthday was pretty fun! Last week a couple friends and I had dinner (free burger at Red Robin, wooh!) and then we went out dancing. (After I sat in traffic for 3 hours...) By the way, a crown is the perfect accessory for anyone celebrating who wants to get a ton of attention from drunk strangers! I got a bunch of hugs and high-5's. It was great.

April Sprinkles: 25 things I've learned before 25
Happy Birthday to me!
Then I finally had cake on Saturday with my parents and took a few pictures. I usually get ice cream cakes, but this year none of them fit my fancy, so I made up for it by wearing ice cream on my shirt instead! (Shirt from WalMart, surprisingly!)

 Oh! And before I forget,

happy 3rd birthday to my blog too!

 It's been a fun on-and-off adventure! :)

So, what things have you learned from being in your 20's? 30's? I'd love to hear advice from anyone in the 25-30 range so I know what to look forward to in the next 5 years!
April Sprinkles: 25 things I've learned before 25


  1. All great advice, especially with beginning to start healthy eating habits because how hard it can be (still trying to kick that soda addiction) and setting down roots of who YOU are. It's so easy to get caught up in what you think you need to be because of peer pressure in your early twenties. I'll be joining the 25 Club in December and kinda nervous! D: Time flies, man.

  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I'm turning 25 at the end of this year and I don't know how I feel about it. Such good advice. Cooking at home really isn't that bad at all. Not every meal needs to be elaborate. Relationships really do take work. I'm the kind of person that just expects everyone to call me or reach out to me when they want to hang out, but it really doesn't work that way! Phones work both ways. I've been trying to break that habit. And I absolutely hate social media drama. So childish. My favorite is #22 - love yourself! I think that's one of the most important lessons anyone can learn.

  3. Thank you for the great comment! Because it really is all about discovering who you are! I'm still working on a lot of these myself. It's definitely a process. I was nervous too, but then it just happens and you accept it. Enjoy your 24th year while you can! :)

  4. Thank you! It's so weird. Everyone is going to mention how you're a quarter of a century old. I blame any problems on having a quarter-life crisis now! haha. I'm the same with my friends. If they don't have facebook we rarely talk because I'm not much of a talker/texter unless I'm in the mood. It gets even harder to keep up with friends once they start getting in relationships and having children and important jobs. It's so easy to lose contact these days. I agree that #22 is my favorite too! I just get so happy when I look in the mirror these days and I don't judge myself for how I look. It's like a huge weight is lifted. Plus people can definitely tell when you love yourself and hold value in who you are or how you look. It's so important, especially in the early 20's when everything is in a constant state of change and fluctuation.

  5. Happy birthday! And 9 & 22 are especially important!


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