Soooo... I turn 25 next month. Gulp.
*Insert quarter-life crisis here*
A few hundred years ago I would have been old enough to be an “elder” in a tribe somewhere. But, no, I am going to be 25 in 2011. Old enough for kids to think I’m ancient and young enough for old people to think I don’t know shit about life.
Hello, Rock, have you met Hard Place?
Newsflash: I DO have some wisdom (note: some) and advice to offer all the young’uns. So, here goes...
7 Things I Wish I Would Have Known Before Turning 25 But I’m Telling You Now to Save You Trouble and Heartache and Other Stuff So Be Happy About It.
#7 Hangovers do not get better with age
Enjoy the minimal effects of your young-aged-hangovers while they last. Maybe you’re reading this and you think I’m joking. Or you think “This won’t happen to me!” You thought wrong. The days of waking up after Jell-O shot night to a slight headache and determination to eat a 4,000 calorie breakfast are numbered. Maybe you have a nickname like “Boozer” or “40oz. Delight” or “Shotgun Shooter” – these names will not save you from the Evil Hangover Monster, either.
How do you know you’ve reached the age of Hangover Hell? You wake up in the morning and proclaim, “I feel like I’ve been flushed down the toilet, died, and was reincarnated as a soggy cardboard box! I used to drink WAAAAYY more than that and I NEVER felt like THIS.”
Yep. Sucks, doesn’t it? My significant other and I recently had a very good reason to celebrate and we knew ahead of time that excessive amounts of alcohol were going to be involved. Before leaving the house, I placed water, antacids, and ibuprofen on each of our nightstands. Again, this is not a joke. Know your hangovers, people, and safety plan accordingly.
#6 Take that extra time to not sound like an idiot in an email
When I was a sophomore in college I overheard two professors griping about emails from their students. They were shocked by their students’ choice of words and embarrassed by the lack of general respect and professionalism. One professor said they could not believe they actually got an email that said:
Did we do anything in class Friday?”
Short and...sweet, right? One: don’t call your professor “Hey.” Two: sign your name. Three: you insult the professor by insinuating their class is a waste of time. Four: you sound like an idiot!
As mentioned in my previous blog post, I used to be a lacrosse coach. Out of 25 players, I had ONE player who took the time to write me real emails whenever she would miss practice. She played another sport at the time and constantly had to negotiate her schedule – but she always kept me informed and treated the email, and me, with the respect we both deserve.
That’s 1 out of 25. (Rest assured I bragged about her to her parents.) The other players would send me Facebook messages. *FACEPALM* They went like this...
“i cant make it to practice 2nite cuz i have a project do tomorrow or else i would be there but my mom says i have to get it done first and i wont be done on time”
This is a 16 year old American high school student from an upper-middle class family. Think what you will about that bonus information. Nonetheless, I wasn’t even afforded punctuation in their message. So, please, don’t sound like an idiot in your emails. It has the power to leave lasting impressions.
#5 Credit cards are to be respected, not abused
Maybe you just HAD to go to Ikea and make your beer stained apartment look REALLY cute. And maybe you were dying to make minimum payments for the rest of your natural life, too.
#4 Eat breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day yada yada blah blah blah. (Ok but that’s totally true.) It’s not really about eating breakfast; it’s about making YOU a priority. This is something I REALLY wish I would have caught on to before my almost-25 age. Silly things like wearing sunscreen, flossing, and eating breakfast are actions that take little time and have lasting benefits. So don’t sleep in the extra 5 minutes and don’t think “I’ll do that when I’m older.” You get one body and that’s it.
**Also true for vitamins and condoms.**
#3 Facebook statuses may come back to haunt you
Why has Facebook become a passive aggressive wasteland for all things breakups and relationships? Did you really have to post The Script lyrics, AGAIN?! Did everyone REALLY need to know you were going to Wing Wednesday for the seventh week in a row? Maybe you got 9 “likes” on your status, but you’re forgetting the other 400 friends that gave you a solid eye-roll upon seeing your strange update.
Once upon a time I decided to go through the older posts on my Facebook wall (it’s these kinds of things that make us writers really really successful). I saw some posts from years ago and thought, “Did I really write that? Was that me!?” But the truth was there on the interwebbies.
Friends don’t let friends Facebook stupid stuff.
I know people of all ages that could use some work in the thoughtfulness department. I’m not going to try to explain this one because I think I’ll come out looking like an arrogant tool. So, I’ll let Maya Angelou do it:
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
#1 Follow your passion and screw what everyone else has to say about it
This is my absolute number one “thing” I wish I would have known ten years ago. I don’t regret the time I spent in all my chemistry and calculus classes. And I don’t like regret...that can be another post...I am disappointed that I didn’t listen to, and trust, my instincts sooner. I do, however, feel quite lucky that I embraced my passion when I did. Some people go their entire life without that chance.
That’s it. Those are my seven things. I’m sure in another ten years I will look back on this and laugh at myself for what I thought I knew. Like sands through the hour glass..