Hello friends! Today is my BIRTHDAY!! I am turning 24, which frankly I can’t believe because I still feel 19? That said, I feel like I mentally am around 40 and physically around 65 so this sucks. In this post, I wanted to share 24 Things I Learned By 24 and give you all the life advice I have at this point in my life! I feel like I’ve gained a lot in the last year, so strap in for the ride. Out of all the things I learned in life so far, these 24 are the best!
These are things I learned about life, about myself, and about the world in general. For someone who is still relatively young, I feel like I have lived many years! That probably comes from working since you were 16 in many different roles and industries.
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1. Never Stop Having FUN!
I feel like everyone is always judging adults who like Disney, but let me tell you, the best people I have ever met worked with me AT DISNEY! We laughed, waited online for End Game tickets together, toured the parks, and got up at 3am for exclusive jobs together. I also feel like it’s so necessary to still find the fun in life even if you’re no longer a kid!
2. Learn To Enjoy Time Alone
COVID honestly kick started this for me, but there were many times in college I went to study or eat alone! I really value myself (and my incessant internal monologue), so I enjoy being alone at times. At the beginning of the pandemic, I didn’t leave my apartment or see anyone else for two entire months. I was TERRIFIED. So I stayed inside, stayed safe, and realized I don’t mind being alone.
3. Always Try to Put Others First
This is something else the pandemic has shed light on. I (as well as millions of people in other countries) cannot fathom how selfish some Americans are. The easiest way to save other’s lives (and your own) is by just wearing a mask and standing 6 feet away from others. That’s literally it. Yet for some people that seems to be impossibly difficult. Selfishness is a disease and I’m over it.
4. Find Friends With Similar Interests
This year has been EASILY my best year when it came to blogging. I surpassed my full-time income, but I don’t think I would’ve done that unless my blogger friends bullied me into raising my rates. I literally am so thankful to have them in my life for tips, advice, friendly bullying, and laughs! I wouldn’t have gotten through 2020 without them and I’m forever grateful.
5. Leave a Job If It’s Toxic
This year I left my full-time job that I was secure in AND that I was good at. I made that decision because I frankly wasn’t happy. I kept waiting to feel regret after leaving, but I haven’t felt that way ONCE. I think this was God’s way of legitimately moving me into a new segment of my life. I wrote more about my decision, how I went about it, and more in my post (here).
6. Put All Extra Money Towards Your Debt
In 2020 I actually was able to pay off $30,000 of student loan debt! It was an insane feat that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to accomplish. Thankfully (not really “thankfully,” but you get it), all student loan interest was cancelled this year. I knew it was my opportunity to not accrue any additional debt, and I couldn’t really go anywhere, so this worked out in my favor! Read more (here).
7. Embrace + Love Plants
So many people say they don’t have a “green thumb” when really all you need to do is not forget about your plants and read their care cards. Frankly it’s that simple LOL! Plants are amazing to have because they create clean air, a happy living space, and are decor in themselves. Want to learn how to purchase plants and more on taking care of them? Be sure to read my post (here).
8. Make Your Space a Happy One
I hand’t really “decorated” my space until this year because I was in college and/or only living somewhere for a few months. When I interned at Disney I literally didn’t have a single piece of furniture in my apartment or a TV. Looking back, that seems insane because I have WAY too much stuff now! I also had the thought that apartments are temporary, so why make them nice? This is my HOME for now though, and I want to enjoy it.
9. Cherish Time With People
I frankly have had entirely too many family members pass away since 2015 and it’s been hard coping. I had to miss one of my grandfather’s funerals because I had a group project no one helped me work on. I had to miss another because I was an intern thousands of miles away and couldn’t afford the flight. Looking back, I wish I had done more. Said more. Been there more. Cherish time with those you have, because you don’t know how long you have left.
10. Recognize Your Successes
I am notorious for having the worst imposter syndrome known to man. As soon as I have an accomplishment I never think it’s “enough.” I never feel like I’m at the success level of others and then I minimize all of the amazing things that I did myself. It’s a horrible habit to have, but one that’s really hard to silence (especially when you have anxiety/depression). Take the time to recognize your effort and hard work!
11. Set Up a Workout Routine
Although medicine is ultimately what helps my anxiety and depression, working out and getting my blood flowing helps too! I notice that if I don’t work out for a few days, I get grouchy, I don’t sleep well, and I’m just not as motivated. Working out can be hard to fit into a busy schedule, but I take time on my lunch break to do so! It also helps me break up my day.
12. Listen to Your Body
I have had various health issues for YEARS now and I literally put “go to the doctor” on my bucket list for the year. I moved around so much prior to 2020 that it was hard to find one doctor to consistently go to! This year I made it a priority to put my health and well being first. I’m honestly so happy I did so because it has improved my life in more ways than you can imagine!
13. Be Authentically You
Be authentically you! This is so important to remember because if you aren’t being true to yourself, what are you honestly doing? This year I had multiple blog posts stolen by another blogger, “Authentically Taffi” and the fact that her name literally alluded to authenticity when she was profiting off of stolen work baffled me. In the influencer space, if you aren’t using your own work, words, and images, what are you even doing! I have stood by this since I started writing and will stand by it until I stop.
14. Organize Your Space
I started binge watching The Home Edit on Netflix a few months ago and went on an organization binge. I definitely spent wayyy too much at The Container Store, but I’m not even mad about it. My drawers have more space, my pantry has more room, and my bathroom has cute bins that are functional and chic! It will put your mind at ease even if everything else is chaotic.
15. Do Things Outside of Your Comfort Zone
I am a notorious introvert. I prefer being at home where I don’t have to overthink social situations hours ahead of time. That said, my boyfriend is extremely extroverted and it has caused me to actually enjoy spending time out and about or with other people! We dressed up as inflatable tube men for an outdoor Halloween party and it was the most fun I’ve had in years.
16. Take Your Meds
I first tried an anxiety medication in college because I could barely function. That said, it absolutely RUINED my body and I refused to try any after that because of the side effects. However, in March of this year my anxiety and depression hit harder than ever and I knew I needed to get a new prescription! It turned out to be the best thing I have ever done and I’m so happy.
17. Buy Flowers for Yourself Every Week
Okay super random, but this part of my week makes me so happy? I first got some hydrangeas from Trader Joes for a summer shoot, but then I realized I LOVED having flowers in my apartment every week. It brightens up a space and they also smell amazing. It’s a little expense that gives a small pick-me-up and gets me excited to get groceries every week!
18. Wear Sunscreen Every Day
I would like to shout out my friend Tomi for kindly yelling at me and saying I need to wear sunscreen every day regardless of if it’s sunny out or not. If you were naive like I was, it’s important to lather up every day because it helps to block harmful UV rays that are stronger now that the ozone layer has depleted. It can cut your risk of getting cancer in HALF! Just by adding sunscreen. My favorite are Black Girl Sunscreen (here) and Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen (here)!
19. Don’t Overwork Yourself (Job and/or Side Hustle)
I used to work 16-18 hour days in front of a computer and then wonder why my eyes burned. Um, maybe because you are glued to a screen? Now I try to give myself “off hours” every day. I usually try not to work after 9:00pm unless I have strict deadlines that have to be met. This has helped me GREATLY reduce the eye pain and exhaustion I was having on a day to day basis.
20. Get Involved
I have always been a “get involved” type of gal. I like to be in all the action, helping as much as I can! This year I signed up to be a poll worker and it turned out to be the best experience ever! I got to work with all different kinds of people. Even though my day started before the sun rose, and ended way after it set, it was still worth it. Read more about how I became a poll worker and how you can too (here)!
21. Drink More Water
My worst habit is that I don’t drink nearly enough water. At 24 years old I still struggle to do the one thing that keeps humans alive and properly functioning. I realized how horrible about drinking water I’d been, so I have started forcing myself to chug some every hour or so! I also drink a cup every morning before I eat breakfast to kick start my organs and get hydrated.
22. Try to Be More Sustainable
This is something that I try to improve upon every year, but something that is also very hard. America is not set up to be a sustainable country. That makes it a bit harder to easily integrate sustainable practices into your day to day life! It’s easy to do small thing though. By recycling your K-Cups, trying to limit single use plastics, and by purchasing bamboo toothbrushes, you can help save the environment!
23. Explore New Interests
This can relate to literally anything! One interest I’ve picked up over the last year is anime. Growing up I just didn’t like how the graphics looked, but my sister and bf love anime shows. I have to admit, I really like the shows now! My favorite is Food Wars and I plan to try and find some new ones on Netflix to watch. They’re honestly so good and have great storylines!
24. Don’t Stay in a Relationship Because You’re Comfortable
Oof this one hit hard. I ended a 3.5 year relationship at the beginning of this year because I just wasn’t happy. I felt like I kind of outgrew the relationship and it just was not what I felt like I needed. It was hard to do, but I honestly wouldn’t be where I was today if I had stayed somewhere where I was not fully happy. This was the biggest lesson I learned up to this point in my life, but also the most important!
Wow, I can’t believe y’all read all 2,000 words of this post! I hope the 24 Things I’ve Learned By 24 help you in some way and that my experience (and failures) help aid you in your life. If you have had any similar experiences that changed your life, be sure to leave a comment/advice below!
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Photos by Hannah Lozano