25 Things I Learned Before Turning 25

On the 22nd April 2018 I turned 25 years old, a quarter of the way to 100! I realise this post is a little late… I went on holiday to the Lake District straight after my birthday and I’m just getting back into blogging after a bit of a hiatus. I thought what better way to start back up again than talking about what I’ve learned in my life so far. I’ve seen a few of these posts going around, and I just love the idea of them.

1. Dogs really are man’s best friend.

I was brought up with dogs and animals my whole life, but over the 6 years of owning my own dogs, I’ve learned that they are so important to me in every way. I care for them like they’re my children and every time I’ve needed a cuddle or wanted to go for a stroll to think, they’re always there ready to make things better.

2. Being yourself brings you the best confidence.

For a while, I definitely didn’t feel comfortable being myself due to the remarks other people made (mostly idiots from school or college). But in recent years, I’ve really found more happiness and self-confidence in disregarding them and just being undeniably myself anyway.

3. Eggs make the best breakfast ingredient.

I’m always hungry an hour after eating a bowl of cereal or a couple slices of toast. Yet, for some reason, every time I eat eggs for breakfast, I feel full for so much longer. So now I eat eggs for breakfast almost every single day!

4. A walk a day can help take the stress away.
I attended therapy for a while and probably one of the best things to come from it was that I can practice mindfulness whilst on a relaxing walk. I love walking and especially walking my dogs, and I always feel better after a good stroll.

5. It’s never too late to change your career.

I studied Childhood Studies at university and worked in Early Years Education for more than 6 years, working my way up to management and I was quite successful in my career. I loved my job, but it was never what I truly wanted to do. When I was 24 I decided to go back to college and make a career change and I really do feel like it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

6. Most people’s opinions do not matter.
I used to have a real problem constantly worrying about what other people think of me. Do they like me? Have I upset them? Did I do something? The sooner I realised that most people’s opinions show us their personality, and doesn’t actually reflect me as a person, I was able to be more myself.

7. Drink water every single day.

I’m almost ashamed to say that for a good few years I almost never drank water… seriously! I drank Coke, Lucozade and other sugary drinks, and I have no idea how I never felt as dry as the Sahara desert. It was only this year that I got a Britta filter and started drinking water every day… and now I crave it. It’s cleared up my skin, I feel more awake and I even sleep better at night. Slap on the back of the hand for me, for waiting so long to do such a basic human need!

8. You can and will break bad habits.

It can seem difficult trying to break bad habits and like you’ll never get there but you can and will. Some of the habits I’ve broken are nail-biting, avoiding the doctors, not drinking water and not exercising.

9. A good skincare routine is an important part of the day.

I knew it was important to look after our skin, but it wasn’t until I went to college and learned about sun damage, ageing and skin conditions, that I realised just how important it is to have a good, decent skincare routine. Always wash your makeup off at the end of the day. Cleanse, tone and moisturise, and yes, drink lots of water.

10. Blood is not thicker than water.

Some people have a strong family bond and that’s brilliant. But one thing I’ve learned about family is that just because someone is related to you, doesn’t mean you owe them anything. Family is what you make of it, and sometimes the best ‘family’ aren’t biologically related to you at all.

11. Bedtime is the best time of the day.

I used to hate going to bed when I was younger, but now I’ve realised it really is the best time of the day. I love a good bath on a night, and then some relaxing chill time catching up on YouTube, ready to settle down for bed.

12. It’s OK to not be OK.

Life isn’t always sunshine and roses. It’s OK to go through rough patches, to feel sad or down, and to struggle. It doesn’t make you a failure, or a bad person. It’s OK to be human, and life is a rollercoaster with both ups and downs.

13. Kindness really does make a difference.

Everything is better when it’s accompanied by kindness. I always make the effort to compliment someone, smile at them, or just be there for them. I’ve really learned to appreciate kind acts over the years, big or small.

14. Disney never gets old or boring.

I’ve always been an avid Disney fan and it never became dull as the years have gone on. I still love a good road trip with a Disney singalong, or a good film to cheer me up on self-care days.

15. Photos and videos become so important for cherishing precious memories.

I always loved taking photos, but I started collecting them properly when I was around 20. I have thousands upon thousands of photos. I have them on hard drives, in photo albums and I have a lovely feature photo wall filled with framed photos. I still look back at my albums to reminisce and just last year I started vlogging. Now I have so many videos of my life to look back on too and I love it.

16. Always trust your gut instinct.

I think self-doubt is quite common but over the last few years, I’ve really learned to trust my own instincts, thoughts and feelings. It’s lead me down a path where I I’ve truly found myself, and what I want to do with my life. I now trust my own instincts far more than I used to. 

17. Salad cream is by far the best condiment.
Heinz salad cream goes with everything. Need I see more on this?

18. Self-care is always important.

I once thought drive and ambition were my top priority back when I studied full time and worked 2 jobs on the side. But I quickly fell into a spiral of depression, and after that, I started taking care of myself more and treating my mental health as a priority. When I used to get poorly, I would avoid the doctors. Now doctors, hospitals and healthcare are so ingrained into my life because of my illness I can’t imagine my health being less important than a quick visit to the doctor.

19. Learning to drive was a great choice.

Honestly, driving has opened up so many opportunities for me and getting my license when I was 20 was one of the best things I ever did. I may have spent a silly amount of money because it took me 3 times to pass, but I’ve never looked back. I can travel to places I wouldn’t have if I didn’t have a car, I see my friends and family far more, and it’s just made my life so much easier.

20. Always stay in contact with the friends that show they care.

People come and go in life, but I’ve learned to hang onto the people who do genuinely care about you. I’ve lost contact with people, and sometimes that’s ok, but for some, I do regret it. Now I make sure I put in the effort with people who I want in my life for good.

21. Your GP doesn’t always know what’s best – get a second opinion!

For years I struggled with health problems, being told it was “just anxiety” or “just IBS”. In fact, my GP sent me off with Ibuprofen and dismissed me, when it turned out I actually had a lifelong autoimmune disease and the Ibuprofen was making it worse. I’m not even supposed to take any NSAID medication. If I’m unsure about something, I always seek a second opinion and question it. I know myself better than anyone else.

22. The gym is actually rather enjoyable.

The gym can be such a chore, and I always had a problem with motivation. I used to wonder how people got up and went to the gym, but after going for a while I realised… actually, I really enjoy this and I feel great afterwards!

23. Hard work really does pay off.

I’ve learned that rewards do come from working hard, even if it does take a while. Sometimes those rewards can be small too, like enjoying a small hot chocolate at the end of a long day. Or it can be larger things like achieving blog views, milestones, and doing well at college.

24. Harry Potter is, and always will be, the greatest story ever.

Nothing has ever topped Harry Potter. Ever. It will remain the greatest book and film series of all time. If you haven’t visited the Warner Brother Studio Tour in London, then that’s a must if you’re a Harry Potter fan like me.

25. Happiness is the best life goal to have.

Even when I had my own house, a car, and a well-paid job, I didn’t feel truly happy. Now, I’m 25, living back with my family, a student not in work and forever skint, yet I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I think it’s down to finding my interests, doing things for myself, being kinder to others and the environment, cutting out toxicity and appreciating what I do have. I feel happier than I’ve ever felt in my whole life.

I hope you enjoyed this post. It was quite therapeutic for me to write since it’s quite reflective on my life and what I feel like I’ve learned in my short but sweet life. I might do this blog post again at 30 and see what else I’ve learned or if anything’s changed. Happy April!