Last updated on December 28th, 2022 at 10:23 am
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I am a quarter-century old this week so as a celebration post, here are 25 lessons learnt in 25 years.
Happy birthday to me!
It’s crazy because I still feel like a 17-year-old girl floating through life.
I heard that there’s not a defining moment where you feel like your age and so far, it’s been true for me.
I did learn a lot over the past two decades and it’s time to write them in a blog post.
For my 25 lessons in 25 years list, I have divided these into the following sections: travel, self, relationships, and school/career.
I just thought it would be easier to read instead of clumping everything together.
1) Travel – 25 Lessons I Learned by 25
1. Always buy a bottle of water after the security check. There were times when there were no water bottles left on the plane. If you’re on a long-distance flight, that sucks big time.
2. Buy a power bank. They are lifesavers, especially for those who travel a lot. When I flew to HK and had to wait at the airport for over 12 hours for my COVID test results, I relied heavily on my power bank. What was I going to do if my phone died? It’s much better than running around trying to find an outlet and not being able to move from a spot because your phone is charging.
3. When I was in the UK, I got to travel a bit in Europe. There are all these budget airlines. They do sell cheaper flights but they charge you for everything, even a seating fee. By paying a premium fee, you can sit in the first few rows on the plane, are one of the first people to board, and one of the first people to get off as soon as you land.
4. When travelling, stay near a shopping area. I love hitting all the famous tourist attractions but also want time to walk around the streets to shop. When those attractions close around 5 pm, I can go back to my hotel and rest for a bit before heading down to walk around some more (I love buying souvenirs like snacks and/or t-shirts).
5. Strike a balance between taking pictures for Instagram and enjoying the moment. I started taking photos of my trips about two years ago. In the past, I would get annoyed at people who are always trying to take pictures of EVERYTHING but I can see the appeal now. I look back on those photos and wouldn’t even remember as much as I do if it weren’t for them.
6. Do more things by yourself whether that’s travelling, eating or even watching a movie. I’ve travelled by myself several times now and I quite like it. I can set my schedule and do whatever I want without considering someone else.
7. Be careful of what you say. I grew up in a household where my family is really blunt. I always forget a lot of people didn’t grow up like that. I’m working hard on thinking before I speak.
8. When it comes to getting advice, talk to people who are similar in some way but also different because you can get a fresh perspective. You want them to understand you but provide some sort of insight that you might not think of.
9. Drink more hot water. Studies have shown that hot water aids digestion and has other health benefits. It’s best to drink on an empty stomach.
10. Always carry tissues in your bag. My friends tend to make fun of me but hey! You honestly never know when you need them. There were many times when my friends asked me for tissues.
11. Floss and don’t forget to put on your Invisalign/retainer every night. No one likes going to the dentist/orthodontist more than they have to. I know I don’t.
12. Improve your writing skills. Writing is key when it comes to making your blog successful. I was a pretty bad writer in high school but thankfully, I’ve improved since then. It’s one of the handiest skills and you need to write in every job.
13. When I’m in a bad mood, I like to watch videos of people less fortunate than me. Some people might feel even worse/guilty but it has the opposite effect on me. It is very humbling and makes me grateful for my position.
3) Relationships (family/friends):
14. It takes effort to be close to anyone, including family. Keep in contact with your loved ones by hanging out in person, calling, and texting them.
15. I have a somewhat love-hate relationship with my birthday. When you’re younger, you don’t really think about your parents getting older but they are. Always set aside time for them.
16. Just because they are family doesn’t mean I will get along with every single person and that’s okay.
17. When you fight with someone, you see his or her true colours. Even if it’s someone you’ve known for years. It tells you a lot about them and how they deal with things when it doesn’t go their way.
18. My girlfriends are so important. People always focus on romantic relationships but I can’t tell you how many times my girls have been there for me. Female friends are empowering yet so underrated.
19. One-on-one time is the best. That’s when you get to know someone. Group hangouts are fun cuz there are activities you can do together like bowling but it can be hard to bond with someone with so many people around.
4) School/Career – 25 Lessons I Learned by 25
20. Go visit the universities you are interested in going to (if you can). You’re going to be there for 4-5 years. It’s good to get a vibe. Maybe after visiting there, you’ll realize you prefer to go to school in the middle of nowhere so you can feel the school community. If you can’t visit these campuses in person, then do a LOT of research. For example, if you care about university rankings, US News has an annual ranking for colleges in the U.S.
21. Study/intern abroad in a country you’re interested in, if possible. It can be a trial to see whether or not you like the country and can see yourself staying there long term. With a job, it’s a bigger commitment. Unless it’s a contract or an internship, you have to stay there for an indefinite amount of time. With studying or interning abroad, there is a deadline or if you don’t like it then it’s easier to go home.
22. If you don’t know what you want to do in your career, start figuring out what you don’t want to do. Brainstorm things you’re interested in and see what jobs are available within those areas.
23. Don’t underestimate the power of LinkedIn. For years, I neglected it but it’s honestly one of the best platforms to promote yourself. By adding more people, you can also access their contacts. If you’re looking for a job, it is the way to go.
24. Develop good habits early like having a self-care routine and cutting out on unnecessary expenses.
25. Also, if you can, try living in a dorm. When I lived at home, it was easy for my parents to figure out the solution to everything. When you move away from your hometown, it forces you to be more independent. I found it to be a precious experience.
Final Thoughts – 25 Lessons I Learned by 25
It took quite a bit of time to think of things to write but compiling the list of 25 lessons I learned by 25 was super fun.
I’m going to start taking notes for next year’s post: 26 things I learned by 26. I wouldn’t want to forget anything important.
Time to celebrate my birthday with friends and family!
Now to You – 25 Lessons I Learned by 25
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P.S. If you want to read more about me, check out 50 facts about me.