25 Things I Learned Before I Turned 25

25 Things I Learned Before I Turned 25

I have the face of a 15 year old, the lessons of a 50 year old.
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On June 2, I'll be hitting the milestone of 25. I don't feel that old, and I certainly don't look my age (I'll forever be carded at bars). I feel like I've experienced a lot in my 25 years of life, that I certainly feel like I've lived 50 years or more.

1. Stressing about the future won't make it better. I'm still figuring out my life, and being up all night worrying about it doesn't make my future shape itself any faster, and it certainly doesn't make me feel any better.

2. Patience is necessary. You can't rush life, in fact, life is rushing by faster than we're aware of. As I wish to skip ahead to the part of my life where I'm financially secure and successful, I know it doesn't work that way. As cliche as it, life is short, and tomorrow isn't guaranteed.

3. Make second chances worth it. This is grayer to me; I believe people can change if they make the effort. Just don't let a past figure burn you twice.

4. There are no guilty pleasure, just pleasures. Some coworkers taught me this. I used to secretly like certain bands and artists, they told me I should be proud to like them, don't feel guilty about it. I need to remember this.

5. Life is different with an unnatural hair color. I dyed my blonde hair teal this year and it was liberating. I felt as free as my hair. Now if only it would fade cleaner instead of this ugly green it left behind.

6. Forgiveness is powerful. I've learned holding grudges is empty weight, but forgiving someone is light and gives you feelings of cleansing. Let it go. (insert Frozen here)

7. Take care of yourself. I work more than 40 hours a week at a mental health facility, and it's exhausting in many ways. This past month, I've been sick with a virus (doctors think it's acute mono, but tests are still being done), and it's the longest I've been sick. Binge watching Hulu and staying bed all day gets boring after awhile, and this is my wake up call to take care of myself. I'm young, not invincible.

8. Go to more concerts. It had been seven years since I went to a concert (2010: American Idol LIVE! 2017: Nickelback) and I realized how I missed, how alive I felt. Time to plan my next trip (working on going to a metal festival).

9. Disappointment sucks, but it usually leads to something better. Speaking of concerts, I was supposed to see Nickelback back in 2015 for their No Fixed Address tour, but it was cancelled because of Chad Kroeger needing throat surgery. I was heartbroken, but two years later, Nickelback came back to Maine and it was the best concert I had ever seen. In October 2017, I was supposed to see Austin John Winkler, former singer of Hinder, on his solo tour, and I even had VIP. After eight hours of driving and getting lost (on three hours of sleep mind you), I received notification the night before that the venue had cancelled on Austin and it forced a cancellation. While Austin is still recording, I'm waiting patiently for his next tour, hoping it leads to an even better experience.

10. Treat yourself more. Since I started working a full time job, I have power to spend money on whatever I want, and often I forget this. When I'm not supporting my family, I'm saving. But then I started buying cute outfits from Hot Topic and it felt great. It's been awhile since I bought something just because, but soon I will.

11. Expand your musical horizons. My musical taste is all over the map: from Fergie, to Avenged Sevenfold, to Mary J. Blige, I like all kinds of music. I used to detest scream/heavy heavy metal music. But then I found In This Moment, and I find myself liking that genre more and more (I might've been practicing my screams and growls).


12. Stop and enjoy the flowers. I love flowers, my Instagram is filled with pics of them. Despite my pollen allergy, I love spring because I enjoy the flowers. Flowers are a sign of life, a sign of hope. No matter what, life still continues.

13. There's nothing wrong with having a big heart, just remember to take care of it. I'm sensitive and my feelings hurt easily. Overtime, my skin has thickened and I've learned the importance of keep a shield over my heart. Only you can be in charge of your heart and how much hurt it takes. Nobody else will pick up the broken pieces.

14. Go your own pace. Post-college blues have been rough, watching both high school peers and college peers finding success and making movement while I'm still kind of in neutral. But I know I'll eventually find my way. Social media can be decieving, they may seem like they got it together, but in reality, they might be falling apart behind the scenes.

15. It's okay to ask for help. My job is stressful and I constantly need help to deal with situations or for advice. The same practice applies to outside life. Need opinions on something? Ask. Boy trouble? Reach out to a trusted person. You can't do life completely alone.

16. Get tattoos. I grew up in a conservative Christian household where tattoos and piercings were seen as "ugly" and "trashy." I hated tattoos for the longest time, thinking they were pointless and trashy. I had a change of heart at age 20 when I discovered the Semicolon Project. I fell in love with the movement and drew semicolons on my wrist for years until I got it drawn permanently at 23. Tattoos are artistic and quite therapeutic, it's given me so much freedom over my body. I now have three tattoos and working on getting my fourth one.

17. Keep your inner child happy. I miss being a kid: the innocence, having no responsibilities, being happy, having new eyes to the world. But just because we've aged doesn't mean our inner children have to die. I still love coloring, glow sticks, cartoons from my childhood, letting my imagination run wild. Our innocence keep us sane.

18. Be original, not a remake. In my teen years, I was trying to figure out who I was that I tried to copy popular trends: wearing Silly Bandz, trying to like the popular music. None of it made me happy, and I slowly found who I was. Just like the Powerpuff Girls and Teen Titans, they were better in their original, true form, not in their generic remake. I never want to be a shitty remake.

19. It's okay to still play dress up in your adulthood. From pirate festivals, to anime conventions, I find myself dressing up in costumes and playing characters more now than I did in my youth, and life is better this way. Sometime life gets too serious and you need to wear a wig to resemble your favorite anime character.

20. Showing skin doesn't make you a whore. Growing up in my clean home, I've always been scared to wear revealing clothes, worried about being perceived as a slut. In college, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Rocky Horror, and initially I was intimated by the sexual content and how little the performers wear. Once I actually tried out and lost my Rocky virginity, I see how fun it can be to take a trip on the wild side. (I only dress this way on rare occasions;))

21. When in doubt, dance. Dancing has got me through some dark times in my life. Losing myself in the music, the routine, it gives me a sense of power, almost like I have the ability to stop time. It's helped me learn how to love my body again, see what it's capable of.

22. Never stop dreaming, day or night. My mother told me without a dream, we die. I believe in this completely. Dreams are our fuel, something to find, something to shoot to the stars with. There's more to life than just going through the motions, get out of the flow.

23. Be your own soulmate. There's so much pressure in society to be married and to be in love. With cheesy Nicholas Sparks movies and the constant social media show-offs, it seems like the world wants you to be in a relationship. Little does the world know, you're already with your soulmate. Yourself. It's the best relationship you'll ever have.

24. Believe in fairytales. I'm obsessed with mermaids and unicorns. I believe in happy endings, unexplained miracles, villains, and magic. I like to believe I'm a princess that rescued herself and my prince will find me.

25. You'll never stop learning. An adult is always learning, just like the child they once were. Learn about tangible things like how to dye your hair, or abstract things such as to find inner happiness. I hope in 25 more years, I'll have even more lessons.

Cover Image Credit: Lindsey Daggett

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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I Am The Girl Who Always Gets What She Wants, And I’m Not Ashamed Of It

I will NEVER just "go with the flow."

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Ever since I was very, very young, my parents have taught me to fight for what I want. This doesn't mean that they spoiled me or that they caved whenever I threw a temper tantrum. I'm also not saying that they taught me not to take no for an answer, because everyone's entitled to their own opinions and points of views, and saying no is perfectly understandable in any circumstance. What I am saying is that they've always wanted me to take my future in my hands, mold it to whatever it is that I want it to look like, and work hard to get to where I want to go.

When I was eleven years old, I watched a documentary called "The Secret" with my dad for the first time. "The Secret" is a book, later turned into a documentary, which basically teaches you how to use the law of attraction. Simply put, the law of attraction is the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on. My dad told me he'd read the book before, and that he thought I was ready to learn how to use the law of attraction for my own good, even though I'd technically been using it for my entire life without even being aware of it. It's important to note that, when people first learn about the law of attraction, they tend to be pretty skeptical about it. Surprisingly, I wasn't skeptical at all, considering I'd always looked up to Walt Disney and his stories about magic.

At first, I used the law of attraction for things that might seem very small now, but back then I was so very excited to see that whatever I was doing was working in my favor. Whenever I really wanted something, like a light pink Nintendo DS, I would put it up on my vision board, I would visualize myself playing with it, and I would truly believe that I would get it, and so I did. Some people teased me for it, saying that I only got those things because my parents wanted me to believe in the law of attraction, and so they just bought me whatever it was that I wanted at the moment. But then it started turning into something way more powerful.

When I was seventeen, my family and I were planning to go to Disney World for Spring Break, and I really wanted my best friend to come with us. At first, it seemed like an impossible task, considering the fact that her mom had never even let her go on a weekend getaway with anyone, let alone fly to another country. I introduced my best friend to the law of attraction, and we both truly believed that she would come. She ended up coming on the trip with us, and to this day, we're still shocked about the fact that her mother caved and let her tag along.

As I've grown older, the law of attraction has always played a very important part in my thought process, and how I handle and react to things. When I was eighteen, I was able to gather all the strength I needed to break away from a very toxic relationship, and then I found a man who just casually happens to have every single thing I always thought my dream guy should have.

In January of last year, I decided that I would be applying for the Disney International College Program. It was truly fitting, considering the fact that Disney has always been one of my biggest passions in life, and also that I had been to Disney World countless times before. I felt truly prepared to take on this adventure, and so I started preparing my application. Nevertheless, the dates got mixed up, and my school advisor told me it was too late for me to send in my application. But I knew deep in my heart that I was going to move to Orlando. Two days after that, just like magic, my advisor told me that she could still let me apply if I sent in my application as quickly as possible. We all know what happened after that, considering I'm writing this from my apartment in Orlando.

All that magic comes with a price though, and lots of people have recently tried to undermine me. Some people, I guess, are just like black holes. They hate shiny things, and they go around trying to suck everyone else's light to fill up the void inside of them, but my fire is too strong, and therefore, it's impossible to put out. Some people just can't take how much I've accomplished, the things I've seen, the things I've done, the stuff I have, and the dreams I dream.

I've decided to stand my ground and let it be known, once and for all, that no matter what happens, I will always continue to fight and work for whatever it is that I want, no matter how big, small, unreachable or pointless it may seem to other people. What I want is what I get, and if someone doesn't like that about me, then that's their own problem to deal with, not mine. My life, my future, and my destiny are MINE to sculpt, and I will NEVER just "go with the flow."

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