25 Things to Know Before You’re 25: The Finale

You guys! I’m 25! WE MADE IT!

And, in case you were tired of this segment, today is the last day. So…yay?

But anyway. Let’s get into our final five Things You Should Know Before 25.

21. You should know how to end a bad relationship.

This tip applies to the romantic and otherwise relationships in your life. The fact is, no matter how much work you put into something, you can’t always make things work. Sometimes, relationships are more of a mental, emotional, and even physical drain than anything, and it’s okay to admit that you would be happier without that person in your life. Break-ups are almost always difficult, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t the right thing to do.

22. You should know you can’t fix people.

Sometimes your friends are just going to keep making bad decisions no matter how much good advice you give them. Sometimes people you love are going to be incredibly self-destructive, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s always good to be there when they want to pick up the pieces, but if their poor decisions are affecting your peace and happiness, see the above point.

23. “You should know how to live alone. When I was 22 and 23, I spent several months living alone. At the time, I hated it. But now, looking back, I realize it gave me the kind of independence and insight into myself that I couldn’t have learned any other way. ” – Susan Elgin

{the first picture Susan and I ever took together}

Susan unofficially guest posts on the blog pretty much anytime I’m having a meltdown about the way my life is going. (Don’t worry; I return the favor when she’s feeling that way about her life.) We’ve always joked that our friendship was our version of the New York love story (two strangers meet under unexpected circumstances, instantly click, and form a life-long relationship…adorable, right?), and honestly, I can’t imagine my life without her. Not only is she super insightful, she’s also one of the few people I feel completely comfortable being 100% honest with. That’s tougher to find than you might think.

But anyway, back to her tip. Not surprisingly, I completely agree with this. I know it’s not possible for everyone to live on their own (financial obligations are real, yo), but if you can, I highly recommend it. Besides teaching you big lessons in the way of being an adult, (“Wait, so you mean if I don’t replace the toilet paper, no one will?”), it also shows you what you’re made of. Your real, inner person comes out in unexpected ways, and you learn that you can be self-reliant. Plus, you know, you can walk around in your underwear.

24. “You should know how to cook. That doesn’t mean you have to be able to put together a five-course meal, but you better be able to follow a recipe.” – Erik Holt

Even though we’ve gone to school together since the fifth grade, Erik and I didn’t really become friends until our junior year of college. I mean, we had always been friends, but a trip to D.C. to visit Annie (and a 2-hour Taylor Swift prom special on MTV) in the summer of 2008 solidified that the three of us would be bonded for life. And it has to be said, I am so glad that is the case. Erik is another one of my basically-my-brother friends that I am crazy proud of for what he has accomplished (including having just accepted a sweet new gig in Chicago!) and for the person he is. Really, I am so blessed to have the best friends.

ALL RIGHT WITH THE MUSHY STUFF, YOU GUYS. Back to his tip. I completely agree with this. I think everyone should have that one dish they can whip up in their sleep, whether it’s Coq au Vin or a killer grilled cheese. At this point in our lives, you should be able to keep yourself nourished with something other than another bowl of cereal. Plus, you need something in your back pocket to impress dates, right?

25. “You should know that you don’t have to have everything figured out yet. You’re still young enough where if you want to make a change and try something new — whether that be a new job, new city, relationship, or whatever — you can. But you have to be willing to take that leap of faith because nobody is going to do it for you.” – Erik, again

A couple of people submitted tips similar to this (either a sign that it’s true or that we all just desperately need to believe it. But when I read this, I couldn’t imagine ending the series on anything else. Because 25 isn’t old. It isn’t an ending of anything. As another submitter said, 25 is the age where we can do things we won’t be able to do 10 years from now and that we couldn’t do 10 years ago. I think that sums the whole series up nicely.

Of course, if you’ve turned 25 and haven’t accomplished something on this list, you know you’re not actually a failure at life, right? As quite a few of these tips have attested, 25 is an age where it’s really OK to still not have everything figured out. I’m not sure there is an age where you’re supposed to have everything figured out.

Really, this segment was just about taking stock of what’s going on. Being mature enough to handle your ish, while realistic enough to know that we are way too young to know everything.

Thank you so much to everyone who submitted not only for sharing your wisdom, but also for being a part of my life. I love you all dearly. And I don’t know about you guys, but I have a feeling 25 is going to be my best year yet.