1. It is not about the quantity of friends you have – Really the only thing you need besides family of course, are a few close friends who always will have your back, there’s no need for fake/useless friends…in the past year I have cut a lot of them out of my life and you know what, my life has been 110% more amazing.
2. Get some ZZZ’s – Sleep will keep you young, it will keep you going. Those all nighters are a thing of college past. My current bedtime if not a weekend is usually 10 pm, Grandma status and I could not love it more.
3. Metabolism is not magic – I go through phases. Sometimes I am on a crazy health kick and others I buy all the Cheddar and Sour Cream chips out of the vending machines in my office. You only have one body, eat healthy, workout, meditate, cleanse, cherish it.
4. Be passionate about something – whether it be art, music, working out, fashion, find a passion you can call your own.
5. Take risks, don’t always do what is expected – take an unexpected job, move to a new country, town or city, get a puppy, take unexpected trips, do something wild.
6. Move to a different city – Everyone should live in New York City at some point in their life. It forces you to look closely at who you are, what you want, and why you want it.
7. Be humble – self explanatory.
8. Graduating college is not the end all- I remember graduating and thinking my life is over…but now I am starting to realize it has only just begun.
9. Save money but also spend money – Some days I wake up and think “OMG how am I going to afford college for my kids” and other days I wake up thinking “I really want those shoes”. Just go with the flow. Save a little here spend a little there, it will all work out.
10. Everyone else is winging it too, don’t sweat it. – Seriously though. I do not have a 10 year plan…not even a 1 year plan, everything falls into place.
11. You have to stop explaining and start doing. – You don’t owe people your time or energy so they can validate what you feel. There are few things that you actually have to justify doing, go out, do not care what others will think and just live.
12. Travel as much as you can – Growing up I traveled to the most generic (but amazing places) with my family. After working at my job, I realized how much the world has to offer and I plan on spending my $$ to take me to those places.
13. Develop your own personal style – Do not let others influence you, take risks with your fashion, it is the only way you’ll figure it out. Vintage stores are incredible oasis of style, no one else will have a piece you have and you can make any outfit your own. Fashion is a way to say who you are without speaking in the words of the always wise Rachel Zoe.
14. Learn to cook – Buy recipe books, test recipes out, fail miserably at some, excel at others. Practice makes perfect. Note to everyone – do not try to boil pasta in a microwave *cough brianna cough*
15. Seriously, do not sweat the small stuff (still trying to teach myself this) – I get severe anxiety over the smallest things, whether it be a restaurant reservation, planing a weekend with friends, a missing bikini, the little things stress me out. Be zen, do yoga, relax.
16. The most important things you’ll ever learn will come from someone with a different outlook on life than your own – Listen to others. Every single person has a story. Every single person can teach you something new about something you know nothing about. And every single person can teach you something new about yourself. You just have to be open to it.
17. Make a bucket list – As cliché as it sounds, just write one. Even if it only consists of a few things, you will feel remarkable when you can finally cross something off you have been wanting to accomplish.
18. Fall crazy in love with someone who treats you like dirt – DO IT. It will teach you what you deserve and how you deserve to be treated. You need to get your heart not only broken, but crushed, stomped on, and ripped to pieces. It will suck, but it is necessary, you will find yourself never wanting the “bad boy” again.
19. Your parents really do want the best for you – My 13-17 year old self would laugh at this statement. When they give you advice… listen. When they tell you not to do something… listen. I remember thinking at the time “ugh my parents are soooooo annoying, they never let me do anything” but now I just want to bow down at their feet and say thank you.
20. Slow down. Really, though. SLOW. DOWN. – I was 16, getting my permit, and my braces off yesterday, and now I am 24 with a job, an apartment, and responsibility in the blink of an eye. Just enjoy the ride, one day at a time.
21. Home truly is where the heart is. – the ocean breeze, the smell of the salt water, the roar of boat engines, the feeling of sand between my toes. NOTHING will ever compare to home.
22. Your family is your family. They are your people. In the end they will be the ones who have your back no matter how idiotic or stupid something you do may be.
23. Your SAT score, your grades, your freshman seminar biology class didn’t determine your destiny. You did. – I remember crying hysterically because I missed the Boston College SAT score by 50 points, you know what, I went to an amazing college, met amazing friends, graduated and got an amazing job. If i could go back in time I would tell my 17 year old self to shut up and stop worrying, you have the power to go out and do what you want to do and make yourself into anything your heart desires.
24. Make sure you collect a book full of experiences and memories – Go out make memories, fill scrapbooks, fill photo albums, save ticket stubs, save anything you wish. These little mementos, when looked back on, will remind you of the experiences you once had, no matter how small and meaningless they seem at the time. Travel the world, try a new hobby, go to dinner with friends, spend time with family, in the end experiences not things are what truly matter.