'There's no such thing as guilty pleasures.' 25 life lessons everyone should learn by 25.

This year, I turn 25 and as much as I've heard the words "quarter-life crisis" thrown around by my fellow '98 babies, the sky has not fallen down. 

I have, however, felt the urgent need to reflect on my life and where I am now compared to where I thought I would be. 

At this moment in time, I'm in a job I didn't even know existed 12 months ago. I'm living at home. I'm in a long-term relationship. And I haven't had an Insta-worthy European adventure

This is quite literally the opposite of what I thought 25 would look like. And yet, I'm entirely content with how things have panned out. 

The past 25 years have handed me some unavoidable life lessons, both painful and liberating - here are my top 25 for you. 

But first watch: Scientific happiness hacks you can try. Post continues below.

Video via YouTube.

1. There's no such thing as guilty pleasures. There are only pleasures and people who make you feel guilty about them. In my 20s, I've learned to shake the shame and embrace the things that make me light up. 


2. If your clothes don't fit properly, it means nothing about your body and everything about the garment. Tailor your jeans. Go a size up or down. Don't attach meaning to arbitrary numbers. When it comes to fashion, there are no rules and the best outfits will come from your confidence to just go out and wear them. 

3. You don't have to choose between your head and your heart. Just follow your heart and be sure to take your head with you. This rule has come in handy whenever I've had to make a big life decision and I'm stuck between what I think the right move is and what I feel the right move is. 

4. Nothing is permanent. Self-explanatory, really. But a line I tend to think about whenever I'm getting too caught up in trivial issues that most of the time, work themselves out. 

5. People remember the way you make them feel over anything else, so always choose to be kind. 

6. Friendships come and go…and come. Some of the biggest lessons I've taken away from the past 25 years have been around friendship. I've learned that they can be fluid and ever-changing. They can cause heartbreak but they can also help you step into the best version of yourself.

7. Say every compliment you have about others out loud. 

8. You make time for the people you care about. Regardless of how busy you are, or what you have going on in your life, you will find time for the people you think are worthy of sharing yours with. 


9. You will never stop learning new things about yourself. I recently stepped into my #farmgirl era and it truly surprised me (and anyone who knows me) how much I've loved it.

10. "The good old days" are happening right now. Stay present and soak it in. 

11. Stepping outside your comfort zone will always teach you something. Whether it ends up being a great experience or a terrible one, you'll always walk away richer for taking the risk and learning from it. 


12. Walk whenever you can. Whether it's to your local cafe, or getting out a stop early off your bus. Your mind and body will be better off for it. 

13. Give yourself the grace to feel your emotions but don't dwell on them for too long. If you're going to worry about something, worry constructively. 

14. There's power in vulnerability. I'm not one to offer up my feelings too easily, but as I've grown older, I've found that great things can come from being vulnerable. Closer connections, new perspectives and usually a better understanding of myself and others.

15. When it comes to love and finding your person, the small moments will feel just as valuable as the big ones. 

16. It's a lot easier to get through the harder days when you have something to look forward to. So, book the trip, buy tickets to that concert, plan a girls' night out.


17. Listen to understand, not just to respond. It's definitely difficult when I have discussions about topics I'm really passionate about, but I've found that you get the most out of those conversations when you are actively listening and asking questions, not just throwing your own opinions and insight into the mix. 

18. Set that TikTok timer. The best thing I ever did was discover the feature on TikTok where every 20 minutes you spend on the app, you get a notification reminding you to take a break.

19. Not all wounds can heal with time. Some require you to do the work to get better as well. 

20. Your time is your time. Don't feel guilty about protecting it. I've only recently learned to honour my boundaries when it comes to carving out time for myself. I've stopped saying yes when I want to say no and when it comes to socialising and making plans, I don't give up my "me days". 


21. Think twice before you make a judgement, everybody has a chapter they choose not to read out loud. 

22. Curate your social media feed so you only see what you like. A while back, I realised how the content I was consuming made me feel so I made a conscious effort to curate my feed with creators and accounts that made me feel inspired. I hopped on Instagram the other day and scrolled past three of my favourite brown girl creators in a row. It was divine.

23. Don't waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you. 

24. The people who matter prefer it when you are the truest version of yourself. So don't dilute your personality for anyone. 

25. You are your own best friend. In your lifetime, you'll have so many variations of friendship. Family bonds, kindred spirits, childhood friends, twin flames, soul mates, etc. But no one will ever be with you from start to finish, so, treat yourself like you are your own best friend and care for and love yourself accordingly. 

Feature image: Supplied.

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