1. You should own a pet.
I’m not saying spend 4k on that perfect little french bulldog the pet store somehow always has in stock... but maybe a beta fish, or a hamster. Caring for another creature will teach you so much about yourself, and awaken that big compassionate part of your heart you didn’t realize you had before. You’ll learn some responsibility, and you’ll learn to be little less selfish. Owning a critter will teach you to love, laugh harder, and earn you some adorable Instagram points.
2. If you put out positive vibes, those vibes will come straight back to you.
Doing nice things for people will always lead to nice things happening for you. Even if it’s not an immediate exchange, doing good makes you feel good - and feeling good is the best thing that you can do for yourself.
3. Don’t do things if they don’t feel right for you.
Go with your gut, people. It’s always, always, right.
4. Start a blog.
Put yourself out there. Sure, you probably won’t make any money off of it and you’ll probably forget to post the majority of its existence - but it gets the creative thoughts churning and maybe you’ll find some fun in it all.
5. People are going to not believe in you - make that the fuel to your fire.
Luckily for everyone, you don’t need anyone to believe in you for you to do crazy successful things. If they doubt you, that’s a great starting point in your journey. For me, my step-dad consistently told me I wouldn’t make it on my own, or in a big city. Every single time I step out of my door to start my life in New York City, I think of that - and it just pushes me even harder to succeed. Sometimes, haters truly are a good thing.
6. Save money, but don’t be crazy about it.
Saving money is important, we all know that. But, saving every penny will never be worth the experiences you miss out on because you’re afraid to spend. There’s nothing wrong with eating out with your friends as frequently as possible, or buying lipstick because maybe, just this time, red could possibly look good on you.
7. Celebrate wins.
Did you make your bed this morning? That’s a win. Did you make a coworker laugh this week? That’s also a win, and you need to celebrate it. Celebrating wins, no matter the size of them, will make you feel better.
8. If your friend has food in their teeth, tell them.
You don’t want to deal with the aftermath later. No matter how awkward it is, tell them.
9. Everyone comes into your life for a reason.
You’ll never look back at someone who played a role in your life and say, “oh, so-and-so literally brought nothing to the table. They just existed, we don’t even have a crazy good story about them!” There will always be a crazy-good story about them, or maybe even a crazy-bad story about them. Either way, they will impact you- and realizing that sooner in the relationship, will always strengthen it.
10. Staying in has never been better than going out.
I am a notoriously “let’s stay at home and just do nothing” kind of person. Like, 98% of my clothes are just pajamas. I love doing nothing, but let’s be honest: doing nothing is never good for the soul. Staying up until the sun comes up, skinny dipping in private pools, or going to karaoke will always, without a doubt, be better than staying in.
11. Travel well.
Traveling well does not require a lot of money. I’ve been broke my entire life, and I can say I’ve travelled more than just about anyone else I know. It’s insanely important to learn about the world around you, and experience life outside of your bubble. It will make you a better, more rounded person - and you’ll gain the kind of independence your friends dream of having. Just remember: hostels are your friend, street food won’t kill you, do as the locals do, and enjoy the ride.
12. Places don’t mean anything unless you have people you love there, too.
Since moving to NYC, my dream city, I had to spend the first six months completely alone. It was a very hopeful time in my life, but I can say I felt the loneliness closing in on me fast. You can live in the most incredible and exciting place in the entire world, but if you don’t have friends there to enjoy it with you - then those experiences hardly mean anything. I will always say that my memories that I can share, will always be better than the ones I just have to myself.
13. It’s seriously okay to be different.
I grew up in a suffocatingly small town, where I had no chance of fitting in. When you’re young, that’s like the worst thing that can happen - not fitting the mold. Then, I got the internet. Realizing that somewhere out there, there are people just like me who love vlogs, reading out different dog breeds, and finding the humor in our crazy upbringings has been so comforting. It’s okay to be different, and someone out there will love you for it - or maybe even relate.
14. Take selfies, and lots of them.
No, you don't need to post them. I'm a firm believer that taking selfies makes you a more confident person. Know your angles, and how to not look awkward in front of a camera.
15. Read the reviews on everything - seriously, don’t buy anything until you thoroughly read the reviews.
I love customer reviews. In this day in age, there is literally no reason to buy something and be surprised by how it works, or what it’s actually like. Yelp and Amazon reviews are your friends and they are almost always correct.
16. If your job makes you hate yourself, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
There are jobs out there that you’ll look forward to after the weekend is over. I know this, because I have that job right now. I’ve also had jobs that have made me physically ill thinking about them, and I’ve had jobs where my self-esteem levels dropped below zero five days out of the week. They’re never worth it. Take care of your mental health, and find a job that loves you back.
17. Hire a maid.
I haven’t actually done this yet, but sites like Handy make this easy and cheap. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that ain’t nobody got time to scrub, but having a maid come in a couple days a month will do everyone some good!
18. Learn to do things yourself, because no one’s going to do them for you.
Learn to think for yourself and make decisions for yourself. Although it’s nice to get advice from Mom, she can’t (and shouldn’t) help you live your life, or keep depositing money into your bank account. You will need to learn these life skills sometime, so do it before you’ve seriously screwed up.
19. Don’t try to put together any furniture unless you have someone helping you.
DO NOT DO IT. Putting together anything will always involve two people, and you will regret doing it alone! Furniture is expensive, and it’s hard to assemble, and speaking as someone who totally spent way too much money on a bed frame and totally destroyed it and totally spend 2 hours dry-heaving on the floor from crying so much… you don’t want to make the same mistakes as I did.
20. Ask your grandma as many questions as you can.
Grandma’s won’t be there forever, and your children will probably never get to meet her. Memorize her stories, so you can pass those down to your little ones one day. Grandma loves telling stories, you’ll love hearing them and so will your future children.
21. Scrapbooking is awesome.
Seriously, do you scrapbook? If you don’t, you absolutely should. The most ridiculous the scrapbook, the better. I dare you just to try it - maybe make a small book on your most recent road trip with friends: add in a couple fast-food receipts, maybe a copy of your playlist, some disposable photos - and you’ve got yourself an awesome scrapbook you will for sure bring out whenever anyone comes to your apartment.
22. If you’re not smart, you better be brave.
We’re not all born with brains, but you can make up for it in total fierceness.
23. Revenge is best served as an imaginary conversation with yourself in the shower, not in real life.
Don’t waste your time on that kind of negativity. Revenge is never worth it. Keep it in your head, win the imaginary argument with some of the most well thought out comebacks of the century, and move on to something more important.
24. Know your renters rights, keep copies of everything, memorize that lease, and take photos.
There is a 99.9% chance you will have a slum bag landlord and you need to be prepared for this. They’re going to try to take advantage of you, and weasel their way out of giving back a deposit. Know your rights, and show them you mean business.
25. Make lists, they’re good for your heart.
Making lists is like my favorite thing. They’re fun to look back on, and they will totally help you become a more organized person. Some of my most recent lists:
- Things that seem futuristic in 2015 but will totally be normal in 10 years
- Things I DEFINITELY need to do this week
- Expensive things I hope to own one day
- Future dog names