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  • Writer's pictureB. Cooper

25 Things I Wish I Knew Before 25

I turned 25 this year (2024) and the last few months have been such a whirlwind of inspiration, joy, and a little nervousness for the future. Every year I see those blog posts circulating of the "30 things I wish I knew before 30", and honestly? They had some pretty bland things in there.

So here is my own list of 25 things I wish I knew before I turned 25. Some topics may be heavy and a little too real, just letting you know now.

*I am the blunt friend that gives tough love, but it all comes from a place of love. If you are a young-y, please learn from all the lessons I had to learn the hard way.

1. Focus On Your Skincare

Technically the sooner you start caring about the longevity of your skin the better. I started noticing dehydration lines in my forehead a year ago, and I had no idea that dehydration lines are basically pre-wrinkles if you leave them be. Do I believe in 10 year old children using anti aging creams? No. Just take your vitamins, moisturize, and drink water.

2. Your Dreams At 18 Will Almost Always Change

When I was 18 I dreamed of being a therapist, married, with children living on a farm by 25. Um, no. I have a small piece of property that my entire family invested in, something I'm incredibly grateful for as it gives all 4 of us a 'piece of the pie' so to speak. But Wife? No. Children? I'm not planning on that now until 30, in this economy? I would like to be able to afford my first month of motherhood thank you.

3. Pivot, Pivot, Pivot

This ties into 2 as well, I started a business at 21 that has changed and evolved so much over the last four years. Pivoting in my business has bled into my personal life as well, not everything will go to plan in life. However, being able to think on your feet and change directions without changing the dream is such an important life skill. Did I think I'd be a struggling artist at 25? No. Did I think I'd be running a bakery, farm, writing a book, and starting a blog? No. I thought I was going to be a therapist when I was 18. I thank God that didn't work out...

4. College Is Kind Of A Scam...

Sorry to say it, but honestly if you are going to school for anything other than Law, Medical, Engineering, Business, or Trades, you most likely don't need to go $100k into debt for a piece of paper no one is going to ask you for. Classes are great to take, don't get me wrong on that. Marketing classes, business courses, art classes, etc. Learn as much as you can afford to. Debt is a black hole, don't start your adult life trying to climb out of that hole.

5. Eat Your Veggies

As an ex-athlete who lived on overly processed carbs and junk food. This is a no-brainer to a healthier life.

6. Focus On What You Can Control

Young people are incredibly passionate about everything, because most of the time we have no idea what we're doing. Choose what is important in your own life, not social media's life. Clean up the ocean? Great! Visit the beach whenever you can and fill a bag with litter. Care about under privileged youths? Fantastic! Volunteer at a sports camp or outdoor school. Recycle, smile at someone who looks like they could use a friend. We aren't built to take on the world's problems. If you focus on the community around you, you will be able to make a much bigger difference.

7. Find Your Purpose In Life

This doesn't need to be some heroic lifestyle. I believe my purpose in life is to bring joy where I can, and be a wife and mother. The last two things will happen when they are meant to happen, in the meantime I am building a strong foundation for my life. My food makes people happy, hosting dinner parties makes people happy, traveling makes me happy, coffee makes me really happy.

8. Now Figure Out How To Fund That Purpose

Unfortunately we need money to live in this world. Your purpose in life is what fulfills you the most, now how will you fund that? In today's world we love to boast about being an influencer, or famous, or rich. You don't need any of those things to reach your purpose. A boring job that pays good money can be all you need to achieve your dreams.

I posted an Annual Update for my business discussing growth and finances, showing how I started over and rebuilt the business into something that followed my beliefs more. You can read that here.

9. Family Is Everything

I was blessed with a strong family unit, but I know a lot of people who don't have that. Family can be anyone. An aunt that raised you, friends that never abandoned you in dark times. Whoever you consider family, just know they are crucial to a good life. I wouldn't be where I am without my family who supported every dream, and even kicked me in the butt when I dared to give up on those dreams.

10. Explore

Explore yourself, your mind, your beliefs. Explore different cultures, different religions, different ideologies, different politics. Explore and figure out what kind of person you are along the way. That is SO important. If you have a strong sense of who you are and what you believe in, then no one will be able to manipulate you.

11. Travel

You never know where life may take you when you travel. I have friends who met the love of their lives in different states and countries. There have been friends who hated their country and home, only to travel to another country and gain some perspective. Traveling will humble you, give you perspective of the world, and show you amazing things. Do it.

12. Pretty Privilege Doesn't Exist

If you have a terrible personality. Seriously. You may think you're drop dead gorgeous, but if you haven't worked on yourself and you are insecure, self-sabotaging, highly critical, etc. that so-called 'pretty privilege' will disappear so fast. I've watched people I knew for decades, who I believe could be on the cover of a magazine, be some of the nastiest people I know. They're pretty, sure, but there's no privilege that comes from being a jerk. Most people avoid them like the plague.

13. Single Women Keep Women Single

This was something I didn't realize until 2021, seriously. I know the exact moment that idea clicked in my brain. It's not just for relationships, miserable women will keep other women miserable. Know the saying 'misery loves company'? Well, if you haven't learned to love yourself through any circumstance, there's a chance you're sabotaging yourself and the other women around you subconsciously. (Men probably do this too, but I'm not a man so I can't confirm that)

14. Choose Your Friends Wisely

This may feed into a few of these points, because unfortunately I could only learn those lessons from having horrible friends over the years. I can't entirely blame them, everyone is pretty self-centered until about 24-25, some even longer. I think we all have this belief in America at least that the finish line is our 25th birthday, we need to have all these milestones hit by then in order to be 'successful'.

FYI, the average length of a human's life is roughly 70 years. If you accomplished everything by 25, what's the point of the next 45 years?

Your friends are a support system that you need to feed into as well. I was burned so many times in the past I kind of lost the ability to pour into other people, that is something I've been overcoming the last year and half. If you have high standards for a life partner, your friends should be fitting those standards as well.

15. Mental Health & Physical Health Go Hand In Hand

Did you know Vitamin D is super helpful in deterring symptoms of depression? Just going on a walk in sunshine and nature lowers stress & anxiety. Mental Health is a difficult mountain to overcome, I know. I've also learned that when my body feels good, my mind feels better too. Maybe not 100%, but better. Looking back at the times I felt at my lowest, they were also times I was horribly unhealthy too. I wrote a blog a while back about small changes you can make to be a little happier in life, you can find that here.

16. Being A 'Boss Babe' Isn't Worth It In The Long Run

I know, blasphemy, especially coming from a business owner. However, I will be real with you. Being a 'boss babe' oftentimes means putting your family on hold, putting your hobbies or dreams outside of work on hold, and most of the time it also means sacrificing your health. A lot of women who have built 6 figure companies now have auto-immune diseases, or are divorced, or have realized that money isn't the answer to everything.

I am building multiple avenues of income so that I can contribute to a family income once I'm married. My goal is to be comfortable enough that I know food will be on the table and there will be a roof over my head. Maybe a vacation once a year. So I'm not buying into the get rich schemes that take my health as payment. It make take me longer, but I'll do it my way. I wrote a blog delving further into this, you can read that here.

17. Redefine What Success Means To You

Does success mean fancy cars, mansions, and yachts? Or do you actually want financial security, freedom to pursue your passions, and a stress free life? Success means something different to everyone. I wrote another blog all about my personal journey with redefining success here.

18. Choose Your Life Partner Carefully

I almost chose to marry a man at 19 years old. Foolishly, I thought he was a good man for me, and now I thank God that didn't happen. Be very careful when choosing the person you'll spend the rest of your life with. Divorce is messy and heart-breaking, even more so when children are involved. Be picky. Hold each person to amazingly high standards. Find someone you can see yourself growing WITH rather than growing apart. Marriage can be a beautiful and inspiring thing when you're with the right person.

19. You. Are. Stupid.

Our frontal lobes aren't even fully developed until 25. Between 16-22 I thought I was the smartest person in the room with something to prove. I hated being underestimated, just like every young person does. 22-24 were the years I was humbled over and over again. Now, I tell everyone I'm probably the dumbest person in the room. When I tell people 'I know nothing, please explain this', most of the time I walk away with the CliffsNotes version of a college course. I love being underestimated now.

20. Save As Much Money As You Can

You never know what life will throw at you. Having savings in the bank will just be a nice little security blanket. Aim to have at the VERY LEAST one month's worth of expenses. You could lose your job one day (Eh-hem, 2020), or have a freak medical bill you didn't expect. Or if you're anything like me, you'll have the freaky intuition to move across the country and buy a house within six months. Best decision I ever made, but my savings still haven't recovered.

21. You Aren't That Special

We all want to believe we're the main characters in the movie that is our lives. It's a nice way to romanticize the little things in life sure, but if you go around thinking you're more special than everyone else for simply existing? Reality will do what I like to describe as a 'kick to the teeth'. I had that moment, every twenty something has that moment, when we all realize that we're just not that special. It doesn't have to be a bad thing though.

My moment was working my first 'big girl' job in the field I thought I wanted. Walking into a nursing home ready to be an assistant to the activities director for art therapy. Just a few months into that job, a patient threw a bingo board at my face and tried to stab me with a fork. When I got upset with that patient, I was told to sit down and shut up. The word 'no' wasn't allowed around Dementia patients. That day I realized I wasn't special, and I also realized I didn't want to be a therapist anymore. Now I walk to my favorite coffee shop three times a week in my cute walking outfits, make food for my community, and I'm surrounded by people who genuinely love me 2500 miles away from where I started.

23. Don't Base Your Entire Personality Off One Thing

I love baking, writing, reading fantasy war novels, kpop, foreign film, traveling, trying new foods, wearing dresses, gardening, and so much more. You are an amazingly beautiful complex human being. Don't let one trait define you.

Some things I refused to let define my life is I've lived with PTSD for 10 years now. I survived violence of several kinds, I had four stalkers in my life, I fractured my spine, and so much more. We are not the things that have happened to us. It breaks my heart to see an entire generation of people who shove themselves into tiny little boxes. Please don't do that to yourself.

A Snapshot Of My Life:

24. Live Below Your Means

This one is a pretty basic one. You make $3000 a month? You should aim to live well below that. By doing this you'll build a habit of living frugally and save money for retirement or investments. Just a good habit to build as soon as possible. I live a very frugal lifestyle, the only vices I give myself are food and coffee. I don't buy a lot of 'things'. Experiences matter more to me, so I won't mind living like I'm poor for a year if it means I can travel and experience different cultures.

25. Live Goes Fast, But Isn't Short

Everyone says life is short. No. It's a really long time, but it will move quickly. Between the ages of 20 and 25 I think my entire personality has changed three times. I went through so many versions of myself as I discovered who I was. I'll probably continue to do that for the next 40 years. Enjoy the little things in life. Enjoy being a mess, find joy in the unknown, be happy for the life's simple pleasures.

I struggle with being 'in the moment', I've always been that girl with the 10 year plan. Even after years of learning to go with the flow after several 'failed' plans, I always find myself jumping ahead. I started to walk every week as a way to ground myself, among other things. Walking to my coffee shop forces me to either think through my emotions or talk through them with a friend. And I reward myself with a treat (chai latte). The day I'm writing this I found inspiration for new avenues for my bakery and inspiration for writing.

Now I'm 25, And I Love It

Yep. Even after all those lessons I can confidently say I love my life. I may not make all the money I thought I'd have. I may be working towards my dreams in a different way. But every day I get to enjoy every seemingly mundane moment to the fullest extent.

Life has taught me amazing things. I grow herbal teas and write a silly little blog that makes no money right now. Almost every weekend I'm traveling all over to be in festivals where I run my bakery, make connections with new people, build my community and my dreams one pastry at a time. While I may not have a whole lot of friends, the ones I do have are some of the best people I've ever known. I'm experiencing healthy relationships again. This life I have is amazing. I hope everyone else can experience that love as well.

I know this was a much longer article than I usually write. This whole blog thing is slowly becoming a digital diary of sorts for me. I promise the next one won't be this long! Until next time!

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