1) Your dollar is only as good as your intention. Money can’t buy you class. Remember that.
2) In order to be happy with somebody else, you must first be happy with yourself. It sounds a little corny, and sort of Mr. Miyagi-esque, but it couldn’t be more true.
3) Life is short, so while you’re saving up, don’t be afraid to splurge a little bit. Buy the shoes you’ve been wanting or that plane ticket to Florida to visit your grandmother. Reward yourself for staying within budget and living within your means. (Most of the time.)
4) Realize that you’re older relatives won’t be around forever. Cherish every moment possible with them. Talk to them; listen to their stories; soak it all in. You never know which moment will be your last with them.
5) There’s more to life than having the latest iPhone or the newest gadget that’s circulating social circles; ruining friendships since 2008.
6) In order to maintain a friendship, both parties must be willing to take the initiative to keep in touch. If you feel like you’re the only one trying to make plans, or bringing anything to the table in a friendship, move along. Dedicate your free time to those who value your friendship as much as you value theirs.
7) Every once in a while, a night completely by yourself, with your favorite playlist and favorite stretchy pants, can save you loads on therapy. Bonus points for crying a little bit. Let it all out.
8) You’re the prettiest/most handsome when you’re comfortable. Stop wearing certain things just because they are on trend. If you don’t like crop tops or slim-fitting suits, well, fuck crop tops and slim-fitting suits.
9) Nothing good can come out of Facebook stalking after 11pm. Your mind will wander and so will your search bar. You’ll scroll through pictures of people you swore you’d never speak to again, and it just won’t go well. In fact, delete those people all together.
10) Nothing in life is permanent. Embrace change.
11) Accept people for who they are, and not who you want them to be. That’s a one-way ticket to Disappointment Land.
12) You’ll probably be #broke for a while, but hey, at least Ramen noodles are delicious. Plus, walking to burn off all of those carbs is free!
14) No one actually knows what the hell is going on or what the hell they are doing. Everyone is kind of just winging it, making their own way through life, and figuring it out as they go along.
15) It’s always that last shot of tequila. Always. Stop drinking so much.
16) Never date someone and treat them like a lump of clay that you can mold. Frank will always be an asshole and Lisa will always be a drama queen. The only thing you can do about it is decide if you still want to have them in your life.
17) If you want to know where you stand with somebody, ask them. Lay all of your intentions out on the table before either one of you gets hurt. Make it to clear to somebody if you’re only in it for the booty, or if you’re in it for long term. Nobody likes to have their heartbroken, especially at the hands of something that could have easily been avoided.
18) Hangovers are real, and they’ve been sent by all that is evil to torment you forever. This isn’t college anymore, folks. This is the real-deal, 24 hour pounding headache that no amount of Advil can subside.
19) Never, not even for a second, rely on somebody else for your happiness. You may have already learned this the hard way (I know I have), but moving forward know that only you are in charge of your own happiness. You shouldn’t invest every last inch of yourself in another human being, especially if they aren’t doing the same. Coming as one in a relationship is one thing, but completely losing your identity is another.
20) Things won’t change unless you actually put in the effort to change them. Sitting there and hoping that your business takes off, or wishing that your apartment wasn’t so messy doesn’t do a dang thing. Get up and do it.
21) Exercise, eat right, and take care of your body. Your early 20’s is when your metabolism slowly starts to pack up and leave. It’s all “peace out, see you never!” and you’re all “But wait, one more slice of pizza?” No. Watch your eating habits and what you’re putting into your body. (I’m looking at you, soda.)
22) Try not to regret things, but instead ask yourself “what did I learn from this?”
23) You have time. There is no rush to have your life figured out. As short as we say life is, in actuality, life is the longest short-time that there is. Embrace it.
*This originally appeared on Mel's Thought Catalog