24 Things I Learned in Life

With one month to go before I turn a quarter of a century, I’ve come up with a list of things I’ve learned the last 24 years (in no particular order of importance).

  1. Chicken noodle soup is a must have when you’re ill.
    Thank you whoever invented Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup!
  2. Wooden roller coasters are painful.
    I’m not sure about men but it’s painful for women.
  3. Pets are the best ‘antidepressants’ (forget drugs – get a pet).
    People can be disappointing. Pets will warm your heart with their cuteness. I wish I had a pet when I was younger.
  4. Crying feels awful at the time but relieves the pain afterwards.
    Not crying when you need to will make you feel far worse. Let it out.
  5. Avoid people who speak negatively of others. They may say the same of you.
    You’re never ‘safe’ on their side. They can turn against you. Are you strong enough not to care?
  6. Beware of the green monster named jealousy. It can choke you and transform you into another little green monster.
    First, it’s just, “Oh I wish I were in your place!” Then it changes to, “Why do you get all these good things and I don’t get anything? This is unfair!”
  7. Being bullied earlier in life prepares you for hardships ahead.
    Ideally, I’d like the happiest childhood but sometimes you end up having the meanest people around you. Don’t give up. At least I won’t have a personal life crisis now or later.
  8. Boys are easy to get into trouble, girls will hold a grudge forever.
    If a boy picks on you, you can tell the teacher and the issue will be resolved. If a girl picks on you and you report her, she’ll hold a grudge forever. Watch out for her revenge.
  9. Drama/acting/theatre classes are a great way to get everyone out of their comfort zones.
    I’m still shy and I still get stage fright but drama classes have allowed me to be someone else and to learn what it’s like to be in people’s shoes. Furthermore, you get to be silly!
  10. What is a friend?
    Whereas Facebook applies a very liberal meaning to ‘friend’ and ‘friendship’, I’ve learned that just because someone is nice to you or you’ve enjoyed some good times with him/her, that ‘someone’ could just be an ‘acquaintance’. I used to call everyone a friend – as long as we had already been introduced and had enjoyed at least one conversation, however long or short. More recently, I’ve tried to be more cautious. Now everyone is an acquaintance. I wait for others to call me a friend. This could take a long time but thankfully, Germany already trained me for that.
  11. Joining and deleting Facebook were the best things I’ve done.
    During my 5.5 years on Facebook, I was able to reconnect with friends from Primary 3 to High School – all around the world – and to connect with new ‘friends’ from university and elsewhere. Keeping in touch became much easier and the first year on FB helped me through university. Leaving Fb, however, also brought me so much freedom from TMI (too much information) posts and all the unnecessary drama. Everyone else can continue to complain about privacy invasion. Furthermore, I will no longer have to be forced to accept people’s friendship requests. 😉
  12. Twitter is faster & better than Facebook
    Waiting for updates on Facebook, in the newspapers, on news sites, and the television is too slow. Twitter is the fastest way to find out the latest updates (for now?).
  13. The less you are on social media, the better.
    You’ll have more to talk about later. You’ll notice more things around you. Plus, you can take a break from drama tweets. 😉
  14. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So is fashion.
    Everyone is a fashionista if they want to be one. Everyone has a style. I’ve learned that elegance and chic today is broader than what I’d used to imagine it to be. There are clothes that I dislike that the world loves and things that I like that others don’t care for. Who cares. Own your style. Fashion faux pas? Who’s dictating this?
  15. You don’t have to be ‘beautiful’ to be dated.
    I used to think that the only way you’ll find a date is if you’re pretty. If you aren’t, you have no chance of having anyone fall in love with you. Well, I was wrong. Turns out men (and women) will go for anyone. Everyone has different tastes. Some do go for the drop-dead-gorgeous. Some go for brains. Some go for humour. Some have no idea how it all happened, they just ended up together. There’s a someone for everyone.
  16. The secret to feeling young is to surround yourself with older people.
    Surround yourself with anyone who’s older than you – someone who’s a few years older, your parents’ peers, or your grandparents’ peers. You’ll feel VERY young. You have YEARS ahead. None of this I’m-so-old nonsense in your 20’s. Are you ancient at age 30?
  17. You can’t see yourself in 5 years. Or 10 years for that matter.
    “Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?” I hate those questions. How am I supposed to know? My whole life has been inconsistent and unpredictable. I did plan for the next 5, 10, 50+ years but I can tell you that life threw me so many wonderful surprises. If there were no disasters, no economic crises, and if I were super rich – if life were boring – maybe I would be able to get to where I see myself in 5 years. It doesn’t mean that I won’t try to pursue what I love. I’d still rather answer, “We’ll see where life takes me!”
  18. Until you’re in your 30’s, people don’t take you seriously in your 20’s.
    At least that’s what I figured out after I had graduated from university. Why not temp (try out different jobs) and travel in the meantime? Then your resume will look impressive.
  19. Volunteering jobs can be far more enjoyable, rewarding and educating than paid jobs.
    Aside from university & my exchange years, the next happiest memories for me are from volunteering. I met so many wonderful people. Received lots of wisdom from them. Learned more about homelessness, children, seniors, international organisations. Sometimes I want to put down ‘volunteer’ as my dream job.
  20. University are the best years of your life.
    That’s what I had been told before and during first year of university. They were right. I met so many people with like interests. There were hundreds of clubs for activities that I got to try (e.g. equestrian) and volunteer with. I got to know my professors. Oh and exchange year – getting the opportunity to travel and be a student in a foreign university was the best of those years!
  21. You are always learning something new.
    You can get a PhD or be the smartest person in the world but you’ll always be learning something new.
  22. Having a roommate can teach you a lot about yourself and how you deal with others.
    There are things you’ve never noticed or realised about yourself that your roommate will notice. We always try to show our good side to others. Perhaps even our good or best friends don’t see the other side to us. Our roommates are like siblings – they can be the best or the worst. Just make room for improvements when you need to and learn to communicate properly.
  23. Learning about your personality will help you and those around you.
    I was never good at expressing myself when I was little. I knew I was me but those around me couldn’t understand me. Learning about my personality through personality tests, horoscopes and the zodiac (whatever was related to me, that is), and from my parents helped me realise why I behaved the way I did: because I was born that way. Knowing that about myself, I can tell others this is who I am and if they don’t like it, blame it on the month and year I was born. And my ancestors. 😛
  24. Smiling can make a world of difference – to you and those around you.
    Just smile. 🙂