I can’t believe that today, I’m officially 24! Honestly, I still feel 18 and wish I was not 24. I feel old, and in a way, feel like I haven’t accomplished anywhere near what I had planned to accomplish by 24 when I was 18 and just starting college. Nonetheless, it’s been 24 years of ups and downs, and through all of this, I’ve learned quite a few things. In the midst of doing some personal reflection, I thought I’d share with you 24 things I’ve learned in my 24 years! 🙂
- Truly good friends are hard to come by. Most people are just in it for themselves, and only will befriend others if they see personal benefit from developing the friendship. So, if you’ve got even one good friend who will be there when you need them most, consider yourself lucky. I’m lucky that I have a best friend that not only keeps my life exciting, but would also take me in if I was homeless (as I happen to be right now temporarily in my transitionary moving phase, haha)! I also have friends who are super forgiving and are able to still value me as a friend even when I mess up. I’m truly blessed <3
- It’s so important to appreciate. With learning that truly good people are hard to come by (and stay), I’ve definitely learned to appreciate those who have put up with me at my worst and love them wholly.
- There is no such a thing as a perfect relationship. True love is a rare & beautiful thing, and two people make it so by working together to form their own “perfect” relationship. Love requires effort and true feelings on both ends. It involves compromise, trust, understanding, honesty, and forgiveness. Lots of it.
- Having a college degree from a prestigious university with a high GPA does not guarantee a successful or happy life. Not only does it not guarantee you a good job after college, it really means nothing. What you end up doing for life may have absolutely nothing to do with what you even majored in. All that stress over getting good grades… sigh.
- Unlike school years, there is no clear path written out for you in life. In college, if you pay attention, study hard, and do what the teacher suggests you to do, you’re more than likely going to succeed and get A’s. In life, there is no written guideline for how to achieve happiness, or how to constantly get “A’s.”
- Fake it ’til you make it. Everyone wants to have a glamorous life (and display it on Instagram, especially), but let’s face it — even the people seemingly “living the dream” have their own problems, too (despite what they choose to show)! Everyone is literally faking it ’til they make it, and so should you. But at the same time… stay true to yourself and know where you stand.
- Networking is the key to success. They say it’s not all about what you know, but who you know. I, myself, need to get better at this… but I have definitely seen for others (especially my own little brother) how important networking is for you to move up in many aspects of life! You never know who will help you get that job or that promotion, or introduce you to the next connection that will make or break your career.
- Spread kindness. Being bitter or hateful not only attracts bad vibes, and people will remember you for the kind of person you were to them, so make it count!
- Life doesn’t get easier after college. Back in the day, I used to want to rush & finish my school days, for I hated tests and studying. I was never a school person, even though I did relatively well. I used to think to myself, “Man, my parents have it easy — they spend 8 hours at work, then come home and they’re free for the rest of the night! They don’t have to study or do homework… they get to finally relax.” Boy, little did I know. Adulthood is scary. There are bills to pay, meals to prepare, chores to complete, and most importantly, we’ve all got to find some “me time” for that balance!
- Online dating isn’t so bad as people used to make it sound. Yes, it’s become more of the “norm” with how things are now — with social media and the Internet practically taking over the world. From my experience, Tinder is more for hooking up, and OKCupid is more appropriate for finding a deeper relationship. I never had luck finding my perfect guy on either platforms, but I managed to make a good friend out of it and we still talk!
- Never say never. Things happen. Life happens. Potter and I got together even though we both never imagined to get together. Ever.
- Explore your passions. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, or discourage you from doing so. You life one life, so you do what makes YOU happy! There will be a ton of failure, but how do you learn and grow without a bit of a challenge?
- Always believe in yourself. Yes, there will be difficult times. There will be times you will want to quit. There will be times you just want to disappear. There will be times you feel worthless. More often than not, people give up right before they succeed. So, as long as you still want something, never give up and believe you can do it!
- Life successes are not correlated directly to age. At 18, I used to think that by 24, I would have a stable job, make a decent income, be married, and ready to have kids. Now, I’m 24, and I am none of the above. A little disheartening, but my 30-year-old boyfriend has taught me that age is just a number, and everyone has their “time.” I do believe in destiny… so I will patiently wait for mine, and in the mean time, work hard, of course.
- Travel while you’re young. You have the rest of your life to work, so go see the world while you can. I’ll admit, I haven’t seen the world as much as I’d like, but I am super excited to embark on a new journey with my love this month! We’re going on a road trip across the US and I’m stoked to see new places, learn new things, and discover new sides to me I never knew I had. Hopefully. They say that traveling is the only thing you can spend on to make you “richer.”
- It’s not always about the name brand. It’s more about the fit and whether it looks good on you. I don’t know how I had all the money in college to splurge on designer items and clothing, but these days, if it fits and looks good, and is affordable, I’m buyin’ it.
- Social media isn’t real. I totally agree with Essena O’Neill on this one. It’s designed so people constantly compare themselves to other people, and hate themselves. People are fake. So beware. Oh, and it’s totally a numbers game. Don’t let it define you. Just have fun with it!
- Living out of your suitcase is a real thing. I have literally been doing this for over a year now and it feels like I have no real home. I can’t wait to settle down some, but this is definitely an experience I’ll never forget! I can’t imagine what life is like for those who travel for a living.
- Modeling is far from glamorous. It has been my dream job since childhood, and even though my family is completely against it, I pursued it because I wanted to. Like any other job, it has its fun times, with great people… but it also has its stressful times, and nasty people. I’m glad I have been smart about who I choose to associate with. This career is a bit on the unfair side if you haven’t won the genetic lottery, per society’s standards.
- Imperfections are normal and okay. We all have them. I used to be super insecure about going out without make-up among other things. I still feel best when I’m done up, of course, but I’ve definitely mustered up the courage to go to the store without it on and be fine. To be honest, nobody else cares but you. So allow yourself to be comfortable.
- You are never alone. As much as you might feel so at times, there’s always someone else out there going through the same or similar thing. People just don’t like broadcasting these things on social media.
- It’s okay to feel lost. There are no correct answers in life, and perspective is everything. Life itself is a learning process, so even at 60+, our parents are learning and lost in their own way. Again, people don’t like broadcasting these things, but just because they don’t tell you or show you doesn’t mean they don’t feel it.
- Socialising is a skill. In college, socialising was fun. In life, socialising is what will get you jobs, valuable connections, and much more. Somehow though, it’s not as fun (and rather, is more tiring) when you’re an adult. With everyone on different paths and doing different things, I find it easier to retract and just hibernate in my natural habitat and relax. I love “me time” a lot. I do hope to improve my social skills though (and by that, I mean not feeling awkward or any social anxiety when I’m with a group of people expected to socialise… or want to go to bed by 9 pm). Nobody ever told me being 24 would feel like granny-hood! >__<
- I am 24 today but I still feel 18. This is really probably because I haven’t really celebrated my birthday since 18, but also because the accomplishments since then don’t feel or seem as clear-cut like they used to back in my school days. I guess because life doesn’t have clear-cut answers, and I’m still on the journey to figuring myself out. These things take time.
In light of my birthday, I’m also stoked to share that I finally got the lilac dress of my dreams, all thanks to SammyDress! This is definitely not a dress you’d wear out on a December day (it was probably like 30 degrees fahrenheit out when I shot this; we were just minutes from the mountains of snow — call me crazy, I know… I ended up catching a cold immediately after which I’m now dealing with -___- what a way to start my 24th year!), but I think the photos we got made it all worth it! Props to Bryan, my close friend/talented photographer for braving the cold with me to get these perfect shots 😉
I simply cannot get enough of the perfect lilac colour & the open back style of this dress. I want to fast-forward to spring/summer just so I can wear this again — this time, comfortably 🙂
Lilac Purple Open-Back Maxi Dress – SammyDress
Lauren Conrad Floral Necklace – Kohl’s
Gold Polka Dot Clutch – Bo/Bo by Angie (handcrafted by my cousin!)
“love” & Stacking Rings – Kristin Perry
Rhinestone Cuff Ring – SammyDress
Nude Heels – Michael Kors (similar here)
Happy 24th birthday to me! 😀
Dress photos by Bryan Lee