25 Lessons Learned in 25 Years

On the eve of my 26th birthday, I thought I’d share 25 lessons that I’ve learned in my 25 years!

It’s crazy looking back at how fast the years have gone (especially post-high school). While I feel like turning 26 is “old,” especially since I often say things like “when I was a kid,” and “remember 20 years ago when…” and “if only I knew then what I know now,” I know still have many years of adventures ahead of me.

So as I celebrate the last day being a “quarter of a century, here are my 25 lessons learned in 25 years.


  1. There’s no roadmap for life. Everyone else is winging it too.
  2. You’re not “old” if you’re in your 20s. Even if it feels like it.
  3. Your parents are usually right. Always a tough one to admit. 
  4. Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Hang in there. 
  5. Be kind to others. The world needs more of it.
  6. You create your own luck. Positive thinking + hard work. 
  7. It’s ok to ask for help. That’s what your people are for.
  8. Some people aren’t meant to be in your life forever. What’s meant to be, will be. 
  9. The earlier you can start saving, the better.
  10. You can’t change the past. All you can do is move forward. 
  11. Finding your passion is key. Do what you love. 
  12. Trust your gut. It’s usually right. 
  13. Take risks. You’ll never get anywhere in life without doing so. 
  14. Learn as much as you can. Knowledge is power. 
  15. Karma is real. If you give more, you’ll get more. 
  16. You can count your true friends on one hand. Quality > Quantity. 
  17. Comparison is the biggest thief of joy. Learn to love your life.
  18. It’s ok to make mistakes. No one is perfect. 
  19. Make time to travel and see the world. It’s filled with so much beauty. 
  20. Laughter is the best medicine. Always. 
  21. It’s never too late. You can always make a change.
  22. You’re capable of more than you think. Don’t be so hard on yourself. 
  23. Be true to yourself. Don’t do something just because “everyone else is doing it.”
  24. Perspective is a beautiful thing. Open your mind.
  25. Life goes on. Take the good with the bad. 


What are some of the biggest/best life lessons you’ve learned?

  • Brittany Ashmore

    These are great! Finding your passion is so important!

  • Heather Gullett Denniston

    Trust your gut. I am honing that skill with each passing year!

    • It can be a tough one to do, for sure. Good luck!

  • Annie Marie

    These are all so true! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Kelly | A Pair of Passports

    Love this! Such valuable advice.

  • Lauren

    I love this! I feel so inspired now! :) One lesson I’ve learned in my 24-years is to find the happiness in every situation.

    • I’m so happy to hear that! Finding happiness in every situation is a great lesson! The world can definitely use a lot more of that!

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    I love this! I think I’ve definitely learned a lot of these in my years as well- and I try to teach them to my high school students as much as I can. Great post!

    • Thanks, Kels! I know teenagers tend to tune adults out sometimes, but if they take anything away, I hope it’s advice like this that you teach them!

  • Chrissa – Physical Kitchness

    #1 and #22 amen amen! Love this list! I’m no longer in my 20’s BUT I can relate to this even in my early 30’s!

    • Thanks, Chrissa! We’re constantly adding to the list as we age :)

  • This is such a great list!!! Happy Birthday!!!

  • Molly O’Connor

    Love this and seriously, such great reminders in there! Parents do somehow manage to always be right, don’t they? ;)


    • Thanks, Molly! And yes! It’s kind of scary how spot on they can be, haha.

  • Fantastic reminders at 25, 30, or 99! Happy early birthday!

  • Happy Birthday!! Those are all great lessons, and good for us to remember at any age!

    • Thanks, Angie! Totally agree! I need to remind myself of these more often!

  • Emily Bendler

    Happy Birthday!! Love this list!! These are great things to remember at any age.

  • Cait Weingartner

    Happy birthday! Those are some great life lessons! I need to remind myself of a lot of them!

    – Cait | http://www.prettyandfun.com

    • Thanks, Cait! I think we do need some reminding of these things more often too!

  • These are all fabulous lessons!

    Alix | http://www.apintsizedlife.com

  • So many beautiful things you have learned over the years. I just did my 26 years post and learned similar things. You have a beautiful heart!

    Keep smiling!
    Molly | http://www.stylemissmolly.com

    • Thank you so much, Molly! Great minds think alike :) I’ll have to check your post out!

  • These are so good, so much wisdom. #5 & #21 are my faves. If only I’d started #9 sooner. But it’s never too late to start. I enjoy your blog! Tracy

    • Thanks, Tracy! So true – it’s never too late! Appreciate you stopping by!

  • These are all great lessons! Happy 26th lady :)

  • Great lessons! Happy Birthday! xoxo

  • Bree Hogan

    Happy birthday! These are great life lessons that you have shared with us all. Thanks!

  • Mar

    Great lessons :) Happy birthday!!

  • This list is wonderful!! Happy Birthday! <3

  • whereiseu

    Happy Birthday! This is a great list to always keep in mind. :) Have a nice day,


  • Ursula Ball

    I enjoyed these 25 Life Lessons and its hard to add any more to this awesome list!! Happy Birthday to you!!



  • These are such great lessons that we can all continue to learn from! I love the one about not being that old even if you’re in your 20’s! Since I’m almost 30, 30’s are starting to sound pretty young too!

    • Thanks, Ashley! It’s so weird isn’t it? When we’re young it sounds old and we think our whole lives will be set but then we hit the age and it’s like wait, what was I thinking?! Haha

  • emi

    I love lists like this! Cutest collection and happy happy birthday!!!

    xo welltraveledwife.com

  • Amanda K

    So many great tips here. Hope you had a great birthday!

    Amanda || http://www.fortheloveofglitter.com

  • Absolutely loved this post, R! Hits so close to home right now. Thank you for sharing, and happy birthday!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

  • Happiest birthday wishes to you. I love this list and being old is so right…I am in my 30’s and feel better than ever!

    • Thank you! I’ve been hearing that 30s are the new 20s, so glad to know good things are still ahead in the next decade :)

  • It is DEFINITELY okay to make mistakes. Glad this one made your list. Happy belated birthday! (I’m a little late to the party here…)

  • happy belated birthday :) i agree with pretty much all of these, i wish we learned these things earlier in life but i guess it comes with age lol

    • Thanks, Kristen! I wish we learned these things earlier too. Imagine how different some things would be if we did!