24 things I’ve learned before turning 24

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Beirut, 2017


1 – With every year that passes, time with family becomes more valuable. As we grow up and get on with our independent lives, it becomes increasingly difficult to be united in one place with family members. Time for reunions, big dinners, family vacations, and birthday celebrations with relatives becomes sacred.

2- Friendships limited to Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are nothing but a virtual reality. When you need someone to talk to and when you are looking for someone to celebrate with, nothing replaces human interaction. Your friends are the people you make time to see, have long conversations with, rejoice and grieve with.

3- We should visit our grandparents every chance we get. This is not the same as allocating family time. Grandparents live to hear about our achievements and give us advice during our downfalls. They deserve their own special time because when they’re gone, those are the times we will hold on to the most.

4- Exercise! Our bodies are our sanctuaries. They deserve to be looked out for in every way possible. If we don’t do enough for them by the time we’re 24 then we’re only tearing them down for the future.

5- Writing is not a gift, it’s all about practice. Write every chance you get, for everyone or absolutely no one to read. Just write so you can release. I’ve found no more efficient way to take myself out of a situation and reflect on it.

6- Don’t sell your heart short! You have to live with it for the rest of your days. So, never stop protecting it. It trusts you enough to bare itself whenever you ask it to. The least we can do it is be careful with it.

7- Never make promises you can’t keep. If you know work is too much to handle, speak out. If you know you will catch feelings but you had agreed you won’t, then be honest. If you’re not happy with your friendships, make yourself heard. You owe it to yourself to be able to stick to your word.

8- Don’t be afraid to say no. If there’s a situation you’re uncomfortable with, don’t stay in it. If there’s a plan you have a bad feeling about, don’t follow it. Saying no is not a buzz kill, it’s part of growing up and knowing what we want.

9- Sometimes, we allow people to treat us in ways we know we don’t deserve. We stick to those people anyway because they’ve become a part of our life. Get rid of toxic relationships! The more we stay in them, the more we subconsciously start believing we are worth only this much care.

10- We spend a lot of time maintaining friendships with other people, we often forget to be friends with ourselves. Be your own best friend. Ask yourself everyday what you’re grateful for and what you’re unhappy about. Reflect. Internalize. Discuss.

11- Travel alone. Even if you already spend time alone, traveling alone is different. You build memories with yourself and feed your soul with new experiences.

12- Don’t say you’ve tried your best when you haven’t. People will believe it, sure. But more dangerously, you will too. Acknowledge that this wasn’t your best but it is what it is and move on.

13- The world lacks kindness. Do something kind for someone everyday. Even if it starts as a chore,  it will become a habit and eventually a characteristic.

14- Don’t become the negative things you believe other people think of you. Never stop challenging stigmas. You are unique and so is everyone else. Even if we may fall into categories in people’s minds, it’s important to remind ourselves everyday that we can be anything we want to be.

15- Keep personalizing your playlists. Music is one way to express ourselves and we should never stop feeding off the few minutes of spacing out to a good song in the middle of the day.

16- Love may be a chance encounter but it’s also a combination of the right time and right place. Dont fall in love heart first, or head first. Take enough time to fall all in. 

17- Tell your best friend you love them. They deserve to hear it whenever it crosses your mind. They make you who you are, everyday.

18- Know when to compromise, and know when to not. Asses properly. Some things are worth sacrificing for and some things are worth letting go off completely.

19- Don’t let anyone manipulate your principles. They are principles for a reason. If they are subject to change, then you need to re-evaluate what’s important for you.

20- There are days we wake up with no plan and it feels liberating. We only deserve such days if all our other days surrounding it were packed with work and activities. Organize your time by the hour, it is the key to success. It’s also a good way of preventing you from wasting time on things that don’t matter.

21- Never mix business with play. Or as my grandma used to say: “don’t play where you eat”. Be professional, you’re not a child anymore and everyone expects you to have a strong worth ethic. Prove yourself.

22- Don’t be quick to answer when you’re arguing with someone. Arguments happen and it’s in our nature to fight to win them. Even if you know you’re right, say what you’re thinking to yourself first before saying it out loud. It might change the way you want to let it out. And trust me, that changes everything.

23- Recycle. Habits you build starting now, stick with you for a lifetime. Your children will also inherit those habits at some point. Kindness should spread beyond humans to nature.

24- Last but not least, you’re 24! As young as you can be at this moment and as old as you can be. So, enjoy the present. You’re only going to be 24 for now. Next year is a totally different story.

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