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Things I wish I knew at 25….

Are you ready for the cliche “holy crap, I’m turning 25 and about to have a quarter-life crisis” post? If so, that’s too dang bad – you’re not going to find that here! To be honest, I had that feeling about two months ago and I told myself to not let it happen here. Tomorrow, on March 25th, I will be turning 25 – the big ol’ GOLDEN birthday! Woot! Woot!

Now that I’m almost 25, I feel a little ridiculous receiving physical gifts from people; I have everything I need, and the things I want I try to earn/get for myself. For this year’s birthday gifts, I decided to celebrate by asking some of my favorite “old” people advice about what they wish they knew at 25 years old. Because honestly, that IS what I need and the ONLY thing I want (to know)...

How does life work at 25 years old?!

Before I pass the torch, I’d like to introduce you to the “old” people I mentioned earlier. And by old, I just mean older than 25 – but what they are more than that is…..the most youthful, wise, energetic, loving, kind, and accepting people I know. I hope the advice they give you can touch your life in the most positive way – just like they have for me.

  1. Believe in yourself. Have more confidence. Just GO FOR IT! Whatever IT may be.
  2. I wish I had listened more and paid attention to the people and things around me. When my elders told me stuff from their experiences, I didn’t really take it in – thought I knew it all. Also, I wish I’d spent more quality time with my mom and Grandma and spent more time getting to know them and their thoughts/feelings.
  3. I can think of a few things that I would have done differently. Main thing, don’t rush to get married. Your 25 year old self is different from your 30 year old self. Take your time and get to who you are first before committing to marriage. Boys at 25-30 are just that, boys!
  4. I’ve learned that when you’re trying to make important decisions, your heart will tell you one thing, your head will tell you another, but your gut is the one to listen to. It’s my manta, unfortunately I didn’t learn it until I was 35!
  5. Hangovers only get worse as you get older.  At approximately the age of 27 start investing heavily in PowerAde and ibuprofen so you can take them prior to even going to sleep.  DO NOT FORGET TO DO THIS.
  6. If I knew at age 25 what I knew now at age 60, I’d be more frugal with what little money I had, I’d share more time and talent for the good of my community, I’d be more thoughtful and humble and less selfish. I would have started a running club focused on all-around fitness, fun, and very welcoming to ALL!
  7. You’re not smarter than your parents.  Wisdom is a type of intelligence. Listen to them. Don’t be stubborn. It doesn’t mean you have to do as they say, but the more wisdom and intelligence you have the better.  Never think you’re too smart to stop learning.
  8. Start saving for retirement now! But also don’t be afraid to take financial risks to get you ahead of the game. I wish I would’ve put more effort into my career or investments. Get rich, retire young! Also, travel as often as you can!
  9. You’re going to have some great experiences and some terrible ones. That’s life. Treat them all the same way: Face them head on. You’re stronger than any problem you’ll ever face and enthusiasm makes all the good experiences that much better. Value your family and friends. They’ll lift you through the awful times and make the great times exponentially better.  The bad and good experiences and how you handle them will create the person you are today.
  10. Life isn’t all about me. Serve and love others for who they are and don’t try to change them. To laugh, to enjoy that season [25 yrs] of life, and to not always look at what was next.
  11. I wish I knew at 25 that girls are as horny as guys. ***(side note:..take notes, guys!)***
  12. Thank you. I am always thankful to my younger self for going above and beyond in the educational and financial realm. The decisions I made back then have helped me immensely in my thirties.
  13. Don’t always follow traditions because you feel like you have to. Make decisions based on what you want and what you’re passionate about – always try your best to not deviate from that. Example – I didn’t want to take my husband’s last name in the 90s and no one understood, and I received negative feedback on my decision because they thought, “what’s the point?”. I knew I didn’t want to lose my identity by changing my last name, and I knew it didn’t add value to our marriage by taking his, so I stayed true to my wishes. This can apply to anything!
  14. I wish my current self could teach my twenty-something self to be more self confident and assertive. I put up with a lot of shenanigans back then that would not fly now.
  15. I think I would tell 25 year old me to stand her ground, stick up for herself, and be confident in her opinions and convictions. They are valid and they matter! Also, It’s okay to ask for what you need rather than only worrying about the needs of others.
  16. Don’t ever apologize for who you are and the things you’ve done for yourself. Not everyone will understand and that’s okay, they don’t have to!
  17. Be a genuine friend and don’t desert them every time you’re in a relationship.
  18. I wish I’d dated men of different cultures when I was younger. I always wanted me a Puerto Rican!
  19. Cultivate a really good group of friends. I mean the extremely close-knit, bond can never be broken, ride-or-die type of friends.  Ones that you want to invest time in, and don’t mind investing time in you. You should feel like your best self around these people and want to make them proud of you. They’ll know when to fib to you and know when the truth is most important.  They’ll know your reaction before you even have it.  They’ll know when to fight your fight for you and when to let you take the lead.  And, they’ll know how to soften the blow of life or how to turn up when something incredible happens that calls for celebration. Those are the types of friends that grow with you and become increasingly important as you move through the ups and downs of life.  A bonus of having this type of friend for eternity is you get to recall all the crazy stuff you did at 25!
  20. When you feel like you are changing & growing, & those around you aren’t, don’t stop blooming – keep going!  There are others out there blooming with you but you’ll have to grow a bit taller to see them.
  21. Passion is important, drive is important, believing in yourself is important & at the end of the day if you feel called to something, someone, some uncertain future & no matter what you do you can’t shake that, go for it.  Don’t hold yourself back because it’s not a “normal” path.  Don’t talk yourself out it because it’s not guaranteed to work.  If you believe in it & feel called to it then just go for it.  While I wouldn’t trade any experience I ever had or wish I could go back in time & change anything I wish I would have had the courage I do now then.  One thing I constantly remind myself of now is how powerful our thoughts are.  By reminding myself of this I have been able to gradually change my thought patterns & my negative self-talk.  That has revealed a whole new level of power & strength I didn’t even know I had.
  22. Don’t worry about being “alone” – you are never alone, but in the moments when you feel like you are, soak in the magic that’s inside you.
  23. Travel is essential. Adventure is Life – Life is Adventure.
  24. There will be so many ups and downs you will find yourself in as you grow and just continue to live.  I could bore you with many stories that some may call ironic… but knowing and truly trusting in the process that everything happens for a reason will keep you believing.  I have faith and was raised in a Christian home, but whether you call things that happen to you “a God moment”, “His plan”, or “Karma”… things will pan out.  It could be as small as being an athlete and losing a game you worked hard for and was so close or as monumental as a divorce or relocation for work.  The problem I have witnessed people having over the years is that it’s not always black and white or immediate that you see why something did in fact happen.  It may not even make sense until years down the road… but I believe there is a plan and a purpose and you have to keep fighting and keep going.  Don’t let disappointments knock you down for too long.  I most definitely think it’s ok (and healthy even) to acknowledge and grieve those changes or situations, but get back up again dang it!  You CAN do it and will come out a STRONGER person for it.  I have yet to witness or help a friend through a tough time that didn’t end up making them stronger and/or something great coming of it.  The timing is most certainly the tricky part and surrounding yourself with the positive people in your life to help you keep on truckin’ is vital.  This to me however is the new struggle…. Who do I want to choose to surround myself with.?.?.?.?.  Is it people I used to (and still want to) believe in that have let me down, people who are a solid and silent constant in my life, or a new friend I want to take a chance on.  This, I have no answer for.  I do know and think though that change is good and letting people in is even better.  I believe this part of our daily journeys is exciting and constantly evolving.  So I leave you with this.  Believe that there is good in the world.  Believe that people believe in you! …but most importantly, BELIEVE in yourself!!!!!   🙂  


And the number you’ve all been waiting for…..

25.  You are only 25 once.  So chase the opportunity in front of you like it’s your last.


Peace. Love. Bring it on 25.

XO. The Welcome Woman


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  • Love this Tracey! I’ll only be turning 21 in June, so still so much to learn and grow!

    • Tracey Sands

      That’s the beauty of it – everybody is always learning and growing; you just have to pay attention 😉 Also, happy early birthday!!!