24 Life Lessons I’ve Learned as a 24 Year Old Millennial

Learning the hard way.

If you are a millennial, you will probably remember growing up with dial-up internet, Gameboys and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

We may be classified as the lucky generation though, because we have grown up in a time when technological advances have developed quicker than ever. Smartphones, GPS, social media and wireless internet to name a few. Keeping up with technology for our generation isn’t optional; it is compulsory if we don’t want to get left behind.

A lot of things we have learned the hard way though, lessons that technology or social media may or may not teach you. Here is a list of 24 life lessons I have learned as a 24 year old millennial.

  1. You are just a number — I have had more than twenty jobs since I began working as a pre-teen. Did any of those companies actually care about me or were they more worried about lining their pockets? I’ll let you decide on that one.
  2. You need to do more of what makes you happy — If travelling makes you happy — do it. If going out three nights in a row makes you happy — do it. If you want to settle down, get married and have children — do it. Do what truly makes you happy, because you will forever crave fulfilment if you don’t. And don’t let anyone else determine your own happiness.
  3. If you don’t ask, you may not get — Feel like you deserve a pay rise? Ask for one. Want advice or help? Ask someone. Don’t look back on missed opportunities — have the confidence to go for it.
  4. You are not destined to work Monday-Friday 9am-5pm — flashback to number two; if working Monday to Friday, 9–5 makes you happy, then you go Glenn CoCo. But if you are sick of the same thing week after week, then take a risk and break away from what is expected and do what no one expects you to do.
  5. Failure is necessary to breed success —in the millennial age, everything is so fast-paced and ever changing. Ideas may seem great at the time of creation; but when you fall flat on your face, don’t beat yourself up and just remember that Walt Disney was told he wasn’t creative enough. And look how that turned out.
  6. Washing up liquid is not an appropriate substitute for dishwasher tablets — please take my word on this one and don’t try this at home.
  7. You cannot please everyone — we were all created differently and have our own personalities and uniqueness. Not everyone will like you, not everyone will agree with you, and not everyone will care about you. You cannot please everyone, so focus on becoming a better version of yourself rather than succumbing to society’s expectations of what you should do or be like.
  8. You might wait a long time to have a job you love — Personally I feel quite lucky to have had jobs that I have loved, but they were always temporary. So I have found myself on a continual search for that one job that completes the last piece of the ‘happiness’ jigsaw puzzle.
  9. You don’t have everything figured out yet — and that is perfectly fine. Try not to look at others and compare yourself to them, because what you may perceive to be perfection on the outside may be the complete opposite of what you think.
  10. Everyone struggles at some point — anxiety, depression, debt, unemployment, failure, fear, stress. No one is immune from struggle, and everyone is quietly fighting their own battles.
  11. Hangovers get worse as you age — and contrary to popular belief, more alcohol is not a cure for a two day hangover — it is a method of delaying the inevitable. Friendly tip; do not let a night out effect your performance at work.
  12. Settling down may be your idea of a nightmare — it’s lovely to see your friends and family settled down, but there’s always been that fear for you.
  13. University is absolutely not for everyone — and having a university degree doesn’t necessarily make you any better or more qualified than someone who doesn’t have one.
  14. Debt follows you around like a bad smell — credit cards, store accounts, university debt, overdrafts; everything seems to just pile on top of you a few days before pay day.
  15. Social media is more venomous than a king cobra snake — there is a lot of negativity and keyboard warriors on social media. It’s like a trap which can swallow you up and influence your own view of yourself. Try to remember that it is a virtual world, and the real world is just outside your window.
  16. It’s OK to still live with your parents — Living at home may be something of a safe haven for you. Somewhere to crash when plans fall through, and a place where there will always be someone waiting with open arms welcoming you back home, regardless of the reason for you return.
  17. It’s quality, not quantity when it comes to friends — life is not defined by how many friends you have on Facebook, and it never will be. You know who your real friends are and know the ones who will always be there for you, as you would be for them.
  18. Your mental health is important — even if it cannot be seen from the outside. Your brain is a complex organ that requires stimulation, and it is vital that you look after your mind.
  19. Procrastination is real — ever find yourself with so much to do that the only option is to have a nap? Me too — all the time. More recently, Netflix binges have done the job.
  20. You probably still can’t cook- I know I can’t. Boiled eggs or beans on toast is about the best I can do.
  21. Travelling is ALWAYS an option — trust me, if you want to travel you will always find a way. Your credit rating may not be too good afterwards, but you only live once right?
  22. There is more to work than money — money is great, but you know what is better? Purpose, being valued and being treated like a real person. The workplace culture is more important than it was 20 years ago.
  23. Music is therapy — whether you are at a party, studying, relaxing or in the middle of a mental breakdown — music will always be there as a form of therapy.
  24. ‘Adulting’ is harder than you think — how easy were the old days when the hardest decision we had to make was which colour crayon to use?
Image courtesy of Unsplash

Nowadays there are so many questions, choices and solutions. There is so much pressure on millennials, but the same people have the ability to change the world. If there is one thing that I hope you take from this post, it is to remember that you have the ability to change the world. Never forget that.


Originally published at mydiaryofaquarterlifer.wordpress.com on April 15, 2017.