24 Things I've Learned Before Turning 24

24 Things I've Learned Before Turning 24

As the title gives away, yes I’m 24. 24 has got to be one of the most random ages one has to turn. It’s the beginning of everyone (hopefully) starting to get their act together. You’ve already turned 21 and gone through the “wooo I’m drunk 24/7 because I can legally drink” phase. 22 was the “post-college, where do I go now” phase where you’re testing out different career paths and trying this whole “adulting” thing (note: it’s not for me). 23 is starting to build on your career, maybe switching to a new job, solidifying a good friend group, and thinking about grad school or what you want to do next. Then bam, you’re 24. Sh*t’s getting real. 

 23 has been an incredible year for me filled with work promotions, international travels, volunteering, a great group of friends, and the most supportive family. I’ve learned that we all have our own unique story to tell simply by existing. We all experience different highs and lows, which lead us to the conclusions that shape our life in way or another. We all are constantly growing and learning about ourselves day after day. I can definitely say that I’ve grown the most as a person this year, although I’ve definitely made my fair share of mistakes, 100% lost some friends I never thought I would, said some things I probably shouldn’t have said, but hey, it’s been one hell of a year. So without further ado, here are the 24 life lessons I’ve learned this year: 


1. It’s ok to be selfish when it comes to your own happiness. If something doesn’t make you happy, you don’t need to do it. Don’t ever feel obligated. 

2. Be present when hanging out with friends & family. The world is not going to end if you don’t post on your Instagram/Snapchat story for a couple minutes. 

3. Speak up in your work place. It’s ok to say “no” in the workplace without fearing the consequences. Also, don’t be shy to ask for a promotion or a raise when you think you deserve it. 

4. Your friends will talk about you and get annoyed with you. It doesn’t mean they don’t care about you. Like how many times do I get annoyed with my sister…I still love her to death.  

5. Always keep $20 with you in cash. You don’t know when it will come in handy. Why don’t bouncers accept card payment for cover? It’s the 21st century people, get with it. 

6. If you feel like something needs to be said, say it. Sometimes you just gotta hit someone up with a 5 paragraph text to let it all out instead of letting it eat away at your mind. 

7. Leave your past in the past. If it didn’t work out the first time, it’s probably not going to work out this time. People may change, but habits die hard so don’t hold your breath. 

8. Stop putting effort in a one-sided friendship. You don’t need to talk everyday to be friends with someone, but if you’re consistently reaching out/making plans and it’s not reciprocated, then cut 'em. 

9. Compliment your friends. It feels nice to be nice. Drop those flame emojis on your best friend’s Instagram picture.

10. Professional development is a thing. Take some time outside of work to study more about your industry or get certified in a relevant course. The job market is cut throat.

11. It’s ok to be private. Not everyone needs to know every detail about your life…even your friends.  

12. Fomo is not a real thing. Instead of being “jealous” of someone’s trip, go plan your own. 

13. Know your worth. Sometimes when you’ve been treated poorly for so long, you get used to it. Everyone deserves the best, so find your best. 

14. It’s time to start figuring out what you want to do with your life. Gone are the days where you can experiment with career choices, it’s time to pick a path and stick to it. 

15. Treat your parents. They’ve done so much for you, take them out to dinner once in a while. Surprise them with a present for no reason. It’s the little things. 

16. Take some time to nourish your mental health. Sometimes you just need a good cry to get back up.  

17. Plan one international trip a year — something about experiencing a new culture really reshapes your way of thinking. 

18. 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 to you.

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19. Educate yourself in politics. With everything happening this year and the rise of so many movements, it’s important to have an opinion. And the best way to do that is to read up on current events. 

20. If you’re not a gym person like me, bootcamps are everything. It’s ok to pay $150 a month for a bootcamp if you’re doing intense workouts 4-5 times a week. Whatever gets you motivated! 

21. Take time to give back. Being a volunteer at Make-A-Wish Foundation is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve done this year.  

22. Naps are life-changing. Sometimes you have to take a 30 minute power nap to re-energize yourself. Even if it means during lunch…. 


23. If a guy really likes you, he’ll do anything in his power to want to be with you. If he doesn’t, he’s just not that into you and that’s ok. 

24. Once in a while, replace bottomless brunch with a morning hike or soul cycle class; you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world (I know, I’ve changed). 

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes & love. I’ll definitely be doing a list like this next year to keep track of just how much can change in a year. 

Instagram: @nehaltenany; Twitter: @omgnehal

Photos by: @spwalkerphoto

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