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  • Jasmin Ayala

What To Know At 24

Updated: Jun 12, 2018


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I turned 24 last week. I am now in the last stretch of my “early 20’s.” Christine Sydelko perfectly summed up my feelings towards turning 24 below.



Adulting, adulthood, growing up, whatever you wanna call it—it’s a different story for everyone. Transitioning into adulthood post-college was a rough road for me and I certainly learned ALL of these lessons the hard way. But that’s life, a big ‘ole learning lesson. Below are a few valuable lessons I learned in my 24 years of life.


1. You can’t drink like you’re 21 anymore


Gone are the days of pounding jello shots and pulling from bottom-shelf plastic handles under the wavering of neon strobe lights. There are greater things to look forward to with age, and some things may even get better, but hangovers do not. What was once a faint headache cured by electrolytes and the vigor of youth, is now a completely debilitating event that lasts over a day. No amount of saltines and Powerade will save you from this hell, so know your body’s limit.


2. Dating is a mess


Dating in college was easy. You didn’t have to look further than 3 feet to stumble upon a potential suitor. After college, you’re no longer nested in the college web so dating takes a lot of forethought and action. If you’re old-fashioned you could have your friends set you up with someone, but if you’re new age~ you can use the limitless range of dating apps available. Online dating and IRL dating are essentially the same, so whatever works best for you, go for it.


3. Sleep is not for the weak


I had a very complicated relationship with sleep back in college. Some days I’d pull an all-nighter, other days I’d party too late and have to clock into work without sleep, and other times I’d take self-prescribed mental health naps instead of going to class. Now, I cherish my relationship with sleep. Staying up and going out late has lost a bit of its charm, especially when there’s work the next morning. Yes, you’ll sleep when you’re dead, but have you ever woken up from a mid-afternoon nap and not know what year it is? You’ll never feel more alive.


4. Mental health matters


Mental health and therapy in particular, are still widely-hushed subjects even in 2018. Being vulnerable and honest with your emotions is uncomfortable, but it can really be liberating to consistently keep your mental health in check. Seeking support for your mental health should be as normalized as getting a root canal. Therapy, self-care, spirituality, or self-discovery are all helpful ways to get in touch with your inner self. Let’s make 2018 the year where we destigmatize mental health.


5. Rejection will happen


Rejection will come in many forms. Professionally, romantically, and personally. I for one, have been hit with rejection far too many times to keep tally. Especially in the industry that I am in, it’s practically inevitable. What I’ve had to learn after countless years of hearing “no” is that it doesn’t define me. When you’re super passionate about something like I am, it’s hard not to attach your entire self-worth to it. But it happens. Learning to accept rejection and move forward is an individual process, but what helps to have is perspective. Perspective won’t give you the job, but it will allow you to see the issue from a more humble standpoint.


6. Make Appts for yourself


Getting sick as an adult is not like getting sick as a child. If you’re lucky enough to still be on your parents insurance plan, part of the financial blow is softened. However, there are still out-of-pocket costs that will burn a hole in your wallet. As annoying as it is to call your doctor and set up appointments when you’re sick, avoiding it might have do greater damage.


7. Take care of your car


Many of us (myself included) are guilty of ignoring our car’s service engine light, and putting it off as something we’ll get to later. Spoiler: you probably won’t. So get your oil changed and fill up your tank, and always carry jumper cables. You think you “know your car” but soon enough you’re stranded on the side of the freeway with no help in sight because you forgot to renew your AAA membership.


8. Know how to change a tire


This goes hand in hand with number four. There’s nothing like busting your tire in San Francisco on a Sunday, when most tire shops are closed, and having no AAA to save the day. Again, another true story I’m not proud of. But hey, the tire got fixed...with the help of my brother’s guidance via FaceTime and the generous man power of a kind stranger in the McDonald’s parking lot. Moral of the story, learn how to change your own damn tire.


9. Learn to cook some basics


It’s a no-brainer that cooking is more cost-effective and healthful than hittin’ the drive thru. But if you don’t have a clue as to how to get around in a kitchen, the call of the drive-thru might reign supreme. It’s like going to the gym without a workout in mind; you’re going in blind and without purpose. Thankfully God created the internet so both issues can be easily resolved with the aid of a simple Google search. Cooking can be a fun solo experiment or a social activity to share with a friend, boo, or your social media audience. Bone app the teeth!


10. Comparison is the killer of joy


It’s one thing to look up to people as a source of inspiration, but it’s another thing to make yourself feel inadequate by the success of someone else. This is my greatest challenge admittedly. Everyone’s story is unique and everyone’s story has its own set of struggles that are not immediately visible to the public. Comparing yourself only devalues your own triumphs and qualities. Trust in the process and timing, and instead of feeling threatened by another’s success, be supportive.


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