23 Life Lessons Learned By 23

After taking a few days to silently reflect on life, I decided to email my closest friends asking the question “What are some of the most important life lessons you’ve learned thus far.” What I received in my inbox were the heartfelt ups and downs and growing pains of 4 amazing yet different young women. I read lessons I had not thought about or learned myself, which means there was no way I could keep the list to myself. I find it important that as we grow, in age and life; we should find ourselves in the space of sharing and educating one another. As women, if there is something that I can learn from you and vice versa, we should exchange. So here is an exchange from my friends and I: 23 important lessons learned by 23.

  1. Living up to your potential is solely dependent on your willingness to determine exactly what that is.
  2. When travelling out of the country it is important to know basic exchanges in Spanish and French, you’ll get far with both.
  3. Having one friend you can tell everything and anything to is essential.
  4. Replace coffee with green tea. It’s healthier and gives you a greater boost of energy
  5. Buy one really expensive item for yourself every six months.
  6. Living without a microwave will result in one of two things: healthier eating habits, or a fast-food habit.
  7. Keep a pair of all purpose heels in your car.
  8. The quickest way to make a new friend is over food…or drinks.
  9. Learn how to read a map. If you’re far from a cell phone tower and Google maps isn’t working, you always have a back up.
  10. Skip the clubs on weekends and go to happy hour during the week. Why? Happy Hour is cheaper, you’ll see the same people, hear the same music, the drinks are half the cost, and it’s a great opportunity to network.
  11. Treat everything like it’s your first. Whether it be a new pair of shoes, or the job you’ve always wanted… you’ll appreciate it more.
  12. Avoid those enticing store credit card ads. You should only have one major credit card.
  13. Everyday of your life is a new page in your story. Live your life like a book you never want to put down.
  14. Know that it always gets better.
  15. Have a guy best friend.
  16. Never be embarrassed to see a therapist.
  17. If it sounds like a pyramid scheme, it’s a pyramid scheme. Don’t invest your money with people or companies that don’t seem legitimate.
  18. Not everyone gets to make it to the end of your life with you.
  19. Know how to articulate your needs for yourself because no one else will.
  20. Invest in “me time” regularly. Go to the movies, dinner, or a concert alone. Learn to enjoy you!
  21. Taking a trip by train is an experience you’ll love or hate, but it will teach you patience.
  22. Love yourself enough to know when to let go, and when to keep pushing.
  23. Expect the best, and you’ll be surprised at the people and opportunities you attract.

What life lessons have you learned in your 20’s? Share them in the comments below!

About Keiana Smith-McDowell

Keiana Smith-McDowell is a native Ohioan currently taking over the nations capital, Washington, DC. She is currently a graduate student at Georgetown University studying Journalism. After graduate school, Keiana plans to work for a publication as a music and pop culture journalist.
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6 Responses to 23 Life Lessons Learned By 23

  1. Rhonesha Byng NESHA says:

    my lesson–The journey to becoming who you want to be will take much longer than you thought. But the experiences along the way hopefully make it all worth it!

  2. Ariwonder says:

    I’ve learned to tell people I care about how I feel about them. If I love them, let it be known. If I can’t deal with them at the moment, let it be known. But ultimately, how that message is conveyed makes the difference in what your relationship might be like from then on.

  3. Ariwonder says:

    Also, learn how to live on as little as possible for at least a month in your life. The skills gained through that time can help you much throughout your life when things may not be where you desire financially.

  4. LaSaundra says:

    1. Don’t allow fear deter you away from what you want to do.
    2. When you figure out what it is you want to do, write it down. Then figure out what your first step will be to accomplishing that goal.
    3. Patience is necessary in life because great things come in time.
    4. When you make mistakes, don’t dwell on them, learn from them.
    5. Rejection happens, it it your job to learn from it.
    6. Being organized will help you tremendously.
    7. An unlimited metrocard is everything!
    8. Just because you have money doesn’t mean you have to spend it.
    9. Have a motivation music playlist.
    10. Stop trying to understand men, you’ll just drive yourself crazy.
    11. When you see successful young people, learn from them.
    13. Bringing your own lunch to work saves tons!
    14. Have more than one resume.
    15. Have at least one professional picture of you.

  5. kittysayword says:

    The most important thing I have learned as a 23 year old is to, enjoy the journey of reaching your fullest potential. Often, we do not savor the progress, the struggles or the accomplishments that gets us closer to our goals. Those moments are what make us strong and gives us character. We are able reflect and see how we have grown from them. The decisions we make will create our stories.

    Sometimes I get frustrated and wish to be where I want to be immediately, but what comes easy does not last long.

    Be patient, remain positive and enjoy the ride.


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