24 Things I Learned in 24 Years | A look back

I recently turned 24 and if I am following the 15-year-old me’s plans, I’m only a year short of getting married and my life would have been perfectly figured out by now. I guess I was just too naive to think of that. In fact, today I’m living the complete opposite.

To keep tabs on my 24 years of existence, I decided to write down 24 things that I have learned along the way.

24 things i learned in 24 years


  1. The little things mean the most. The ripple effects of small things bring great impact so learn to celebrate those little victories. I have always been a believer that it’s in the small things, that there is beauty in mediocrity. When you learn to be grateful for the little things, you become more appreciative. It helps you strike balance between self-improvement and contentment. You grow while appreciating even the littlest of things.
  2. It may be scary but do it anyway. Conquering my fears is the most liberating and fulfilling thing I have done. It pushed me to my core and helped me grow into someone with great strength.
  3. The people in your life come and go. You can never force people to stay in your life if they do not want to be in it anymore. When someone goes, someone better comes along too.
  4. Do not stress about the things that you cannot control. Life is so much fun when you let loose a little and stop trying to control the things that aren’t controllable. Accept the fact that not everything will go as you planned it to be. What you can control is the effort you give, the mindset you take in every adversity, and disappointment that you face.
  5. You can’t be your best all the time but you can try your best all the time. Sometimes your best is at its peak and sometimes it’s on a low and I learned that it’s good enough. You do not have to beat yourself up just to live up to your expectations. Sometimes your best is not how you imagined it in your head and that’s okay.
  6. Done is better than perfect. Starting something and getting it done is better than having the result exactly how you imagined it to be, right away. The chase of perfection is what is holding us back. If you want to do something, freaking go for it!
  7. It is okay to not have your life figured out yet. Life is not a race and everyone is struggling to ride the waves of life as you. You do not have to be pressured about figuring your life at this point. We all are just winging it so we might as well enjoy every moment of it. Those people who seemed like they have their life figured out? I promise you, they probably are panicking inside too.
  8. Taking care of our bodies is a must. Our bodies are also aging and we cannot live on sodas, burgers, and tacos forever. Investing in a healthy diet will have a more positive impact in the years to come.
  9. Everything in your social media feed is full of highlight reels and it’s just that, highlight reels so stop comparing yourself with it. Behind those fancy filters are millions of struggles that are unheard of. You do you.
  10. It is okay to breakdown and cry but does not succumb to it for far too long. Cry if you must but stand up after. Let your breakdowns be your breakthroughs.
  11. Everything is temporary. Bad days do not last forever so it is good days so learn from the bad and cherish the good.
  12. Do not sleep with makeup on. Stack up on makeup wipes which can easily erase your makeup during your lazy days or your drunk days and wipe that shit off.
  13. Do not take everything personally at work. Accept your mistakes and those escalations but do not let it get the best of you. After all, work is just that, work. Nothing personal.
  14. It is not about the place, it’s about who you are with. This is one of the greatest learning I have this year. You can be in a fancy resort with people you are not comfortable with and still not be happy. Choose your people.
  15. Write. Always have a journal and a pen near you and write down all the ideas that come in your mind. Even if it is just fragmented, write it down. It helps.
  16. If your mind does not function 100% then how it normally is, it’s better to stop. Take a break. Walk. Take a nap. Once you get back to work, you’ll feel like you’re more than ready to face the world.
  17. Coffee makes the day 100% better.
  18. Save. Invest. This is one of the hardest learning that I came across in this adult life. Save a portion of your salary or if it really is hard for you to set aside a portion, exercise smart shopping. Use that coupon. Use cashback apps. Ditch the overrated coffee. You’ll thank yourself later on.
  19. It’s okay to cut off toxic people, may they be family or friends. Sometimes we hold on to people because we value them so much but in times where they weigh us down and they become too toxic for our lives, it’s about time to cut them off. Put your mental health first.
  20. It’s time to give back to family and friends but more especially to mama and papa.
  21. Kindness is the only thing that impresses me. Good looks get boring so fast.
  22. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. This might sound so cliche but it’s true. I’ve dealt with a lot of people who seem so okay, so cheerful and so composed but at the back of those masks are people who are struggling. It pays to be kind to everyone you meet along the way.
  23. Interrupt anxiety with gratitude. I have been dealing with anxiety attacks for most days this year and it wasn’t easy. One thing that has been constantly helping me get through it is the thought of gratitude. I step back and think of all the things that I’m grateful for.
  24. At the end of the day, this life’s journey is worth it. <3
24 things i learned in 24 years

And that concludes the 24 things I learned in my 24 years of existence.

By now, we should all learn that we have the power to change our narrative and it’s okay to not follow the blueprint that our 15-year-old self has set for us.

What are your life lessons so far? Share them with me in the comments below. 🙂

Jam Nesreen

20 thoughts on “24 Things I Learned in 24 Years | A look back

  1. I love number 4. I’m really trying to relax these past few weeks (I’m 39 weeks pregnant with my second child) and just remember that baby girl will come when she comes and I can’t control it! It’s hard for sure.

  2. “Interrupt anxiety with gratitude” is great advice. How often we hear “practice gratitude” or “meditate to lose anxiety”. I think your idea really bridges the gap between these two statements, as they truly do go hand-in-hand!

  3. Jam, there is so many things I love about this post from trying your best, sleeping with make-up on (guilty), writing (who else has a spiral book collection), every one is going through some sort of battle to replacing anxiety with gratitude! And so many more great life lessons. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Beautiful lessons <3 Agree with the little things meaning the most. The flip side of this is also true – we should not little things bother us too much. In the long run, those might not matter so much!

  5. Love them all and several are what get me through life (I am somewhat older than you). The one about doing your best and how it’s not always the same really works for me. It helps with stress a whole lot.

  6. Amazing life lessons and you should be thankful you’ve learned them at the young age of 24! We can all learn from each and every one of these. The one that spoke to me the most is ‘It may be scary but do it anyway.’ This has been a lesson I have had to work hard at. The fear of failure is one that I am constantly working to overcome. If you don’t try it you will never know what you are capable of. If you fail you’ll know a little more for the next time.

  7. I love that one, “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” I believe we as humans assume too much and sometime we must understand that things go one beyond what we are capable. What a great list and you have learned so much over these 24 years. You still have a lot more to go. Never not learn.

  8. #4.Do not stress about the things that you cannot control REAAAAALLY spoke to my heart. It’s taken a long time to get to the point where I have embraced this.

  9. THIS IS THE BEST POST I’VE READ TODAY. I love everything that you wrote here, it feels like I’m talking to you in real life!!! Oh Jam, your wise words deserves a lot of readers, imma share this to everyone if you don’t mind! Hope you’ll have an amazing New Year, nothing but happiness and blessings on your way because you seem like a very nice and sweet person! xx


    1. OMG!! Thank you very much for appreciating this post. This one is so close to my heart. Happy Nee Year to you and your family too! <3 I wish to get to know more of you in the coming days ❤️

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