The time has finally come for me to wave goodbye to my 20s. I would be lying if I said I was completely on board with the idea. However in the spirit of being a proper grown up, I'm trying not to scream "Why, God, why? We had a deal! Let the others grow old, not me" like Joey did in Friends.
So to commemorate my 30th birthday and help my fellow 20-somethings, I thought I would share some of the most important things I've learned in the last 10 years.
1. Your whole life can change in a split second.
I still remember graduating from university and getting ready to head to LA to intern at a record label. A few days before I was due to leave, my younger brother was diagnosed with cancer. My life fell apart more than I ever thought possible in a matter of seconds, and I was suddenly trying to get through each day and figure out what the hell I was meant to do next. He was lucky enough to make a full recovery and it taught me to make the most of every single day.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others.
There will always be someone who is smarter, funnier and prettier than you. That doesn't mean you need to beat yourself up about it at every possible moment. We're all amazing individual people and it's about time we recognised that.
3. Let him go.
I KNOW it's easier said than done, but you need to try. Delete his number, block him from social media, and stop obsessing over the texts he sent you when he was a nice person.
4. Don't trust social media.
Social media tends to be the highlights of someone's life and not everyone is as happy as they appear. Oh, and he's not going to sleep with every girl whose photo he likes on Instagram either.
5. Find a job that makes you happy.
Until two months ago, I was the press officer of the biggest theatre in the UK. People thought I had the best job but the challenge of it wore off after two years and I needed something new. I now work for an animal welfare charity trying to end cruelty to Scotland's animals, and I love it.
6. Trust your gut.
99.9% of the time it's telling you the truth.
7. Taylor Swift writes the perfect break-up song.
A lot of my friends make fun of me for being such a big Taylor Swift fan, but she really does write the perfect break-up song. Yes, it's horrible when your heart gets broken but turn up the volume on 'I Knew You Were Trouble' and you might start to feel a bit better.
8. Drink lots of water
Water is your best friend. Try to drink 2-3 litres a day and always drink lots after a night out.
9. Look after yourself
Eat well. Get enough sleep. And always be kind to yourself.
10. Laughter is the best medicine
I spent some of my 20s working in a comedy club in Edinburgh. It might seem like you're having the worst day in the world, but it's always made better when people make you laugh.
11. We accept the love we think we deserve
I remember the first time I read this quote in The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It was one of those lightbulb moments where everything suddenly made sense. I've lost count of the number of times I've cried over the same guy who never treated me properly. It took me a long time to understand why I did it, but the answer lies in this quote.
12. Learn to say no
We often feel obliged to say yes even when we want to say no. I'm definitely guilty of trying to please people, but you need to remember to put yourself first and say no if you really don't want to do something.
13. Read as much as you can
There's nothing quite like getting completely lost in a book. I always have a big pile of books beside my bed, and I'm usually in the middle of a few at the same time.
14. Internet trolls are vicious
I got really badly trolled in my mid-twenties due to a case of mistaken identity with a rather famous football manager. I've always been a bit sensitive, but it's really hard to not care when you log into your twitter and your notifications are full of people telling you to kill yourself because you're so ugly. I know these people were strangers, but I cried my eyes out for days.
15. Be compassionate.
For me being compassionate comes hand in hand with being vegan. It's one of the most important lessons I have learned and I wish I was always as compassionate as I am now.
16. Stop apologising.
Yes, there will be some occasions when you need to say sorry. However you probably don't need to apologise half as much as you think you do.
17. Modern dating is really hard.
I came out of a serious relationship when I was in my mid-twenties and since then dating seems to have evolved into people judging my photo for less than a second and swiping one way or the other. If you're lucky enough to meet someone who does want to date you, then chances are your friends will find them on dating apps at the same time. Told you it's hard!
18. Staying in is the new going out
I still love a good night out, but as I get older I appreciate nights in catching up with friends over good food, rum and lots of board games even more.
19. Regular exercise is really important
Exercise isn't just important for your physical health but it's so important for your mental health too. There's nothing a good run on the treadmill won't help, even if the gym is the last place in the world you want to be.
20. Forgive others in your own time
I've been known for holding a bit of a grudge against people who hurt me but there's no time limit on how long you have to forgive someone. Just because someone else gets over it quicker doesn't mean that you have to.Suggest a correction