Samantha Chic: Five Things I Learned by 25


Five Things I Learned by 25

With my Daddy & Mommy 25 years ago!
Today, I’m celebrating my 25th birthday. While some friends have looked at this milestone with dread (“I’m halfway to 50!”), I feel very fortunate.

In celebration, I'm sharing my wisdom (or lack thereof) with 5 things I learned by 25...

You must change your eating habits.
Remember eating a candy bar every day in high school and late night pizza regularly in college? Yeah, those days are gone. I learned this the hard way -- 18 lbs gained steadily since college.

The truth is your body simply changes as you get older. That’s why it’s so important to know your body, what works, what foods agree with you and don’t (I can’t eat anything deep fried after 6 p.m. now or else I have a horrible stomach ache all night).

This year, I made it my mission to revamp my eating habits. I still indulge in chocolate each day, but I only have a bite, not the whole candy bar. I've added more fruits and veggies, drink more water and exercise. I've lost 8 lbs so far, but most importantly, I feel so much better that I'm finally putting health first (though it's not easy)!

Some snapshots from around the world!
You will learn more traveling the world than you ever will from a textbook. 
I love reading. That being said though, reading will never compare to experience. I was lucky to travel in college thanks to WVU's Spring Break programs. I visited 7 different countries – Italy, England, Scotland, France, Greece, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

No moment has ever compared to the first time I left the country, landed in Rome and stepped into the sunshine realizing I was in a completely different world, where I didn’t speak the language, needed a map to get around (pre-smartphone era), and didn't even know my fellow students well.

Traveling to new places doesn’t just teach you about different languages, history, cultures, food and more, it forces you to learn about yourself. Nothing will expand your world quite like traveling.

You can't change people.
This, by far, was (and still is) the hardest thing to learn and accept, but once you do, it's the most liberating thing.

I learned the hard way after a bad relationship, where I had one of two options -- stay with a man in a downward spiral or bail to save myself. I choose myself because no matter what I said or did, I couldn't change him.

By human nature, people are only going to do what is absolutely required or what they want to do. While you can't change people, you can change yourself and learn from every experience. Even the bad ones at least teach you what you don't want in life.

Not "my other half," but definitely my partner in life!
You are complete on your own.
I love my boyfriend to the moon and back and some days I don’t know what I’d do without him. But I'm annoyed when people refer to him as “my other half.” 

Do I love him dearly? Of course. Does coming home to him each night make me happy? Absolutely. Would I be devastated if we broke up? You better believe it (but then I’d realize it’s his loss because I’m friggin’ awesome)!

In college, it's easy to do your own thing because you have a built in social network. But moving away and living on your own forces you to figure out how to live on your own terms and by your own rules. You have to live the life you want.

You don't know everything yet (and you never will).
I'll admit I can be a smartass. And I hate to admit when I'm wrong (ask the Boyfriend).

But the fact is, no matter how much older you get or how much life experience you have, you're never going to know everything. People who stop learning from the world are the people who are the same at 40 as they were at 20.

I don't know about you, but I want to be a different person when I'm 40 because I'll have 15 more years under my belt. Going back to before, every experience teaches you something. Keep learning, always.

I want to say THANK YOU to each and every reader for being a part of my life in the past 25 years. Share with me the best lesson you've learned in the comments below.

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