Today is my 30th birthday.

Now that I am a “Woman in my 30’s” I automatically have more wisdom. Here is a list of 30 things I have learned in the last 10 years that I would like to share with my younger twenty-something counterparts.

Some of these I have mastered, some of these are still a work in progress. Everything on this list is something I have learned from life experience. Some of the items on this list may not mean anything to you at this point in your life.  We all learn at our own pace, and one thing I always tell my patients is that you can suggest an idea to someone a million times, but they won’t hear it until they are ready to hear it.  Same goes for these.

No matter what you’re feeling, I hope that these little tidbits stick with you somehow and return to you at the times you need them most.  


30 Things I Learned In My 20’s

  1. A good night’s sleep does wonders! You will feel so much better if you get at least eight hours per night.  Make time for it and rearrange your schedule to make it happen.

  2. If someone says to you, “If there’s anything I can do to help, let me know,” it’s okay to think of something they can help you with and let them do it.

  3. You need to have hobbies. They will be your saving grace in tough times.

  4. Get a credit card with rewards.  You’ll need those points when all of your friends have destination weddings and you need to pay for all of those hotel rooms.

  5. Know how much you’re spending and always pay your bills on time! Start saving as soon as you start getting paid.

  6. Nurture your relationships. The ones that matter will stick and the rest will fade.

  7. Caffeine is your friend if you time it right; don’t have a cup of coffee after 3pm.  

  8. Your body sends you messages. Listen to it.

  9. If you stay in one weekend, you really aren’t going to miss that much.

  10. Your heart will get broken. You will move on.

  11. The best school for you isn’t always the “best” school you get into.

  12. Don’t do things just because you think you should. Do them because they feel right.

  13. Don’t plan to “be happy someday.” Be happy now.

  14. Kindness gets you further than anger.  People are more likely to help you professionally and personally if they like you as a person.

  15. Even the people you “hate” have a quality you like. If you have to deal with them, find that quality, remember it, and it will help you take the high road.

  16. Being patient is a good quality, being too patient is not a good quality.

  17. Don’t stay in a job, a relationship, or anything else because you’re afraid of the unknown.

  18. Our brains are trained to focus on the negative. It takes work and effort to see the good. It’s worth practicing to see the positive in everyday things.

  19. You know those things that happen every day that you think are little and insignificant?  Those are actually the big things.

  20. Figure out your priorities. They may be different from mine and that is okay.

  21. You may never understand why good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people.  You can spend your whole life trying to figure out why, or you can put that energy into doing what you can to make today a better day.

  22. Giving back feels good.  The ways you can give back are countless and you get to pick yours.

  23. Some really awful things are going to happen. Some of them you won’t be able to control. Don’t give up, but do let go of trying to control what you can’t.  Do what you can with what you have.

  24. Exercise isn’t just for looking good. It’s for making your mood brighter, your confidence bigger, and your life more satisfying.

  25. Try something new once in awhile.  It keeps things interesting.  It doesn’t have to be a big thing, like moving to a new country. It could be something as simple as ballroom dancing lessons. It all makes a difference.

  26. If you need to cry, then cry. It’s a whole lot better than trying to keep it all in. Your emotions and your immune system are very much connected. Your emotions will find their way out if you don’t do it for them.

  27. There will be times that you don’t agree with someone else’s version of a story. You have to accept that everyone has their own version of the truth and you won’t always agree with theirs.  Arguments can be constructive if you’re both listening to what the other is saying.

  28. Give lots of hugs to the people you love. Tell them you love them as often as possible.

  29. There will be days you don’t want to do a damn thing. Once in awhile this is okay. Eventually you’ll have to get out of bed and return to life.

  30. You will make so many mistakes in life. So many.  Some big, some small.  It’s okay to be imperfect, or wrong, or sad, or angry. You’ll get mad at people. You’ll post depressing song lyrics on social media. You’ll do things you regret and can’t take back.  You’ll make really bad fashion choices, relationship choices, and say things you wish you hadn’t. A pity “party” isn’t very fun.  Take each mess-up as a learning experience, thank yourself for getting something out of it, and continue on with your life, knowing more than you did yesterday.

As always, I am here for you. Send me a message with your questions or just to say “hi!”

With Love and Respect,

Julia Del Balzo LCSW