WOMEN

25 Things Every Woman Should Be Able To Do By Age 25

You got this.

09/09/2015 06:05 pm ET
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I turned 25 early this summer, and for the most part I have no idea what the f**k I'm doing.

I'm three years out of college and pretty firmly ensconced in the "real world"-- employment, rent, taxes, commutes and all. However, I am still deeply bewildered about what the future holds, and what I'm "supposed" to be doing to get there. Shouldn't I be a fully-fledged human by now? I'm starting to suspect that no one ever really feels like one. 

There are many things I probably should be able to do by now, like drive a car when other people are on the road, going over 15 miles an hour. Or maybe wake up without pressing the snooze button once in a while. But amidst all the confusion and angst, there are some things I think I have figured out.

Here are 25 things you should aim to learn how to do by age 25 -- or whenever you get around to it. 

1. Negotiate a raise. Women -- especially women of color -- earn less than their male counterparts. If you don't think you are being paid what you are worth, know how to ask for more

2. Whip up a signature drink. Bee's Knees, anyone?

3. Give unwelcome news with tact and compassion. There are times when brutal honesty is OK -- and times when it is not. Learn the difference, and practice being an effective communicator. 

4. Put together furniture. You'll feel so proud every time you sit on that IKEA sofa that took you three hours, two beers and one private temper tantrum to assemble. 

5. Read and think critically. Don't believe everything you are told. Know how to read between the lines and analyze something for yourself, whether it's the morning news or someone's convoluted Facebook post.   

6. Spell properly. If you don't know something, look it up. 

7. Be a good houseguest. And for the love of god, write a thank-you note.

8. Understand your finances. No, your student loans won't magically go away. Yes, you should put money into your 401(k), especially if your company matches it. And so on. Financial literacy isn't something you learn in school, so you'll have to take matters into your own hands. It's worth it. 

 9. Have fun on your own. Not everyone is built for traveling the world solo, but being able to entertain yourself is a seriously underrated skill.

10. Make at least one simple, nutritious meal. Start here

11. Trust your instincts. Constantly second-guessing yourself is exhausting. 

12. Walk away. From a friendship, a job, a relationship, an argument, and anything else that you know in your heart just isn't right. 

13. Advocate for yourself.  Ask your doctor for a second opinion if you really think something is wrong. Ask that manspreader to move over so you can sit down. And don't let anyone steamroll you into making a decision until you're ready to make it. 

14. Perform simple repairs. YouTube will teach you how to sew that button back on or use a power drill to re-hang that badass feminist print

15. Say "no." It's a complete sentence. 

 16. Cut yourself off when you've had enough to drink. Enough said. 

17. Stick to a budget. Apps like Mint and You Need A Budget make this easier than ever. 

18. Take rejection well. This one is easier said that done, but as Aaliyah famously said: "If at first you don't succeed, pick yourself up and try again (you can dust it off and try again, try again)."

19. Use the items in your toolbox. Because the days of paying your friends down the hall in beer to hang your pictures are over. 

20. Argue without losing your cool. If you can stay logical when you are angry, any conversations you have in the midst of conflict will be far more effective.

21. Speak passably in public. Be prepared for that future work presentation, maid of honor speech or casual toast at a party. 

22. Tell a totally inoffensive, hilarious joke. Bonus points for clever puns. 

23. Apologize with sincerity. No matter how old you are, you'll mess up and get things wrong sometimes. But how you react after the fact is up to you. 

24. Go a full day without complaining. You'd be surprised at what you learn. 

25. Make a new friend. The squad goal of #NoNewFriends can't last forever. You can do it! After all, you're a grown-ass woman. 

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