25 Things I Wish I Learned In My 20s

01/28/2015 10:24 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

I learned a lot in my 20s. I learned just how many calculus classes I could skip and still get a "C." I learned how to survive a breakup and how to reconcile with a friend. Thanks to three years of law school, I learned the rules of civil procedure and how to deal with a professor who uses the Socratic method. I learned how to get out of debt and how to nurse a baby. I learned how to fall in love and how to stay in love.

But there are a few things that I didn't learn, but wish that I had.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I am now 30-something, though I have always been a bit of a slow learner.)

  1. Cherish your friendships. You may never have friendships as strong -- or easy to maintain -- again.

  • Exercise so that you feel good, not so that your body looks good.
  • Laugh at yourself.
  • Do kegels.
  • Don't feel guilty for buying the cheap wine. Or the expensive wine, for that matter.
  • Women are not your competition; they are your allies.
  • An authentic apology is not a sign of weakness, but a powerful act of courage and strength.
  • Ask for help now and then.
  • Stop calling yourself "fat." Really, just stop.
  • Your parents might actually know what they are talking about. Sometimes.
  • Just eat the damn cheesecake.
  • Comparisons to other people can destroy you; the only comparisons that you should make are to the woman you were, the woman you are and the woman you want to be.
  • Do more kegels.
  • When in doubt, choose the sexy shoes over the comfortable ones. There will be plenty of time for comfortable shoes later on.
  • Treat people with respect -- and expect nothing less in return.
  • Say "no" and mean it.
  • Feminism does not mean feminine; it means equality. Wearing jewelry and makeup, taking your husband's last name and getting manicures don't make you any less of a feminist.
  • Don't lose touch with your spirituality, even if you don't go to church or know what you believe.
  • Surround yourself with people who allow you to be your best self.
  • Know the difference between tights, leggings and yoga pants.
  • Friendships are absolutely essential to your well-being; make them as important as romantic relationships.
  • Find a gynecologist that you trust.
  • Changing your mind, attitude, beliefs or behavior doesn't mean that you are wishy-washy; it means that you are thoughtful and evolving.
  • It's okay to not know whether you want to be a mother. If you are a mother, it's okay to not know whether you like being a mother all the time.
  • Enjoy this time in your life, but trust that the best is yet to come.
  • Christine Organ is the author of Open Boxes: the gifts of living a full and connected life. She writes at www.christineorgan.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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