1. As your birthday encroaches, people will tell you, "Age is nothing but a number." And they will be right.
You won't listen because you'll be too busy panicking, but they're right. When you wake up on your second day of being 25, you're still going to feel as much of a Hot-Mess-Yet-Mostly-Put-Together-Grown-Ass-Woman as you did when you were 24 years and 364 days old.
2. There's nothing wrong with a little panic though.
Each one of my 25-year-old friends has had the aforementioned meltdown. Once they've finished sorting through the whole "What is life? What does it all even mean?" of it all, they've used the birthday as a benchmark, making literal lists of what they want to accomplish that they haven't yet. Fear is the biggest motivator, guys. Donald Trump or someone said that.
3. 30 is no closer to you now than 25 was five years ago.
Did you cry on your 20th birthday about being five years away from 25? Of course you didn't. Why're you gonna cry about 30 now?
4. You won't suddenly flip some "Age Faster" switch.
Your hangovers will be no worse at 25 than they were at 24, you won't all of a sudden have neck wrinkles, and your four gray hairs won't multiply immediately. And so what if they do? Gray hair is so hot RN.
5. You don't have to stop asking your mom if everything's going to be OK.
Maturity is for old people. You're not old yet, remember?
6. Your BFFs start to find their people.
They're going to start talking about weddings and babies and getting loans for houses. It's simultaneously wonderful and weird.
7. Your BFFs will start to move away.
After spending a few years as the lowest person on the office totem poll, it's easy to feel like you're wasting your 20s away in a cubicle. When else in your life are you going to have the opportunity to move to Japan or the US to fulfill your dreams of becoming an Instagram-famous worldly woman? Or do anything that isn't monotonous and internet-filled? Therese and Anna will do exactly that, and it'll be harder to keep in touch with them than you think.
8. You'll have fewer BFFs regardless.
The post-college diaspora was great for getting rid of some people you knew weren't good for you, but the older you get, the more you realize it takes effort to stay close with the people who actually matter. Let the "meh" friends fade. By this point, you know who your ~forever friends~ are.
9. Just because you haven't found your person or your dream job doesn't mean you are "behind."
The fact that Ella has a house and a husband now might truly astound you, but repeat after me: That ???? wasn't ???? your ???? goal ???? anyway. Good for Ella! You hit 10,000 steps four times last week and are successfully keeping succulents alive. You're checking your own boxes and that's what matters.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.