Your 20s are an age where the uncertainty and heartaches of life can leave you deflated and drained.
If there is a time that I have been confused in my life, it’s in my 20s. I have never been more confused than that. Not knowing which career I wanted to do and I could not figure that out even during the whole decade. I don’t know where I got the edge but somehow I felt as if I was too old to do anything in my life.
So because of that confusion, I decided to compile the list below in the hope that it may help someone.
In your 20s;
1. Find something that you are interested in and determine your passion
Your 20s are a time to discover who you are and what you care about. This is when you should be embracing big, audacious ideas and dreams, and using your passions to energize you and propel you forward.
What motivates you? What areas do you feel driven to pursue? This is the decade of your life when you should sink your teeth into projects and work that you care about. Find your purpose and pursue your dreams. You may discover that your ambitions and goals change course over time. But you have to start somewhere.
When you first find that “real” job, you may be swept away by the money aspect, but what is it that you want to do? Truth be told, not every one of us is gonna figure out what we need to do with our lives in our 20s, in fact, most won’t. If you have figured that out then congratulations but if you haven’t, do not worry, you will figure it out as time goes.
I felt like I was 40 in my 20s and because of that, I could not even do things that were interesting to me. In your 20s, allow yourself to live. You still have a lot of room to make mistakes and learn from them. Hoping that life gives you a chance!
2. Find a way to make money
No matter how little you can make, learn how to make your own money and manage it. Learn how to pay your own bills and finance your own habits. Spend less than you earn. The secret is to want very little. Be satisfied with few possessions, simple food, not needing the newest everything or the coolest restaurants or entertainment. Save as much as you can. Build an emergency fund so you aren’t scared about making rent.
It’s normal to feel the need to have more but please, do live within your means. You don’t want to accumulate unnecessary debt that will burden you in your 30s.
Don’t get caught up in the cycle of buying expensive things to impress people. Don’t fall into that trap. ‘Dreams Require Sacrifice’, if you have big dreams, those big dreams demand big sacrifices. You will consistently have to make short-term sacrifices to achieve your long-term goal. It will be lonely, but only the people willing to go the extra mile achieve their goals and realize their dreams.
Adopt a cheaper life and only buy housewares and clothes that you need. Try to cut down frivolous spending to the bone. It all adds up.
How you handle your money and the decisions you make regarding your finances will affect you now and for decades to come. Learn to set a budget and control your spending. Set financial goals for yourself.
3. Stop Worrying About the Future
It’s normal to worry about the future, but probably the best antidote is to learn to shift your focus to what’s right in front of you, right now. You’ll find, from one moment to the next, that each moment is fine. Because as each moment passes, you keep being OK.
4. Love yourself
You may have made mistakes, forgive yourself. Things may be hard, don’t be too hard on yourself. Even if you feel that you are directionless, love yourself. Own who you have been so that you don’t end up hating yourself. Love yourself completely because you’re the best advocate you have. Life is short, spend it loving who you are. If there is something you want to change, then put in the work and change it. Loving you and believing in yourself is the only way you will achieve everything you want to. It will give you the confidence to take the risks you need to, to keep going when you want to quit, and to believe that your ideas are valuable and you can bring them to life.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. You will make a lot of mistakes. You will say something stupid to someone important, find a grammatical error in your cover letter after your application has already been submitted, or have slacked off too much and missed some deadline at work, it’s okay. Breathe. Everyone has done this at one point or another. While it may seem like the end of the world as it happens, it won’t matter in a year from now.
5. Learn to say no with confidence
It’s best to learn this skill now, while it’s still relatively early in your career and life. That way, you can prioritize the people and experiences that are truly meaningful to you.
Turn down an invitation, without seeming antisocial. Keep it simple: ‘It sounds great, but I think I’ll pass this time.’
6. Take more risks
Don’t talk yourself out of doing things you want to do. Don’t let fear win. If you want to start your own business, do it, even if you fail, so what? You will start again. Getting to your 30s and having a string of regrets is going to haunt you.
7. Don’t compare yourself to others
With all the social media hype, it seems others’ lives are always in our faces but desist from comparing yourself to them. Every day you will see a friend getting married or graduating or starting a job at a dream company and you will feel like you are left behind but please don’t! From the outside, people can seem a lot happier and less troubled than they really are, you can read my article on Social media, and this will help you.
Athletes who swim and run are instructed by coaches not to look to the side to see the competition because it slows them down, the same is true in life. If you are working as hard as you can every day and improving every day, that is all that matters.
8. Don’t be afraid to change directions
I felt like I was 40 in my 20s and the panic of growing up got me so scared that I often felt it was too late to change direction in my life until I got to my 30s and realized how young I was. So if you finish college and realize that you don’t like your career, by all means, change it. The longer you wait the harder it will be to change because as you grow older, responsibilities increase. If it’s a relationship that you are unhappy about, change it!
You may feel lost after graduation. After the glow of graduation, adulthood can be a rough transition, harder than you imagine it will be. Be open to different paths. Your 20s are an important time in which to run experiments and figure out what’s important to you, and where your talents and interests intersect. It’s a time to figure out what you’re really good at. To do this, you need to be flexible and open to trying new things out.
You may think you’re cut out to pursue a particular career path, but when it comes down to it, it may not be the job for you. Embrace change and make it your own. Be open to new opportunities and trying out new things.
In the short-term, you may think it’s easier to stay in the job that makes you unhappy, the toxic relationship that makes you cry, or continue indulging the terrible habits that are holding you back from being successful. But really, stop fighting to keep things you don’t ultimately want!
If you think this is not the right time for you to travel then the right time will never come. Once you get married and have a family, you can still travel but it will be different from traveling alone. There is a lot that you benefit from traveling and you can read my article, ‘By all means, travel‘.
Invest In Experiences, Not Things. Most young people don’t have a whole lot tying them down: no children, maybe a partner, no house purchased yet, etc. You have more time and fewer obligations now than you will ever have. Take advantage of it and travel, pursue hobbies, experience things you want to experience because this is a time in your life when you can. More demands professionally and personally will come later, so enjoy these years and maximize your experiences.
10. Build and maintain your connections
Find people of like passions with you and connect with them. Keep the company of those who inspire you and those you can be happy around. Make friends and get a social life. Don’t burn your bridges. Personal, work, whatever. There will be times when you will need to be amiable with people from the past for various reasons.
Go on adventures together with your old friends and also surround yourself with a tribe you can truly count on. Not only to have your back, but to lift you up, challenge you, teach you, and tell you straight-up when you need to address something. Find your tribe. I don’t mean friends who you can go out with on Friday night but people who support your aspirations or, even better, also have similar aspirations. It’s important to surround yourself with people who have similar priorities and lifestyles. Why? Because you’ll push one another to work. There’s less chance of slacking because both of you are hungry for achievement.
11. Let go of unnecessary relationships
Don’t be afraid to end some friendships if they no longer serve you. Maintain and invest your time in good relationships and let go of toxic ones. You And Your Friends Will Change. In your 20s you begin to decide who you want to be, and so do your friends. Sometimes you’re going in the same direction, and sometimes you’re not, that’s just fine. Most relationships are not built to last a lifetime, they’re meant to help form who you are during certain stages of your life.
12. Take care of your body
In your 20s your body is still very fresh and you can do almost anything with it. But do not relax, start taking care of it whilst you still have time. You don’t want to spend your 30s undoing the habits of your 20s like shedding off weight or trying to catch up on healthy diets.
You don’t want to spend your 30s rehabilitating the damage of your 20s. The earlier you start managing your diet and beginning an exercise regimen, the sooner you build the foundation for a healthy mind and body. Start setting good habits now, such as healthy eating (including adding something green to your diet on a regular basis) and exercising regularly (you may find breaking a sweat gives you a natural high). Avoid adopting bad habits like smoking or drinking in excess. And don’t underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep, because an eight-hour snooze every night will give you the energy to help you accomplish all your goals and feel amazing while you do it.
13. Don’t take people’s perception of you to heart
For whatever reason, people will root for you to fail. It’s not because of anything you said or did, as a matter of fact, it has nothing to do with you at all. It’s not your problem, it’s theirs. Their reaction to you is likely not something you said or did, it’s their own issue. So don’t take their negativity to heart, just keep working. Those people are not worth agonizing over, that’s time you’ll never get back. Every successful person has been told they can’t achieve their goal, so don’t listen, just keep working.
14. Embrace Failure
Everyone fails: Steve Jobs was fired from the company he founded, J.K. Rowling lived on welfare for a while, Oprah was fired from a news anchor position, George Clooney has made quite a few terrible movies and Paul McCartney has written some bad songs. Failing is what success is built on, so embrace it and do not fear it. Failure means you’re doing things, the more you take risks and make hard decisions, the closer you are to succeed.
15. Don’t Give Up
The one thing all successful people have in common is they never, ever give up! You never know how close you are to the next opportunity or the next breakthrough, so keep grinding. The most wildly successful people are not geniuses or prodigies, they’re just regular people who work incredibly hard and refuse to give up on what they want even when every odd was against them and to keep going is unbearably difficult. So don’t give up.
Things Don’t Work Out For A Reason. Rejection hurts at the moment, but it also means that the right opportunity or person is still out there. Some day you will be so happy that this job or person did not work out because then something or someone better came along.
Careers, relationships, etc. all take time and require patience. Don’t lose heart, keep working. It all takes time, your life isn’t ruined because your career has not taken off yet.
17. Live on your own
Sometimes finances get in the way of this one, but if you can, definitely try to find our own apartment. You can learn a lot about yourself this way, and it is a great step towards independence. Nothing feels more independent than moving out of home and renting your own place. It may seem daunting to begin with but it’s a great way to learn about life early on. You will need to learn how to manage your money, look after yourself and of course, the biggest benefit is not having to hide how drunk you are to your parents after a night out on the tiles.
17. Write a letter to your 30s
Write a letter and read it several years from now. It’ll be a nice memoir, and you may be surprised at what your younger self had to say.
You know how best to do this.
20. Be true to who you are!
Lastly, be the best version of yourself because you are just amazing the way you are!
If you have something you would also like to add to the above list, please leave a comment for me below, and if this benefited you, may you please share it with others
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