Your 20s can be a confusing and challenging time. But they are also some of the best years of your life, full of adventure, passion, and self-discovery. Here are 11 life lessons I’ve learned so far in my 20s:
1. Learn to accept help.
Most of us pride ourselves on being independent and doing things our own way. But as you get older, you realize asking for help from someone is a great sign of strength and character. By asking for help, you are moving out of your comfort zone and allowing yourself to feel more grounded and receive graciously.
2. There is no rush to get married and have children.
Your 20s are a crucial time for self-discovery and figuring out what you really want. Focus on your education, lay the foundation for your career, achieve a level of independence and don’t settle for the first guy that says, “I love you”. Just because all your friends are getting married and having kids in their early 20s doesn’t mean you should too. Take your time and kiss a lot of frogs.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others.
No good ever comes from comparing yourself to others. Yet we are always comparing our looks, paychecks, homes, etc. and forgetting that our self-worth isn’t determined by how many followers we have on Instagram or Twitter. Net-worth is never a good indicator of self-worth.
4. Take chances, try new things.
Have the courage to live a life true to yourself. Your 20s are for taking chances and figuring out what you’re passionate about. Move to a new city, make a dramatic career change or learn a new skill that scares the shit out of you. You don’t have to live the life people expect of you if you don’t want to.
5. You don’t have to have your career figured out yet.
Most of us are pressured into figuring out our careers early on and expected to be thriving and capable of supporting ourselves right out of college. It’s not easy figuring out exactly what it is we want to do with our lives. Keep striving and think about what you can do NOW to make yourself happy. Take one step at a time.
6. Trust your gut.
Our intuition has developed over thousands of years to keep us safe and help us thrive. If your gut is telling you not to take that job, listen to it! It’s taken me years to trust my instincts, but so far, it has never led me astray.
7. Listen to your mom, she knows more than you think.
If your mom gives you advice on something, most of the time she is probably right. So even when the advice is unwanted or annoying, listen to what she says. She has more experience than we realize and only wants the best for you.
8. Don’t settle for mediocre love.
Your 20s are a time for adventure and dating extraordinary people, not settling for the nice guy because you want a relationship or are scared to be alone. You’re too young to settle and have the rest of your life to find the kind of love that sweeps you off your feet and consumes your every thought.
9. Learn to cook.
Start a relationship with your kitchen, trust me it will be one of the best relationships of your life. Experiment with recipes and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. There is no cooking technique or recipe you can’t learn with enough time and practice.
10. You can’t please everyone.
Your family and friends will always have strong opinions on what you should be doing and how you should be living your life. You need to realize not everyone will always be happy with your decisions, and that’s ok. This is YOUR life, so the choices you make should be ones you stand by and believe in.
11. Learn to say “No” without explaining yourself.
Whether you’re extremely busy or simply don’t want to do something, learn to say “no” without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Setting boundaries is healthy, so respect and take care of yourself and remember what you deserve.