Your early 20s are sizzling hot years of self-discovery and world exploratory. You get high fived for trying to be an adult and all mistakes are brushed off as learning curves. It’s the time in your life when you start to design your own reality and you get your first real taste of freedom.
Peaking with sass, fearless of the unknown and oozing with sexiness; planet earth is your oyster! But trying to make important life decisions when you can’t even decide what you want to eat for dinner, can cause a hurricane of uncertainty inside your whirling mind.
Hitting my late 20s, here are 10 motivating words of advice that everyone in their early 20s needs to read:
1. If you don’t know what to do with your life, that’s ok
You know how some people have been planning their university studies since the 7th grade? But you’ve already depleted all your options because you’ve realized becoming a lawyer, doctor, builder, professional surfer or actor on Neighbours isn’t for you. You are not alone! Your life isn’t an eggshell timer and the years will go by 365 days at a time. You still have time to figure it out, to make many mistakes, to lose track and to get on with it.
2. Leave your comfort zone
Move away from your hometown. It’s not going anywhere and you can always go back. But by staying there, you’ll only grow as much as a goldfish who spends its entire life in the same tank.
3. Live overseas, don’t just travel
Yes travel, travel as much as you can, while you still can. But go one up, call a foreign country your home. Traveling lets you see other countries for their face value while living overseas lets you scratch beneath the surface and feel the way they feel.
It’s like going to a party and leaving at midnight compared to staying until the next day. The combination of no sleep, dancing until you fall-over and all the boozed up chats about the purpose of life, shows a vulnerable side and gets you feeling pretty raw.
There are endless opportunities for working overseas but you have to be creative and think outside the box. Volunteer at hostels, teach English, WWOOF, Work Away or do a low-paid Internship. If you don’t have a ton of savings and are keen to be settled for longer, go on a working holiday visa. This means you’ll be on a good wage and could even save money if you’re savvy!
4. Don’t get caught up in your career too early
Travel then study, or study then travel. Before you land that epic career job, get out there and explore even if it is only for 3 months! You have your whole life to be career-focused.
Once you land a career job on a long-term contract, it’s too easy to get settled in a comfort zone of the rat race. You’ll buy everything you “need” and you’ll get in the rhythm of routine and structure. But before you commit to all this, take a risk and be spontaneous! See how it feels to drop everything and move overseas, to live out of a bag like a true minimalist, and to meet people from all over the globe.
On an adventure like this, you develop a more globalized perspective and problem-solving skills, which ultimately makes you a more desirable employee.
5. Hang out with people who are motivated as fuck
Ambition is key. Immerse yourself in the company of people who infectiously love life and want to live it to the fullest. If you are surrounded by success, drive, and creativity, it’ll bring those qualities out in you. Having a supportive network also motivates you to be disciplined and teaches you productivity-before-reward.
6. Fall in and out of love as much as you can
Falling in love teaches us about vulnerability. It lets us feel close to god (whatever that may be) and takes us to a place that makes us believe anything is possible.
And I mean it when I say fall in-love as much as you can. Wear your heart your sleeve. This is the strongest thing anyone can ever do!
Breaking up still sucks even after the first time, the second time and every time after that. It doesn’t necessarily get easier but it helps you grow. You may come out the other side with a few extra battle scars, but you’ll be closer to understanding who you are and what you want from a partner.
7. But it’s ok to be single, there’s nothing weird about you
It can be hard watching your friends couple-up while you’re getting drunk in singleton struggling to get second dates. Embrace the independence and learn to be whole within. This makes you not only more attractive, but it also gives you a type of freedom that you won’t feel when in a relationship. And to be able to be strong, make decisions and plan your life around your own dreams is very fulfilling.
8. Have hobbies, socializing doesn’t count
Pursuing a great social life can feel like the only thing that matters in the history of life when you are 20. But guess what honey bun, it’s not. Have friends, yes, but also have hobbies. You may even be able to craft the 2 together if you can find friends with similar interests.
Having hobbies gives you independence from boredom. Through immense concentration, it frees your busy mind of chatter. Think about how much you live in the moment when you’re surfing. You become in tune with your surroundings, you feel the water moving around you and the rush of adrenaline you get with every wave.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn a musical instrument, another language, to cook healthy meals or skateboarding. Get out there and have a go, you’ve got nothing to lose but time.
9. Start making educated decisions while you’re young
Watch documentaries and read books. Teach yourself about environmental issues, political unrest, poverty, religion, and history. This doesn’t mean read the newspaper or watch TV. Media fills your brain with controlled nonsense curated by the 1 percenters.
Being a good person feels fucking great. And not the type of great that looks nicely laid out on your Instagram feed; the type that feels warm and fuzzy on the inside.
Even small changes in your own life can a have a ripple effect of positive change on your community! Eat less meat, stop using single-use plastics, shop at thrift shops, start gardening, buy fewer things, use eco-friendly beauty products, make your own DIY cleaning sprays. Basically, don’t just be another mindless consumer.
10. Believe in yourself
If you don’t, then no one else will. The power of the mind is infinite. If you put limitations on yourself, people will see these too. Take on the attitude that you CAN do anything, because really, what’s stopping you?