The years of your early twenties have the reputation of being the most fun years of your life. The most parties you’ll ever go to, the best health you’ll ever have, the most fun memories you’ll ever make, and new opportunities at every corner. In most cases you’re young enough to still let loose and go crazy but old enough to have just the right amount of freedom and responsibility.
While this all may be true, the other reality is that your early twenties can also be a very challenging time in life, one that is often underrated and brushed aside in terms of difficulty. Transitioning from your carefree teenage years into real young adulthood comes with many excitements, struggles, hopes, fears, gains, and losses. Everything seems to be in flux in both your personal and professional life (yes, you have a professional life now), including your education, career path, interests, and relationships. On top of all of that, you’re also developing new thoughts and attitudes about complex issues that actually matter, topics that you may never have given much thought to before. You’re educating yourself about the real world and viewing it all through a completely different lens than you used to. That’s a lot of big changes for a person to handle in a few short years!
It is easy to get overwhelmed and lost during such a big time in your life. You know you’re supposed to be enjoying it and living it to the fullest (especially when you have older adults in your ear talking about their good ol’ days), but sometimes you can’t help but get swept up in all of these new challenges you’ve never faced before. It’s okay to feel that way, and know that you’re not alone. To stay grounded and true to yourself throughout these years, here are five reminders everyone should keep telling themselves in their early twenties.
1. Success has no time frame.
You do not have to graduate college in exactly four years or be married by 30 or have your dream job straight out of school. Success is not measured by when you accomplish your goals. Everybody has their own path to follow, and just because yours may be untraditional or going slower than others doesn’t mean you’re destined for failure.
2. Be open to changing your opinions.
You do not have to stick to the same opinion about an issue forever. If you become more educated after reading something and your standpoint changes, that is okay! Knowledge is an ever-growing process. We do not know everything, and you are doing yourself a great disservice by having a closed-minded mentality.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Obviously easier said than done, but so important to remember. Twenty-somethings are notorious for being comparative. You are not worth any less just because you don’t look like them or have the same qualifications as them. Focus more on bettering yourself and less on what others are doing.
4. It’s okay to not have it all figured out yet.
So you have no idea what you’re going to do with your degree after school. Contrary to popular belief, that’s totally okay, and a lot more people are in the same boat than you think. The more pressure you put on yourself to solve all of your problems right away, the more stressed out you’ll become. This is not the end all be all. You are still so young, and you will figure it all out eventually.
5. Take everything in moderation.
This goes for food, for partying, for alone time, and everything in between. Your twenties are when you learn the incredible importance of having a balance. Learning to find the right time and having the right amount will leave you feeling much more mature in the long run. You will be happy that you enjoyed and made time for everything and didn’t restrain yourself or overdo things.