Your twenties are a pivotal time in your life where you really discover who you are and where you want to be. There is so much that happens and it can be a little scary to get through it all, especially when you have to make things up as you go along. No matter how many people tell you they “had their shit together” in their twenties, I have news for you: they were lying. We are all in this together so from me to you here are some of the most important life lessons you learn in your twenties.
1. How to take care of yourself
This is possibly the most important lesson of all. I’m sure you are thinking that you already know how to take care of yourself, but it is not as easy as it might seem. Feeding yourself, clothing yourself, putting a roof over your head, not overextending yourself with obligations, making sure you stay healthy and in shape…it is no easy feat. While it can seem a bit overwhelming if you just take it one step at a time you will soon figure out what your mind, body, and spirit need to remain happy and calm.
2. Keep Your Friends Close
Maybe this seems like a no-brainer, but it is very important to make sure that you have a steady group of friends in your 20’s. Your friends will be the ones that support you and help you get through everything and navigate adulthood. Never be afraid to reach out to them if you need because these friendships are the ones that you will keep for life.
This is something that a lot of people struggle with, and while it might not only be something you necessarily learn in your twenties, it is definitely a simple life lesson that everyone needs to learn at some point. I have a habit of consistently convincing myself that I will somehow get somewhere 6 minutes faster than my GPS says I will get there so I decide that I have 6 more minutes to get ready but then end up being late. Whether it is for classes or job interviews or even work, being on time is one of the very important life lessons you learn in your twenties.
4. You Can Change Your Mind
The feeling that you are locked into a certain career because that’s what you studied in college or that you have to do something because you said you would is a feeling I know all too well. What many of us don’t realize is that it’s okay to change your mind. Most people change their careers at some point in their life and it isn’t the end of the world. If you don’t like your job or your major or decide that you don’t actually want to do something you previously agreed to, then it is totally okay to change your mind and do something else. This is definitely one of the greatest life lessons you will learn in your twenties, hopefully on the earlier side.
5. How to take a shower and then not lay on your bed for 15 minutes afterward doing nothing
I have wasted so much time sitting on my bed after my showers. It is such a time sucker and is this weird habit that almost everyone seems to have. Take a shower, put a towel or a robe on, and sit on the bed for 15 minutes either on my phone or just staring at the wall – that seems to be my routine. What to do instead? DON’T SIT DOWN AFTER YOUR SHOWER! JUST DON’T DO IT! Unless you want to waste 15 minutes of your day that could be spent drinking coffee or dancing to Taylor Swift.
This is really what will get you through it all. All of the uncertainty, the heartbreak, the rejection, the feeling of being lost and not having any direction. If you can love yourself and believe in yourself, then you will be light years beyond everyone else. This should definitely be one of the life lessons you learn in your twenties, but more often than not, it takes people longer. Hopefully you can get this one down earlier!
7. The importance of using a calendar
This goes along with being punctual, but calendars will become your best friend. Even if you don’t have a super jam-packed schedule or think that you can remember everything that you have to do, it is important to use a calendar anyways because chances are you will forget things that need to get done or appointments that you have. I use the calendar on my phone and computer and check it every day.
The truth is that while it is important to have your friends and family available to you, they can’t always be there for you and in these times you need to learn how to be there for yourself. It would be nice if we could just depend on other people all of the time, but you will never feel more confident and independent than when you start relying less on others and more on yourself. Hold yourself accountable, be there for yourself. Because at the end of the day you are all you’ve got.
Confidence is something you very well might have learned in high school or some other time in your life, but in your 20’s you might need it more than you realize. Whether it’s a job interview, an exam during University, meeting new people or trying to be an adult, confidence is something that you must carry with you through it all. Even if you are still working on gaining confidence, fake it till you make it and eventually you will get there.
10. Time Management
This very well might be the most important lesson you will learn in your twenties. It is incredibly difficult to master the skill of time-management, but without it, we would all just be perpetually watching Netflix in bed while procrastinating due to being overwhelmed with how much we have to do. Prioritization and coming up with skills to manage your time will save you in this period of your life. There are a surprisingly large number of things that need to get done in this time of your life, and having time on your side is the only way to get through.
11. How to Follow Your Heart
Another important lesson that may be one of the hardest to learn is to follow your heart. This does not mean act impulsively or do the first thing your gut tells you to do. Instead, this means doing the things that bring you joy and lead you down the path you want to be on. Similar to the idea of allowing yourself to change your mind, following your heart will bring you the best life you can have. Every second we spend doing something when our heart isn’t in it, is a second wasted. Of course, you won’t be thrilled about everything that you have to do in your twenties like taxes or bills or job hunts, etc. but making sure that the important things in life are things you really want to be doing is the only way to live.
12. Fiscal Responsibility
Money is a touchy subject for most people. Especially in your 20’s when you maybe just got out of University or are in grad school and in entry-level jobs. Generally, 20-year-olds aren’t the richest and it can be difficult to learn how to be responsible about money. We learn from our mistakes, but you’ll learn how to be smart about spending and more importantly, will care a lot more about sales and discounts and coupons.
13. How to go With the Flow
Things in this time of your life will be very fluid. People come and go, jobs come and go and apartments come and go. Maybe you decide to move around a lot until you find a place you truly feel is meant for you. If we get hung up on the details and have trouble accepting constant change, then life gets incredibly hard. Accept that things will change and it might take time for your life to feel stable, secure and consistent. You will settle down in time.
Let’s face it, there are some truly difficult people out there and it can be tiresome to have to deal with them. While maybe lashing out was at one point an acceptable thing to do, in your twenties, it becomes very important to have tact. Whether it’s with your co-workers, your customers, your boss, even people you meet at parties, having tact is incredibly important. You never know when you will meet someone who will have an opportunity for you that will change your life. Just like your reputation in high school was important, your reputation in your twenties is even more important.
15. Don’t Worry, Be Happy
Cliche I know, but Bob Marley was on to something here. There is lots of room and opportunity for stress in your twenties. It will creep in when you least expect it, or maybe you are like me and feel as though you are in a constant state of stress. Whatever your stress level is, something I was always taught is that we can’t control when we feel stressed, but we can control how we respond to it. If we choose a path other than being a stress case or a worry-wort, this time in our lives will be much smoother and will have room for much more joy and love.
What do you think of these life lessons you learn in your twenties? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
Quirky girl who loves food, music, art, astrology, fitness, and dogs.