Your twenties: the era when you are finally an "adult" and can make adult decisions and have adult responsibilities. For many people in their twenties, their mind is loaded down with student loans, being poor, and not really knowing what their plans are for the rest of their lives. For many other twenty-something-year-olds, this era is the time to find who they are and who they want to be.
So, here are 20 things that will build self-awareness and set you up for the future.
...and I don't mean to just go on a summer vacation to do touristy things with your family. I mean, see the world. Travel with friends or go by yourself to really see everything that this beautiful world has to offer.
2. Apply for your dream job/internship... no matter how far-fetched
You never know how many doors will open for you. Don't be afraid of rejection. I applied for an internship at the Cincinnati fashion magazine, CincyChic, not really expecting to hear anything back. Nearly a day after I applied, I got an email back from the Editor-in-Chief to set up an interview for the internship which then led to an awesome summer internship with the magazine!
3. Find your own style
Don't just follow the latest trends. Really find a style that YOU like and stick to it. Your 20s are the perfect time to throw out your old high school fashion and find a style that suits you. Find a style that makes you feel fabulous while also making you look professional and mature.
4. Embrace yourself
Focus on ways to improve yourself rather than feel insecure about your flaws.
5. Eat healthier
Pay attention to what foods make you feel great and what foods make you feel yucky. Since starting college, I have noticed that bread and pasta DO NOT like my tummy like they used to when I was growing up. Experiment with different HEALTHY diets to really branch out and try new foods.
6. Learn how to cook
Along with eating healthier, learn how to prepare a meal for yourself, and not a premade meal you buy in the frozen section of the store. Buy a cookbook and build a repertoire of recipes you've learned how to make.
7. Take a class to improve your skills
Whether it's art, dance, yoga, or a musical instrument, find a class at your local community arts center to make sure your skills don't fade.
8. Ditch toxic people
No one needs a nasty gray cloud hanging over their shoulder. Spend time with people who lift you up rather than bring you down. As we mature, we need to learn not to invest time with the people who don’t see our value.
9. Reconnect lost ties with an old friend
Call your childhood best friend. Take them out to lunch. Make sure you don't forget about the people who were important to you throughout your life.
10. Learn how to sew
This will be important when you need something hemmed or need a seam patched up.
11. Remember to breathe, let go, and forgive...
... and repeat. Don't let the little, trivial things consume you.
12. Don't settle
Something better will come along.
13. Start saving money
Start saving your paychecks. If you start saving now you could avoid having a mortgage and heavy student debt over your head.
14. Take breaks from social media
Too much social media can really make a person feel terrible, from all the drama, fake news, and depressing current events. Log off your Twitter or Facebook for a while. It is very refreshing.
15. Develop your communication skills
Learn how to not feel awkward talking face to face with someone. Knowing how to communicate with people is very important in all aspects of life.
16. Find what you are passionate about
Ignite the fire for the causes you believe in.
17. Read more books
Fall asleep reading a book rather than scrolling through your phone.
18. Create a routine for yourself
Find out how to manage your time efficiently. College is the perfect time to master time management because we’re often juggling work and school. Wake up every morning and write a short list of what you want to accomplish that day. I’m an avid list maker and getting everything out of my cluttered headspace and onto paper really helps.
19. Save time for "me time"
Take time to get to know yourself. Find things that make YOU happy.
20. Live in the moment
Life is short. Make it a memorable one with little regrets.
Allow yourself to be humbled by the beauty of life and the kindness of strangers. Small things. Smile at someone on the street. Look for the good.