A handbook does not come with understanding on how to manage everything going on in your twenties. There are no rules, and there are no guidelines. There is no one hovering over you, telling you what to do, and how to do it. Your mom is no longer doing your laundry, and your dad isn't waking you up in the morning to make sure you aren't late to school. All of the sudden, one day you're on your own; whether you like it or not.
There is an unspoken rule that when you turn twenty, you're officially no longer a teenager. It's like in the blink of an eye, you're an adult. Before you know it, you're trading in jeans for dress pants, and backpacks for briefcases. You're often left thinking "I wish I was a kid again," because things were so easy then.
The important thing to remember in your twenties is that you're still young, and there's no need to act like a forty-year-old in a twenty-year old's body. After a long day of work or school, it's easy to sit down and never get back up. But, here's the thing: You choose how you live your life in your twenties. You make the choice if you want to sit on the couch, or go out and explore the world.
No, there isn't a guide that tells you what to do, and what not to do in your twenties. But, there are some ways to make the most of it.
Don’t be lazy.
There is absolutely no need to turn into a “grandma" when you’re really just beginning to live your life. Go out on a Thursday night, and have fun. Enjoy a wine night with your best friends, or a weekend get-away with them. Turn off the TV and go out for the night. Yes, I know "The Bachelorette" is on from 8-10:00 p.m. - just DVR it. There’s more to life than being cooped up in your apartment. It’s very easy to fall into the pattern of becoming a hermit. But, I promise it is way more fun going to the bar with your friends than watching "Grey's Anatomy" alone.
Get off social media for the day, or the week, or even a month.
Once in awhile, it’s nice to look up and see where you’re going. You don’t always have to keep your head down, looking at Twitter (which you really shouldn’t be doing because that is dangerous). Nowadays, social media defines us. You aren’t cool unless you get over 100 likes on your Instagram picture, and if you don’t post a picture with someone in over a month, then there is no way in hell you two could possibly be friends anymore. Social media is a gateway for people to compare themselves to others when in reality you’re awesome just the way you are. Stop checking social media, and start talking to people. It’s refreshing to talk to someone face to face, rather than checking their Facebook to see what they’re up to.
Travel, as much as you can.
Whether it is studying abroad, or taking a year off after college. Go to places you have heard of, but have never been to. Try different foods, meet different people, and let yourself explore. Climb to the top of a mountain, swim in the mediterranean sea, or maybe even ride a camel. Too scared to leave home? Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Just jump into the water, and stop dabbling your toes. Matter of fact, belly flop into the ocean. Stop being scared. Being homesick is not a good enough reason not to explore what is out there. Change is different, challenging, and scary. But, it is also rewarding.
Love what you do.
Whether it’s writing, singing, playing a sport, knitting, or even reading. Give yourself time to do the things you love. Stop watching Netflix, stop taking naps, and stop saying “I’ll get to it tomorrow.” Let yourself remember what it feels like to do something that makes you feel alive, and always remember to never let your hobbies sink into the shadows. Once you let your hobbies slip away from you, you lose a little bit of yourself too. Do it now, because "later" may never happen.
Most importantly, love yourself.
Make yourself smile in the morning, go for a jog, eat healthy, and dress nicely. Do things to make your body smile. Do things to make yourself smile. Tell yourself it’s gonna be ok, tell yourself you only need you to make yourself happy, and then - actually do it. Keep busy with the things you love, and never lose hope in yourself. Stop letting yourself disappear, and start making yourself stand out in the light. Learn to love yourself, learn to stop being insecure, and take on any adventure that comes your way. Life has a tendency to knock us down when we least expect it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get back up. We’ve each got one life. So, live the hell out of yours.