Ah, young adulthood. What we're told are the craziest, most fun, difficult, and downright uncertain years of our lives. We look for guidance for just about everything, and we wonder if we're making the right choices that will benefit us down the road. Sometimes we feel pressured to catch up to our peers who may have reached certain milestones before we have, and other times we wish we could turn the clocks back to experience certain milestones all over again. We work those entry level, low paying jobs, live in those shoebox apartments, sometimes have to scrape pennies together just to buy groceries and balance our checkbooks with anxiety.
I personally feel all of these, some days I feel like my life is together and other days I feel like I've made all the wrong choices and don't know how I'll ever succeed. But what I have to remember is that life is a marathon, not a sprint, and that everything will work out in time. Along the way, I've picked up and learned very valuable life skills and lessons that I believe every 20-something should know.
1. Get a planner, you'll need it.
2. Exercise regularly. It really helps clear the mind and releases endorphins.
3. Treat the job you have, whatever it may be, as the best job in the world. You have no idea how lucky you are to even have a job in this economy. You have to start somewhere.
4. Stand up for yourself, your voice and opinion matters.
5. Learn how to cook, and cook healthy. You will save so much money shopping the perimeter of the grocery store rather than the middle.
6. Don't send a text when you're angry. Don't send a text when you're drunk, either.
7. Have integrity, it's rarer to find as you get older.
8. Never show up to someone's house empty-handed.
9. Make the first move. Life's too short and youth's even shorter to wait around to be noticed.
10. Cry about it for 5 minutes then move on. Trust me, whatever it is it won't matter in a year.
11. Add 15% of your paycheck to your savings account.
12. Don't sweat the small stuff-it's all small stuff.
13. Always tip your server at least 20%.
14. Don't settle for fake people. Know your worth and keep people in your life who are worthy of you.
15. Don't go with the crowd to fit in, be unique, be different.
16. Know how to check the oil in your car.
17. Never be afraid to leave a toxic situation.
18. Invest in a tool kit to keep in your house/apartment.
19. Life's short, buy the shoes.
20. Ask questions and take any opportunity to learn.
21. Don't cross oceans for people who won't cross a puddle for you.
22. Self-care is important and necessary
And most importantly of all: don't be so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.