Ah, the demanding 20s. This is the best decade of our lives, right? I mean, that's what I have been told every time someone meets me and discusses age.
Besides the fact that the whole world is in shambles right now, we have to try and make the most of it. Many milestones come with this decade. Being able to take shots of Patron at a bar, graduating college, getting an adult job, and maybe even finding... "the one."
I feel an immense amount of pressure about having to live up to these standards society has placed on this decade. I always question everything I do and wonder if I had chosen a different path, would I be better than where I am now?
What if I picked the other degree? What about if I went on that date with him? Or what if that one thing had worked out...?
I wanted to know other's thoughts on the advice they would say to their younger selves during this time. I asked people I knew one piece of advice they would give anyone in their 20s or what they wished they had known when going through this hectic period in time:
1. "It's OK to cry, it's not okay to give up! (That's been my motto lately)."
2. "Learn to love yourself before trying to love another person."
3. "You don't have to figure everything out right away."
4. "It's OK to struggle. It's not a weakness to ask for support when you need it."
5. "Enjoy the journey instead of just rushing to the end (of a goal or something)."
6. "Don't try to be something you're not. Just be yourself and follow the things you love to do."
7. "Trust your intuition, you have a gut feeling for a reason. Don't be afraid to leave and move on."
8. "Not knowing (your path in life) can be liberating. Feeling compassion for myself is easier when done through actions rather than verbal affirmation."
9. "How to be patient with myself and the things I do."
10. "Trust my thoughts. I know what I stand for, I always have."
11. "Life is more enjoyable the moment you stop worrying about what others think of you. Solo traveling is the best thing anyone can do."
12. "Despite what society says, you won't regret NOT having sex with random people you barely know or boys who don't deserve you."
13. "Start putting $20 a week into an IRA or another "safe" retirement! Always follow your gut instinct and self-observe how you're reacting both physically and mentally."
14. "Party, grind, and make that money."
15. "Loving yourself is more important than giving yourself to someone else."
16. "I never knew that I could be so strong. Lame, I know. But my twenties were a bit difficult. The strength that I had to tap into... well, amazed me! It set the tone for my life."
Every reply honestly made my heart so happy. The biggest advice I have for myself and others is to fall in love with every inch of you. Learn to respect your boundaries and accomplish goals that will fulfill you in the present and future.
That job will come along, my forever person will love the individual I grew into as I was discovering everything I wanted to be in these next years, and it will all fall into place, you'll see. I definitely want to use these next few months of quarantine as self-growth and reflection while trying to better myself. And I hope you intend to also.
I am not saying come out of this fit as hell with a new lifestyle plan, I am saying reflect and figure out what you want in life. Who is important to keep around and what will help you grow and not suffer.
Here's to the roaring 20s and everything you will accomplish!