Okay, so I have been 20 years old for almost eight months here. So technically, I have only really been able to say that I am “in my twenties” for like a hot second, but from what I have experienced, it is no easy journey. Being in this age range is like trying to find your car keys…in a ball pit…in the dark, basically impossible to navigate. Some of your friends are getting married and popping out children and you have had one serious relationship in your life. Other friends are graduating college early and hitting the real world and that terrifies you. People you know from high school are still working at the local pizza shop and living at home. Many of your friends are working toward college degrees like yourself, and experiencing living alone and fending for ourselves. As children, most of us are all doing the same thing, learning ABC’s, playing with toys and living carefreely. As teenagers, we all try to manage hormones, make it through high school without making too much of a scene and get our high school diploma. When we hit our twenties, I feel like everything goes a-wall and not everyone is doing the same things in life anymore. So, for the last eight months, I have been trying to navigate being twenty, and I hope my wisdom and advice can help my fellow twenty-year-olds.
Surround Yourself With Good People
It’s been said that we are most like the people we spend the greatest amount of time with. The best way to make it through this trying and confusing period in your life is to encircle yourself with people who lift you up, not bring you down. Hanging out with people who push and motivate you to be a better version of yourself will help finding your own way in your twenties be a little easier.
Positivity Is Key
Like I have said, I have been in my twenties for only a brief period of time, but in those short few months my twenties have knocked me around a little bit. We are starting to enter “real world” and being an adult isn’t as “fun” as we had imagined when we were twelve. Rules, expenses and responsibilities haunt us from the shadows and sneak up on us when we are least expecting it. STAY POSITIVE. No one likes to listen to a complainer, we all have our own problems. Did the chips not fall your way this week? Oh well, there are seven days next week. Failed a test? Bummer, study harder it’s only one test. Didn’t get that promotion? Go get ‘em next time! Positivity is the best medicine you can throw back at life. The world will try and get you down at 21 years old, and it will try and drag you in the mud at 51 years old. Keep a smile on your face, and an “I’ll get ‘em next time: attitude in your pocket and you can survive almost anything.
When The Past Comes Knocking Don’t Answer
“There is a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so big. Where you’re headed is much more important than what you’ve left behind.” Close the door on the past and lock it, don’t go running back to that high school boyfriend because it seems “safe” and it’s all you know. Step out of your comfort zone and experience something new. Resist calling up people who you have cut out of your life for a specific reason. You’re on your way to becoming an incredible adult version of yourself, don’t run backwards, you’re better than that. Be brave enough to distance yourself from people who no longer serve a purpose in your life.
Have Your Own Back
Your twenties are your personal time to explore and find out who you are and what you want. Take care of you! Don’t stretch yourself too thin trying to please everyone else, you are equally important. Don’t be the doormat that others wipe their feet on, stand up for yourself. Be proud of who you are and don’t let anyone in this life take you for granted because you, my friend, are a beautiful rose.
I am a list maker, a schedule planner and an organizer, to say I hate uncertainty is an understatement. What I have realized now that I am “in my twenties” is that right now, life is a big, messy. gooey ball of uncertainty. Where should I apply for graduate school? What will my family look like in ten years? Will I have two kids or ten? Have I met the person I am going to marry? What career will I have? How much money will I make? All of these thoughts consume me on a daily basis. In the beginning, I use to let these things eat me alive while I wasted time worrying and wondering. I have learned to just let be. This time in our lives is all about uncertainty, we are no longer children, but are we really “adults” yet? I have learned so far that my twenties are all about trying new things and going with the flow and trusting that it will all work out.
Real Friends vs. Fake Ones
This is a big one. Make sure you begin to look at the people in your life more critically. In high school, it was “cool” to be friends with everyone. As adult quality is much more crucial than quantity. Determine the difference between fake friends and real ones. You will have friends that are always down to party on the weekends, go shopping, take pictures for Instagram and that is okay. But you will also need people in your life whose friendship is deeper than that. Friends that will sit on the floor of your bedroom at 2:00am when it feels like it’s all coming crashing down. Friends that will hand you the tissue box when you can’t stop crying. Friends who will listen to you as you sit there and try and figure out who you are and why you are here. There is no shot you will survive your twenties without some real friends who are not superficial.
Love, And Love Hard
Love yourself and love other fearlessly. Yes, this may leave you vulnerable, but wouldn’t you rather love others fiercely, instead of not at all? No matter how many times you are hurt or betrayed, get back up, dust yourself off and keep loving the crap out of people. We live in a world that could use some more love. Life is so incredibly short, so love your friends, family, teammates, significant others, whoever it may be and love on them hard. The more love you have to give, the more incredible your journey of life will be.
Do What Makes You Happy
Reminder, your twenties are about YOU!! If you are not happy with what you are doing stop. Don’t pursue a career that your parents want you to pursue. Choose to not hang out with people who do not make you happy. Your happiness is the most important ingredient in your life. Make time for yourself, read the book that you’re interested in, binge watch the newest Netflix show, go for a run. Live in the now, everything else can wait. “Life is too short to be anything but happy.”
Compare Yourself to No One
You are you and that’s that. Stop comparing yourself to the girl who you graduated with who is married and looks like she has her life together. Stop comparing yourself to your best friend who is super cute with her boyfriend of three years. Stop it stop it stop it! You are so much more than what you are not. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Spending your twenties thinking you should be doing what everyone else is doing is a huge mistake. You are as smart as you are. You look like what you look like. You are as talented as you are. You are a radiant and beautiful creation stop trying to be like everyone else and just be you.
Timing, don’t we all hate it? Why are you 20 years old and your best friend who is only a few months older then you has a full time job? How come people you know are having babies? We are all working with time, and some people’s clocks are not set the same as yours. Just because your friend has met the love of her life at 22, doesn’t mean you never will. Time takes time. You will fall in love, get the job of your dreams, have cute little babies and get to decorate your house if that’s what you want. It will happen, I promise you but just trust the timing of everything and don’t try to rush life.
Here’s to you, and being “in your twenties!” Be you, be bold and be fearless, you will make it through this whirlwind and trying time! XOXO