5 Things To Know in Your 20s
People say that your college years are the best years of your life. For a while I believed it.
Then, I graduated.
It’s easy to feel like the time you spent in college are the years you will cherish the most when you’re older, but in many ways college is only the beginning of the best years of your life. For most students, it’s hard to make enough money to see what life has to offer. Since my graduation in December 2011, I’ve started to discover the rest of your life begins the moment you are in your graduation ceremony and all you can ask yourself is “Now what?” The mystery of what was ahead for me was extremely exciting. So, like any young millennial raised in an internet age, I took to Google for the answer to my question. What I found helped me begin to shape the path for the rest of my young adult life.
Here’s a collection of five important things I believe will help you make the best of your 20s, which I imagine will one day be the best years of my life.
- Learn, always – There is so much in this world to be curious about. There’s so much wrong in the world, there’s so much right in it. Learn to appreciate the beauty of nature, learn to appreciate the beauty of architecture. Teach yourself about things you never wanted to learn and listen to the testimonies of people who have been there and done that. Learn all you can so that you can do everything you’ve ever wanted.
- See the world – The same way there is so much in the world to be curious about, there’s so much to see. At less than 300 years old, the U.S. is a new country. There are places in Europe more than four times that age. Don’t be afraid to travel and be a globetrotter. See what cultures around the world, and the cultures that came before us, have to offer. Do it now before you have a responsibility to a child or someone other than yourself. Experience the world now before you no longer have the time.
- Make mistakes, not regrets– An episode of Nip/Tuck once said “That’s the beauty of being young. There are no mistakes, only research.” It’s been over five years since I’ve seen that episode and that quote still sticks with me. You can get advice from someone older and wiser than you, but you only truly learn when you make your own mistakes. Learn from your mistakes so that you can grow, but don’t confuse those mistakes for regrets. Everything you go through makes you the person you will be in 10-20 years. Learn to accept where you’ve been so you can appreciate where you’re going.
- Don’t wait, don’t settle – There are times when you need to wait for things, but there are times you shouldn’t. If you want to get in shape, don’t wait until New Year’s Day to make a resolution; do it now! If you want to learn a new language, don’t wait until you plan a trip to a new country; do it now! Figure out what you want and commit yourself to it. In doing that, don’t let yourself feel unworthy. Don’t settle for things that you don’t want just because it’s the next best thing. Don’t waste time that isn’t promised to you. Make a goal and make it happen, no matter what.
- Find the most important person in your life – Most people may imagine this to be about finding the love of your life, but it isn’t. I heard a quote from a friend once: “The only person you need to worry about finding in your 20s is yourself.” There is no better rule than that. Lovers come and go like friends. We’re young. It’s impossible to know who we are from every angle this early on. Figure out what you like, what motivates you, what you’re entertained by and what’s important to you. The best thing you can do for yourself in your 20s is find yourself. If you can do that, the rest will fall in place around you.
Did I leave anything out? Are there other life lessons you want to know/wish you had known in your 20s? Sound off in the comments below and share your wisdom!