Your twenties may be the most interesting part of your life, but definitely not the easiest. You’ll fall, cry, and feel as lost as ever at times, but there’s certainly good parts to it.

cover photo by Sandra Seitamaa via Unsplash

Photo by Harry Sandhu on Unsplash

 For a person who’s only 22 years old, I feel pretty old despite not having even reached my mid-twenties yet. It feels like time has slowed down with all that I’ve gone through since I was 20, even though I know that I’m not getting any younger. Before you know it, you’re on the brink of turning 30 and when you look back, you’ll be going “Where did all the time go? What did I do?”. 

As cheesy as it sounds, your twenties are a time for you to discover who exactly you are, what you want, what you want to be, and so on. Your twenties aren’t forever, so make the most of it. Here are a few tips on not wasting it away.  


1) Learn From Your Mistakes

Nobody’s perfect, and you will mess up whether you like it or not, more than once. We all make mistakes. It’s all part of life and going through the learning process. You live and you learn, they say. Don’t kick yourself over for screwing up. Instead, learn from it and prevent yourself form making the same mistake in the future. 


2) Choose Your Friends Wisely

As you transition into adulthood, start looking around you. Are the people around you actually people you genuinely have a good time with? The people you surround yourself with can have a great influence on you, so pick the crowd where you feel like home, and don’t surround yourself with people just for the sake of not being lonely. 


3) Your Job Is Not Your Life

There’s more to life than paying bills. If you’re unhappy with your job, find another place where you can actually enjoy doing work. Don’t waste time at a dead-end job that you hate, or else you’ll truly suffer. For those who love what they do, great! Just remember to separate your work from your personal life, and give yourself a well-needed break every once in a while. Don’t let your job take over your life to the point where you don’t have time for your friends and family, or most importantly, yourself. 


4) Speak Up

Don’t ever be afraid to speak up on something that matters to you, whether your friends and family agree with you or not. Also, in any given situation, learn to say no if you’re not comfortable. You don’t live to please others, and you should never feel obligated to force yourself to going through with something if you’re not up for it. 


5) Grab Opportunities

Opportunities don’t come easily, especially when you’re young and inexperienced. At every given opportunity, grab what you can — be brave and jump. You never know what opportunities can lead you to, and you don’t want to look back and regret not taking the chance. Be a risk taker, as an opportunity may only present itself once in your life. Do what you want to do before it’s too late. 


6) Take Care Of Your Mental Health

With mental illness on the rise, particularly with millennials, it can be hard at times in not letting it take over. As someone who has anxiety and depression, it took a while for me to acknowledge and admit that I had a problem. It is absolutely okay to admit that you’re not okay, and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Talk with your loved ones, and seek therapy and treatment if you need. Your mental health should always come first, so do whatever it takes to save it. 


7) Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

I know, it’s hard and we all do it. While there’s no wrong in looking up to someone and wanting to be like them, don’t put yourself down. Love yourself the way you are, with your own unique features and talents. Appreciate things the way they are and what you have. Be confident in who you are and everything that you’ve achieved! 


8) It’s Okay If You Feel Lost

A common universal problem that many young adults face is thinking that we need to have our lives sorted out. The thing is, you’re not supposed to have it all figured out. What makes our young adulthood so interesting and exciting is all due to the fact that we have no idea what we’re doing., so don’t fall for the misconception that you have to do things by a certain order. You don’t HAVE to graduate from post-secondary at the age of 22. You don’t HAVE to settle and get married by a certain age, or even at all. Everyone has their own path, including yourself. Don’t think that you have to conform just because everyone else is doing it. You do you. 


9) Spending Money On Things You Don’t Need

Not going to lie, I’m guilty for this. As someone who loves shopping, it’s hard to refrain from buying things that catch your eye. You have to ask yourself “Do I really need it?” in the long run. Of course, it’s nice to treat yourself once in a while. Just don’t overdo it, or you’ll wind up in debt. Go easy on the spending and save up.


10) Let Things Go

Whatever has hurt or bothered you, let it go. You don’t gain anything from dwelling on the past. Don’t waste time at home sulking about why a relationship didn’t work out, or beating yourself up over an interview that you think you could’ve done better. What’s done is done, and sometimes things happen for a reason. Often I find that unfortunate circumstances lead to something even better. Since you can’t change the past, you can focus on the present and make for a better future. So don’t be held back by your past; it doesn’t own you. 

11) Have Fun

Whenever I tell my friends about places I’d like to go with them during the summer, whether it be cafés or museums, I often hear “That’s a lot.” I’m not getting any younger, and I’d like to do as many fun things as I can before I get into the more serious part of my life and I don’t have as much time. So I encourage you to go out and have fun. This doesn’t necessarily mean having a trashy night by going to clubs. Go out and explore new coffee shops, attend concerts, visit flea markets, and travel to as many places as you can while you’re still young.


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