Congratulations! You are in your twenties (sarcasm detected).
Your 20s is a crucial time in a person’s life: It is a transitional time when you discover your true self and start to come into your own as an individual. It is during these years that you undergo the most changes from leaving school, building new relationships, starting your careers while learning what it really means to grow up!
Below are a few essential lessons you are likely to learn in your 20s. Learn to embrace these lessons and maximise on the opportunities to ensure you get the best out of this decade:
- Believe in Yourself
Things may not seem like it is ‘turning out right’ or going your way. But remember, if we always had it our way, there would be no need for this blog post. It is essential for us to understand the importance of “trusting in your abilities”. This means that we need to have confidence in ourselves; even when the going gets tough. Therefore, take your lessons, work hard and focus on achieving your goal. All things will surely work out in the end.
- You ARE enough
This is a tough lesson to learn because your ‘twenties’ is filled up with you measuring yourself to others. For example, being the best to secure a job, comparing your grades to others, comparing your relationships (romantic, friendships and otherwise) to others. In fact, your twenties can feel like a decade-long competition of constantly striving to be the best. While competition, in terms of accomplishment or securing a role can be beneficial, the constant measuring can make you feel inadequate. It is important to know that your self-worth and value does not lie in the external factors (jobs, body image, education etc.) but in how we view ourselves internally. You are enough, you are wonderfully and uniquely made; and the simple fact that you exist is enough to remind you of your importance in this world.
- Embrace the change
Your ‘twenties’ is the decade in which you will endure the most change and subsequently, the most growth. A great deal can happen over this short period of time from career changes, to relationships, friendships, location and so forth, even your personality can evolve. All of these continuous changes can be overwhelming and you can start to feel like you’ve lost control. However, you should embrace this particular season in your life as it is a great time to really get to know yourself and grow as a person. Remember, change brings improvement and new opportunities while the rejection of change can be more damaging to oneself and environment than you might think. Here’s a quote to ponder: Harold Wilson (Labour Prime Minister in the 1970s) stated that “he who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery”.
- Live a regret-free life
This does not mean you will not make mistakes, wrong decision or choices that are downright stupid! These things will happen, you will make a wrong turning here and there, in this journey called life. You are likely to make most of your ‘wrong-turnings’ in your 20s but this should not bring you down. It is not the mistakes you make that determine the outcome of your life, but what you do with the mistake, will determine if it will be beneficial or a hindrance. So, to live a regret-free life means to live a life where you learn from mistakes and redirect your ‘wrong-turnings’ into a right one. How can you regret a mistake that you’ve learned from? These aren’t mistakes, but valuable lessons that will only strengthen you in the long run. Just focus on living your best life.
- There’s always a silver lining
Not to darken the tone of this post, but there may be really difficult period during your 20s. It could be anything from financial struggles, to relationship breakdown to loss of love ones. Whatever it may be, it is important to see the silver lining in all things, especially during your most challenging experiences. There is always something to be thankful for and something that you can appreciate. Most of the time when you are going through hardships, it is easy to dwell on what you do not have or what you may have lost. However, doing the exact opposite is a much healthier way to heal. Acknowledge your current predicament, but focus on the positives in your lives because there is always a reason to be thankful.
- Cherish your friendships
Now let’s brighten up the post again. Friendships are an essential part of your 20s and your life; as the old TLC girl-band’s song goes “What about your frieeennndds?” Some, not all, of the friendships you form in this decade will go on to become lifelong, that will stand with you during the best and the worst of time. Try to spend a little time nurturing this special relationship as good friends are hard to find. Create a healthy balance between your friends, personal life, career and family. Do not neglect your friends in pursuit of a less permanent fixture in your life because the support you get from your friends is like no other.
In conclusion, your ‘twenties’ is a whirlwind decade filled with many lessons and experiences. You will undergo the most growth, as the person you are at 21 is completely different from who you are at 29. Therefore, to succeed in this decade embrace the experiences and maximise on the opportunities so you can enter your ‘thirties’ with all the tools needed to enjoy the next chapter.
We would like to hear from you. What were some valuable lessons you’ve learned in your twenties or expect to learn? Do you agree or disagree with any of the points we have made? What experience help cultivate your twenties?
Please comment below as we would like to have an open dialogue about this topic.