Turning 20 is quite a milestone and is something many look forward to celebrating. Though, the expectations placed on the shoulders of 20-somethings can be overwhelming.
Here are 20 words of advice for every soon-to-be or already turned twenty-year-old:
#1 – Stop comparing yourself
This may seem obvious, but it can be difficult to remember to do when you get caught up in the thought of being in your twenties. This is an era that many associate with responsibility and a coming-of-age of sorts. This makes it ridiculously easy to look at others and wonder why you aren’t in their position yet, or why you are in your own position in the grand scheme of things.
This is a polarizing time where you will see people in all stages of their lives because of an infinite number of factors. Instead of stressing over how your life compares to that of other 20-year-olds, focus on where you hope to be in another year and what you can do to set yourself up for success.
#2 – There is no ‘proper’ pace for growth
Life goes at the pace it wants to, whether you feel ready for it or not. It’ll be easier if you embrace this and accept that curveballs might be thrown.
Think of it as preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.
#3 – What is right for you is not right for others
Young adulthood is an important time to find who you are and what keeps you going. It won’t always align with others and the same goes with what drives them. This does not mean you are incompatible or that you shouldn’t still immerse your life with people on different life paths.
#4 – You are the main character of your life
Tell yourself, “I am the driving force behind what happens in my life, outside of the uncontrollable parts. Even then, I control how I respond, and things go on from there.” Do not forget that you are the one in the driver’s seat and you choose where to go next.
#5 – You have time for those silly things from your childhood
Remember getting home from school and playing outside or pulling out your DS? Make time for those little things you used to look forward to and embrace your childhood. We often feel like we need to grow up during our teens, but there’s nothing cool about denying the simple things that make us happy.
#6 – You’re not that old at all
After turning eighteen, the next big milestone is being in your twenties. But just because you’re rounding off two decades of your life, doesn’t mean you’re getting old. You’ve still got many more decades to go before you should really worry about this.
#7 – It’s not too late to change your life around
Whether you’re feeling stuck or simply yearning for a change, it’s not too late to do so! If your career path isn’t turning out as expected, consider something better suited to your strengths and preferences. Now is a good time to look at your life and see if there is a change you hope to make in due time.
#8 – It’s not cool to try to be cool
You seriously do not need to be trying to fit in at this age. You are entirely your own self and get to determine how you live your life. This includes morphing your style to fit fad trends that you won’t enjoy wearing as others move on.
#9 – There is purpose in all of your actions
While you are not always in control, you are in most situations. Each decision has an outcome, and, in most situations, you can tell if your choice will leave a positive or negative impact on your life.
You don’t have to wake up knowing what to do to move forward today, but it’s about knowing you are the one to take the action and get started on figuring that out.
#10 – People are going to have higher expectations of you
Turning twenty is weird. There are going to be times when people treat you like you’re still eighteen when they want to but expect the responsibility of a mid-twenty-year-old.
#11 – Your self-expectations may be ambiguous as you find a feeling of self
You may have been told that your biggest critic is yourself. This is true in many ways, and a turning-point age like twenty will bring out that critic in many. Do not be too harsh on yourself.
As you become centered on your priorities you will find it easier to set goals for yourself, but it doesn’t get any easier to accomplish them. If you focus on the steps it takes to get there rather than how far you have left to go, it’ll feel less intimidating and you’re more likely to acknowledge how much you have already achieved.
#12 – You are on the fast track to gaining responsibilities
Whether it’s a new car, moving out, renting, buying, or changing jobs, this is the era of taking on new responsibility. You have lots of important decisions to make, so don’t downplay the weight of it all. Ask for help when you need it and do what you can to stay focused on the next step in accomplishing your goals.
Try not to give yourself too many unnecessary things to worry about on top of this as it will make you overwhelmed. It is important that you learn to prioritize effectively so you can work through what needs to get done and take things one at a time rather than worrying about them all at once.
#13 – You’re going to be spending more, so spend smart.
We all have a night out and need a disposable income for extra activities. It’s smarter to budget for a night out than to tell yourself you will never have one because it’s cheaper to cook your own food.
It is important to outweigh your spending to allow for saving and again, prioritizing what to budget for.
#14 – You need to stop settling
If you’re tired of working at your first job ever, it’s a great time to start looking for something new! Whether you are unhappy with the work you do, the clothes you wear, or the way you wear your hair, you shouldn’t be settling at this point in your life.
You can make changes to get you closer to something you’re happy with. Sometimes it takes a lot of planning, like being unhappy with where you live, but it is never impossible to change your situation to closer match your wants.
#15 – Meal prepping is practical and that’s it
I’ll say it. Meal prepping is overrated. It’s nice when you can make and save lots of canned goods or preserves or other kinds, even freezing leftovers that save well. But when it comes to eating the same portion of the same food every day, it just isn’t something you look forward to after a few days.
Instead of limiting yourself to eating only certain foods each week, try eating everything before it spoils. Focus on eating a variety of foods each day and at every meal.
#16 – It’s time to tackle the ‘laundry chair’
We’ve all been there and done that. There’s that one chair that always gets the laundry sat on it, or worse, the bed. It’s not necessarily the laundry chair that needs to be tackled, but the mentality behind it.
If you set your freshly dried laundry on the chair rather than folding it then, you’re just creating more work for your future self. Try getting things done on behalf of the person who wants to kick back and relax after a long day by making sure your daily tasks are taken care of by the end of your evening.
If you start focusing on what you can do for your future self, you may find yourself getting more done sooner, and you might procrastinate less often.
#17 – Anger is a waste of energy
This takes time to understand, but it’s true. Anger is inevitable, though how long we allow ourselves to be angry is controllable. Most things are not worth staying angry about, so don’t waste your energy feeling so bad about it for so long.
#18- Raise your voice when you need to
This is a time when you will be figuring out what your own priorities are and what you want to stand up about. There are a lot of things wrong in the world, but there are also a lot of people who care about making them right.
You’ll spread yourself thin if you try worrying about too many things that are wrong. It might also become overwhelming and a bit depressing if you focus too much on all the wrongs rather than what people are doing right to fix them. Find out what matters most to you and do what you can to help the cause.
#19 – Your job may not always align with your career
Remember you’re still young. It’s okay if you haven’t had the opportunity to get a job in your career field yet. If you are still taking the steps to make it in that career field someday, don’t fret. You still have direction.
If you don’t know where to start, try asking others in your dream position how they got started and what advice they have for people trying to get into the field.
#20 – There are an infinite number of opportunities awaiting your discovery
Life is moving forward, even on the days it feels like everything has stalled. You can always count on that to keep you going and know that tomorrow is a new day that will bring new experiences and give you the opportunity to take care of things that are important to you.