I believe as we get older, it is important to learn from our mistakes and always self reflect to better ourselves as people. Throughout my twenties, especially in this past year, I am becoming more and more grateful for life lessons and opportunities to grow. So, with that being said, this post is dedicated to the 20 life lessons I have learned in my 20’s.
1. Be Grateful
I have come to learn that it is extremely important to be grateful for what you already have in your life. I believe we have all been guilty of having that “the grass is always greener” attitude at one point or another, and sometimes, like I’m sure we all have, I get caught up or feel sorry for myself if I don’t get something I really want, or if something does not go the way I planned, were all human, and we will have those moments. But, what I have been trying to incorporate into my life lately, is to stop, and remind myself that it could always be worse. I make a mental note of everything I am grateful for, and it really makes me feel better. It really helps change a negative mood into a positive one when you take the time to appreciate and be grateful for what you currently have in your life.
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2. Make Mistakes
I have always been the type of person that needed to make my own mistakes in order to learn. I was like that as a teenager and I am still like that today, and that is a trait I am very thankful for. We cannot live through other people’s experiences. Just because your parents tell you going to University is the best option, or your friend tells you not to date a certain person, doesn’t mean you have to take their word for it. Take the risk, and learn for yourself. The worst thing that can happen is you make a mistake, as long as you learn from it, that’s what’s important. If you never try anything, how will you ever figure out who you truly are? And, honestly, mistakes make for the best stories!
3. Try Everything Once
Your twenties are the time to try everything. The more you try, the more you will find out about yourself. I am the type of person who loves to dabble in lots of things, mainly because I get bored quickly, but also because I learn more and more about myself as I try different and new things. I am an introvert through and through, and I do not always have the easiest time coming out of my comfort zone to try new things, but if I am being 100% honest, I have never regretted a time where I pushed myself out of my comfort zone to try something new.
4. You Cannot Please Everyone
I have always been a peace keeper, I hate uncomfortable situations where there is conflict, and I have always been the mediator of sorts (typical middle child), and with this trait, came many situations where I was the one to make a compromise in order to end a conflict or make someone else happy. As I have gotten older, I have quickly learned that you cannot make everyone happy, so you need to do what is best for you. People will always have an opinion (positive and negative), thank them for their insight, and then do what is right for yourself.
5. Do Not Stay in a Relationship if You Are Not Happy
I am guilty of this on more than one occasion. My personal experiences were in regards to dating, but this can be any relationship in your life that is toxic in some way. The people in your life are supposed to make you want to be a better person, and contribute to your life in a positive way. The minute that a relationship is having more of a negative impact on your life than it is a positive one, cut your ties. That may seem like common sense, but when there are feelings involved, it is not always easy. Just remember, whether it is your partner, friend, or family member, they should always want the best for you, and you should feel supported and inspired by them, if not, it may be time to end that relationship.
Also check out this post… 5 Reasons You Should Love Yourself Most
6. It is Okay to Ask For Help
This is something I still struggle with. I have always had a hard time asking for help, not because I am ashamed or embarrassed to ask, but because I do not want to be a bother to anyone. What I am realizing is that if you have strong and supportive relationships in your life, they will want to help you, so just ask.
7. Take Care of Your Body
You only get one, so treat it right! I like to try to eat healthy about 80% of the time, but I think it is also important to enjoy life, and sometimes that includes a big plate of Nacho’s and some Wine. The key is moderation. Also, having an active lifestyle is important, it makes you feel better, decreases stress and anxiety, and your body will thank you for it!
8. Move Away From Your Home Town (at least for a little while)
There is something really special about being anonymous in a new city. I love my home town, and I know that is where I want to end up living in the future, but, moving away from home for a while is one of the best things I have done for myself. Living somewhere new, where you do not know anyone, allows you to grow and learn a lot about yourself as a person. New cities opened me up to new opportunities and experiences, which if I had stayed in my home town, I may have never had.
9. Do Not Let Past Relationship Issues Effect Your Current Relationship
If you had a relationship that caused trust issues in the past, do not bring those issues into a new relationship. You should trust someone until they give you a reason not to. Just because a past partner broke your trust, it does not mean your current partner will, give them a chance. Treating your partner like they are untrustworthy when they have not been, can do more harm than good to your relationship.
10. Appreciate Your Parents
I was not the easiest teenager, and I definitely did not appreciate my parents and everything they did for me until I was living on my own. Make sure your parents know how much you appreciate them.
11. Pick Your Battles
I will not lie, this is something I still struggle with, but, I recently read about a trick called “The Six Month Problem”, which is centered around the idea that if you are really upset about something, ask yourself if it is something you will care about in six months time, if it is not, then try to let it go.
12. Do Not Cheat
It is NEVER worth it. I don’t care how mad/emotional you are, what you’re trying to prove, or how intoxicated you are, it is not the answer. If you’re in a relationship where cheating is being considered, just end it.
13. Never Hook Up With Someone Who is Not Available
Yes, the person who is unavailable should not be hooking up with anyone, but ultimately it takes two to tango. If you know they are attached, just don’t do it. It is not worth it, even if you never get caught, karma is a bitch, trust me!
14. Credit Cards Suck
Sure, at first there great, when your 21 and you have a $2000.00 limit and your whole life ahead of you. No. Credit Cards are the worst. If you get one, make sure your very aware how they work, and use them only when necessary, and then pay off your card every month. Do not inherit the “I will put this $1500.00 trip on my credit card and pay it back over the next few months” attitude, because you probably won’t pay it back over the next couple of months. If you are getting a credit card, do your homework and learn how to use them properly and to your benefit. Also, get one with some sort of rewards system.
15. Don’t Burn Bridges
You never know when you may need a person, for a reference, for a name drop, for help in the middle of the night, who the hell knows, but if it can be avoided, do not burn any bridges. When you leave a job, give your notice. When you move out of an apartment, clean it. You may need these people to vouch for you down the road, always keep that in mind.
16. Invest in Yourself
Be your own biggest fan. If you want to learn a new skill, spend the money and take a class, read a book, sign up for a Webinar. Self-development is never a negative thing, learn as much as you can.
This post can help … The Complete Guide to Becoming Your Best Self
17. If You’re Feeling Overwhelmed – Clean
Maybe this is only me, but when I am feeling overwhelmed or anxious, I pick a room and I clean the shit out of it. Once I am finished, I feel much better. I think just knowing that one little area of my life has some structure and organization helps me calm down. It works, try it.
18. Be Grateful for Your Friends
If you’re lucky enough to have a few close friends in your life, be grateful. Friends are just the best, make the effort to keep your friendships strong. As we get older, it is harder and harder to plan get together’s, and to stay in touch, do it anyway.
19. Learn to Cook a Few Signature Meals
I am not the best cook, but I get by. Do yourself a favor and learn how to cook a few signature meals. Sure at 21 you can eat McDonald’s every day and never feel bad about it, but by your mid-twenties, your body will just be like, “Nope, eat some real food or I will rebel against you”. Hint: Crock Pots are great.
20. Being an Adult is Hard
You are allowed to feel completely lost and confused, there is no instruction manual. All of a sudden you have to figure out what you want to do with your life, pay bills, clean your apartment, cook your own meals, make your own appointments, when all you really want to do is drink a bottle of wine and take a nap. It is okay, we are all faking it, even the person who you are super envious of because they seem to have their shit together, they are lost too, welcome to your twenties!