I’m officially a little over a month into 26 and honestly, I’m not where I thought I would be. I’m sure most of us feel these inadequacies ever so often, but I always tend to feel it more around my birthday. I hate that, but it happens. I try to find the balance between celebrating my life, while having those feelings. However, after some reflection, I’m reminded that life is filled with ups and downs and any day is a day for celebration, especially if that day is a birthday! Furthermore, in these 26 trips around the sun, I’ve learned many lessons about this life. Here are 10 things I’ve learned so far in my twenties.
- Life does not always go as planned
When I graduated college at 21, I had a 5 year plan that included gaining work experience for 2 years, starting my Masters at 23 and graduating by 25. That definitely did not go as planned. At 23, I left my job not knowing what my next step would be. I just wanted to finally start working in marketing. I applied to universities and was accepted into a MA in Marketing Communications program. Unfortunately, after making it to the final round for a prestigious scholarship I did not get it. I deferred my acceptance for a year, in hopes that I would be able to save enough, if I did not receive a scholarship again. 2019 came and I realized that I may not actually need a marketing degree to excel in the field and that another program may be best, so I declined my offer entirely.
2. A Bachelors degree does not equal a supervisory/managerial position
They say go to college, get a degree, work hard and life will sort out. While getting an education is important, it does not automatically position you into managerial roles straight out of college. Depending on what you study, employers may feel as though the degree isn’t necessary and work experience can suffice. I remember interviewing for my first job after graduating thinking it was for the supervisory position, however I was told the position being offered was entry level. I sat there thinking, “Am I really going to go through with this? Like, I just spent 5 (If you’re a COB graduate you know) years in college.” The position was something I didn’t have any interest in, but I knew that it could be a stepping stool, so I accepted. Especially after months of sending my resume all over the country with no replies, this opportunity literally fell in my lap.
3. You have to always put yourself first
Like literally, if you don’t got you, who got you? Your twenties are trying times and situations come about where you’re questioning everything. Constantly working through feelings of happiness, dissatisfaction, complacency and everything else in between. As humans, we sometimes sacrifice what we want or need to please others. I’m not encouraging you to not think about others feelings, but please think about you first.
4. Just because you don’t have it all figured out, doesn’t mean you’re failing
This is definitely a lesson I have to continuously remind myself of. Honestly, tings aren’t always tings and a lot of times things don’t work out because greater is coming. On this journey, everything does not go to plan and we’ve all definitely seen how our plans became nonexistent this year. You may not know what you want to do in the next 5 years or even next year, but that’s okay. Just keep growing and glowing, you got this!
5. Self care is so important
Remember you have to put yourself first and do things that make you happy. Saying no to an outing, drinking a glass of wine, eating your favorite foods, spa days, turning off your phone and practicing yoga are just a few self care practices that can make a world of difference. Your twenties is a great time to start implementing meaningful and mindful routines and taking care of your wellbeing should be at the top of your list of things to do. If you are looking for more ways to practice self care, check out my 8 Easy Ways to Practice Self Care.
6. Don’t kill yourself over a job
I remember feeling terrible whenever I called in to work. It didn’t happen much but I thought how it may be a busy day and they may need my help. Instead of accepting that my body was tired, my mind was not in the best state and a mental health day was needed. Here I was not putting myself first. A year later though, I realized that the work will always be there. Witnessing a few of my colleagues resign and new persons being hired almost immediately, among other things, I knew that my job would be just okay if I missed a day or a week or left altogether.
7. Trust your gut
Honestly, we really know when we should or shouldn’t do something. It’s a constant nagging, uncomfortable feeling or overwhelming desire that let’s us know what to decide. We may get distracted by other factors, but trusting your gut is always right. Earlier this year, I read Untamed by Glennon Doyle and some parts of it really spoke to me. One theme in particular was about trusting in yourself and believing your knowing. Glennon writes, “I have learned that if I want to rise, I have to sink first. I have to search for and depend upon the voice of inner wisdom instead of voices of outer approval. This saves me from living someone else’s life.”
8. Enjoy yourself and the people in your life while you have them
We hear it all the time that life is so short, and it is. Whether it’s because of “things change, people change, feelings change too” or actual death, everyone in our lives are only there for a season. I’ve come to the realization that it doesn’t make sense to regret anyone in my past. I enjoyed the time they were there and appreciate the experiences we shared. Just because a season is over doesn’t mean that the time was wasted. You can’t keep obsessing on the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” it’s already done, and you have the memories.
9. Don’t only focus on romantic relationships
Are you that friend that gets into a relationship and totally forgets about their friends? If so, I’m definitely side eyeing you. While I understand the want and need for companionship, I don’t think our lives should solely revolve around our partner(s) and dating. Our twenties seem to be the time where everyone is having children, getting engaged/married and sometimes it does get you thinking, “Well when is it going to my turn?” I’m blessed to have wonderful friends and obviously the love I share with them would be different than a romantic relationship, however, it is still love.
10. Be open to new ideas
I truly believe these twenty somethings are all about exploration. You’re probably not going to be this free ever again. Try different cuisines, take up a hobby, learn another language and travel as much as you can exploring various cultures and ways of life. I do believe your twenties play an important role in your life, and you should enjoy them as much as possible!
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned in your twenties?