Your 20’s will be the craziest and most experimental part in your life. It’s the only time where your body will allow you to eat fast food past midnight, couch surf at friends’ houses, work the craziest hours and jobs, and risk everything you’ve got. Your 20’s are relentless.
I haven’t even hit 25 yet, so I know I have a long way to go until I experience even half of what life has to offer. However, this past year was honestly one of the hardest years of my life being the first year out of college. Here are a few lessons that I’ve learned along the way:
23 Life Lessons I’ve Learned at 23
1. Everyone starts off somewhere: The most successful people did not start off as an expert on day one. Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 10.
2. Life is no longer a race: After high school, everyone lives their lives at their own pace. Not everyone needs to graduate, get married, have kids, or… die at the same time.
3. Don’t believe everything you see on social media: Social media can be one of the most dishonest places on the planet. People only post their highs, but rarely their lows (unless if it’s a rant). When it seems like everyone is always happy, remember that that’s not always the case.
4. Trust in the process: Even when you are not sure where life is taking you, trust that everything will work itself out in the end.
5. You are exactly where you need to be: There’s a reason why you are where you are right now– Most likely because there is a lesson to be learned or your expertise is needed.
6. Maintaining long distance friendships is hard AF: Once school is out of the picture, it is so much harder to take care of relationships. It takes real effort and willingness to maintain that BFF status.
7. You will have shitty bosses: Can you believe in this past year alone, I’ve worked for 3 shitty bosses? That’s insane. Don’t let that get you down. It happens to everyone.
8. The quickest way to make friends is to reach out: Friends won’t come to you if you don’t meet them half way.
9. Vibes are contagious: Be conscious of the vibes you are sending out. People can sense good and bad vibes and can emulate them as well. Hence, the names Debbie Downer and Negative Nancy.
10. Stop trying to speed up time: This kinda goes with #4 and #5, but I’ve developed the unhealthy habit of trying to get ahead of myself by trying to run before learning to walk. In other words, don’t try to grow up too fast. Enjoy where you are right now.
11. If not you, then who?: If there is something that needs to get done or someone who needs your help, offer help. There are too many people in the world who live on believing that ignorance is bliss, and that’s not a good thing.
12. There’s no shame in being selfish (sometimes): Sometimes, you need to choose yourself before choosing others. Your health and wellbeing is your main priority.
13. Self-care days are super important: It’s okay to take breaks and do absolutely nothing. As previously stated in #12, your health and wellbeing are a priority.
14. 8 hours of sleep makes a world of a difference: I have no idea how I survived on 5 hours of sleep every day in high school. Getting a full 8 hours of sleep are essential to good health and feels so damn good.
15. Make the most out of your mornings: Once you work full time, it is so hard to have enough energy at the end of the day to do any of my passion projects. I usually end up putting off a lot of projects for the morning. I find that I get a lot more done in the mornings because I have way more energy before work.
16. You will no longer be grouped by a common interest: Think about it, during your 12-16+ years of school, you are going the same pace with people who are the same age and learning level as you. Once I started working full-time, I’ve interacted with a ton of people who were of different ages, backgrounds, and at different stages in life. I’m still trying to get used to it.
17. Out of sight, out of mind: This can either be used in a good or bad way, but I’ve learned that it’s easy to forget something if you’re not looking at it. Figuratively and literally of course.
18. Work harder than everyone else so that you could live like no one else: I learned this one from the greatest business man on Earth: Gary Vaynerchuk. Basically, hustle hard and sacrifice your free time now so that you can live the good life and be successful later. Your effort will pay off in the end.
19. Don’t forget about your family: When you’re hustlin’ and grinding and living your life, it’s easy to get lost in all the noise and forget about visiting and checking in with your family from time to time. Don’t forget about them.
20. Children and pets are the purest form of happiness: After spending more time with the kids and pets in my family, I’ve realized that I am never in a bad mood when they’re around. They are the embodiment of happiness and innocence. I would give anything to experience that again.
21. Who cares?: Screw what other people think about you. Most importantly, don’t let the opinions of others stop you from doing what you want to do.
22. The only person you need to satisfy is yourself: Refer to #21. Do things for yourself. Be in love with your damn self.
23. Celebrate the small victories: Not every single life moment has to be big enough to publish on Facebook or LinkedIn. Getting through a busy work day or mustering the strength to get out of bed in the morning are moments that need to be celebrated as well.
What are some of the biggest life lessons that you’ve learned in your 20’s?