We always see articles telling you “what to do in your 20’s” or “what you should achieve in your 20’s” and quite frankly it always make me feel inadequate. I’m in my 20’s, for now and most of those things I haven’t even achieved and most probably won’t because that’s not my mission in life. On the other hand you can’t compare us “normal” 20-something year olds to the likes of Rihanna, Taylor or Adele as we’ll always come up short. I’ve decided to do my own list, based on what I’ve achieved or set out to still achieve.
1. Have fun
I know that sounds like something to do in your toddler and preteen phase but we often forget to let loose and just have fun. I did that in my early 20’s and to a certain extent it’s out of my system now. If I go out out twice a month that’s sufficient which means that it won’t interfere with my job etc. If you don’t get it out of your system, you’ll end up being the only 40 year old in the club, hitting on people in their 20’s, I’ve seen it and it’s sad so don’t be that guy/gal.
Early 20’s are perfect for exploring the world, broadening your horizons.If you don’t have money, work while you travel. Au pair, if you love kids, work on a farm in Texas, etc. Also it’s imperative to find the right people to make new discoveries with. I haven’t travelled that much, sadly but that’s my own fault as I was too afraid. You know how you make excuses all the time? I can’t work in Brazil because I don’t speak nor understand Portuguese, I can’t be a waiter in Paris because I don’t speak French etc. but you know what? There’s always someone that speaks/understand English almost everywhere so you don’t have an excuse. Do start off in your own country with roadtrips, “shot left” etc. to get familiar with the concept.
3. Empower yourself
Make provision for your future i.e do courses that will help you at a later stage in life. I’ve done everything from debt consolidation, law, psychology to computer classes, one of those things will help you in your future career. If you don’t know where to go, have a look at Shaw Academy, they offer amazing online courses that are free of charge. Get that diploma or degree or even that experience in a field that you know you love and would love to work in.
4. Make lasting friendships
You won’t always have the same friends throughout life, if you do, consider yourself lucky. Find people that will grow with you and support you on your journey. For some people that constitute of 4-5 people, for others it’s more, others less. There’s no set number of bffs you can have but make sure it’s people you trust, that’s reliable and will be honest with you.
5.Take a leap of faith
Whether it’s working in a new field without experience, moving across the country/globe to do what you love or falling in love with someone that’s not your type…do it! Life’s too short to always be cautious, weigh the pros and cons or be afraid to take risks. You only have one life, make the best of it.
6.Save and Invest
It’s important to save money and invest wisely. I know that a lot of the youngsters (I sound like an old hag) believe in this “YOLO” philosophy but what if you live until you’re 80 and you haven’t saved a dime? What will happen to you? Who will look after you? We hear too many horror stories of the elderly being abused at homes when their children are unable to look after them. Speak to a financial advisor or a broker to find out what’s affordable for your lifestyle. If you are interested in figuring out what your net worth is, check out Personal Capital’s net worth calculator.
Whether it’s a human being or a pet, love someone unconditionally that is NOT related. Lasting relationships are forged in your mid to late 20’s as at this age you ought to be emotionally matured enough for it. If you’re not, nothing wrong with it. If you prefer to be single and focus on your career, that’s okay but do go out on dates and meet new people. Kiss all the frogs you have to to get to your Prince Charming.
8. Make memories
This ties in with lasting friendships and travelling. Make memories that will make you smile even when you’re 80, sitting on the stoep in your rocking chair. Life is not lived if you don’t make memories.
9.Leave a legacy
Or rather start working on the legacy you’d like to leave behind. We’re not guaranteed a full life and we don’t know how much time we’ll have to work on our legacy so use every waking moment to ensure you leave behind a legacy that will be worthy of the amazing human being you are.
My unofficial number 10 would be to achieve everything people said you never would. If you want to do modelling but were always considered to short or too skinny, do it. Show them that once you put your mind to it, you can achieve it. Mingle with celebs, buy that house and car you promised your mom, do whatever makes your little heart happy but never forget where you came from, ever because if you do, you won’t know where you’re heading.