I have a strong dislike for those articles that list 20 things you should/shouldn’t do in your 20s. I always read them because I’m always drawn in, and then I’m always left judging everything I’ve ever decided in my 20s so far and questioning whether I’m doing anything ‘right’.
So I thought I’d write what I think we should do in our 20s, without dictating it through an excessively long bullet pointed list.
In your 20s you should…
1. Do what feels right for you.
2. Take care of yourself.
That’s it. End of list.
If you want to apartment-hop and job-hop for years, cool.
If you’re after a corporate job, go for it.
If you fancy volunteering at a charity, why not.
If you don’t get an opportunity to go work abroad for a year, no worries…if you do, still no worries.
If you’re about to get married, great.
If you want to save for a mortgage, fine.
If you have to live at home with your parents for a while, it’s alright.
If you’re serially dating on Tinder, awesome.
If you’re in a long-term relationship, lovely.
If you are studying for years, good for you.
If you have a dream and life plan in order, lucky you.
If you aren’t really 100% on anything, do what feels right, right now, and you’ll reap the rewards later.
And whatever you are doing, remember to take care of yourself – your body and your mind. Your 20s are the time to form your identity, decide what is important to you, and learn to love yourself.
So whatever you are doing, make sure every experience, whether its work-based or personal, is helping you to develop, even in the tiniest way.
So there’s two steps, to what you should be doing in your 20s.
And those 2 steps have so many variations…
The point is, we are all so, so different and have such different life goals and values that looking down (or looking up) to someone for what they’ve chosen to do in their 20s doesn’t mean it was the wrong (or right) thing to do for all 20-somethings ever. It means humans are complex, life throws up curveballs and there is no correct paths for these years of our lives. If we’re constantly obsessing over whether our choices are the right ones, we’ll forget to actually just live them out!
We have to take things as they come and base our choices on what feels right for us at this moment in time. I expect whatever we do we’ll make some mistakes that our 40 year old selves will look back in and laugh about. But that’ll happen whether we abide by a bullet-pointed article or not.
Maybe I’m just another confused 20-something myself, writing what I need to hear. Probably.
But when I look at myself and everyone my age around me and see how different we all are and the very varied choices we’ve made, it seems like everyone’s doing alright! We’re all learning and growing in some way, whatever we are doing, and I really believe that just means we are doing what’s right for each of us, right now.