Your twenties can be the most challenging years of your life. It can also be the most enjoyable time in your life journey. Being independent, choosing a career, discovering who you are and where you fit in in this world. Having a social life, figuring out how to budget. Trying not to disappoint your parents, mentors or yourself. And be happy at the same time. Let me put you at ease. Nobody has everything under control in their twenties.
There is this overwhelming expectation that you must do everything and have every part of your life under control. Family members constantly waiting for you to name your success. Your peers might compare your journey with theirs, having a one-up ready each time. Feeling pressure is normal. Managing your stress is a crucial skill to learn in your twenties. First, you have to identify your stressors, then manage the things you have control over and accept the things you can't control. Talk to a friend about it and engage in healthy activities that help you to relieve stress.
You don't HAVE to settle down
Being in your twenties, you can expect to change jobs or change your living arrangements through the years. Don't be scared to change your course. You will lose and gain different friendships. As you discover yourself you might realise this romantic relationship is not what you want. Let me tell you now, that you don't have to conform to society's norms. You are still in your twenties, young and enjoying life's journey. Be careful to hold onto something just because it is comfortable.
So this is the real world?
Congratulations you are now in the real world. Where no one cares whether you've eaten breakfast this morning or whether you'll have enough fuel in your car to get to work this month. It is one of the harsh realizations in your 20s, no one cares. This however can also be a good thing. You are now learning to take responsibility for your life and the choices you make. If you have bad time management skills and did not think ahead to buy groceries before the shops close, you're on your own. The sooner you learn this brutal truth, the better you'll adapt and accept there is freedom in independence.
Personal development should be one of the main things you focus on, especially in your early twenties. Yes, it might sound like a clishè, but this is the time you should learn to love and accept who you are and who you choose to be. You might not be one of those people that have found your life purpose yet. Knowing yourself, likes and dislikes, values, passions and interests will help you be more conscious of what you want out of life. Self-love is definitely a factor that will affect your quality of life.
No Shortcuts to Success
The best advice I received in my early twenties is to put my head down and work. Work hard. Do the donkey work, come in early and stay late, and put in the extra hours. I know in our twenties we try to make a name for ourselves to ensure our place in the world. One of the greatest struggles of being in your twenties is feeling invisible. Take advantage of this and put your back into it, your future self will thank you.
Learn from your peers, co-workers, family and friends. Be it from their failures or success. It's lessons you can acquire without having failed yourself. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from every experience. There are a lot of successful people who share their struggles on their journey, you can take note and learn from them.
In conclusion, you'll struggle in your twenties, but it can also be the best time to enjoy your youth while you're still figuring it all out. Find peace in knowing you are doing your best, living your life and being okay with not having it all together yet.