Being a 20 something is an odd thing, you’ve transitioned from teenager to full adult yet you’re still young enough to be forgiven for your mistakes. Some of your friends are mothers and fathers and some of them are spending their summers working the Ibiza strip and drinking tequila for breakfast.
It can be a really difficult time because you’re expected to get on track for a comfortable 30’s by getting your foot firmly on that career ladder and progressing up the steps. Some of my friends are in university and eating dry pasta as a meal while some of my other friends are working full time and making enviable money and as if this isn’t enough you’re trying to find the love of your life, have an active social life and drink enough water! The stress is overwhelming and I always find myself judging how far along the dusty 20’s road I am compared to my friends. Should I be making more money? Is it still okay for me to go out 4 nights a week? Is it normal to be single at 22?
Below is a list of things I try to remember when I’m in full existential crisis when my friend tells me she’s bought a brand-new car while I’m trying to budget my student loan.
- You are still young – You have plenty of time to find what you want to do for a living. Degrees, training, apprenticeships, college there are so many options for you to take advantage of and there’s no limit to how much you can learn and how many career changes you can have.
- Go at your own pace – There is no time limit on success, so take your time. Don’t jeopardise the quality of your work to enhance the speed you complete it.
- Just because somebody doesn’t like you does not mean you’re not good enough for them – You know who I’m talking about. Tall, dark and handsome who “isn’t ready for a relationship”, “doesn’t do monogamy” or to put it bluntly just isn’t that in to you. Don’t let failed relationships and personal opinions of a love interest dampen your confidence, some things just don’t work out but it’s not because you’re not good enough.
- Talk about your feelings (seriously do it) – Be honest about how you feel. It’s scary and sometimes your feelings aren’t going to be reciprocated or understood. Sure that can be upsetting at the time but you’ll be so much happier in to future without the constant wandering of what would have happened if you’d said what was on your mind.
- Value your friendships – If the last two years has done anything for me, it’s really separated my friends in to groups. I’ve had a difficult two years as far as my personal life goes from physical injuries, mental health and sheer confusion about the direction I want my life to go in. I’ve noticed a consistency in the people I can talk to when I need to and the people that ask me how I’m doing and these are the friends I value the most. Life will throw many different types of friendships at you and its okay to enjoy every single one of them but pay attention to the ones who care and the ones who are great for social events!
- Don’t beat yourself up over things that didn’t work out just because you spent a lot of time on them – Now I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘don’t cling on to a mistake just because you’ve spent a long time making it’ and I couldn’t agree more (now, anyway). It took me quite a while to realise this (ironically) but I’ve come to realise that things change. I spent so much time worrying that I’d chosen the wrong course at university that I spent another year on top of it trying to fix it. I had to take a step back, put the past behind me and start fresh but instead of worrying I’d wasted two years, I thought about the positive achievements id made instead.
- Be Kind – Being kind is an important one for me, we live in such a fragile time and the things we say can really cut people. The sad thing is that sometimes we don’t even realise we’re doing it but I’ve really been trying to be mindful about my actions and how they affect others recently from controlling my snappy attitude to smiling at a stranger.
- Compliment Often and honestly – If somebody looks good, tell them! If you think you look good then compliment yourself in the mirror girl! I think making people feel good about themselves and their traits is such a wonderful thing.
- Drink water – I’M NOT JOKING. Drink it. all day, every day. For good skin, hydration, digestion, general health… honestly the list goes on, please go fill a glass up.
- Difficult things will happen in your life but you will be okay, even if it doesn’t feel like things are ever going to get better – This is a difficult but important one. I’m the worst for imagining a life of misery and doom when I’m going through a hard time but things always get better.
- Work hard for what you want – If you want something, you can get it but you must work for it.
- Spending a day watching movies and slouching on the couch isn’t a day wasted, if you enjoyed it – Have you ever got to the end of an epic chill day and been hit with an overwhelming feel of guilt? Well. Stop. Right. There. Everybody needs a chill day and they can be almost too enjoyable but getting back to work the following day is always so much nicer with a clear mind so enjoy your chill days for a better grind day!
- Try new things – Food, hair styles, sex positions, everything! Try everything you want to try and don’t be embarrassed if you’re not great at it. Am I the greatest dancer? Yes I am! Well, maybe not the greatest or even moderately good but it’s never going to improve if I don’t try new moves.
- You can appreciate somebody else’s talents and beauty without doubting your own. Recognise the good in people without intimidation – Everybody is different and different people are good at many things! Embrace what is special about others while embracing what is special about you.
- Always remember that negativity is contagious but so is positivity – Next time somebody is being a party pooper and you start to feel it dampen your mood, shake it off and think and act positive! You’ll notice after a while the people around you will be uplifted.
- Dress how you feel comfortable – Don’t let opinions on who should be wearing what stop you from reaching your full fashion flare! If you feel good in your clothes then you will look good.
- It’s okay to say no and you shouldn’t feel bad about it – Friends asking you to go out when all you want to do is cuddle up and watch a movie? Say no. You’re allowed to decline invitations to things you don’t want to go to and you shouldn’t feel bad for not going to your friends, sisters baby shower just because you got an invitation.
- Make time for selfcare and the things you enjoy – Selfcare is anything you enjoy doing simply because it makes you feel good. Reading, painting, face masks, days at the zoo or even masturbating! Like it? Feel good after it? Do it.
- Be sensible with money but don’t let the fear of being broke stop you from enjoying your life – Save when you can but don’t sit in your room watching your friends live through fear of going broke. You can be sensible and spontaneous so book the holiday, buy the dress and buy 10,000 chocolate bars! Okay, maybe not the last one but you get my point.
- Read books and never stop learning – Every single person you meet knows something you don’t so take up every opportunity to learn something new. Read books, magazines, blogs, anything that keeps that beautiful brain ticking.