From graduating college to job hunting, the 20s can be some of the most challenging years of one’s life. With the stress of settling down and the anxiety of finding the perfect job that will help pay all of your bills, individuals in their 20s can often feel lost, agitated, depressed, anxious, or far behind in life. So, here is a list of all the things that I wish I knew in my 20s that I’d like to tell all those in their 20s, it might help someone in any way. 

1. Don’t Compare Your Life To Others 

If you’re struggling financially and are finding it difficult to look for your place in this world, you can’t help but look at those around you who are doing better in life and compare your life to them. You can’t help but wonder, “why do they get everything they want, but now me? Why are they happy, but I’m not?” It is easy to point fingers at someone and believe that the grass is greener on the other side. When in reality, it is not. Perhaps the person you’re comparing your life with had to go through immense struggles to reach that one stage of success. 

Perhaps they don’t talk about the number of times they failed just to reach that single pinnacle of achievement and honor. Comparing your life to others will cause nothing but distress, discomfort, depression, and low self-worth. Just like the good times have passed away, the bad ones will too. Your time will come, believe in the miracles of God. But most of all, believe in yourself, have faith in your abilities to overcome any obstacle or struggle life may throw your way. You’re stronger than your struggles, you’re braver than your insecurities. Your life might not be perfect, but you are exactly where you need to be right now. There is a saying, “Perhaps the storm in your life has not come to block your blessings, but to clear your path to better and greater things.” When your situation seems out of control, realize this: I am greater than my tribulations, I have faith in me. 

2. Work Hard in your 20s

This is probably the most overused term in literary history. However, it is also amongst the most thing you have to remember all throughout your 20s. Working hard and putting in the effort into your career aspirations and the goals you have for yourself shall impact the many years to come. 

As Colin Powell once said, “A dream does not become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” If you have a dream you wish to achieve, the only way to manifest it into reality is by working hard. Success requires constant sacrifice. Sacrificing weekend parties, family gatherings, and sometimes, even intimate dinners with one’s partners. Set your priorities straight. 

The hard work you do in your 20s shall form the basis of the success you will enjoy decades from now. Remember, hard work never goes to waste. No matter how many years pass by, the effort you put in your work shall eventually find its way back to you. 

3. Find a Hobby in your 20s

Throughout your 20s, there will be days when you’d want to do anything but work. On the days when you’re too tired to go to get out of bed and go to work, your hobby will keep you sane. Whether it is listening to songs or dancing at the club. Whether it is reading a novel or writing in your old diary. Whether it is playing guitar all by yourself on your apartment’s balcony at 3 a.m or drinking a warm cup of coffee all by yourself on a rainy Monday afternoon. Cultivating a consistent hobby will make you feel at ease during your days of despondency in your 20s.

4. Choose To Study What You Want in your 20s

The college major you choose will play an integral part in your life. Not only will it substantially impact your career but it will also shape your entire life. That is why, it is important for you to choose a college major you want to pursue, not what anyone else wants you to. 

You may choose to take professional advice or advice from career counselors. They can help guide you towards a career path and in choosing a college major that will be perfect for you in accordance with your natural skills, talent, and personality.

5. Don’t Give Up So Easily 

I once heard a saying that stayed with me, if you have a dream, you must protect it. However, many of us tend to give up too easily on the dreams, passions, goals, or aspirations that we had. Sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances, or sometimes because that dream seems too good to be true. 

As human beings, we are often too afraid to go out of our comfort zones and often choose an option that seems ‘safe’ rather than choosing an option that might pose failure, or positively change your life forever. Nothing good in life comes easy. As the saying goes, easy come, easy go. If your dream is taking time to manifest into reality, believe that you will be rewarded with something far greater than your imagination.

6. Be Kind 

Be kind to others. Everyone you meet has something they go through, something they don’t talk about aloud. Perhaps the person you’re standing next to is trying their best not to break down or fall apart. We live in a world filled with hatred, discrimination, and racism. Being kind to others is the least you can do. 

It is also important to be kind to yourself. As human beings, we tend to self-blame whenever we fail or commit a mistake. We tend to tell ourselves words as, “I am such a failure,” “I disappoint everyone I love,” “Maybe I should just give up?” “I am worthless anyways,” and more. Why can’t we treat ourselves the same way we treat those whom we love?

Why do we find it so difficult to accept our flaws when we can even see the good in the most flawed person? Wy can’t we be more gentle with ourselves and realize that we’re only human and that we’re all trying our best to live our lives? Why don’t we realize that committing mistakes is a part of being human and does not mean we’re worthless? Why do we love others so immensely, even those who hurt us, but find it difficult to love ourselves? 

 

About the author

Eman Khalid is a writer, editor, storyteller, and a journalist. She has been a co-author of more than twenty poetry books. She is a contributing writer to the Women's Republic, the Meraki Magazine, Litlight Magazine, Prosart Literary, Kitaab, StoryHouse UK, and The LATEST. Eman is an English Language and Literature major and she has a deep passion for reading about inspirational women from the past. When she is not writing, you will find her reading poetry, listening to songs, and taking long walks at the beach.