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There Is No “Right” Way To Live Life In Your 20s

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Boston chapter.

As individuals, our priorities and values shift. This constant evolution places us in an anxious cycle in which we question our life path. It’s terrifying to be in your twenties. We’re told that now is the prime time to discover ourselves. People constantly advise us on the “wrong” and “right” things to do at this age, whether we ask for it or not. When I think I’m finally on the right track, new information bombards me, making me doubt myself and causing me to change my routine regularly. We can try to comply with everyone’s advice, but it’s not worth self-sacrifice. Hear me out: there is beauty in accepting your differences and focusing solely on what makes you happy. It takes time and courage to accept yourself for who you are. Life is about experimenting with what feels right, what makes you sad/content, and what drains you. Your “mistakes” don’t go unaccounted for; they help you recognize who you are and what you like. Therefore, there is no “right” way to live your life. I know that doesn’t sound reassuring, but there is security in trusting you’ll guide yourself in the right direction.

Don’t live your life for others

From a young age, my parents have preached the “right” path: get good grades, go to college, and prioritize my career over everything. It was drilled into my head that my hobbies were insignificant and an obstacle to the ultimate goal, a successful career. I originally majored in communication sciences to pursue a career in Speech-Language Pathology. It took me a long time to realize that I did it because I thought it was the “right” thing to do. I did it for my dad, and all my friends wanted to be stem majors, so I went along with it for a while. But suffering in silence always catches up, and I quickly realized I started to base my life on what everyone else wanted me to do. Even after switching majors, I failed to learn my lesson and fell into the same trap. We cling to our false identities to feel accepted by those around us. Our loved ones live vicariously through us, and we are afraid to show our true colors to avoid disappointment. I understand the overwhelming fear of letting those you love down. After many times of trial and error, it’s time to embrace what we want to do, whether it’s where you live, what you eat, how you dress, or what school you attend. You’re in control! Experiment with your life to figure out who you are instead of the false persona created for us.

Don’t Compare Yourself to everyone else

With social media being such a prominent part of our lives, it’s difficult not to compare ourselves to others. We see vacations, parties, and exciting adventures, but never the negative aspects. Constantly seeing the ‘perfect’ side of someone’s life starts making me think I’m doing everything all wrong. But let’s be honest: no one has a perfect life. Everyone struggles as much as the next person. With different experiences and limitations, we are all meant to be on different paths. Life is not one size fits all. We are all individuals; therefore, we can live a personalized life at our own pace. Obstacles come our way, and our lives can change in an instant. After my father passed last year, I decided I needed to take some time off from school. I felt a lot of FOMO after seeing so many of my friends study abroad and live their best lives. Even though it was tempting to compare myself to others and feel excluded, I had to remind myself that it was okay to be in a different place. My life seemed to be on pause, and even though it was uncomfortable, I needed to take the time to process it. I acknowledge that my time will come when I travel the world and study aboard, but it’s okay that it isn’t now. Let’s embrace that we are distinguished beings with different goals, values, and constraints.

With one life, we should strive to adapt and improve as much as possible, as well as understand what makes us happy. Define the terms of your life based on your circumstances. Be proud of all your accomplishments, including your mistakes. We have our entire lives to learn about ourselves, and it is a beautiful thing to be on a life-long journey of self-discovery.

Samantha Lobacz

U Mass Boston '25

Sam is a second-year UMass Boston student majoring in management with a concentration in marketing. She works in the social media management team for the UMB chapter. Her goal is to work in marketing as a social media manager. When she is not in school or working on UMB Her Campus socials, she works as a social media assistant at an interior design firm. She enjoys going to the gym and taking her dog to the park!