I once read a quote by Kyoko Escamilla. It said, “Your 20s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time.” Being in your twenties is messy and it’s beautiful all at the same time. It’s confusing, exciting and chaotic all at once. I’ve only just begun my journey of being in my twenties and here’s what I think of it so far.
No, you don’t have to have life figured out yet
I vividly remember waking up on my twentieth birthday last year and thinking to myself “Oh god, this is it. I am twenty now. But I haven’t even figured my life out yet. I can’t be twenty, I’m not ready.” So yes, I had an almost-quarter-life-crisis. But I am here to tell you that life is not supposed to be figured out by the time you enter this new decade of life. You don’t have to have all of the answers. Also, you won’t have the answers anyway. Your twenties are rough. This is the start of becoming an adult. There is the stress of college, graduating, starting a career, taxes and the oh-so-confusing world of dating. As much as you might want to be a girl boss and have all of life’s most confusing things answered, just slow down. Take things day by day and just live your life. It’s not a race.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
I have made countless mistakes, and I won’t even be 21 for a few more months. It’s inevitable. And it’s okay. Your twenties are the time to mess up within any realm of life. Do you hate your major? Change it. Want to move across the country? Do it. This is your life and you can’t be afraid to live it. I was so scared of making any changes to my life until I realized that one day I was going to look back and regret staying so stagnant. I’ve messed up plenty of times. I mess up pretty much daily, if I am being honest. That’s just life. Stop fearing mistakes and regrets. In the end, they teach you the biggest life lessons.
Not everyone will like you, so stop trying to please them
This is just the truth. The cold, hard truth. Even before I turned twenty, I had an annoying (and bad) habit of trying to please people and be the best I could be, even if it meant doing it for people who treated me poorly. I would so desperately want to impress people and to constantly be this seemingly perfect girl. But I realized it’s just not worth it. Not everyone in life will like you. This goes for relationships too. I would try so hard for guys that could care less about me. Looking back, it was my mistake that I wasted so much precious time on those guys. You have to realize that, especially in your twenties, you will not be everyone’s cup of tea. There’s nothing wrong with that! By finding the people that don’t like you, it will lead you to the people that do. You just have to find them, even if it takes some time. It’ll be worth the wait. Fill your life with people that love and respect you.
Make mental health a priority
One thing that I never really dealt with until I entered my twenties was mental health in general. I have always been a pretty positive and happy person. I am lucky to have a stable home and good friends and family. But, a few months after I turned twenty, I had my first experience with anxiety — the not so pretty type of worrying. It caught me off guard at first. I ended up not doing well in classes, isolating myself and constantly worrying about things. I think mental health is a really huge part of your twenties. It comes in waves, and some days are better than others. But that’s life itself. Things like anxiety and depression are real and you have to take them seriously. Even if you don’t notice it in yourself, if you see a friend struggling, be there for him or her. Mental health isn’t the easiest thing to handle and sometimes all you need is support. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support and talk openly about your stress. It’s so crucial.
I am slowly learning to love my twenties and everything that comes with it. I wish the same for you, too.