7 Things to Start Doing in Your Early 20's

1. Start a skincare routine  


I’m sure you’ve been told this before, but the more you take care of your skin now, the more likely you are to age gracefully. Figure out your skin type and look for products that work best for you. It’s important to take care of your skin in both the morning and at night before bed. Don’t know where to start? Head to your dermatologist or any qualified aesthetician to get advice and product recommendations. Speaking of the dermatologist…you should be getting your skin checked once a year. I know it’s awkward to have your whole body checked for weird moles by a stranger, but it could prevent skin cancer or at least help discover it before it becomes a bigger problem. Last but not least, if you don’t already wear sunscreen on your face everyday rain or shine, now is the time to start!


2. Start saving money  


If you’re like me, your initial thought about saving money means that you have to have money to save money. FALSE! Even if you’re a broke bitch like myself, you can still save money! Start putting 50 cents in a jar every day and you will save on average fifteen dollars a month and $180 a year. If you do already have a decent income, start a savings account with your bank. Most banks will help you set up an automatic monthly transfer of the dollar amount of your choosing to your savings account. Whether you end up using this money to buy a house or car or even just for an emergency, your future self will thank you.


3. Get rid of toxic people  


Let me guess, a name came to mind when you read this one.

I know it can seem impossible to cut ties with a boyfriend, a best friend, or sometimes even a family member, but if this person is constantly bringing you down or giving you anxiety it’s time to let go. Turn on Frozen, light a candle, do a face mask, and let that shit gooooo. All kidding aside, try to reach out and let this person know how you feel and if things still don’t improve it could be time to say goodbye. The best way to do this is to keep yourself distracted. Call your mom or a friend, put your phone on do not disturb, journal about it, work out, anything you can think of to take your mind off of reaching out to this person again. If it’s a family member or someone unavoidable, try to limit interactions and kill them with kindness when you do see them. Toxic people usually act negatively to get a reaction, but don’t stoop to their level.


4. Find a fitness routine that works for you  

I’m not saying that you need to live at the gym and work out every day, but it’s time to start paying attention to your nutritional and activity habits. Eating healthy and staying active doesn’t just help your physique, it helps you age better and live longer. A realistic approach is to make five to six days out of the week healthy eating days and to find an activity you enjoy. Even just taking a 30-minute walk or riding your bike every other day is a step in the right direction. Stop looking at food and fitness as a way to “get thin” and realize that your health is a direct reflection of the choices you’re making.


5. Stop smoking or vaping  


It’s 2019. There is no reason for you to still be smoking cigarettes! You are not going to look cool or resolve your anxiety by smoking; you’ll actually make it worse. Plus, you’re going to give yourself wrinkles, yellow teeth, and cancer. The same goes for vaping, you may not get yellow teeth, but you will put yourself at risk for many cancers. If you haven’t watched the news lately, vaping is putting kids as young as fourteen in the hospital with collapsed lungs, etc. I personally smoked cigarettes for two years when I was younger and know how hard it is to quit. You’re having drinks with friends and someone asks you to go outside to smoke and it’s so hard to say no. I get it, but it’s necessary. If your looks and health aren’t enough to make you quit, then think of what your doing to our environment. Stop putting pollutants out into our air and your lungs.


6. Start going to the gynecologist  


I’m well aware that this is most every girls least favorite doctors visit but believe me, it is a necessary evil. You need to start making an annual appointment once you become sexually active to make sure you are staying healthy. Your gynecologist can help you find a suitable birth control and give you advice on everything from good hygiene practices to safe sex. You don’t want an STD or unwanted pregnancy to rain on your parade. I don’t care what any guy says or how much you love him, there is NEVER an excuse to not practice safe sex. (That goes for same sex couples too!) Your gyno can also make sure you’re not at risk for certain cancers as well, making this the most important doctors appointment on your list.


7. Start building your resume  


Even if you’ve only done volunteer work or only ever had a summer job, start building your resume. If you already have a few jobs and internships under your belt, then type it out in the correct format and have someone you trust to revise it. This could be anyone from a former professor or your best friend who already landed their dream job. If you’re still working on it, start looking for opportunities that you think would be a good addition to your resume. Talk to a college advisor or someone in the field you want to work in to find our what kind of internships, etc. you should be looking out for. These experiences will not only lay the groundwork for submitting an amazing resume and getting the job but will also make you feel more comfortable once you’re there. 


(Gifs courtesy of giphy.)