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7 Hard Truths Every 20-Something Needs to Face

The truth can hurt sometimes, but in the end, once you have made your peace with it, you’ll come out so much stronger for listening to it. Your 20s are full of blunt and sometimes uncomfortable truths, so you have to be prepared to expect the unexpected more often than not. Chances are that you’ll get knocked down a couple of times along the way but learning to accept the hard truths you’re faced with is a crucial part of your self-growth.

The sooner you decide to come to terms with these truths, the quicker you can learn the lessons that come along with them. Learning to accept these seven truths in your 20s will help set you free and allow you to live a life you can be proud of. It may not be easy, but you can do this.

1. We Become What We Surround Ourselves With

You may have heard this one before but it’s true. If you surround yourself with friends and people that are loving and supportive, then you will become a happier, more loving and supportive person as well. If you surround yourself with toxic people that tear you down, then you will become an unhappy, toxic person. The energy that you feed on from others has a bigger effect on who you are as a person than you may choose to believe.

2. Not Everything Will Go According to Plan

Generally speaking, nothing in life goes exactly as we plan it and part of growing up means learning to roll with the punches. You might not get a job right after graduation, you might not stay with the boyfriend/girlfriend that you thought you would or maybe you just aren’t where you thought you would be in life. The truth of the matter is that things don’t work out for a reason. Rejection may hurt in the moment, but rejection also means that the right opportunity is still out there for you. Keep looking for it.

3. Nothing is Permanent

Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever in life. This goes for everything whether it’s relationships, jobs or feelings. Like I mentioned above, a relationship that you felt so sure of at the time may not be right for you in the long run. If you are feeling unhappy, that won’t last forever either. Everything has an expiration date in life, so try to make the most of the good times and remind yourself that the bad times can’t last forever.

4. Not Everyone is Meant to Stay in Your Life for the Long-term

This is not just about the romantic relationships in your life, it is also about the friendships. We always want things to work out, but sometimes they just aren’t meant to. In case you haven’t already heard the saying, we have three types of friends in life: friends for a season, friends for a reason and friends for a lifetime. There will be those that are meant to stick around, but the chances are that most of the people you consider friends in your early 20s are only there for a season. Learning to accept that not everyone is going to be in your life for the long run will save you a lot of confusion, frustration and possibly even heartbreak.

5. Success Is NOT Linear

After graduating, some people expect to enter the workforce right away, but this is hardly ever the case. It is only after graduation that the real work begins, and if you are constantly comparing how well things are going for you to how well they are going for others, you are going to be behind in life. No one’s success is identical to another’s. Success takes twists and turns, and unfortunately for all of us, there is not a straight and narrow path that we can follow to get to where we want to be. It will take a lot of work to get where you want to be but, in the end, it will be more than worth it.

6. Make Memories, Not Money

Okay, maybe you should make money too, but don’t make it your priority is what I am trying to tell you. Money is great and it can supply you with food and shelter and the things you need to survive. However, as The Beatles once said, money won’t buy you love and it also won’t buy you happiness. If it does buy you happiness, it won’t last. Memories, experiences and adventures are what will truly buy you happiness in life. Living your life with the people you care about is the only way that you are going to enjoy what you do. Work so that you can live well enough to make these memories with others. Don’t live to work, work to live.

7. We All Die at Some Point

It may seem like you have all the time in the world, but you are only going to be as old as you are right now, once. Invest in experiences. The materialistic things will be around long after the opportunity to experience the world around you will be. The new shoes you saved up for a month to get might make you excited for a week or maybe even a month. The trip you took with your best friend to Europe on the other hand is something you will be talking about for years. Experiences never get old, so go out and make some because your time is precious.

One of the worst things you could do to yourself in your 20s is neglect the truths that you are going to have to face at some point or another anyways. Don’t neglect or hide from the truths that are sure to give you clarity. Facing these truths head-on will be difficult, but ultimately will be one of the best things you do in your 20s.

Rachael Stevens

Wilfrid Laurier '21

Rachael is a fourth-year English major at Laurier, with a double minor in German and psychology.
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