unconventional advice for your 20s
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Don’t get me wrong, there’s some great advice out there about what you should do in your 20s.

Travel the world, invest in your friendships, prioritize your job…

I’m all for it. But it’s a pretty long laundry list of things.

I’m supposed to wake up at 6, go to the gym, absolutely crush it at my job, come home, learn a new hobby, and then go out for drinks with my friends, and still get 8 hours of sleep?

So basically… I’m supposed to be superwoman?

In some instances, this advice has made me feel bad about myself, or even guilty.

If you’ve ever felt this pain, of not living up to what your 20s should be, I want to comfort you with a new kind of guidance.

Here’s 5 pieces of gentle, unconventional advice for your 20s:

1. Don’t be afraid to slow down

While I’ve made some changes in my 20s— new jobs, new places, etc. They’ve been fewer and far between than previous years,

For the most part, my 20s have been been the most stable period of my life. And in this stillness is when I’ve grown the most.

But wait—
Doesn’t growth come from being uncomfortable?
From launching yourself into the unknown?

Not so fast.

It’s common advice that by putting yourself out there, constantly doing and trying new things, and adapting to constant change, is where we reach new heights of personal growth.

For myself, and for many others (especially introverts), this advice can be misleading. It’s not wrong,— I mean… you certainly can grow in these scenarios.

But it’s not the only place you’ll find growth. In this quiet season of reflection and monotony, I’ve learned more about myself than I ever have.

Simply being with yourself, alone, in silence, is enough to put most people out of their comfort zone and inspire growth.

So. If you’re like me, and you feel called to lean into this stillness, give yourself permission.

Let yourself have some time in the quiet.

2. The time you spend with yourself will be just as valuable as time you spend with other people

Your time with yourself is just as limited as your time with other people is. You’ll only have so many time where it’s just you, alone with yourself. This is especially true if you start a family one day.

We tend to cherish the time we have with others, but waste the time we have alone with ourselves. You might even forgo alone time for social plans that you’re not even all that excited for.

Don’t fall in the trap of thinking that the time you spend socially is always the most valuable use of your time.

Prioritize spending time with yourself. When you do, give yourself the same respect you would a close friend.

That could mean many things! Some of my favorites:

  • plan an activity to do & take yourself on a date
  • don’t spend hours scrolling through social media- (that would be rude..)
  • check in with yourself. How are you doing? How can you support yourself?

Be compassionate with yourself and recognize the value of your own company.

You are your own guest of honor.

3. It’s ok not to travel

This one might be controversial…

Let me start by saying, I totally recognize the value of travel. I recognize how it can change your perspective and your life for the better.

And why some say it’s the best thing they ever did in their 20s.

But, I’d like to propose the idea that travel is not an essential for personal growth and finding meaning.

Travel is a luxury and a privilege, not a requirement for a fulfilling life.

If you have the luxury of being able to travel, and you want to do it, go for it!

But don’t get down on yourself if you can’t, or if it’s not a priority for you right now.

Contrary to what instagram tells you, you can be fulfilled without travel.

Some of the greatest journeys you will go on require you to go very short distances.

There is an entire world to uncover in your own heart.

4. Stop putting so much pressure on a single decade of your life

I gave up on the idea that certain times of my life are supposed to be the “best” or the “worst” simply based on what age I was a long time ago.

Because people always said that I should enjoy high school, since those would be the best years of my life.

And then they said the same thing about college.

And now they say the same thing about my 20s.

So when does it end? Does life just go downhill at 30? Or will people much older still be telling me that my 30s should be the best years of my life?

I do not know, but I do not care.

This is an endless cycle of pressure that need not have any bearing on your life.

In your 20s, you might be grieving, you might be recovering, you might be unwinding, re-evaluating, learning, changing…. You get the point..

Who is anyone else to tell you these are supposed to be the best years of your life?

Whatever your 20s bring, let it have space in your story.

Know that the pressure to make it all perfect, rosy, and exciting is a lie. There are far better things ahead of you.

5. You’re going to have to find a balance between enjoying the future and investing in the present.

Some will tell you to never sacrifice a moment of the present.

Others will say that your 20s are the best time to make investments you can reap the benefits of later.

I’m not only talking about money here.

How do you decide whether it’s worth it to stay in to work on building a side-hustle or go out with your friends?

Or whether you should sacrifice your peaceful Saturday morning for a trip to the gym?

In your 20s, you’re going to have to decide what investments are most important to you.

What habits can you build now that will have the greatest impact on what you want your life to look like 10 years from now?

And keep this list short. Or your 20s will become a collection of to-do lists and accomplishments with very little enjoyment in-between.

You can have it all, just not all at once.

You’re going to have to strike a delicate balance.

6. If you keep the right perspective, life just gets sweeter and sweeter

People hold a general disdain for growing up.

They’ll say, “life doesn’t get any easier,” and fondly reminisce on the days they had with little to no responsibility.

I’m here to tell you that, while life hasn’t gotten any easier, I have become better at it.

I like myself more every year
I feel more capable to handle what comes my way
I am more easily able to see the light at the end of the tunnel in painful situations.
I take greater joy in the small pleasures of life.

And these are the things that just make life so darn sweet!

Your 20s is an opportunity to build your resume in the job of living well. Don’t let what people say about the future scare you.

The real beauty, the fun, and the reward, lies in this messy process of growth.

The single best thing you can do in your 20s

The single best thing you can do in your 20s is your best.

I’m not going to tell you that you need to do one specific, life-altering thing in your 20s.

I’m not even going to try.

Do your best at what life throws you. And know that when it’s all said and done, that will be enough.