8 Things To Do In Your (early) 20s To Be Successful
What should I be doing in my 20’s? The good (yet anxiety filled) answer is that there are endless amounts of things to do in your 20s, that can help you live an amazing happy life.
Becoming a 20something is a moment I remember looking forward to all my life. No longer subject to the rules of my parents house, but still not aged enough for people to start thinking of me as old (Whew!)
There are a lot of things people tell you that you should have figured out by the time you’ve hit age 20something, but the truth is, someone else’s path will never be yours to take.
So if you asked if I had any regrets on the path I’ve decided to take to date, my answer would be simple,no.
Through every moment, every setback, every good and bad day, I’ve learned something that has helped me to become the person I am today.
So no, I wouldn’t change a thing.
If you’re here today for a push in the right direction of what you should be doing in your twenties, my short answer would be to focus on the things that bring you happiness.
Unfortunately however, if you’ve made it to age 20something, happiness won’t be your only worry.
You’ll need to think about finding a job that gives you experience, new ways to cope with stress and of course finding the strength to let go of lifelong friendships that no longer serve your best interest.
Keep reading to find out 8 things you’ll need to do in your 20s to live a happy life.
What should you know in your 20s?
Life is going to move forward and you will have to adjust time after time. It’s a beautiful path of figuring yourself out and letting go of habits that no longer benefit you.
In your twenties you should
Put energy into relationships that make you happy
Start to heal from your past
Believe the world is full of opportunities and not only chaos
The best advice for your 20s is to believe that you deserve people who care for you, and no matter what background you come from, you can have a life where you inspire others and build wealth.
8 Things To Do In Your 20s
1. Understand that things will change
Your likes will change, your dislikes will change, and you will be a better person for it. There’s a lot of pressure regarding how you should have EVERYTHING figured everything out in your twenties but you don’t have to.
Instead, work on learning what your values are and live your life so that you can experience them more.
Do you value stability and traveling? Do you enjoy having quiet time and freedom to make your own schedule?
Tune into yourself and make these values part of your daily routine.
2. Consider if you want to go to college
If you’re wondering if you should go to college and if college is for you then you’re not alone.
While in high school the best thing you can do for yourself is keep your grades up so you can qualify for scholarships and have options when it comes to picking a school.
Choose a school based on cost and the programs they offer. The cheaper tuition the better.
If you decide to take a gap year after high school make sure you have a plan for what you’ll be doing with your time off.
Are you pursuing an internship?
Are you working so you can save up for tuition or books?
Will you be traveling anywhere?
If you take a break the main purpose of having time off from school isn’t just to relax but to fill your days with activities, people, and things that bring you joy, enlighten your mind and make you a better person.
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3. Should you go to graduate school?
If you decided to go to college and now graduation is approaching the next question is should you go to grad school or is it worth it to go directly to graduate school?
One of my teachers summarized graduate school as something you shouldn’t go to directly after college because “It’s like being in 17th grade” instead of being a new experience.
When deciding if graduate school is right for you consider the career you’re pursuing.
Someone looking at more than three more years of schooling may want to give their minds time to breathe.
Or find a job so that they can continue reaching financial goals like paying off debt, saving for an apartment, vacation, or boost their savings.
Finding a job can also help you to save up for college, and with enough planning ahead it’s possible to pay for grad school in cash.
Another alternative is if someone is looking at more than three years of schooling they might want to dive right in so that aren’t tempted to forfeit going to back to school.
Just keep in mind that anything that you truly want to pursue in life you will.
A year in between grad and undergrad will not stop you from continuing your education if you stay focused on what your end goal is.
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4. Figure out how you’ll pay for college
Financial aid looks like FAFSA, TAP/Pell, and Loans. The main difference between FAFSA, TAP, Pell and loans is that a loan is essentially borrowed money. Whether 6 months after graduation or years later you will be paying back the money given to you for tuition.
If you read 15 creative ways to save money when you’re broke, you might remember that once upon a time I dreamed of attending a private institution in the heart of NYC.
At 50k a semester I would have been well over 100k in debt by the time I graduated with a bachelor degree.
Unless you are receiving full coverage for tuition you want to look closely at what the cost will be over your entire duration at the college.
Factor in taking a summer class, repeating a class, and staying for four to five years
In your twenties you should be finding your purpose. You should be entering the world bright eyed and optimistic not riddled with student loan debt.
If by chance you are reading this after already taking out a loan hope is not lost. There are hundreds of sites out there dedicated to helping you learn how to pay off debt as soon as possible.
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5. Decide what job you might like
You don’t have to know what career path you want to dedicate 20 years of your life too. Just begin pondering what life would look like if you were to say “My goal is to (fill in the blank)” or “I want to (fill in the blank)”
Just figuring out what your core values are can make life a bit easier to manage when it comes to job hunting and deciding if you want to take a gap year after college.
Right now I wonder what job I will take post graduation and I realize I don’t know the answer. But as long as I am helping others and creating a financial cushion for myself, I will be okay.
Determine for yourself what your “WHY” in life is.
Related post: How to set financial goals
5. Remember you don’t have to stick with one job
I am a firm believer in your job environment influencing your mood and your overall well being. You do not have to stay at job you don’t like.
There’s this weird concept that is built around working while young. Living life in your 20s does not mean you have to stay at a job that treats you horribly and doesn’t give you benefits.
Fix up your resume, boost your Linkedin profile, and dive in head first into the employment world.
It’s hard to find jobs without experience, but that shouldn’t stop you from networking and trying your best.
6. Figure out where will you live
You’re getting older and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to spend all of your life living under your parent’s roof.
But when’s the right time to move out? And when you do, where will you live?
As a 20something these are all questions you’ll need to answer but when you do, make sure it was off your own accord and not due to the meddling of anyone else.
For the average 20something the decision to officially move out of their parent’s house happens the minute they’ve graduated from college or university.
Heck! That was my plan, but then Corona came along and delayed things.
After graduating I spent approximately 10 months living with my parent’s while working and saving my income where possible.
At the end of the 10th month when I saved enough to cover my rent, bills, and other essentials for a six month period, so I would be secure if I lost income, I moved out.
7. Begin investing
Not knowing where to start is very common. One way to begin investing is by opening an account with a brokerage such as Charles Schwab and choosing an ETF.
An ETF is a bundle of stocks that minimize your risk while increasing your gain.
For example spending $100 for one share of SCHA would allow you to invest in multiple small companies. Everytime the companies within the ETF increase in value so does your $100 investment.
Overtime you can boost your knowledge of investing, learn how to choose stocks, grow your portfolio, get ready for a comfortable retirement and journey of building wealth.
If any of the terms used about investing feel foreign it's okay! We all have to start somewhere.
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8. Grow your circle
Not everyone you know right now will understand the moves you are making as you continue to do new things in your 20s.
This doesn't mean you cut off your friends from childhood, stop talking to family, and shut yourself off from the world. It means you create a circle full of people who do understand the new language you are speaking.
Whether this includes conversations about financial literacy, a new career, family dynamics, or your need to indulge in certain activities, meet people who make you feel heard.
Although listed at the bottom of this 8 part guide it's important to find people who validate your feelings. Make this a priority as you find more things to do in your 20s.
Adulting starts to seem harder when you place unbearable amounts of pressure on yourself. Life in your 20s is about exploration of the world and yourself.
You’re on a path of finding purpose in life and coping with stress all while finding exciting things to do in your 20s. Keep in mind that what makes YOU happy in your twenties doesn’t have to look like what anyone else is doing.
Your pace, your journey, your feelings, are all valid and part of a bigger picture. A picture of joy and everything else that your mind will dream up over the next few years.
Shout out to Juanique for helping create this post. You guys can keep up with her at SurvivingYour20Somethings.com.
Up Next: 4 habits to become an expert saver
Juanique understands first hand the challenges of adulting. She seeks to teach others how to navigate their 20s through easy to understand survival guides.
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