Happy March to all of my readers!
In celebration of my birthday month and turning 23, I wanted to dedicate this post to ’23 lessons I have learned from my 20’s’.
- Spread your wings: Two of the best moves I have been privileged enough to make in my 20’s was to leave home and focus on a tertiary education. I think spreading my wings was important because it not only helped me experience true independence, but it also helped me realise just how big the world is. I know that leaving home to study is not a possibility for everyone, but I do suggest finding something that can help broaden your horizons after school, being a teenager and/or living at home.
- Find your family: I think that it can be so easy to get caught up in our independence that we may forget that our families, especially our parents, truly are the wisest people. Your family members are an endless source of love and support. During some of my toughest moments, I would often forget how valuable the opinions of my family are. I know that some people may not have positive relationships with their parents or family members, but I do recommend finding positive sources of guidance and influence, maybe in a friend, guardian, mentor or relative.
- Accept and let go: This includes romantic relationships and friendships. I feel like my 20’s have taught me how to be at peace with the fact that people will come and go in my life. This realisation has also helped me overcome a lot of disappointments and has taught me the true value of forgiveness. This lesson is a necessary learning curve since it will help you to identify the type of people you want to allow in your inner circle.
- Discover who you are: I believe my 20’s have provided me with the best opportunities to learn about myself. With every phase of life, you may find yourself evolving. It is worth using these years getting to know every new aspect of yourself.
- Stay healthy: Focus on your physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual health. Invest time into looking after all of these dimensions that make you who you are. It took me a long time to learn how to manage my needs relating to all these different areas of my life. I feel like this is an important lesson for students to keep in mind since the years spent dedicated to your studies can easily lead to you neglecting your health.
- Enjoy every chapter: I would notice myself always stressing about the next year of my life that I would never truly allow myself to enjoy the chapter I was currently in. I have learned that time changes too quickly so find joy in the present instead of focusing on ‘the next step’.
- Find gratitude: My 20’s have definitely helped me to find gratitude, no matter my circumstances. Finding gratitude definitely takes practice, but is an excellent way to lift your perspective regarding any good or bad situation you may be facing.
- Stay true to who you are: I think that the best time to say “Yes” to new things/experiences that will positively impact you, is your 20’s. I believe this goes hand-in-hand with staying true to who you are as a person and how you choose to live your life. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is that it’s not worth following the crowd.
- Invest in friendships: If there is one thing I suggest prioritising, especially in the years of your 20’s, is quality friendships. Meeting new people, especially people from different cultures, backgrounds, countries and ages is the best way to enhance your social understanding and skills. Having a diverse group of friends who love and support you is one of the best investments you can make.
- Read: My 20’s have really helped me to realise the importance of reading. I feel like this is something to be prioritised throughout your life. Reading is one of the best ways to keep you open-minded and continuously add to your source of knowledge, especially when you choose to read books you wouldn’t normally read.
- Know your worth: This is something that I need to remind myself of daily since it is one of the main lessons I keep learning in my 20’s. Have high expectations and don’t lower your standards for anyone or anything. Know your boundaries and your rights in all situations. Your 20’s can be a vulnerable stage in your life, therefore protect your heart.
- Have fun: Do activities that make you feel joy. I think this is something that I have neglected lately since I have been so focused on obtaining my degree and setting up solid foundations for my future. You might find that your 20’s can be a time filled with many sacrifices, but it is so important to learn how and when to have fun.
- Change your mind: I feel like the perfect time for someone to change their mind is their 20’s. This may mean changing your modules, majors, degree choice and/or career choice. I have seen so many people struggle with accepting the fact that they need to change their decisions due to previous choices not working out the way they intended. Remember that this is not a bad thing, you’re only getting closer to your destiny.
- Never stop learning: I believe that some of your best learning opportunities present themselves in your 20’s. Learn as much as you can, while you can, in any setting that you can. For me, university has been the best place for me to learn abundantly due to the diversity the university environment and the people within it provide.
- Start a journal: This is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. Starting a journal has allowed me to look back and rejoice in how much I have developed as a person while also dreaming about my future and constantly creating new goals. I recommend starting a journal because it helps you to appreciate your journey and is an effective way to prioritise self-care.
- Conquer stress: Learn how to manage your stress levels. I learned this the hard way through many trips to the doctor. The sooner you learn to conquer this in your life, the better. It is so important for your physical and mental health.
- Be confident: You are you and that is enough. You will meet many people in life and you will experience many things, but don’t let any of it negatively affect your self-esteem. It’s just not worth it. My 20’s have definitely showed me the beauty that can flow from true confidence. I feel like being confident also includes taking risks and believing in yourself.
- Thrive: Use your 20’s to discover environments that help you to feel good about yourself. For example, I found this specifically through my group of friends and by realising that I coped better by living alone instead of living with other students. I feel like if a group of people and/or environment isn’t helping you to feel supported and at peace, find better alternatives.
- Come to terms with your past: When you leave school and/or home, you’re stepping into a whole new chapter of your life. Your 20’s will bring so much ‘newness’ into your world. To fully appreciate what the new chapter may bring, find a way to come to terms with anything that may be holding you back from your past.
- Learn simple skills: The best skills I have learned so far, that school didn’t seem to teach me, is to cook myself healthy meals, develop a healthy eating and exercise plan, budget and learn how to efficiently look after my own home. I feel like these are a few tasks that are the epitome of ‘adulting’. I know there are so many skills I still need to learn, but these were a few skills being a student mostly taught me.
- Volunteer: Give some time up for community service. This is one of the best things I could have ever done for myself. My experiences were truly humbling and have opened me eyes to a world that I have been previously sheltered from in my upbringing. Volunteering not only adds to who you are as a person, but it also adds to your CV.
- Keep growing: Your 20’s is about allowing yourself to be different. I have learned to not limit myself since I am still learning that trying new things can be pleasantly surprising. We are all forever changing so don’t allow anything or anyone to hold you back.
- Remember that God is always there: This is my last lesson because I used to doubt this quite a lot, especially during the uncertainty my 20’s have brought me. God keeps teaching me every day that He never leaves me nor forsakes me (Deuteronomy 31:6). It is worth remembering that God’s plans for you will not harm you, He has plans that will prosper you and they will give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). The one thing that brings me true comfort is that in a world that teaches you to be independent, especially when you’re young, God reminds us that we can depend on Him for all eternity. I think that is the most important lesson you can learn in your 20’s and for the rest of your life.
I feel as if my life has been a testimony to each one of these lessons, especially during my time as a student. I know that I have many more lessons to learn and a lot more to experience. I hope this post brings you insight into what your 20’s may have in store for you as well as serves as a reminder or a source of comfort and support.
What are some of the lessons your 20’s have taught you?
I hope you have a joyful month ahead xx