I remember being a kid and thinking I would have everything figured out when I was in my twenty's. Afterall, that's when your'e an adult, no? Out of college, with a job and all. I thought about chasing sharks on a coral reef, coming home to my husband and our 3 kids and two dogs. We would have a big house that had a white fence around it and a wrap-around porch. I laugh at that now.
Here I am in my mid-20's and feeling like while I have figured A LOT out, I still in no way, shape, or form have everything figured out. I have the husband, but we have no kids or dogs. I am a secretary who orders printer toner and cleans up after other adults in a large kitchen. We don't own a house, although the one we rent does have a fence but no porch. Yet, I'm proud of all I have despite of it not being what small Meli thought it would be. And I am happy with what I have, which I think is one of the hardest and biggest things to learn in life, at whatever age that comes.
What nobody told me - or the rest of us youngin's- is that your 20's are the most transitional season in your life. There is so much uncertainty with every step you take-- you make friends, you lose friends, you feel your way around the job market, you live on your own or with roomies you either love or hate, you finish school or you continue it well into your 30's, and you go through many relationships or get married and have kids... all while still feeling like one. It is a time where you are ever-evolving and things will look drastically different from the beginning of your 20's to the end.
Like I said above, I don't know everything yet but here are a few things I do know and think everyone should have figured out by the end of their 20's.
How Much You Are Worth
I wish there was a pill that we could all take to understand our worth. Society judges us heavily and there’s pressure to be a perfect blend of all these desirable traits and it’s not fair. It took a few toxic relationships to see and believe that I’m worthy of love, respect, and all the good things in life. Just because we all have different lives and backgrounds doesn’t mean one is worth more than another person's.
Your twenty's are when one really starts to get their hands into their careers, meaning you will get a lot of "no," "not right now," and "not interested." This is also when you will start seeing people around you possibly doing what you want to do or similarly, making you feel inadequate if your life looks different or not as "successful." The thing is, we tie our worth into what we do (i.e. jobs, achievements, etc.) and that’s not where your worth comes from. Your worth has nothing to do with what career you have or how much you have – it’s who you are inside.
Everyone's Life Will Look Different
Your world will start to look very different in your 20's. My friends and I talk about it all the time-- how easy it was to be with your friends in your teens everyone goes to same school, in a neighborhood that is familiar to you, where you are (for the most part) taken care of. Not everyone has this experience, but you get what I mean. But suddenly you're off to college and while some of you may have stayed nearby, many have gone elsewhere. In your 20's some people move back home, some go off elsewhere, some get pregnant, some get married, some have kids, some get divorced, some stay single, you get what I mean.
Coming to the realization that everyone’s world is WAS different was huge for me, especially when questioning myself and my path while seeing others’ situations or the life stage they were at – especially since until post grad life, everyone is at a similar stage. Similar to recognizing your worth, accepting that everyone has a different journey is so important.
How To Spend Your Time
You're the adult now- meaning YOU get to decide how to spend your time. No more extra curriculars you did just to pad your college resume, you can choose what your hobbies are without having to worry about what people think. It’s liberating! I’ve really enjoyed finding out what I actually enjoy doing – find what YOU like to do and stick with it.
What Clothes Make You Feel Like YOU
My style until college was abysmal: it consisted of oversized jeans, running shirts (or marching band shirts) and sneakers. It wouldn't have been bad if anything FIT me properly. Being able to buy my own clothes gave me a better sense of my style and body type. I’ve learned that cuffing my jeans makes my legs longer (instead of just tearing through them by walking tons) and that I really like heels. I've found that I’m most comfortable in jeans, a cute shirt, wedges, hair done or a really cute dress. It's what I feel most comfortable and confident in. I think finding out what style suits you and your body type best helps with overall confidence, too.
The People That Matter The Most To YOU
I feel like if you didn't know who was important to you in your teens, you figure it out real quick during your 20's. I 100% found our who is important in my life and make an effort to talk to them as much as possible- they keep me level headed and happy. It was weird to go from a large friend group in high school to a smaller group who GETS ME. I think to think of this as my HOME TEAM – the people that are rooting for me, understand who I am, and that I just generally vibe best with. Who is your home team? Keep them close!
What are the biggest lessons you have learned from your 20's?
Hi! I'm Melissa, an Australian-based Latina science educator, podcaster, and freelance writer. I spend a lot more time on Instagram and Twitter, but blogging is my first love. Thanks for stopping by — I hope you stay a while.
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