Yesterday was my 28th birthday. Twenties is an interesting decade to say the least. The magnitude of changes one goes through in their twenties is unlike any other decade – it’s a time of transition. I remember driving to my first job out of college, jamming out to tracks that took me back to spring break 2010. I pulled into my parking spot and sat in my car for 10 minutes and cried. I was officially an adult, and it couldn’t get any more real. Between that moment and now, I’ve lived in 3 different apartments, had 2 different jobs (and a career change), traveled to many amazing places, and have made (and lost) a few friends along the way.
It’s been a whirlwind, but I realize now that it was all meant to happen the way it did. All of the transitions I went through taught me something that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life. Here are 10 things I’ve learned in my twenties so far:
- Now is the time to take risks: Let’s face it, the older we get the more responsibilities we have and the more we have at stake. NOW is the time to take risks – change careers even if it means a pay cut (I did this at 24 and it was the BEST decision I ever made), take that pricey trip to Europe, accept the job in a new city…just do it. Even if it’s not what you expected, you’ll learn something from it.
- Spend more time with parents & grandparents: One thing that hit me recently is that (duh) as I get older so do my parents and grandparents. My grandfather passed away a few months ago, and I regretted not spending more time with him the last couple of years. Make time for them – even something as easy as a phone call will make the world of a difference.
- Start saving now: Even if you don’t make a lot of money (which most of us don’t in our 20s), a little saved goes a long way 30 years from now. Take advantage of 401K match, even if it’s just $50 a month, it’s something! Set up automatic transfers the second you get your paycheck – it’s like you never had the money to begin with.
- Stay out of the sun: Pack on the sunscreen, wear hats, spray tan – you’ll appreciate it years from now. I wish I had taken better care of my skin in my early twenties, but it’s better late than never.
- Invest in your relationships: Good friends are hard to come by, and as you get older it’s harder to make time for friends. Make an effort to keep in touch with those you care about – nothing is worse than losing a good friend because you couldn’t take 1 hour every couple weeks to catch up (my tips on maintaining lasting friendships).
- Travel travel travel: One thing I regret is waiting until I was 25 to go to Europe. Travel NOW – again, the older you get the harder it is to commit to international travel, whether it be because you have kids, can’t take time off, have a mortgage you need to pay for…you know, adult stuff. Your twenties is the best time to travel – sure you may not be rollin’ in cash, but start saving up and make it happen. The memories & experiences will last a lifetime.
- Quality over quantity: Invest in quality, timeless pieces for your wardrobe. You’ll end up with items you’ll wear for years vs. blowing money on disposable items every season. I definitely pepper in a few lower price point items if they’re trendy, but it’s worth it to splurge on the basics.
- Invest in hair removal: Laser hair removal and electrolysis changed my life. Get rid of that unwanted hair and never have to deal with it again – it’s quite liberating.
- Find a hobby that makes you happy: Take classes, explore different things, figure out what relieves stress and brings out your creativity. I took photography classes a few years ago and I enjoyed it so much it eventually lead me to start this blog.
- Wear clothing that works for your body: Recognize that not everything will be flattering on your body type (and if this doesn’t apply to you, we all hate you), and you’re not doing yourself any favors by forcing something that just doesn’t work. I have a full bust, and I’ve accepted that any backless or deep plunge tops will just not work for me. As an alternative, I typically go for cropped or off-shoulder tops as they’re more flattering for my body type. Experiment and figure out what works for you.