Our twenties are a pivotal time, often we are living on our own for the first time, learning life skills, and figuring out how to adult. Your twenties are the perfect time to start building a life you adore. Here are 20 things you should learn and do to be happier, healthier, and more independent.
How to make your own doctor’s appointments
- You should be able to do the research, call the office, explain your insurance, and confirm your medical appointments. We believe in you.
How to cook a nice dinner
How to file your taxes
- With programs like Turbo Tax and H & R Block online, there really isn’t an excuse to pass off your taxes to your mama (or blindly pay a stranger). Try it for yourself first! We promise nothing will make you feel quite as grown as submitting your taxes yourself- and then promptly rewarding yourself with those enchiladas….
If your relationship is healthy
- By the time you are in your 20s, we truly hope you can recognize a bad apple– no matter how he makes you feel or what history you have together. Your partner should encourage you, be supportive even if you disagree, and should be willing to sacrifice to make your relationship work. If that’s not happening, you are truly better off enduring a rough breakup than enduring a drama-loaded, frustrating relationship for the next year, 5 years, or lifetime.
You should have a hobby you love
- Is it baking? Hiking? Painting? Reading? Have you always wanted to have a garden like your gran’s but never taken the time to learn and do it? Did you adore photography in high school but have since let it fall to the wayside? Do you obsessively watch Instragram make-up videos and have a cut-crease that would rival Huda Kattan? Take the time, pick it back up, or start a small side-hustle. Keep learning and growing and cultivating yourself.
Get a mentor
- You are 100% crazy if you don’t have a mentor. It’s a completely free way to change your life and be a better human. Fix that, stat. Get out there and find women in your community/family/workplace/church that you admire and just listen.
How to handle conflict
- No one communicates these days. If we are hurt by a friend, we tell another friend (or my personal favorite: brooding for days 😬 🙋). If our significant other makes us mad, we passively aggressively hint until the comments aren’t so passive anymore. If our family just won’t listen to our point of view, we avoid and ignore. Direct communication can usually solve every. single. one. of these conflicts if done in the right tone and from a place of humility. Just go to your coworker and tell him kindly you felt disrespected by his comment at that last meeting. Invite your friend to brunch and humbly explain why you felt so left out. Simply bringing our issues out of our heads and into the air in a way that is loving, humble, and gracious is like magic- they almost immediately lose their edge. Communicating about your frustrations, hurt feelings, or shortcomings doesn’t make you a weak girl, it makes you a strong woman.
A good resume
- In your 20s you should have a resume…and a darn good one- even if you don’t have 50 years of experience. Fill it with your volunteer experience, any self-taught skills, internships, even your employee of the month at Movie Palace award. And make it pretty. There are too many amazing, dirt-cheap templates not to.
Don’t overshare on social media
- Don’t posts:
- Drama- any negative statuses about another human (ex, friend, family) no matter how valid.
- Your exposed body. While all bodies are beautiful, it is simply a fact that immodesty online can repel employers, sexualize your body in ways you didn’t intend, and garner unwanted comments.
- Classified info like your location, address, or finances.
- Argumentative comments- if you don’t know enough about the subject to give a 2 hour lesson to a classroom of 6th graders, just don’t.
- Do posts:
- Photos of you, friends, family, and the beautiful world we live in.
- Helpful articles and quotes.
- Vulnerable posts. Posts of the not so happy times are okay too- sickness, messy houses, hard days- just recognize that if you post about it, you should be willing to accept the offers of help or advice when they come.
- Don’t posts:
- You don’t have to have it all figured out. But by your 20s, you should have a general idea of what you want in the next 5-10 years. What are your dreams? If you want to be a graphic designer, be willing to leave the waitressing job that comfortably provides for you and take the lower paying design firm internship and work your fanny off. Lower-paying jobs in the right field are better than higher paying jobs in an area you don’t see yourself long run. You’re dreams are worth pursuing. Plus, this vision for the future helps you say yes to the right things and no to the wrong things.
- My first budget was comical. I was making the teensiest amount of money so felt like a budget was pointless- why budget what isn’t there?! But a budget helped me see where my money goes and how cutting down on gas or electric could help me save $50 a month. Which adds up! P.S. carpool and turn off your lamps✌
How to recognize if you are being rude
- One-upping, interrupting, passive aggression, talking over someone- EVERYONE is guilty of at least one. Interrupting or talking over someone indicates you think what you have to say is more valuable than what someone else is saying. Yuck, right? And passive aggressive comments (or strongly-worded post it notes) to roommates or co-workers is just childish. Learning to communicate with respect is one of the first marks of maturity (see handling conflict above).
Be an informed voter
- 1. VOTE. Always. No excuses, ever.
- 2. Understand the issues for yourself. Your political beliefs should not be a hodge podge of your friends’/coworkers’/family’s beliefs, a couple t-shirt slogans, and a Facebook article or two thrown in for good measure. Read, research, reflect and have conversations with people who believe differently than you and also people you trust. Education is one of the most powerful things in the world- and it’s free.
A good girlfriend
- No matter how great your significant other is, we all need a good girlfriend. The way they listen, provide you with celebrity scoop, and actually enjoy helping you pick out a new outfit for two hours is just pure gold.
How to make small talk
- Soap box time: making conversation with strangers or new acquaintances isn’t fake, it’s polite. You may not care to know about your cousin’s wedding date’s new job, but you should ask and try to care. Be a woman who is interested in others, genuinely listens, and stops scrolling Instagram long enough to ask others how they are doing. Plus nearly every single relationship started somewhere with some kind of small talk.
Have a password document
- Take it from the girl who had to explain to the genius bar employee why her password was Chunks (very obese childhood pet) and her security question answer was Aaron Carter (first concert…I WAS 12 OKAY?). Making a quick spreadsheet of your logins and passwords will save you tons of time resetting your passwords and the embarrassment of anyone else knowing your login is still email@example.com. Which I pray it is not.
Value your health
- Finally quit smoking, choose not to eat half a log of raw cookie dough, or learn how amazing you are at yoga. Actually wash your face instead of using makeup wipes, get out and sweat, and for goodness sake, wear sunscreen. Take care of you- we need you around.
The beauty of moderation
- Moderation is super underrated in our world of excess. Think about it- really how rested do you actually feel after a 5 hour Netflix binge? If you’re like me you feel pretty dazed and lazy, not energized. Same goes for sleep (or lack of), rest, work, drinking, screen time- excess is never best. Just because you can stay up until 2 am doesn’t mean you should. Exercising moderation means exercising self-control. And learning self-control and discipline is really the first step to #adulting.
- You’re at the bottom of the totem pole and that’s okay. Set up chairs, answer phones, help move Aunt Cindy’s furniture, DO THE GRUNT WORK. Don’t expect anything, earn everything.
Invest in other people
- When we are kids, teenagers, and even young adults, there are usually people surrounding us constantly helping us- teachers, coaches, parents, etc. Instead of always being the recipient, be the help. Visit your grandma without acting like it’s a chore. Give your friend without a car a ride. Find something you are passionate about and volunteer. Your time is the most valuable thing you have, invest some of it in others.
No matter what you thought as a seven year old, NO adult has it all figured out. We are all trying to hustle, eat more green things, and be compassionate humans. It’s not about being perfect, but about continuing to try. Chase your goals, go to bed early, and keep at that cookie recipe (no matter how many times they turn out like rubber). Your life is 100% yours and your 20s are some of the most formative years. Make them count.
BRB while we go make password documents…