What I Wish I Knew Entering My 20s
Entering your 20s is a scary time, it definitely was for me! You're out of High School and possibly finishing or fresh out of college, too. Time to get started on adult life, but now what?
I remembering entering my 20s, and feeling a sense of anxiousness yet determination. I was ready to start my adult life, achieve those many goals I had set for myself, and not wanting to let down my family. And while I was working (not a job I'd turn into my career) and paying a bill or two, I didn't realize all that came with "adulting".
So I've decided to put together a mini list of things I wish I knew more about, or was informed better on, for entering my 20s and feeling a little more calm. I hope this helps to prepare any of you that might feel lost now or entering a new stage in your life!
BEING FINANCIALLY AWARE
Reality truly didn't hit me until I was 21 years old and moving out on my own. At that point, I had to figure out bill payments, rent payments, insurance and savings. And this took some time. Something to focus on when it comes to finances is finding a way to save that works for you and buying into products or services that are just as good but have a lower monthly payment (don't go for those brand names or most used just because everyone else uses it). When it comes to saving, for some, opening a savings account is the easiest way. For others, putting money in an envelope and sticking it under your bed works better. Every paycheck I received, I allocated a certain portion to put into savings, and over time, as I received a better paying job, I increased that portion. I also made sure to set up auto pay on any bills that needed to be paid immediately so as not to forget about it! I started setting reminders in my phone calendar about when something was coming due. Once everything was paid, I was then able to use the remainder of my paycheck for anything extra or miscellaneous.
CHOOSING A CAREER
This might be an easy one for some, especially if you enjoy a certain field of work. And usually this decision is made during your educational years of schooling. There are tons of fields of work that are high paying and always in demand for new staff. So do your research about what field you want to go into and the different organizations, agencies or companies you're interested in, too. Something to also keep in mind is focusing on what you truly want to do. The field you choose as a career is something you want to enjoy working in for years since you're dedicating your time and efforts. Do what you love, that's always been my motto! Every job has its bad moments and won't be completely enjoyable every day, but decide what are some things you can overlook and what some deal breakers might be.
PRIORITIZING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH/SELF CARE
While there are definitely going to be a lot of changes that come with entering your adulthood, be mindful of when you need a break and to take a step back to reassess what's going on. Entering my 20s, I always had a sense of anxiety and stress because I felt like I needed to have completed something by now, or should be in a better situation. Everything takes time, so over-working yourself doesn't help. Make yourself a priority and take time to focus on self care and your well-being. You can't accomplish anything if your mind and body are foggy. With a clear head, you can get so much more done! And taking time for yourself means different things to many people. So whether that means involving yourself with a physical activity, artistic hobby, or journaling, you have to find a way to unwind and step away from all these responsibilities.
CHOOSING A SOCIAL FRIEND GROUP
This is something that I found somewhat difficult to do. Throughout high school and college, I was pretty sociable and had tons of friends. For awhile it was quantity over quality, and I quickly realized that isn't the way to go. You want to surround yourself with like-minded people. Those that may have similar goals, aspirations and mindsets because it helps to keep one another on track and motivated. You also want to ensure you're surrounding yourself with people that won't bring you down or make you feel trapped for doing something different than you. Your friends from high school don't have to be the same friends in your adulthood unless they truly are uplifting and there for you through all of life's obstacles and journeys.
BALANCING WORK AND SOCIAL LIFE
Just because you have a lot on your plate doesn't mean you shouldn't take some time to enjoy socializing, too! Having a good balance of work and play is important for keeping you grounded and focused. And especially feeling a sense of more freedom being an adult finally, at least for me and the culture I come from, it was enjoyable to go out and do new things without boundaries and curfews! I was able to focus on work and adult responsibilities, and also save time to engage with friends or my other half. So enjoy this new chapter of your life being a new adult! Just be safe doing so. I realized if I was only working and worrying over my chore list, life was passing me by. This is a great time to travel, explore new areas, meet new people, and really get in tune with what you love or wanted to try but never could.
I hope this gives a little light and guidance to all my pre-adults! And even those who had a trying chapter of their 20s! As I'm entering into my 30s in two years, a lot of these tips are things I'm still working on and focusing to do better with.
Life is all a journey and every chapter of your life should be enjoyed and leveled up! Drop me a comment and let me know if these were also concerns you might have had! Or if there's anything else that might have helped you transition into adulthood.