Well, I never thought this day would come. Back in high school, everyone looked forward to turning 21…then 25 came and still felt an important time had arrived…but 30 was a number I have always dreaded. It meant I was no longer going to be in my 20’s and the countdown to age 40 would begin. I even thought I wouldn’t live to be 30 because it seemed so old in my book.
I know it has only been a week and it has still yet to hit me, but as of right now, I’m still hanging on. Do I feel different? In a way because I feel that a decade has closed and another commences. This only means new adventures and a chance to start new.
I have never been the person to state my age, but being the fact that I just entered into a new group, I know there are others like me and what a way to empower & inspire those who are on the same boat…as well as advise those who are still in their 20’s. So, lets get started….
Obtaining an Education is Important
I can’t stress enough how important this is. It’s something that should never be taken for granted and if you have the opportunity, don’t waste it. As my mom always says, “always have a plan B”. People could care less if you decide to pursue acting or end up having your own business and become a millionaire, but if all else fails, there is nothing like having a degree to back you up. It will help you to stand on your own two feet.
While in school, do the actual work and study. You will have plenty of time to have fun and dance the night away, but actually invest in your education. You won’t be missing out, believe me. Creating the balance of fun and studying is key, but no matter what, sacrificing those sleepless nights will be worth it.
Don’t expect your dream job immediately
What people don’t tell you while you’re in school, is that you won’t easily find a job thereafter. The struggle is real and things have shifted. The experience and who you know ends up becoming a bigger factor to determine what you’ll do after school. I had many doors close in my face because I didn’t have the 3-7 years of experience. How could I? How can anyone really when you spent at least 4 years obtaining your degree?
Everyone has to start from somewhere, so be patient and do a lot of networking. Get to know people from the industries you’re interested in, find a way to get your foot in that door, and be patient.
Live & Work out of the Country
Your 20’s is actually the perfect time to explore and create new adventures. If you were like me who didn’t have time nor the money to do any internships (cuz we all have to earn money to eat and survive), then doing so after graduation is the perfect time. Take it as something permanent or temporarily until you find the job that suits you. In the meantime, you’ll be making new friends, getting experience, and creating memorable memories in a new place.
Expect a lot of Confusion & Struggles
Your 20’s is really all about finding your way in and trying to establish yourself. There will be a lot of moments of confusion. You will wonder which path to take, whether your decisions are the correct ones, and the fear of failure.
With all of this, there will be struggles. Obstacles will hit you like never before, you might end up struggling financially, as well as emotionally. Don’t fret because I believe that everything will not only make you stronger, but will lead you to where you’re supposed to be.
The Heartbreak is Real, but you’ll Survive
Ladies, and even Gents…this might be something that will never go away unless you’re already married (which I am not). There will be so many people that you will meet and the break up of each one will never be easy. You might even stumble across “the love of your life”, and because of uncontrollable circumstances, it never ends up happily. You will be sad, depressed, and even fear you won’t be able to live without that person. But believe me when I say, YOU WILL. You will meet new people, create more memories, and everything you felt will eventually fade. You won’t forget, but it won’t be as painful.
If you truly analyze all of your relationships, each of the ones that failed lead you to meet the person after. You began to feel butterflies in your stomach again and realized why the previous one didn’t work out. You might possibly even feel happy it didn’t work out. Each event and each person leads us to something, to somewhere, or to someone. No matter what happens, just think in your mind there is something amazing coming your way. Feel excited for it, and for the time being, focus on yourself. Happiness isn’t held by someone else, it’s created within each of us. It only hurts us the moment we let it be controlled by someone else.
Invest in something
I can say that in my late 20’s, I purchased my first home. During this time, you have the liberty to move as much as you want and live where ever you want. But I will say, there comes a moment that paying rent for something that isn’t really yours at the end of the day sucks. Rents will keep increasing, requirements of earning 3-4x the rent to qualify for a place will stick around, you’ll be competing with those on the waiting list (first come, first serve), and it will eventually hit you that you’re really paying for someone else mortgage.
The amount of time and money you will put down for a place that isn’t yours, is practically equivalent to owning your own home. Invest in your future. The idea that only couples and families can do this is is so yesterday. The competition will be tough and it won’t be easy, but it’s not impossible either. Save up and buy.
Establish good credit
You can’t get nothing without good credit these days. Whether it be a car or a house, make sure that once you establish your credit, you do whatever it takes to keep it in good standing. You think it won’t creep up, but the moment you want something, believe me that it will. Excellent credit is everything to me and no matter the age bracket, it will be the one thing I won’t risk messing it up.
Take care of your Skin and Health
Nothing wrong with starting early on those skin creams and battling those dark circles. The earlier you start, the better. If you have that fountain of youth going on, try to hold onto it as long as you can and begin the anti-aging battle on those wrinkles before they even begin. So far, I’m doing OK and don’t see them anywhere. (fingers crossed).
Exercise as much as you can. Not saying to be at the gym every day, but at least keep your body active in one form or another each week. It will help you to stay productive, have a strong & focused mind, as well as an increase in a positive mood. I’m not saying not to indulge in a pizza or eat at Chipotle, but all in moderation.
I do recommend though to stay away from sugar and anything artificial. Natural sugars are fine, like the ones found in fruit, but anything above that will make you gain weight. It will even affect your skin. Plus, coffee will do the same. You really don’t need it unless you want to use the coffee grain to treat the dark circles under your eyes, but your body becomes dependent on things you don’t need. Just think about it, you survived not having coffee when you were a kid and your body didn’t even know of it…so, what’s the difference now? It’s all about training it and the moment I cut out sugar, my body didn’t miss it or need it, and my tastes buds even began to reject the sweet treats.
Don’t forget to LIVE
We easily get so caught up with getting our degree, finding a job, balancing friends and family, and figuring where our life is headed. With all of this, you can’t forget to make time for yourself. To actually LIVE…for YOU. If you’re like myself who isn’t married or have kids, then enjoy this moment. You have the Time, so Live it. What I found is my 20’s consisted of putting everyone else first. Of always adapting to decisions that weren’t mine. It’s a decade to grow and to discover yourself. I’m told that 30’s is the decade to enjoy the fruits of your labor and for everything to be in your own terms. I can say I’m more established now than I was ever before. This journey will never be done, but looking forward to discovering more about myself and reminding myself that I create my own happiness.
Cheers to 3 decades! =D