Your 20s are a defining era, filled with exciting transitions and changes. But the decade is also a minefield that can sometimes seem impossible to navigate.
How can you make the most of that time? We took a look at the recent Quora thread “What am I supposed to do in my early 20s?” and highlighted some of the best answers.
Here are seven ways to use your 20s to set yourself up for success:
1. Don’t hang out with the same group of people all the time.
Mix it up, suggests Quora user Amrisha Vohra. “Make friends with people who are of different age, culture, speak a different language, and are much different than you are.”
Maintaining relationships is important, but stepping outside of your comfort zone to build new ones is equally as important.
2. Don’t forget to call home once in a while.
Embrace independence, but don’t forget about your parents in the flurry of transitioning to the real world, suggests Vohra. “Love your parents! Spend quality time with your family,” she writes.
3. Spend money on trips — not shoes.
Resist purchasing “luxuries,” says Vohra. Instead, buy experiences that will create memories.
Planning a trip does not mean breaking the bank, says user Marty Pollio. “Start by going to places that are easy to afford, otherwise you’ll too often be in a holding pattern of saving money for big trips,” he writes. “If you’re in school, acquire a skill that will allow you to work when you travel — whether it’s working from a computer, cutting hair, or working in restaurants. That way, you’ll have the freedom to stay for a while in places you like.”
4. Do nice things for other people.
Your 20s are full of “you time” — it’s a decade for you to set and achieve personal and professional goals, jumpstart your career, and discover what truly drives you in life — but don’t overlook others.
Find ways, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, to help out those around you, says Oskar Nowik. “Help a homeless person to get back to normal life. Donate to local community in need. Change the life of a random person.”
5. Don’t do what you’re “supposed” to do.
Rather, “do what feels good to you,” writes Alex Clifford, and trust yourself and your decisions. Shrenik Kumar echoes this sentiment: “You are supposed to live life on your own terms and on your own parameters, and not on that of others.”
6. Don’t worry about your 30s and 40s.
Planning ahead is a responsible thing to do, but do not consume yourself with the future to the point where you forget to live in the present, says user Dhruvil Pandya.
7. Remember that you may be done with school, but you’re never done learning.
Continue to educate yourself, through reading, writing, and engaging in conversations. Pollio recommends starting by watching Meg Jay’s Ted Talk, “Why 30 is not the new 20.”
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