Your 20s. For some, it’s the best time of your life (or at least that’s what you’ll remember when you look back in your 40s). For others, it can be a decade of heartache and hard times. No matter the experience, your 20s are always a time of adventure and change. Here are 25 things you must know to get through your 20s.

1. Friends should make you better.

Friends are supposed to make you feel good about yourself. If the people you’re hanging out with don’t, they aren’t your friends. Find people who make you a better person and spend time with them.

2. Now is the time to travel.

Money may be tight, but your 20s are the perfect time to explore the world. Don’t wait. You never know where life will take you, so do the thing you want as soon as you can.

3. You have time to plan. Enjoy now.

You don’t have to plan every aspect of your life. Live in the moment and enjoy the ride.

4. You are who you are, not what you want.

Never let anything or anyone confuse you for what you want. Don’t let your job, career, or ambition define who you become.

5. Relationships should make you a better person.

Most people will find love and experience heartbreak. Don’t settle for someone that doesn’t make you a better person.

6. Reading is actually fun.

When there’s not a book report attached, reading is actually fun. Don’t forget to re-read those classics; age can bring quite a bit of perspective.

7. If work sucks, you’re doing it wrong.

You don’t have to hate your job. Plenty of people love what they do. Don’t settle for a job you hate.

8. Your opinion of yourself is the only one that counts.

You will change and that will make people mad. Don’t worry about what others think of you.

9. Keeping a journal isn’t just for teens.

Keeping a journal of your adventures can help you grow as a person, and help you ensure you don’t make the same mistakes in the future.

10. You should be your number one priority.

Your 20s are a time for discovery. Let go of anything or anyone that has no purpose or positive placement in your life.

11. People change. You will too.

You will find that you may not have that same connection to your childhood friends and that you’ve outgrown many of your old habits. Embrace the change and continue to evolve.

12. Reconnect.

While you may outgrow some friends, don’t hesitate to reconnect with old friends who you miss and reconnect with family that you’ve grown apart. You may find that the petty issues that fractured a relationship heal with time.

13. You won’t party forever.

Have fun, but just know that your priorities will change. Don’t do anything stupid that hurts your future!

14. Your parents aren’t as uncool as they seem.

The teenage years can be brutal on the parent/child relationship. Take time to get to know your parents again. You may just find that they are a lot more fun than you remember.

15. Don’t fall too fast.

Whether it’s love, career, or even a hobby, the 20s are a very passionate time of your life. Don’t fall too fast and hurt your chances for happiness in the future.

16. Work hard & grow a network.

Work hard. Get to know your co-workers. Spend time with other people who do your job. One day you, or they, will be the boss. Make sure you laid strong groundwork and don’t burn bridges.

17. Friends aren’t always forever.

Know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.

18. You’re only young once.

Have fun.

19. Babies are hard work.

Make sure you’re ready.

20. Owning a house is expensive.

The costs don’t stop at a mortgage. Homeownership is a great option, just know what you’re getting into.

21. Retirement will be more fun if you’re prepared.

It’s easy to spend the money you should be saving, but learn about compounding interest and save as much as you can

22. Responsibility is like fine wine.

The older you get, the more expensive the cost.

23. Marriage is forever.

Even if it doesn’t work out. Don’t go into it lightly.

24. A pet solves lots of issues.

Sometimes you just want something to love. A dog is much less expensive than a baby.

25. Love.

Put love in everything you do. You’re only young once, so enjoy it!

Featured photo credit: Chassepierre 2013 – looking at a performance/Alexandre Dulaunoy via flickr.com

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