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25 Things You Must Know To Get Through Your 20s

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25 Things You Must Know To Get Through Your 20s

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

More by this author

Kyle Robbins

Kyle is the founder of Branding Beard. He writes about communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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