Top 10 things that every 20-something should invest their time in:
10. Spend time with friends: 20-somethings are a busy breed. We work crazy hours (often at multiple gigs), and we relish any and every opportunity to flop onto the couch, binge watch our favorite Netflix originals, and take a nice long nap. Caught up in the newfound stresses of “real” life, it’s easy to lose touch with people. Honestly, keeping up with friends is a job in and of itself. It takes serious time, effort and concentration to feel like you’re an influential part of somebody else’s life. But one week of disconnect becomes one month; time goes by, things change. Soon, not talking is the norm. And just talking to (or texting) a friend is not sustainable. I’m suggesting you actually spend time with them. In person! Friends can be an incredibly important source of happiness and support in your life. Work to keep them around.
9. Spend time (alone) with yourself: Also, make sure you carve out time each week to spend on your own. Your 20s
are the time for figuring out who YOU are – without the influence of friends, colleagues or significant others. What do you actually enjoy? Is clubbing really your ‘thing’ or do you only go along because your friends are doing it? Are you a wine and cheese kind of girl or a movie and hot chocolate lover? Are you both? We’ve spent so much of our lives thus far getting to know other people – now let’s take a step back and get to know (and love!) ourselves. Enjoying your own company is one of life’s greatest treats – you’ll never feel lonely.
8. Develop a skillset: Graduating from college and diving headfirst into the “real world” can be absolutely terrifying – especially for those who don’t know what they want to do career-wise. I can’t tell you what to be or which path to go down, but I will make a suggestion: attempt to acquire skills that will open doors for you. Do research and try to figure out what will be the most useful – skills that might help you to secure not only your next job, but the job after that one. Find something that will offer you the most independence and flexibility in terms of company, location, and ultimate career trajectory.
7. Try new things: While attaining a particular skillset and heading down your chosen career path, keep in mind that things might change. And that’s OK. Your 20s are for figuring out what you want to do and who you want to be. If you love art, search for a creative position that lets you tap into that passion. If you decide you want to try a more business-centric role, move around and test the waters. And if you’re happy with your day job, try new things outside of work, as well. Make, create, try and do! Some believe your résumé should be tailored to one specific field, so they reject the whole “try new things” mindset. But if I’ve learned one thing at work thus far, it’s that the most successful and interesting people have some bizarre career history in a wide variety of fields.
6. Enjoy yourself: While continuing to respect your (parents’) wallets and acknowledging your impending need save up for the future, recognize that your parents won’t be supporting you forever – in fact, you may already be financially independent. But you’re still young and, chances are, you don’t yet have children or a mortgage. So if you’re deciding whether or not to go to that once in a lifetime concert – do it! Now’s your chance!
5. Network: You’ve been hearing this word since college and perhaps you’ve been doing it on a general level. Maybe networking helped you land your first job. Yet for some reason, you don’t like to do it. I know…it’s difficult. Remembering names, companies, where and how you met somebody – it can be exhausting. It’s certainly easier to go to an event and sit by yourself in the corner eating sliders than it is to shake everybody’s hand, plaster a smile onto your face and hand out business cards. But networking is invaluable because ultimately, it’s not about who you know, but about who knows you.
4. Have relationships: DATE! Meet people! Let somebody take you out for dinner. Whether that’s a new person every single weekend or your high school sweetheart, relationships help to fulfill the most important human need of all – love. We all need to love and to be loved. Even if you know it won’t work out in the long run, relationships in your 20s help you develop as a person and can actually teach you a lot about yourself.
3. Explore your area: Branching out is tough. We all get caught up in that vicious cycle – eating at the same restaurants, dancing at the same clubs, shopping in the same stores. Getting out of your neighborhood and exploring a new area can be time-consuming and exhausting. But if you set the right plan in motion, it can be fun, easy, and so worth it. Remember, you’re living in a city, town or village, not just a neighborhood. Make it simple by setting aside one Saturday a month to explore.
2. Take care of yourself: You have a full-time job, you’re swamped all the time and, let’s face it, keeping healthy is hard work. How can you make time to exercise when you get back from the office at 9pm? How are you supposed to eat a healthy and balance lunch during your 15-minute lunch break? It’s easy to just say, “Forget it!” and avoid all the hassle. But remember, your health is your most important asset, and your 20s are the time to establish those wellness and fitness habits for the rest of your life. If you can’t work out during the week, make sure to hit the gym on both days of the weekend. Bring healthy snacks from home to hold you over during a long day at work. Avoid public transportation and walk places! Do whatever it is you have to do to make sure you’re putting your health first.
1. Appreciate your family: Being on your own for the first time can be exhilarating. You’re finally a “real” person, facing the world alone. 20-somethings have so much to think about that we often forget to call our parents, text our siblings and keep in touch with relatives back home. And we can’t forget about our pets – they miss us, too! Sure, you’re on your own, but remember that you would never have gotten this far without the love and support of your family. Give them the attention they deserve and let them join you on your journey to independence!