20 Things to Do in Your 20s

Your 20s are an exciting yet confusing time in your life. It’s that awkward stage between being a young, careless teenager and being a fully-functioning adult in the real world. It can be disorienting to transition into this new era of your life, so here are 20 things you can do to get the most out of this decade.

  1. Forget teenage drama – Forgive the people who wronged you in your high school and early college years. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to confront each person and explicitly grant them your forgiveness, nor does this mean you have to be friendly with them either. This just means that you shouldn’t hold grudges and let the actions others committed against you years ago affect you in the present. As the quote goes, “holding onto anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
  2. Forgive yourself – Along with forgiving others, it is important to forgive yourself. We all make mistakes, especially while growing up. It’s normal to think back on all the bad decisions we’ve made and all the actions we’re not proud of, but don’t let the mistakes you’ve made in the past keep you from living your life and ultimately making new mistakes. After all, how else are you going to learn and grow as a person if you don’t allow yourself to make mistakes along the way?
  3. Cut people out of your life who bring you down – It sounds harsh, but as we get older, it’s necessary to terminate toxic relationships and decide who really matters in our lives. Don’t keep people in your life who don’t care about you in the way you care about them, and don’t tolerate people who treat you less than you deserve.
  4. Find a close-knit group of friends – Everyone needs a group of people they can to for support, advice, and just to have a good time.
  5. Cherish your relationships – It’s that stage in life where you’re busy with college, extracurriculars, and work and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find some free time, but don’t let your personal relationships falter as a result. Though it can be hard, it’s essential to make plans to spend quality time with your friends, family, and/or significant other every once in a while.
  6. Set goals for the next chapter of your life – Your 20s are an important time in your life in which the decisions who make can pave the way for your future. Set goals for yourself in terms of your career, but also think about what you want to do with your life more generally, and use this decade to work towards those goals.
  7. Travel – Traveling is understandably not in everyone’s budget, especially while in college. But if you have the means, traveling is an incredibly rewarding experience. Going abroad helps to develop an understanding of different lifestyles and cultivate an open mind about other cultures, which you may not have experienced in such depth if you haven’t gone far from your hometown.
  8. Go on a road trip with your significant other or a group of friends – There’s something liberating about driving down the highway with the windows down, blasting your favorite songs and singing along with people who matter to you. It doesn’t really matter where the destination is; it’s more about the journey and the experience along the way.
  9. Take risks and overcome your fears – Everyone has fears, and that’s okay. But if you ever feel like you’re up to the challenge, get out of your comfort zone and face your fear head-on. It’s an incredible sense of accomplishment to do something that for years you thought you were not capable of, and it would not have been possible if you had not taken that risk.
  10. Try something new every month – Along the lines of the previous point, make new experiences a routine. It can be as small as trying a new food, or as big as sky-diving. Whatever it may be, it’s exciting to diverge from your everyday routine and try something new every once in a while.
  11. Struggle – Your 20s are a transitional time in your life that involves becoming accustomed to new and sometimes daunting experiences. It’s easy to feel as if you’re the only person who doesn’t know what they’re doing while the people around you seem to have their lives put together. However, it’s normal, even necessary, to struggle to get to where you want to be in life.
  12. Learn – Be open to learning something new not just in the lecture hall, but in everyday life. Be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge that is presented to you, but also learn to think for yourself and form your own opinions.
  13. Listen to criticism – It was easy to block out the words of people who criticized you for whatever reason when you were younger. As you get older, however, you are faced with more critics such as professors, employers, and peers and it’s not as easy to escape. Instead of avoiding criticism, welcome the critiques and consider them while making changes to improve your assignments, your work, and yourself as a person.
  14. Become more invested in politics – It can be as simple as registering to vote and making a choice on election day, or it can be as complex as joining a political organization and lobbying your representatives on issues that matter to you. Whatever degree you choose to participate in politics, remember that we are responsible for shaping our future and an instrumental method of making a change is through politics.
  15. Declutter – Start by organizing your room and deciding what is truly necessary for you to keep. Donate clothes you’ve grown out of, and give away the things you haven’t used in years. It’s amazing how relieving it can be to get rid of old stuff and start with a clean slate.
  16. Reevaluate your priorities – As you get older, things that were once important to you as a teenager may need to be put on the back burner to make way for other priorities.
  17. Take responsibility of your health (both physically and mentally) – Let’s face it: as we get older, our metabolism takes a hit and we can no longer eat a bunch of junk food without feeling sluggish and gross. It’s important to eat healthy and exercise, but don’t focus solely on your physical health and neglect your mental health. The stress of school and work, along with other life events, can really take a toll on our mental wellness. Put aside some time in your schedule to destress, whether by doing yoga, meditating, or just taking some time to relax.
  18. Immerse yourself in a hobby – Music. Art. Writing. Sports. Whatever it may be, find a hobby you enjoy and take some time from your daily life to partake in it. It’s important to have something that provides a distraction or escape from everyday stressors.
  19. Find a cause you’re passionate about – Volunteer in your community, donate to an organization that funds research, or even do work for a cause on your own.
  20. Be yourself unapologetically – Teenage years were spent trying to fit in with other people, but don’t be afraid to stand out and be unique. It’s okay to look to other people who inspire you, but never try to be anyone but yourself.
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