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5 Ways To Navigate Entering Your 20’s

A comprehensive guide to figuring out the defining decade of your life

Navigate Your 20's

Your twenties are a new decade. They are the ending steps of your young adult life. Your fizzling teenage years have come to a halt. Sitting around a wooden bench in the school’s lunch area, or waiting an extra five minutes in the school bathroom with your girlfriends to catch each other up on gossip are now mostly a thing of the past. We find ourselves in our defining decade, already halfway through our university years, and without clear guidelines on how to do anything anymore. 

Your friends may be moving away, starting new jobs, or packing their lives up for different ventures altogether. There may even be the occasional friend or two who decide to get engaged in their early twenties (which, let’s be honest, sets us off on a whole other set of crises). It is a confusing and oftentimes chaotic period of our life. For the first time ever, we find ourselves unbound by the guidelines set for us by our respective schools and universities. There is no one telling us what to do, or where to go, or what to have for dinner. For the first time, we are completely and utterly on our own. And that can be scary. 

 Here are 5 ways to navigate entering your twenties so you don’t feel so lost: 

HOLD ON TO YOUR LONG-TERM FRIENDSHIPS

One of the most important things I learned is that having a good group of friends who align with your values and support your endeavors is crucial for certain phases of your life. Your twenties is one of those phases. 

While our teenage years revolve around our fun, bubbly friendships, we find that in our twenties we need more of a solid ground to stand on. Don’t get me wrong, having a big group of friends is grand, but investing in your inner circle will go a long way. Our best friends are who we spend most of our time with, they’re who we talk to when we’re upset and need a hug, they’re who we go to when we’ve just broken up with someone and need a cry. Our friends are the people we have around for our good times and our bad times. They ground us. And in such a defining decade as our twenties, having a safe space with people who understand you and whom you see eye to eye with is one of the best things you could do for yourself. 

They are such an important pillar of our lives. If you are lucky enough to have a long-term friendship that is healthy and loving, hold onto it for dear life. 

DON’T OVERWHELM YOURSELF WITH BIG, SCARY LONG-TERM GOALS

It can be easy to get carried away with planning for our futures, especially when we are just on the brink of them. You spend so much time thinking about university and what you’re going to study for the career that you want, that it becomes this really grand thing in your mind. And oftentimes when we get there, we find ourselves at a loss for what to do or where to start. We find that our long-term goals are further away than we thought, and sometimes, getting on the path to them isn’t that easy. 

This can be an overwhelming experience for many people. But what’s important to remember is, your future isn’t going anywhere. You will get there eventually. Simply taking the first step towards the goals you want will get you so much further than you think. Take it one step at a time. And breathe easy. 

DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE MISTAKES AND TAKE RISKS

A lot of the time entering our twenties makes life, for the first time, seem real. We all have this insatiable need to get everything right, to be perfect. We want to know what we’re gonna do with our careers and our friendships and our love lives. We want to have our familial relationships in check. We want to keep up with our friends from school, and the ones from college, and the ones from work. We do not want to mess up. And that sometimes puts us in a position where we are afraid to make a decision or take a risk for fear of making a mistake. But making mistakes is natural, it is necessary, it’s almost applauded. Making mistakes is a part of living. And most importantly, it’s a part of the learning experience. It means you’re trying. And that’s the most important thing. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Go for it. 

EXPLORE THE NEW ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE

Change is something that will come back to you a lot in life, and it’s not always a bad thing. While it can sometimes mean that you lose certain things that you loved and cherished, it can also mean finding new things to be excited about. You have not lived all of your best days or met all of your favorite people. There are a lot of experiences that your twenties offer you that your teenage years never could. And as scary as that is, you will find fun in leaning into the change. Let it sweep you away, dance with it, allow your heart to belong to a whole new decade of experiences. 

REMEMBER THAT IT’S OKAY

It’s okay to feel lost. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. It’s okay to lose a couple of friends along the way. It’s okay to not have it all figured out. It’s okay if your love life is a mess and you can’t, for the life of you, get yourself to go out with that guy. It’s okay if your parents don’t agree with your career path. It’s okay if your middle school crush is getting married. It’s okay that your best friends are moving away and it is okay if you want to be upset about it. It’s okay that everything is changing. It’s okay if you’re not ready to acknowledge it. It is okay if you’re not ready to move on from your childhood or your teenage years. It’s okay. All of it is okay. It will be okay. You still have time. You are barely getting started. 

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