Your twenties are all over the place. In a matter of 10 years, you go from being a large child, who barely knows how to feed herself, to a responsible adult, expected to discuss retirement plans, and maybe even raise small humans. Growing pains, indeed.
These are the years you come into your own, discover who you are as an individual outside of your parents’ home, and learn what you do and don’t want. It’s not a decade you want to squander.
No matter what age you are, you still have plenty of time to make some formative investments in yourself, your career, and your life.
That’s the cool thing. Unless you’re dead, you can always make a change. The investments you need to make now will help you become more secure in who you are, so you can know what you need and want in all areas of life.
1. Learn a new skill
Whether it’s a language or an instrument, your twenties are the perfect time to start learning a new skill. As you get older, take on more responsibilities, and start a family, the time you’ll have to develop new skills will be essentially nonexistent. Don’t know where to start? Choose a skill that you’ll enjoy knowing, or one that will benefit your career or overall life.
2. Attend conferences
Conferences are great opportunities for you to network and learn useful information to benefit you at work. Find conferences that have solid reputations and offer discussions that relate to your career. They can be a little scary, but your twenties are the perfect time to overcome the fear of meeting new professionals — after all, you’ll be meeting new people the rest of your life.
3. Find a mentor
A good mentor can make all the difference in your work and life. Find someone whose work you admire, and ask them to be your mentor. Aside from making sure your mentor is related to your field, also look for someone who will tell you like it is — even when you’ve done something wrong. Honesty is what makes a mentor invaluable.
4. Find a form of exercise you enjoy
The longer you wait to make exercise a regular occurrence, the harder it will be to make it a consistent part of your life. Exercise shouldn’t be something you do to punish your body, and you should learn to appreciate it for the good it does your muscles and organs. Try out different forms of exercise to see which ones you enjoy most, and begin making those a regular activity you partake in.
5. Love yourself
The way you treat your body in your twenties sets the stage for the body you’ll have in your thirties, forties, and fifties. Now is the time to ensure better health for the rest of your life — this includes choosing to fuel your body with the right foods, as well as making time for exercise.
6. Learn to cook
Cooking is an essential skill that all young adults should acquire. It’s easy to buy pre-made meals from the store and eat out all the time, but you don’t learn anything about the nature of cooking with that approach. Instead, try your hand at cooking by purchasing recipe books, taking a cooking class, or just asking your parents for a little guidance.
One of the best things you can do for yourself in your twenties is to start reading books that appeal to you. Reading is one of the best ways to continue your education after school, and to learn more about yourself as well as the world around you.
8. Cultivate good friendships
There’s nothing wrong with having a lot of friends, but as you get older, it becomes more important to have a few very close friends you can always rely on. In your twenties, seek out friends who are genuinely there for you in every thing you do.
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