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10 Things You Need to Do to Make the Most Out of Your 20s

by Hillary Federico Dec 29, 2015

To all you twentysomethings out there — there’s a lot of false advertising about the adult world. That vision in your head of having I-can-do-whatever-the-eff-I-want independence, a spotless rent-controlled apartment and Bloody Mary-filled brunches on the reg. is only half-true. The other half (the half so rudely forgotten by Hollywood and social media) includes bills and taxes (where does that money go anyway?), dealing with some pretty shitty jobs (and, occasionally, people), and basically not knowing what the hell you’re doing with your life pretty much every second of every day.

The truth is, your twenties are a weird time. You’re a man- or woman-child with the responsibility of an adult, but you’re still getting carded. You feel like you should have it all figured out, but you don’t. But don’t worry; your twenties aren’t all engagement posts and existential thoughts. They’re actually some of the best years you’ll ever have…

And here’s how to make the most of them.

1. Don’t be afraid to fail.

It. Will. Happen. You’re human and, whether you believe it or not, you’re destined to make mistakes. Though it may feel like the world is collapsing in on you and you’ve lost the will to live, take a breather and remember: everyone’s been there.

2. Realize there’s a lot you still don’t know.

Listen to criticism. Stay in school. Pick up a friggin’ book every once in a while and read it from cover to cover. ‘Cause no matter if you’re 21 or 91, you’re never going to know it all. GET OVER YOURSELF.

3. Learn to save.

No, this doesn’t mean you have to be a cheap bastard and always ask for separate checks when brunching with friends, but every now and then, try squirreling away some dolla dolla bills, y’all. You can thank me later.

4. Don’t worry about finding “the one.”

Finding the miracle that is “The One” is about as easy as figuring out who the f*** “A” is — at times it’s exciting and scary and might look like it’s getting somewhere, but mostly it’s just pretty damn confusing.

5. Take risks.

In the words of Tony Robbins, unleash the power within. If you’re at some crappy job that’s slowly eating your soul — leave. If you’re sure he’s “just not that into you” — find someone who is. Hell, if you have always dreamed of leaving your small town for bigger and better things — GO FOR IT. What’s the worst thing that could happen? It doesn’t work out. No biggie. You MOVE ON. (Also, see point #1)

6. Travel.

See the world while you can. Depending on where you are in your second decade of life, you’re either close to or more than half-way to 50, so basically my point is to take advantage of the time you have before you get officially old.

7. Take a digital detox on the reg.

Call your mom. Get together with colleagues outside of work. Write an actual letter to a friend. As a fellow twentysomething, I realize this may make me seem like a super old out-of-touch douche kabob, but put down the phone, close your Macbook and settle in for some good old-fashioned communication with the people you care about.

8. Respect your squad.

There are some pretty shitty people out there in the “real world.” So, when you find a nice, kind, decent human being, hold onto him/her for life.

9. Forget the FB status.

We’ve all done it: scrolled through our news feed only to see photos of engagement rings, ultrasound scans, and epic vacation photos while you’re still at the same soulless desk job you accepted straight out of college. But the sooner you realize that every person who seems to have their shit together on social, is dealing with their own problems in the day-to-day, you’ll be a whole lot better off.

10. Don’t send that drunk text.

Or Snapchat. Or phone call. PERIOD.

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