Your 20s are responsible for some of the best times in your life and serve as a transitional period of growth and foundation building. We go to school in our youth, but nowhere are we given a blueprint to adulthood. There have been countless surprises throughout my 20s and each one came with a lesson–I narrowed them down to 10 lessons to survive your 20s.

survive your 20s

Friendships Come and Go

One of the hardest realities to face as an adult is not everyone you start with will finish with you. Most of us have childhood best friends, they stay our Day Ones through teenage years–maybe even college. What is often lost on us is while we are in relationship with our friends, we are also experiencing life as an independent being.

Our journeys shape those experiences and cultivate our individual perspectives and beliefs. And naturally as those beliefs shape your identity, friendships grow a part. Some people evolve into their higher selves, some choose stagnation, others lose themselves to the standards of the world. You will lose a friend or two or three and that is a part of life’s course. It’s possible you will re-kindle your bond at some point in the future, but understand right now it’s okay.

Get Your Annual Check- Ups

Our 20s are fun and with that fun comes a lot of wear on our bodies. Remember that everything we do now is setting the foundation and cultivating habits for the future–this includes our health. It should go without saying, but if you are insured, go get a check up, go get a pap, get the dental care. Ensuring our bodies are performing at their best is important, and if they’re not, you want to catch it all early. Your body will thank you later for it.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

When we hear health is wealth, mental health is included. Mental health is just as important as going to get a check up at a doctor. There is a stigma in Black communities that therapy is for White people or weak people, but it’s for everyone. There are Licensed Mental Health professionals trained to work in different areas of trauma, mental illness and everyday challenges we face in life. No matter what stage of life we’re in, there’s alway space to grow, heal and gain new techniques to navigate life’s challenges.

The traditional sit and talk one on one with a therapist is not our only option. Understand that therapy comes in different forms. Research and learn what seems most comfortable for you.

Take Care of Your Body Daily

Similar to medical care, mindful eating and exercise go hand and hand. It’s important to build healthy habits in our 20s. Once positive habits are formed, its hard to break them as we get older. Cultivate an exercise routine that fits you best. Do you prefer morning or night? Do you have health goals you’d like to reach etc.? Create a plan, modify as you grow, but build it into your daily ritual, and it eventually will become a lifestyle.

Don’t Obsess Over A Timeline

From the time we are kids we are programmed to believe our lives should run a particular course: go to school, graduate, go to college, graduate, get a good paying job soon after, find our mate, have kids, grow old and retire. In our 20s life circumstances teaches that we don’t have to follow any specific path. We also learn there’s no deadline of when our desires should come to pass. We don’t have to be married by 25 or even 30. We must have faith that what ever we desire is ours– maybe not at the timeline we expected, but know when it comes it will exceed our expectations.

Save and Invest

I cannot stress this enough, but financial literacy is not emphasized enough in the school system. Lucky for us in the digital space the tools to understand and educate ourselves are at our fingertips. If you come from humble beginnings like me, don’t rush into moving out and building life outside of your parents’ home (unless its safer to do so). Work on your vision or if you don’t know what that is, work, save your money and invest it. Build your knowledge in the financial space books like, Rich Dad Poor Dad , Dave Ramsey Money Makeover and The Suze Orman collection are great places to start.

Spend Time With Family

I’m learning in my 20s the fragility of life, when we experience the death of loved ones it changes the way we touch, see hear and experience the world. The losses I’ve endured throughout my 20s are teaching me to lean closer into the present moment. One moment we are graduating high school and the next moment we are cheering on our first born after taking their first steps. Time is fleeting, so spend time with you family and friends. Say I love you a lot and build lasting memories.

Travel The World

Travel is a great way to expand our own perspective. Experiencing other cultures allows us to see how small our worlds are. It builds empathy and teaches us our differences and similarities amongst races and culture. If you can, take the opportunity to travel. Even if you can’t get out the country take a one day road trip to a nearby city or a state you haven’t seen before. Getting out of your routine, is moving out of your comfort zone. Understand travel is another form of self care.

Find Your Passion

Our 20s come with a lot of pressure to both soak up our youth and build the blocks for our future. Take time each day to introspect. If you are not sure what your passions are, begin with what you love to do. What are your hobbies and just start. The best way to learn what you love to do, is by doing. When your passion meets your personality, you are on the path to cultivating your purpose.

Stay Present

If we receive nothing else from our 20s, we should learn to stay present and give gratitude to where we are in the moment. The present moment is a gift, often not appreciated enough. No matter what we”re doing and where we are in life, we will never have that moment again. When we fixate on the past and obsess over the future we’ve already lost the current moment. If you struggle with anxiety and have a hard time with this, consider working with a Licensed Mental Health care provider to support you. You also may consider spending time in meditation. Meditation empowers us take control of our thoughts by focusing on the present energy. It allows you to navigate your day with more intention and less resistance.

Your 20s will come with peaks and valleys– embrace both as a lesson. No matter what the circumstance, it all is apart of your unique journey

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Featured Image by Jeffery Erhunse