20 something, advice, art, college, education, family, fitness, food, friends, friendship, fun, Generation Y, happiness, health, healthy, high school, Millennial, Millennial Women, money, relationship, relationships, travel, university, wisdom
Let’s face it, we all mess up from time to time, and it seems to happen more often than not during our 20s. I am not a life coach, nor am I winning at my twenties, but here are some golden rules I have established for 20-somethings that I wish I had been taught before getting here that are applicable to the Millennial demographic.
1. Don’t get married.
Yes you’re in love and you’re soul mates and your parents love them, but don’t tie the knot. Why? Because in your 20s you are still figuring out so many other things that this, if destined to be, can wait. I am not downplaying the legitimacy of your relationship, but I guarantee you that once you’re 30, you won’t be the same person, and neither will they. That being said, I’m sure your high school sweetheart is the one for you because you both love Breaking Bad, but just wait it out. And yes, maybe your family does have the money to pay for it, in which case refer back to point A. But, ain’t no 20-something got the money for that, but later in life you will, and it won’t sewer you to spend the money on a lavish wedding down the road like it would if you commit to it now.
2. Education is not wisdom.
Lord have mercy. I wish I had known this when I went off to college at 18 in the pursuit of education that was supposed to guarantee me 6 figures and a home-office. 6 years later I have an Honours B.A. and a couple years of college under my belt, and everything that I am doing in my career choice I have taught myself with the use of the internet and through working with people in my field. The truth is, experience is more valuable than education not only in the job market, but in life as well. Wisdom is social skills, hand crafted tools, selflessness and generosity whereas education is knowing how to dissect a frog without ever holding a scalpel. So, find out what you like and start reading. Don’t automatically assume you need higher education to get further in life, and NEVER assume that a PhD equals wisdom – It’s not where you’re going its how you got there.
3. Live a little.
From high school, to Undergrad, to Masters degree, to work, to retirement. Bo-ring. One thing I wish I had the opportunity to do was save up some money on my summer break after high school or maybe work for a year or two at some shitty job, then travel for a bit to discover exactly what it is that I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Even had I traveled within a few hours of my hometown rather than jumping headfirst into health sciences post-high school, which only added to my student debt, I wish I had taken some time to live and discover who I really was and where I wanted to go in life. Then, I probably would have only been in school for 4 years, and could have shaved off $20,000 in student loans and at least I would have experienced some things that would add to my views on life.
4. Stop spending every penny you have on crappy things.
Yes I’m sure you NEED a new pair of winter boots, but spending 20$ on a crappy pair rather than saving your tips and splurging on a 100$ pair a few weeks later will only add to your problems. Stop accumulating many crap-quality boots, and start saving for one good-quality pair. A good pair will last you much longer, and you won’t have to replace them every 3 months ultimately meaning you SAVE money by not spending 20$ every 3 months to replace the same shitty pair of boots. This goes for more than clothing; Cell phone plans – if you get the cheap plan, you will always go over, and it will end up costing you more. Food – buy a loaf of bread, some cured meats and some veg and you will get 6 sandwiches for the price of 2 subs at Subway.
5. Care more about your body.
You are wonderfully resilient in your twenties, but that won’t last forever. You only have one body, and you must take care of it. Even by the age of 24 you will notice big changes and suddenly your body starts to react to the crap you’re ingesting. Anything from acne, hair thinning, weight changes and diabetes can all be treated with a proper diet. I shit you not. Eat more veggies, eat less refined flours and sugars, drink lots of water and take your vitamins or you will be paying for it later.
6. Trust more than you are comfortable with.
This hardly needs an explanation, but maybe consider this a metaphorical kick-in-the-ass. They broke up, and you need to just leave it alone. This goes for you and your new partner. You and your ex broke up, as did your new partner and their ex. You need to put more trust in your partner than you are comfortable with, regardless of how hurt you have been in the past. This is much, MUCH easier said than done, and you know what, you might be right about them being too close for comfort with their ex (or anyone, for that matter), but if this new partner cares about you, nothing will come of anything with their ex (or whomever). And, if they don’t care about you and go back to their ex (or someone else), fuck em’, you’re worth more than that anyways. You have to give people the opportunity to earn your trust, no matter how scary it is.
7. Be more artsy.
There is no better remedy to confusion, depression and anxiety like writing, drawing or painting away your manic thoughts. You’re in your twenties, nothing is figured it out for you, so stop thinking for a few hours a day and blast some music, drink something alcoholic and express your feelings in an art form. Like I said, there is no better medicine. Try it.
8. Care more about other people.
You are the center of the universe; I know this because I am also a Millennial, therefore I am also the best thing to ever happen to this Earth. That being said, stop only putting effort into perfecting yourself, and start helping other people become better people. Let me explain: Does someone need to borrow a shirt that might look better on them than on you? Lend it to them. Does someone need help with homework only because they went to a party last night rather than diligently working all night like you? Help them. Is that one person you can’t stand to even look at raising money for a good cause? Donate. At some point, karma will come back to you, and fiercely, if you just stopped caring so much about yourself, and started to care more about other people.
9. Listen to your elders.
Your older sibling, your mother, your crazy great uncle twice removed – they have lived longer than you, even if only for a day, and within that time frame they may have learned something that you may not know. Yes, you know everything and you are independent and don’t need help from anybody, like I said I am also a Millennial and I know these things, but stop to listen for a minute. You don’t have to admit that you didn’t know what they told you, but at least listen to them and take every piece of wisdom they are willing to offer to you, because it is free knowledge just handed over to you.
10. Do things that make you happy.
Luckily I come from a family who is very honest with themselves and had a very strong “Don’t Give No Fucks” attitude, but I would love to see more people shamelessly doing things that they love rather than creating an image of themselves and only indulging in things that further solidify this imagined person. Do you really only like black and white films? Do you really think that all music sounds better on vinyl? Are you really gluten intolerant? Wear what you like, listen to what you like, do things that you like and you will be a much happier person, and this is a good thing.