I turned 26 last month and I am so grateful with how far I’ve come, how the ‘mistakes’ and the good decisions in the past have shaped my life to what it is today. Forever grateful for my 20 year old self, forever inspired by her, I remember I was in my second year in college, I remember feeling unsure about the journey ahead with the course I was in , I remember feeling scared that I was in a new city away from my mom, but I also remember feeling like the world is this huge playground that I can explore.
When it comes to how I see the world and who I am today, at 26, I feel like there has been a lot of change and growth, and it is all thanks to that girl, so with all the kindness and grace in the world, here is what I wish my 20 year old self knew, and these are couple wise nuggets that I feel confident to share to all the young people in their 20’s ;
- There are a lot of things you will learn, be open to learning but also be curious
20s are the best ages to try things, ask questions and discover yourself. I don’t think this stops at a certain age but I feel like there are few distractions and demands on you to do this more when you are in your 20s than when your older and have other responsibilities. Be curious, learn, ask questions, think for yourself, treat the world as this thing that you are discovering, treat yourself as a person you just met who you want to learn more about.
Also Read : 20’s are hard and lonely
2. Slow down on posting every personal thing on social media
Maybe some experiences were meant for you to enjoy them in the moment. Maybe you were meant to take them in so that you can have good memories rather than just focus on perfectly recording them for the internet audience’s entertainment. Life is what happens when you put your phone down and enjoy whatever is going on. And also maybe think of your social media use and your reasons for joining, trust me life is more than just gaining internet followers unless you want to be an influencer. The internet has a lot of advice, some are good, but I think it is good if you take time to think about what’s your own perception on matters than just being a consumer/follower.
3. Listen to your inner voice, listen to yourself. You will avoid a lot of heartbreaks if you do
She is the friend that knows best trust her. I know that trusting her won’t come easy but if you start by listening to her and seeing that she has been right in couple times, it will be easy to hear her and follow her the next time you hear her words of wisdom.
Also Read : 7 books to read when you feel like a failure
4. You have power over your life and your life decisions, don’t ever think that you are powerless
I know there are somethings that you have faced and you will face in life that will leave you shattered and feeling powerless but trust me when I say this, you are more powerful than you think you are. I want you to also know that this life is your journey, this life is your own, don’t copy or compare or envy. You got this even though right now you don’t see the full picture of your amazing life unfolding.
5. You will feel so many things, allow yourself to, so that you can heal and live fully
I know you are playing it safe to avoid the hurt and the painful feelings, but playing it safe is not living, is only trying to get through life unscathed as possible. You will get hurt and some hurtful feelings are already inside of you and you are trying so hard to bury them but healing involves you feeling the loss and grief. Also it is important to know that you will hurt other people, and when you do apologize and forgive yourself.
6. Every mistake feels deadly to you, but trust me it’s not the end
You are unsure of so many things at 20, you are unsure if this course you have taken in college will be your full time career after college, part of you is scared you will make a mistake by choosing to study a course that you don’t like and hence your future will be dark. Most days you live with that fear, not only in your academic life but every other area. Every mistake seems deadly to you. I want you to know that at 20 there’s so much that you don’t know about your future and that’s beautiful, there’s a lot that you don’t know about yourself or how your life will turn out to be like, life is full of second chances, no matter how big a mistake you make in any area of your life, you are resilient, you can bunce back. Spend that energy discovering yourself and trying things, worry less, judge less too. Make the most of being 20, you have your whole life ahead of you to figure out what you will do as a career, be it related to the course or not, you will figure out.
Also Read : You will make mistakes in life, and that’s okay
7. Someone will love you for you, don’t pretend to be who you are not for love
You fear that no one can love you if you are yourself, so you try so hard to be what you think people will like, what you think will attract a guy to you. You try to change yourself to fit your peer group’s interests and personality. You try so hard to fit in, you get negative comments from the group that you try to fit in so much that you think constantly changing yourself for them will guarantee you love.
When you are fake do you love you? How long can you keep the fake persona? What kind of a partner are you attracting with a fake persona? Is that the one you want to live with forever? Why don’t you be yourself and attract someone who likes you for being you so that you are sure that you are loved for you? Let go of trying so hard, who you are is good enough. You will find love the one where you are free to be who you are, no pretense.
8. Friendship should be reciprocated
Don’t be your friend’s therapist, if they are not yours. They should equally respect, love and show up for you. You are not a savior nor a therapist.
What are the things that you wish yo could gracefully tell your 20 year old self? Let me know in the comment.