God bless those 20 somethings...
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
Doing something later, doesn't necessarily mean doing it better
In the midst of my technology filled life, it's nice to settle in with a good book sometimes. On my recent journey through "The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter- and how to make the most of them now" I have gained so much insight and motivation to make the most of my "golden" years.
Below you will find some important things I've pulled from this book. Whether you're reaching your success, or still figuring out where you want this life to take you, this book needs to find its way to your lap (or even phone) Why wait until your thirties to realize that you can't undo your twenties.
What do you bring to the table? Even in our twenties, we should have something to show for the few years of experience we DO have. Whether a resume builder or personal attribute that make us who we are, we should all have something to contribute to a table. Jay states, "twentysomethings who take the time to explore and also have the nerve to make commitments along the way construct stronger identities." You can't wander around aimlessly during your twenties, then at thirty have nothing to show for it but Instagram followers. Take time to find who you are, but have something to show for it at the end of the day.
Don't really know what you want to do with your life? That's fine, at least be well rounded. Have various things under you belt, for when you do figure it out. Travel, become well versed in another language, learn a new skill. Build yourself up, have something that sets you apart from the person sitting beside you.
Check out Nicole Booz's list of ways to build identity capital , including:
Volunteering your time
Write a letter to 80-year old you. What do you hope to have achieved by then?
Identify your natural talents
Attend a workshop for something you’d like to know more about.
At least once a month, try something you’ve never done before.
Start a side hustle
Many millennials are finding themselves "underemployed" working the bare minimum of the workforce when they are qualified to be doing more. This includes the ones "doing this, just until I can do that." What ever happened to "go big, or go home?" What the facts are stating is that "late bloomers will likely never close the gap between themselves and those who got started earlier." Unfortunately, only half of recent graduates are working in jobs that require college degrees; you spent lots of time and money on it, why would you not be using it?
Even if you didn't take the college route, you could be investing in your work future now. Have you set a plan? Have you set goals? Have you made any moves to achieve these goal? Don't ever get to comfortable, there is always more that you could be doing. Never be afraid to push the envelope and take it one step further, the benefit will outweigh the risks in the long run. You are ready for everything you have set your mind to!
Today, we focus so much on being an individual and independent that we miss out on one of life's greatest opportunities, picking and creating our families. We're trending more towards casual dating and hookups, rather than dating with a purpose. Then that 30 year mark creeps up, seems like everyone you know is starting a family and every Facebook post is about marriage and you feel the pressure to scurry and find someone, often settling and winding up unhappy. Twentysomethings are craving the freedom to see Jim tonight, Larry tomorrow, and Bob on Friday, knowing they don't want anything serious from any of them. We have every option possible to cipher through and pick someone with the qualities we want. You have Tinder, Match.com, and it's even "going down in the DM's," you don't even have to leave your house to meet someone special (how much lazier can we get) yet the marriage rate continues to decline. Millennials are wanting to skip the step of building with someone, watering and growing together. It's okay to have someone there to push you, to support you and to be by your side during your struggle, not just after it. Gotta love you at your worse, to deserve you at your best!
Millennials are quick to give up, and quick to live by the "more fish in the sea" mentality in various aspects of life, including romance. Yes, there are over 7 billion people in the world, but what if you missed out on the one, because of ONE small thing. We shy away from relationships based on differences. There will always be differences of some sort, but it's what you you do with those differences that matter! You will never like EVERYTHING about your significant other, maybe they snore, maybe its the way they chew, maybe its their dog, but as adults, you GET OVER IT. We have to learn to overlook minor things, and not run away when one thing doesn't meet your expectations. In a relationship you have will win and lose some battles, take time to figure out what you're willing to compromise over.
Jay states that "In our twenties we have to be forgiving about what being settled or successful means." Our twentysomethings should be a time for "getting along and getting ahead." We should spend our time making commitments and investing in our adulthood. The definition of success will be different from person to person, but the investments we make in work and love foster maturation. We love to compare ourselves to others, "such and such is doing this, and all I'm doing is this," but take pride in how far you've come and trust your own journey! We must work on being the best version of ourselves that we can be in order to achieve our personal goal of success. Want to have a successful life post-30's? work on yourself NOW.
If you wait until you're ready, you'll be waiting the rest of your life...