Being 20- something in 2014 is certainly different than it was like being this age in the ’90’s or ’80s. We’re the generation that graduated high school during one of the biggest economic recessions since the Great Depression. The generation that saw our parents and families struggle when the housing market suddenly collapsed. The generation that had to compete with grown adults for entry level jobs because there weren’t any other positions available.
But, we didn’t let these things stop us. Instead, we became the innovative generation. We created our own jobs and positions based on things we knew. We embrace all of the new technology, but remember what it was like to have dial up internet. We’re taking risks in our careers, challenging the status quo, and living life by our own standards. We learn and grow the most in our twenties, and we make decisions that shape how the rest of our life will turn out. Here are some tips for surviving your twenties in 2014.
Tips for your 20’s
1. Stop drinking and driving. Whether you did it in high school and only “occasionally” now, it’s not worth getting a DUI for. Instead call a Lyft or Uber car.
2. If you smoke, quit now. We all know by now that cigarettes are going to kill us- not to mention it makes us smell super gross! Within a week of quitting, your body will already have start to repair itself.
3. Wash your makeup off before you go to sleep. Even if you’re stumbling into your apartment after too many tequila shots, wash your face! Nothing is going to break you out faster than a long night AND slept-in foundation.
4. Give in to the wanderlust. If you are given the chance to travel and see new things and meet new people, take it. Nothing gives you a deeper understanding of the world around you like traveling does.
5. Don’t get sucked into the Netflix zone for too long. Fight those 10 seconds! Skip the season binge and get up to do something productive today.
6. Cut back on the drive-thru. This is the age when it finally clicks just how bad this stuff is for you.
7. If you avoided the freshmen 15, be wary of the office 10! Starting your first grown up job can dramatically affect your weight and eating habits. Trust me, try to resist the millions of baked goods your coworkers bring in all of the time. It’s a trap.
8. Learn how to budget. This may just be one of the hardest parts of growing up. After you quit your “college job” and move out, you’ll have to start making some tough choices, like drinks after work or starving until pay day.
9. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. The only person holding you back is you.
10. Don’t get discouraged. When you get out of college, you’ll realize that today’s job market is pretty tough. Scratch that, really tough. You’ll probably apply for 50 jobs and hear back from maybe 2. It might take you months before you hear from any of the jobs you applied for, let alone an interview. Stay positive and keep applying and networking.
11. Use this time wisely. While you’re waiting to get a job, any job, use the time to make yourself the perfect candidate. Revise your resume’, take a class in your field, do an internship, and build your network. The time is going to pass just the same whether you’re productive or not, so you might as well use it to get ahead.
12. Don’t get trapped in a job you hate. Too many people get stuck in their comfort zones and are afraid to leave a job, even though they really despise it. If a job is making you more miserable than it is happy, start looking for a new one now. This is the time to try out jobs and positions until you find the career you really want to be in.
13. Do something that scares you. Speak up in that meeting, sign up for a class by yourself, go to a coworker’s party that you don’t really know! Getting out of your comfort zone forces you to be more social and gives you a boost of confidence.
14. Accept the changes. Having a really hard time adjusting to no longer being a student and having to now working full-time? We’ve all been there. Once you begin to realize that everyone else is working too, and you see all the money in your account- you’ll start to come to terms with this new chapter of your life.
15. Live with a roommate. It’s the only time in your life when you’ll really have the chance to do it. You learn a lot about yourself when you live with someone else. It’s all a part of the life experience.
16. Learn how to be independent. Although it’s always tempting to run home to your parents every time you hit a tough spot in your life, figuring things out on your own is what makes you grow as a person.
17. Don’t take everything so seriously. If it’s not going to matter a year from now, let it go. Learn how to pick your battles.
18. Stop complaining and start doing. This life doesn’t run you- you run it. If there is something you don’t like in your life, change it.
19. You are responsible for your own happiness. Don’t depend on someone else to make you happy.
20. Start to take care of yourself now. Start adopting healthy habits in your 20’s that will stick with you for life. Try little substitutions like almond milk for whole milk, brown rice for white rice, and salads for fries. You’ll also notice that you’re not nearly as active as when you were in school. Go for a run after work, or try a Pilates class to burn off calories and the day’s stress.
21. It’s not a waste of time, it’s an experience or life lesson. Part of growing up is finding out what you like, and what you really want. With every job, relationship, and apartment, you learn what you didn’t like and what you won’t put up with. Now in your next interview, first date, and apartment hunting adventure, you’ll know the right questions to ask and what you really want from it.
22. Stay positive. Always try to look for the silver lining in situations. Hump Day was invented on this very idea.
23. Don’t eat lunch alone. Sit and talk with key people in your company. Use this as social time and a break from looking at a screen all day. People who feel a bond with their coworkers typically have higher work satisfaction.
24. Take a good hard look at your inner circle. Your main group of friends is one of the biggest influences in your life. If they are holding you back, or dragging you down, it’s time to man up and ditch them. You know how much potential you have, use it.
25. Don’t feel pressured by society. Don’t be in a rush to marry and have kids by a certain age if that’s not what you want. Chase your dreams, achieve your goals, and set high standards in your life.