Advice for your early 20s

October 27, 2022

Feeling uninspired or unsure of how to navigate your 20s? Not sure how to figure out your passions or what to do next? Here are a few things I found helpful when trying to figure out life after graduation.

There are so many things I wish I had known going into my early 20s but if I could go back in time and give my 20-year-old self any advice, it would be to not compare my timeline with others and instead focus on ways I can appreciate my situation and live in the present moment.

Up until my university years, I assumed life would figure itself out after I graduated and all I had to do was to get to that point. Graduation year came quickly and needless to say so did the dread of realizing that even after a few years, I still didn’t have a clear plan for life after graduation. Yikes. It wasn’t until I stopped giving more weight to others’ opinions over my own did I begin finding clarity. I had a “lightbulb moment” when I acknowledged that life didn’t have to follow the traditional timeline I previously believed it needed to. We live in a consumer-based society so it can be extremely difficult to ignore the belief that once you have this new thing or accomplished that achievement, life will be grand. Instead, I found it helpful to focus on appreciating lessons learned along the way, working on my sense of self-worth, and investing time in building community.

Plan, prepare, and appreciate lessons learned

I remember a particular conversation I had with a mentor when asking about starting a business. I remember asking, “what if it doesn’t work out? I mean, what if I fail and waste all of my time? I’ll have nothing to show by the time I’m ___ years old.” His response was:

“You’re never too young to start something new and you’ll never be too old to try something new. The path will still be there if you decide this path isn’t one you want to take. It’s important to focus on the positive and instead let’s say your business takes off and grows faster than you could have envisioned – isn’t that a nicer scenario to prepare for?”

His response made me realize that because I was spending so much time focused on negative scenarios, I was completely missing all the exciting moments of a pre-launch. While it’s important to anticipate and prepare for the goals you want to achieve, make sure to appreciate the lessons learned through trial and error. Lessons are an important part of personal growth! Understanding why something failed and learning how to fix it only helps to perfect your process.

Focus on improving your self-worth

Don’t rush your present season in life because you think everything will get better when you have this or that, or after a certain age. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing – social media has made it impossible to not know what’s going on with everyone else. Know that no matter how perfect someone’s life may seem, everyone has their own set of struggles they’re dealing with. Focus on who/where you are today and how you can prepare for a better tomorrow.

We all have our talents, our hobbies, our likes and dislikes; It’s okay not knowing what you’re passionate about as that’s exactly what these formative years are for: discovering self. Focus on doing more of what feels right for you. Know that it’s okay to not move at the same speed or have the same likes or dislikes as everyone else. Personally, I find uniqueness something that should be celebrated and protected at all costs – there’s nothing more terrifying than the thought of living a mundane life. Don’t dim your personality to fit in with the rest of the crowd.

It’s important to have positive self-esteem and understand that self-worth shouldn’t be tied to your belongings or achievements. Work on your self-worth so that fulfillment comes only from within and stays true to who you are regardless of what everyone else is doing around you.

Build your community

A very important focus of mine that is as true then as it is now, is building community. Your community is your lifeline. Regardless of the path you want to embark on, having a mentor to guide you is crucial as they’ll be able to give you advice and impart the wisdom they’ve learned from their own lessons. One of the easiest ways to plug into your local community is to visit your local chamber of commerce and ask if there are any ways you can learn about their networking events. This connects you to new people and exposes you to multiple industries. At these events, you’ll learn more about what’s current or ongoing in your local economy. Once you know more about your community, it’ll be so much easier to figure out how you can serve t it with your own talents.

I have a long list of things I want to accomplish and can’t imagine how I would be able to do it without the supportive, life-loving people I’m lucky to have in life. I simply wouldn’t want to – where’s the fun in experiencing life alone? I owe a sizeable amount of thanks and gratitude to the people who believed in me before I was capable of believing in myself. The support and warmth from family, friends and loved ones help to make uncertain times more bearable. When life gets tough, as it often can, don’t forget to ask others for help. There is never any shame in relying on your community for assistance.

Final thoughts on advice for someone in their early 20s

  1. Plan, prepare, and appreciate lessons learned
  2. Focus on growing the relationship you have with yourself
  3. Build your community

Just know that where you are now is exactly where you are meant to be. Life doesn’t wait to begin at a certain age and it won’t just figure itself out on its own. Your life is happening now and how you choose to spend this time is in your control. Be proactive and do something today that will improve your future. You have the power to make life as joyful as you want it to be. Understand that success is subjective and time spent trying and failing is significantly more productive than waiting for something to happen.

We asked for your input on the advice you would give yourself or someone in their 20s


  • “Keep going, just keep going. Even when you don’t think it’s worth it, just keep going.”
  • “Save your money.”
  • “Call your parents, your family, your loved ones more. There’s no such thing as too much time with loved ones”
  • “Care less about what other people think of you. Most people don’t like themselves!”
  • “Don’t be afraid to respectfully challenge different opinions. Not everyone is always right, not even you.”
  • “Don’t worry about what other people think of you.”
  • “Save your money.”
  • “Drink more water.”
  • “Less comparing is key to more happiness.”
  • “Believe more in yourself. Try all the things even if they scare you!”
  • “Spend as much time as you can learning about what you love doing. Then, spend time doing those things!”
  • “Don’t compare yourself with anyone else!”
  • “You don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy. Learn to love yourself first, yes quirks and all, before you love others.”
  • “You’re going to meet all sorts of people, you won’t like them all and there’s a good chance a few of those people won’t like you either. It’s okay, that’s life.”
  • “Don’t let others’ opinions of you affect how you see yourself”
  • “Permanent solutions are never the answer to temporary problems.”
  • “Divorce doesn’t mean you’re a failure.”
  • “Learn how to cook as early on as possible and try everything! You might even discover a new cuisine that will become a lifelong favorite.”
  • “Have the courage to stand up for yourself. Don’t let others make your choices for you.”
  • “Have patience with yourself, invest time into learning your own passions.”
  • “Save money. Get rid of your debt ASAP!”
  • “Take time to think things through; Don’t rush important decisions.”
  • “Trust and value yourself, know your worth. Don’t compare. Lean into your own journey.”
  • “You are stronger than you realize. don’t settle! Don’t settle in love, work, friends, anything…”
  • “Save money…”
  • “Don’t rush exploring your passions. Also, your passions don’t have to match everyone else’s”
  • “You don’t have to be married with kids and in a home by 25. It’s ridiculous pressure to put on such a young generation”
  • “I don’t remember the pain of early mornings but do I remember the sunrises.”
  • “Don’t let others make you feel bad for your decisions! Care less about what other people think. It’s your life!”
  • “The bar will still be there tomorrow!”
  • “Relax. Just relax and live your own truth.”
  • “There’s literally no rush.”
  • “Even if it feels weird, tell your family you love them or miss them. my family never talked about our emotions and I lost a loved one in my mid 20’s. I regret not telling them I love you or I miss you more.”
  • “Begin saving and investing money. Hire someone to do it for you if you don’t know how.”
  • “Drink more water between alcohol.”
  • “Hmm…be spontaneous but responsible. Responsible spontaneity! Life is fun, enjoy the ride!”
  • “Don’t rush through important decisions: marriage, career, settling down, etc…”
  • “It’s okay to say no to your friends. True friends will remain no matter what.”
  • “Don’t be afraid, just go for it! Spend less time worrying about what people think because most people aren’t paying attention anyway.”
  • “Follow through with your ideas. Evaluate how you manage your time and create good habits.”
  • “Be patient.”
  • “It’s okay if something doesn’t work out after the first or second try. If it matters, it’s worth it to try again and again.”
  • “Marry your best friend when you’re ready to – not who or when your family or friends tell you to.”
  • “Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.”
  • “Form a good organization and cleaning habit as early as possible.”
  • “You can’t pray enough.”
  • “Start learning how to save and invest your money.”
  • “Use your sick days.”
  • “Learn how to stand up for yourself.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to start over or reinvent yourself.”
  • “Have a plan set before you graduate to pay off student debt ASAP.”
  • “Don’t be afraid to start/pivot your business if intuition tells you to. Invest what you can.”
  • “Freeze your eggs if you’re not going to have kids until your late 30’s or 40’s.”
  • “It’s okay to say no but don’t forget to use kindness while doing so.”
  • “There’s a big world and you shouldn’t settle.”
  • “Start focusing on living in the moment. work hard towards your future but be sure to balance work and living life”
  • “It is okay not to have children until your 30s or later. Don’t panic!”
  • “Invest in property or in real estate.”
  • “Learn about your employer and who you’re actually working for. If your workplace offers benefits, learn as much about them too.”
  • “You can go out and party later. Focus on yourself, your mental health, and overall well-being.”
  • “The bars will be there next weekend. Your body needs a break.”
  • “It’s okay to not have found THE ONE before a certain age. There’s no rush.”
  • “Drink more water and then drink some more.”
  • “Be proud of where you are and your accomplishments!”

Love always,