Similar to high school, your 20s can be the best of times and the worst of times.
Being in your early 20s is great because many new and exciting things start to happen. You’re finally legal, people recognize you as an adult, you graduate from college, some people get married, you might move out of your parent’s house, maybe you start to travel more, and so much more.
But, on the flip side, being in your 20s has its negatives as you have to pay bills, deal with the current status of the economy, find a real job, spend more time at work than you do hanging out with friends, go through relationship ups and downs, and so on.
While there is no specific guide on how to navigate life as a 20-something, there are some smart ways to make the most out of the experience.
Here are 25 ways to make the most out of your early 20s.
1. Spend Time Being Lost So You Can Pursue Your Purpose
Spending time being ‘lost’ never sounds like a good idea. But, how can you discover what you are truly here for if you never feel the pressure of being lost.
Your early 20s are a great time to maybe explore the wrong major in college or work in the wrong job field so that you can discover what you don’t like.
From there, you’ll have more knowledge about who you are and what you enjoy so that you can have a better focus and direction in life.
If you ever feel lost, embrace it. It means that soon you will find your purpose.
2. Have Meaningful Relationships. Cut The Rest.
No more wasting time with people who drag you down.
As Rex Hudler said, “Be a fountain, not a drain.” The same goes for who you spend your time with. There is no need to surround yourself with people who constantly drain you. Find friends who are foundations!
Also, the word relationship is often thought to describe a couple. The truth is, you have a relationship with every person you interact with.
Life is all about our relationships with one another whether that be your significant other, friend, family member, neighbor, or acquaintance, life is built around hundreds of relationships.
Personally, I find this fascinating to think about. We tend to focus our energy on our relationships with our significant other and many times we fail to nurture our relationships with friends and loved ones.
There has to be a balance.
While your significant other is important, that is not an excuse to neglect the other people in your life.
3. Strive for More
Don’t wait until you’re older to try and do better. The sooner you start striving for greatness, the sooner it will happen.
Why would you want to wait until after you graduate or after you’re 25 to pursue your passion? Start now!
Whatever it is that you want to accomplish out of life, there is no reason to sit back and wait for it to happen for you because it won’t. You have to get out there and work towards it. The sooner you start, the better.
4. Get Clear on Your True Dreams and Goals
We change our minds a lot when we are younger. That doesn’t happen as much when we get older.
I’m not suggesting that by now you should have everything figured out. Not at all. But, if you can get clear on what your dream in life is, you can start working toward it with full steam.
It might take a lot of time and effort to narrow down exactly what your goals are, but once you do you’ll find that you can start to make the most out of your early 20s and save yourself a lot of heartache down the road.
5. Accept Your (Crappy) Job For Now
Do you work a job you don’t love? That’s okay!
As long as you have the mindset that your current crappy job is just for now, let that act as the motivation you need to do whatever it is you have to do to get your dream job.
Most early 20-year-olds are not working their goal job. But, some people never end up leaving that job they don’t like. Instead of getting stuck there for the next 20 years, realize and accept that it is just temporary.
6. Don’t Settle
This idea can go with many things. Your job, your relationship, your health, your education. You’re only young once. Seriously. Time is something you can never get back.
If you have the choice, don’t settle. The moment you get comfortable and settle for less, that’s when you set your dream aside.
Many people settle and their dreams and goals are never realized. Make up your mind right now that you will not settle!
7. Experience Life Outside Your Bubble
Essentially, travel. Don’t get so couped up in the bubble of your surroundings that you forget what an amazingly big, wide world we live in.
Make it a priority to experience different cultures and languages. Plan a trip with family, friends, or go alone.
Experience life in an amazing way to make the most out of your early 20s because it might be the only time in your life when you have the time to do it.
Once you settle down with a family and kids, you might not get the opportunity until you retire.
8. Save Your Money
Saving is everything. Never fall into the lifestyle of living paycheck to paycheck. Seriously, don’t do it.
It doesn’t hurt you to open a savings account and put some money into it every month.
Chances are you already have a savings account with your bank, but if you don’t have an account open it’s easy to get one with any bank of your choosing. The best part is, it is so quick and easy to do, that it can be done in your spare time.
Once you have your savings set up, you can set some goals and plan your savings. In the future when you need to use the money for a house, car, wedding, or vacation, you’ll be glad you used your spare time to improve your future with a savings account.
It’s also good to have a savings account in case of an emergency. Financial emergencies can be devastating to a family. If you are prepared with at least 6 months of living saved up, it can help ease the financial burden.
9. Start a Business
Please! I beg you! Use your early 20s to start a business.
Yes, you might have to put aside video games, social media, and hanging out with friends for a few hours each week so that you can focus, but imagine where you could be 10 or even 5 years from now if you started today.
Starting a business doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. There are many options out there that are low risk and profitable.
Do some research. Figure something out. Start a business. Make the most out of your early 20s but do something that can change your entire life.
10. Get Educated
You can get educated through school or on your own, but education is valuable.
If you have the opportunity to go to college, that’s amazing. If you don’t that’s fine too. There are plenty of books, audiobooks, podcasts, and videos online to help educate you on almost any subject in the world. Take advantage of that.
Knowledge is something that no one can take from you. Once you have it, it’s yours. Might as well get it in your early 20s.
11. Pay Off Your Debt
Here at The Life Hunt I am a huge advocate for living a debt free lifestyle.
I believe that student loan debt should be paid off asap so that you can live the rest of your life without that burden looming over your shoulder.
In order to learn more about how I paid off $30,000 in 2 years, check out the following link: 8 Ways to Prepare for Student Loan Debt Repayment
12. Eat Healthy
If right now you have a high metabolism, just know that it won’t always last.
I used to be able to eat junk food and hot Cheetos every day and it never affected me. Then, one day around age 22, I realized I had gained 20 pounds and developed adult acne. Losing the weight and clearing my skin was not easy. It was definitely one of the downs of my early 20s.
Learn from my mistakes and start eating healthier sooner.
Your body will be good to you if you are good to it.
13. Don’t Be Afraid to Experience New Things
It can be scary in your early 20s because life is hitting you from all directions.
Don’t be afraid! Embrace it. New experiences are bound to happen. Embrace them and learn from them. You never know how a new experience can end up changing your life.
If you always sit at home trying to play it safe, you might miss out on something amazing.
14. Party (But Not Too Hard)
Find a solid balance of partying because you don’t want to overdo it.
While partying is a very popular thing amount early 20-year-olds, it can be excessive and unhealthy.
After you have gotten the party scene out of your system, get into a group of solid friends and learn to hang out without going to bars or the club.
In my opinion and experience, quality time with friends outside of the party scene is way better and more valuable.
15. Don’t Care Too Much About Social Media
Seriously, don’t! If you want to make the most out of your early 20s, don’t put a lot of thought into what other people are doing on social media.
We all know how unhealthy social media can be, so I won’t go into that lecture. Just remember, people can control what they post and make their lives look as happy as possible. It’s not always real.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t compare. Just, don’t care.
16. Learn to Be Okay With Where You Are
I guarantee you that you will not always be where you want to be during your early 20s. You might not like your job or where you live or how much money you make.
Just know that its temporary and all part of your journey.
It’s okay to be fine with where you are in life as long as you’re working toward where you want to be. If you have the mindset that it’s all only temporary, then there is no need to let it bring you down.
We are the future. Make your voice matter.
We have the amazing privilege to vote. Let’s take advantage of that! Instead of complaining about the status of the nation, use your voice to vote.
Casting a vote takes such little time but makes such a huge difference. I encourage you to vote in every election.
18. Have More Family Time
Family won’t always be here on this earth. That’s a sobering thought.
Spend time with them now. One of the best ways to make the most of your early 20s is to make lasting memories with your loved ones.
Family is extremely valuable and we would never want to regret not spending time with them.
Your early 20s is a busy and chaotic time, but make sure that you at least dedicate some time to be with your family.
19. Be Good To Your Body
Find time to workout. Just do it.
Depending on the job we get, we may end up in a more sedentary lifestyle. Combat this by working out.
It doesn’t have to be hours of cardio. A Simple workout will do just fine. Find a nice routine to do 3-4 times a week and your body will thank you by being toned and energized.
20. Develop Confidence
Don’t go through life being timid and afraid. Cut that out right now and replace it with confidence.
Why be afraid to speak your truth? Why play dumb when you should speak up? Why sit back and be passive when you could be making a difference?
Your early 20s is the best time to learn how to be confident and say the things you really want to say. Don’t live another day being timid.
Confidence is sexy!
21. Learn How to Properly Build Credit
I think it’s safe to say that the struggle with credit cards is a thing. Many people get into credit card debt at a super young age.
However, it is good to know the right and responsible ways to build credit. After all, having a solid credit score is extremely valuable when it comes to important purchases like buying or renting a home and purchasing a car.
I pride myself on having great credit and I know many of my friends do as well. I also have friends whose credit isn’t so hot and it’s really affected them in a negative way.
From what I’ve learned in my personal life, combined with extensive research and consultations with bankers, here are the best ways to effectively build credit:
– Have the right credit card. There are plenty out there. Do your own research to figure out what card is best for you.
– Make all your payments on time. I can’t stress how important this is. Falling behind on paying your credit card is the complete opposite of building credit.
– Whenever possible, pay your balance off in full. It’s a common misconception that making minimum payments on your credit card is what builds credit. This is a myth. First of all, I built my credit score without ever making monthly payments because I also pay in full each month. Also, I’ve talked to bankers and financial advisors who admitted that making monthly minimum payments does not magically build credit. So, save yourself the interest fee’s and pay your credit card in full each month.
– Familiarize yourself with interest rates. Understanding how interest works will help you in the long run and will save you money. If you can understand interest, you can come up with a strategy on how to build your credit.
– Check your credit score often. Don’t obsess over your credit score, but check it each month to see the patterns. If your score is low, it can be good to see it rise each month.
22. Discover Your Independence
Spread your wings and fly! Independence is a beautiful thing. Don’t stay cooped up under your parent’s wings just because you live at home.
Learn to have some independence so that you can start to gain your own thoughts and opinions.
You can even go as far as to take a solo trip just to spend more time with yourself.
Don’t wait until you are forced to live on your own to gain some independence.
23. Make a 3, 5, and 10 Year Plan
It’s okay to make plans. They won’t always work out how you want them to, but having a plan gives you something to work towards.
A 3-year plan helps you get out of the current job you’re in, or it gives you time to finish your education. A 5 year plan allows for you to start thinking about starting a family or taking a dream vacation. A 10-year plan works toward the success of the business your started or the dream job you want.
Planning is great because it allows you to have a clear focus on what you want to do in life. Just be sure to leave some wiggle room for adjustments along the way.
24. Find a Hobby
One of my favorite things to do now is to invest my energy into a hobby. My favorite hobby is painting.
I think it’s safe to say that during my high school and early college years, I didn’t really have a hobby. I knew I liked to paint, but I never acted on it.
It wasn’t until after I graduated with my undergrad that I realized I needed a better way to utilize my free time. That’s when I turned to painting.
Now, I have an easel set up at all times with a painting masterpiece waiting for me at all times. Since I’m usually too busy to work on it, I only paint once every two or three weeks. Still, it’s perfect because when I find that I have nothing to do for a little while, I know I can work on my painting for a few hours.
I encourage you to find a hobby that you love and look forward to. Hobbies are relaxing and a great way to pass the time.
25. Find a Signature Dish to Cook
If you can cook a signature dish, you can impress anyone!
I hate cooking, but if needed I can whip up a salmon like nobody’s business. I have impressed many friends with my ability to cook and it has come in handy a few times.
Cooking is also a great way to stay healthy and save money. If you have at least one signature dish that you can make at any given moment, you’re good to go!
Your early 20s are a great time. Enjoy them, but use that time wisely.
The last thing you want is to wake up in your mid-40s wishing you would have done things differently in your early 20s.