1. You’re Going to Spend A Lot of Time Figuring Stuff Out
Unless you’re one of the lucky few who already knows what their passion is and what you really enjoy, you will be spending a lot of time trying new things and figuring out what you’re good at and what you like. Don’t be afraid to try new things and fail at them; failing builds character. You have a lot of growing up to do in your 20s, a lot of self-examination and exploration. Use this time wisely to get to know yourself as best as you can–not that you won’t change as you continue to get older, but it’s definitely a time of discovery, getting to know oneself and what you want in this world and what you have to contribute to the world.
2. Don’t Expect Smooth Seas
There will be many challenges, obstacles and curve balls swung your way. Just try to take life as it comes. Don’t fight against the current because you’ll just wear yourself out. If there’s a door that is standing wide open for you and another that you’re trying to get through by knocking it down, sometimes it’s best to take the door that’s already open for you. In other words don’t try to be someone/something you’re not.
3. Learn About Personal Finance Now
Learn how to budget and manage your money, how to open a checking/savings account, and how to use credit wisely and live within your means. Your future self will thank you for it. Buy quality items you can keep around for a long time to come, not cheap crap that breaks that you’ll have to buy again in a year. Invest in yourself, your education, your personal improvement, your health and your relationships to others.
4. Assume Change Will Come
Life is about change; don’t fight it and just go with it. Learn from your mistakes and grow. Let go of things you can’t change. Sometimes change will be so painful you will want to rip your heart out, but you’ll be okay if you just hang on and know that no matter what happens, you will be alright. Win, lose or draw, life will go on and you’ll get another chance to start your life over if things haven’t gone according to plan.
5. Keep Your Plans Loose
Speaking of plans, keep them loose and flexible. It’s good to have an idea of things you want to accomplish and where you want to be a couple years down the road, but honestly no one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow, let alone 5 years from now. It’s fine to make some plans but be flexible and willing to change them. Remember that people change and things happen that will push you in one direction or another. Don’t waste time beating yourself up because your plans didn’t go the way you wanted. Don’t worry about things you can’t change; focus on making new plans/goals and where you will go from here.
6. Time Is a Limited Resource
Nothing lasts forever. Enjoy every moment that you have. Enjoy life and practice being present in the moment because it goes by extremely fast. There will be both good and bad times. The bad thing about up is there’s always a down. It’s important to really enjoy and savor the good moments in life because you’ll need those memories to reflect back on when the bad times come. The first 10 years after high school go by at a breakneck speed and before you know it you’re 28 and wondering how the time has escaped you.
7. Life is Hard
When you’re a teenager, you’re just at the beginning of your life’s lessons. Life is the toughest teacher you will ever have. “Life is a cruel teacher. She gives the test first, then the lesson.” Life will throw everything that it can at you; it will try to break you and choke you until you can’t breathe, but you can’t let it.
8. You’re Only Young Once
Enjoy being young while you are still young! Enjoy being young as much as possible. Enjoy the metabolism and the fun times. Cross stuff off your bucket list while you’re young because no one knows how much time you truly have. Don’t wait until you’re old and can’t or may not be able to do the things you really want to experience. Seriously, you may be broke while you’re young, but that doesn’t matter. You’ve got time to make money and settle down. Travel, explore and do what your heart desires now. You can still get married, have children and a household and career starting in your 20s if you want, but you should try to balance your life with equal amounts of responsibility and fun. The last thing you want to do is look back on missed chances.
9. Make Your Health a Priority, Not an Option
Once you get into your late 20s and early 30s your body is going to start losing metabolism and energy. You’re going to start hurting and going to bed earlier. Start eating better and exercising. Don’t think of it as a choice. Start developing a healthier lifestyle and soon it will become habit. Take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.
10. Attitude Determines Your Altitude
Attitude is everything and that’s not something they teach you in school. Having a good attitude can make all the difference in your life. It makes life easier and happier when you have a positive outlook and are able to keep your attitude light and flexible when dealing with other people and with life’s challenges.