Your 20s: The Time to Make Yourself or Break Yourself

Throughout life, we hit these milestones that are often looked forward to. We begin as young tots when we look forward to turning 13 because we’ll officially be a ‘teenager.’ Then there is 17, the year we get behind the wheel and cause our parents more gray hair. 

Some say 18 is a big year because you’re a legal adult, whatever that means because nothing changed for me when I turned 18 except for the fact that I was that much closer to my 20s. 

As a young female, growing up in my teens all I did was adore older girls who were in their 20s. In my eyes, these girls were fresh out of college, pursuing their careers, getting cocktails with their friends and looking glamorous through it all. I couldn’t wait to enter this phase of my life. Becoming of legal age to drink only added to the anticipation. 

My mother, an independent, saavy, strong woman always instilled in me that one’s 20s are their make it or break it years. Adding to my mother’s mantra, I say your 20s are also your selfish years. Don’t worry, I say selfish in the nicest way possible but we’ll get to that later. 

As the years went on and I got closer to crossing that line from my teen years into my 20s, my mother wised me up on the years to come. Yes, your 20s are like an experimental phase as your exploring, trying new things and figuring yourself out. 

In the first few years of your 20s, you’re finishing up school and trying to grab a hold on what it means to enter the ‘real world.’ You’ll probably take a few different jobs, figure out what you love and maybe don’t really care for. You’ll date, try new relationships and figure out the hard way that the edgy tattoo-covered poet is not the guy you’re going to spend your future with. To look at the glass half full, after a few heartbreaks, you’ll know what you really want in a partner. 

You’ll spend way too many paychecks on Tobi.com because their annoying but beautiful daily sales reeled you in. You’ll likely experience going out and freezing you’re a** off in that too short, showing-too-much-skin dress that you could barely walk in because of those stilettos you’re trying to rock but really can hardly make it two steps. These may be normal experiences in the precious years of your 20s but always keep in mind that everything you do now, you will pay for later.

Along with paying for it later, remember it’s okay to make your 20s your selfish years. I don’t mean to abandon your family and friends or not care about other’s feelings. I’m referring to treating your 20s like your building years for your future. Instead of being fixated on finding a boyfriend, embrace your independence (for those who are in committed, happy relationships, you go girl!) Focus on you and find that happiness within yourself before you seek it in others. Figure out how to feel comfortable in your own skin so you exude confidence. Confidence will help you land that dream job you’ve been talking about since your sophomore year of college because you know you’re worthy of the job.

Instead of wasting away your hard earned money on endless amounts of makeup and clothes (trust me, I’m guilty too) be sure to have a checking and savings account and start building up that money. You’ll thank me in 10 years when you’re able to move out on your own or purchase that new car you’ve been eyeing.

 Right now in your 20s, these are your make it or break it years and everything we do to our lives, bodies and relationships will show up later down the road. That tan you’re currently working on by baking in tanning beds may have you looking bronze now, but down the road all you’ll end up with are wrinkles and brown spots. Learn healthy eating habits now so those late night binge-eating habits don’t continue when your metabolism isn’t as fast as it is now. 

Travel, explore, learn the world, other people and yourself. Have fun and live up this time because your 20s are some of the best years of one’s life.