10 Things I Discovered Being 20

1. You do not have to be perfect. Mistakes are incredibly, superly important to getting shit done. If it was not for the experimentation and mistakes I have made so far I would not be who I am today. I would not have accomplished 90% of the things I have done.

2. Choosing a career is overrated. Especially when you’re a Millennial and you’re being bombarded with “Bad Job Market” headlines and “Unpaid Internships” galore. There is no such thing as a career anymore. It’s all about skills you have, the people you meet, and the amazingness you can contribute to the universe. Why limit your complexity to one major?/job?/career?

3. Financial literacy is important, very important. Being 20, you should at least be getting the hang of your finances. Writing down your expenses, seeing where your money is going. What? You’re not? Go pick up any book by Ramit Sethi, and get your act together. Seriously.

4. We underestimate ourselves. If you think about it, we’re pretty flippin’ cool. We’re living in one of the most exciting and innovative times. You can self-publish your own book, become heard internationally, be a filmmaker, talk to influential folks on Twitter,and you have access to the most knowledge in the world with just a click away. You have the resources, and I’m here to support you. Don’t ever feel alone on your autodidactic journey. Let’s support each other.

5. Being single is okay. Seriously, what’s the rush? It is not like the middle ages where you would get married at 12 because you might be dead by 30. People are living longer and healthier lives. I am still figuring out myself, why not learn to accept and love yourself before you love someone else?

6. Your gifts are needed.  So many people are gifted or just more attuned with certain things than others. Maybe you love baking, and are really good at it? Those chocolate chip cookies may make someone smile. Amazing runner? Someone needs some coaching or advice. Share your gifts with others.

7. Self-Care is so important. During my teens I took all those AP classes, honors courses, stayed up late studying, and psychologically just couldn’t take it. It was only after some internal changes, soul-searching, and realizations that I decided early to bed early to rise is important. I changed my diet, I started exercising, and I broke off relationships that were unhealthy. Take care of yourself.

8. Your age does not matter. You can do whatever adults are doing. You may still feel like a kid (Yeah, I still love my Disney movies, walking through old neighborhoods I used to live in, and my Gameboy color), but you’re really capable of doing adult things. Opening a business, being a mentor, and even speaking around the world, like this guy.

9. You’re not limited by school for socializing. So why are you just hanging out at school for establishing relationships? Now’s the time to actually build relationships with people you can collaborate with, travel with, and learn from. This is the time to do so. Attend conferences, volunteer, start a meet up group.

10. You do not have to be in debt. Student loans, cars, apartments, gourmet food. Do you really need it? Think about how you’ll have to pay it off in the end. There’s another way – without debt. 

2 Responses

  1. Daniel Waters says:

    That’s a great list. As an old bloke of 37 I’d like to add a couple more. Firstly, you become the people you surround yourself with. So, if you’re surrounded by negative people you’ll become negative. Seek out people who inspire you and make you better (like Isabelle!). Secondly, try to learn from people who are where you want to be. For example, when I was learning how to become a photographer I would read lots of advice on forums that I now know was terrible. I now seek out advice from people who live a life that I either respect or aspire to.

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