1) Be yourself.
This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but we spend so much of our teens striving to be someone we’re not. Whether you looked up to the cool kid in your year, or the person who appears to have been out of the sun for the past ten years of their life and hung out at rock concerts on the weekends. Maybe it was that super clever person who took every test they were ever faced with; with ease and aced it each and every time. Or maybe you wanted to be just like your older and more well rounded sibling. Each of us looked up to someone and fought to change parts of ourself to be more like them.
So my advice for your twenties is to finally be yourself. Let yourself love all of the things you love… Whether it’s travel, photography, sport, writing, music… Whatever. Love it, and talk about it whenever you the opportunity to. People really do want to hear about what interests you whether you believe it or not.
2) Follow your dreams.
You’ve done the hard bit of having to slog through education just to get that piece of paper to tell your future employers about. You’ve worked damn hard for it and you’ve got it – congratulations!
Maybe your parents told you not to study that drama degree you dreamed of because jobs in this field can be hard to come by – so maybe you studied something like business instead. But it’s over now. Are you sitting here with that massive itch that’s nagging at you to finally give in and give it a good old scratch? Do you wake up every morning and dream of a life of writing every morning that you are on your commute to work?
Do you sit on the tube looking through national geographic traveler and look down at your smart attire wishing you could exchange it for hippie pants and flip flops, on a beach somewhere in Thailand?
Your twenties is the time to itch all of those scratches, jump on all of the planes you want to, write all of the books you’ve been meaning to write one day. The time will come when you have to settle down and work a sensible job and provide for your children and family – but nows not it. And you will never be able to shake the ‘what ifs’ in the back of your mind if you don’t try it now.
3) Fall in and out of love.
Do we really only just have ‘the one’? I don’t think so. I think we have many ones throughout our life. Your twenties is the perfect time to go and figure that out. Fall in and out of love. Get your heart broken. Adore and be adored. Kiss all of the frogs and cry to your best friend when another frog hasn’t phoned you back when they promised they would.
One day, one of those frogs who you kiss will become your prince. But maybe there will be a few princes or ones out there before you find the one that is going to be the rest of your book and not just a passing chapter.
So enjoy eating far too much ice cream and drinking too much wine while you cry about a heartbreak. Remember you are only in your twenties. Your time will come.
Dry skin, ain’t nobody got time for that.
5) Ask that cute boy at the bar for his number.
Girls, wake up. This is the 21st century and the rolls are changing. If you can go up for that job with the equal pay to your male counterpart then you can most certainly pluck up enough courage to ask someone for their number.
There is nothing quite as attractive as confidence. So go and shake what your mumma gave ya and use it.
6) Say yes.
You’ve got work tomorrow so you probably shouldn’t go and have some cocktails with the girls. This is true.. And sure you will feel a little rough at the desk tomorrow. But you are never going to get this time back to be a yes man. So go and be one.
7) Say no.
As much as I agree with doing as much as you possibly can with your days and nights… Let go of the fear of missing out. Sometimes it’s okay to swap a night out or two for a night in with your slippers and trashy tv. It will save your bank balance, give you some time to catch up with your friends and family properly without the loud thrum of music surrounding you. And more importantly – it will give you some time to just get to know yourself.
8) Say ‘I love you’.
Don’t ever forget to tell your loved ones just how much they mean to you… You never know what could happen tomorrow.
9) Learn something new.
Now that we’ve finished education and aren’t studying for study’s sake anymore – don’t forget to educate yourself. Pick up an instrument, get your tongue around a new language, learn about others, practise a new recipe. Sometimes there is no greater reward than the things we learn.
10) Have fun.
Life is too long and serious to take yourself that way. You have enough time during the day at work to be serious… Don’t forget to play and have fun too.