Most 20-somethings experience a momentous transformation after college called the quarter life crisis. Our experiences with this crisis vary significantly based on when they occur, how we handle them, where we move to, who we break up with, who/when we marry, and so on. Here I’ve gathered the best advice for a 20something as told by a 20something. These are people who have experienced this phase first hand, and whether it helps to hear you’re not alone or pushes you forward on a new path, here’s to hoping this gives guidance to at least one of you.
"If something scares you, that's usually a good sign you should do it."
"Always try to look your best. You never know when you'll run into a former or future love."
"Anyone who tells you that you can't do something can go eat a bird-shit sandwich."
Move - Nobody should end in the same place they began - live, love and laugh someplace new. At least once in your life, pack up and move to some place different. It's amazing how much you find out about yourself when you wander new places with new people. You can't grow if you don't give yourself the room.
Create - Whether collaboratively or by yourself, be responsible for creating something beautiful at least once a year. Art is a big small word and something that everyone should experience firsthand. It could be something written, painted, sewn, built, or said - just as long as it’s something you are proud of.
“If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it.”
― Frank Zappa
People will always justify their choices to you when you are doing something different. Let them, for their sake. But, don't let ANYONE tell you there is a way to live life. The happiest people have invented their own way.
Oh, and watch Blackfish.
WEAR SUNSCREEN! - You never think you'll get wrinkles but when you do, it's quite a blow to that invincible ego.
Save your money - At the age of 28, I realized if I wanted to continue buying cute jackets and shoes, I would live with my parents forever. Not ideal.
If you don't like where you’re at in life, be brave and make the change. Move. Change jobs. Travel. Go back to school. It's scary, but you only get one life and you might as well spend it being happy!
GERARD - Sometimes, it’s just time to “grow up”. A little bit, at least.
Post-graduation, I lived with college friends, in my college town, enjoying copious happy hours with my social circle still in close proximity. Subsequent to say, the supposed transition into “adult hood” was non-existent. And then people starting moving away - they got into graduate school, began cohabitating and became serious about their jobs. My weekend warrior posse was shrinking and Friday nights were no longer an assumed night out. I knew at some point the remnants of undergraduate debauchery was going to dissipate but when it did, it was like someone flipped a switch. It took me by surprise. I guess, sometimes it’s just time to “grow up”. A little bit, at least.
DYLAN - "Avoid making life decisions based on the regrets of others." –D. Campbell
TREVOR - "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"
Take a chance. I like to think of it as the basketball player who is waiting to be discovered but was always told by his coaches not to shoot because he wasn’t good enough. Suddenly the game comes down to him and he finds himself with the ball at the last second. It's an internal struggle of what he's been told for so long, versus having the confidence in himself to do something different – something high risk but high reward.
"Eat every cheeseburger"
A fun way of saying "Carpe diem." Get out there, get uncomfortable, taste things you don't think you like, look at things you don't normally want to see. How do you know you don't like it until you try it? If you don’t eat every cheeseburger, you won't know why one is better than the other.
Appreciate your FAMBAM. Spend more quality time with your parents. Ask them lots of questions. Don't skip family dinners in fear of missing the "Party of the Year". The bar can wait. Just stay home with the A-Team tonight. In the end, they are the ones that matter and have always had your back. Trust me, every moment is worth it.
Advice that I wish I would have known..... Honestly, I hold firm in the idea that all things come to us when we are ready to hear them and as we need them. I think the experiences and/or 'mistakes' we may have made in the past have all helped shape us into the brilliant humans we are today. Learning and growing is forever so I do not know if any advice would have done me well earlier than when I was ready to receive it. We just have to trust the path and know that we are walking in the exact footsteps we are supposed to be carving out. Sometimes trusting that path can seem nearly impossible when navigating the waters of the 20something lifestyle. I suppose, if I had to choose one thing I wish I would have known, deeply known, it would be this - all experience is happening in exactly the time, place and space it is supposed to be happening and that you are okay. Then maybe I could have sat more comfortably in knowing that all things work out as they are supposed to. Every experience just adds to the perfect culmination of exactly the being we are supposed to be in this time; the present. The only thing we have.