So you’re in your twenties and life is beginning to move forward. You’ve finished school, perhaps you’ve had a few adventures and maybe even a relationship or two. You might be married and thinking about starting a family and maybe settling down. If not yet, it’s definitely on the horizon of possibilities.
It may feel like things are just starting to get serious, and without really realizing it, you may be entering the most important decade of your life.
Let’s face it: Your twenties are all about consolidating your plans and coming to terms with the idea of settling down. But what happens next?
Visit an old friend or relative
You may need to expand your social circle or just reconnect. Spend a Sunday afternoon catching up, call your Grandma and tell her what’s been happening in your life. Take time for friends that you haven’t stayed in touch with lately.
Do something that scares you
The older we get, the more we fear change. What are you waiting for? Do something that scares you. It could be anything ⏤ from bungee jumping to finally getting up the courage to ask someone out. Don’t let your fears hold you back any longer. Get out there and do it!
Let go of the past. It could be skydiving, speaking up at a meeting, asking someone out on a date. Whatever it is: try not to worry and just do it!
Start saying “No” more often
You have to be able to say no to direct your life the way you want it. Know when you need to say “Yes” and when it is not. You don’t have to say yes all the time. If being agreeable doesn’t do anything good for you, then, by all means, get comfortable saying no.
Take a course
You have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar, write a novel or take up photography? Now is the time to do it. You can learn so many new things by taking a course, workshop or class.
It’s never too late to learn something new. Maybe you could do it together with your partner or take that course in Spanish you have always wanted to.
Go to the gym
It might be a good idea to get fit and healthy if you haven’t been for a while or keep up your training. It will make you feel better about yourself and make it easier to achieve your goals.
The best time to start exercising is when you have the least amount of time. Just do it! It’s a great way to feel better about yourself and release some stress at the same time. It will also help you to keep or get a healthy body weight.
Give something back
Are you passionate about animal rights, children with cancer, or the environment? Whatever your interest is: contact an organization that makes a difference and see how you can help.
Volunteering doesn’t have to be a big commitment: Even spending an hour a week for one year makes a difference. Ask your local charity what type of support they need most and start small.
Travel somewhere alone, even if it’s only for the day
You don’t need to travel solo if you don’t want to. If you do decide to go on your own, make sure that the place is busy and well-populated. A crowded airport or train station will offer more safety than a hotel lobby at 2 AM.
Don’t worry about being by yourself for a bit; it means you are truly alone with your thoughts. You learn so much more about yourself when there are no distractions.
Explore a new city, discover a new beach, or take a day trip to the countryside. Whatever you do: go somewhere without your smartphone and just enjoy being in the moment.
You might get married if you haven’t already, especially if you had a child early on. Although there is nothing wrong with marrying young, you will have a more solid relationship with your partner if you are both able to explore the world independently.
If you do decide to get married, start planning early with your partner. Book a nice wedding venue since it might be difficult to get a spot on short notice. Think of a theme for your wedding, find your wedding dress, and order invitations. Have fun with the planning!
Don’t dwell on the past
The most important thing that you need to do is understand that life doesn’t stop after school, university, or your first job. It’s only just the beginning! Don’t worry if some of your dreams aren’t as achievable as you would like them to be: You still have a lifetime ahead of you to make things happen.
Remember that your twenties are about consolidation rather than just about settling down. Although it may feel like the adventure has ended, being in your thirties means that you can finally begin to explore who you truly are and what makes you happy. It’s only after the age of thirty that life really begins.