I have only 4 months until I turn 30 and it blows my mind! I can’t believe my 20’s are almost over. It’s insane how quickly time flies and how much can change in a decade. Speaking of decade, it is currently the end of the decade (today is November 15, 2019). January begins a new decade- the 2020’s. Crazy right? I’ve lived through the 90’s, 00’s, and the 10’s. It didn’t really hit me until I heard someone mention that 2005 was 15 years ago.
Yep. 15 years since my Sophomore year in High school, Mr & Mrs Smith was released in theaters, and Desperate Housewives was one of the top tv shows (and it remains my favorite tv show of all time). But honestly, it kind of gets me emotional when I really think about it. Life is short, sweet, and beautiful and there are so many things to be learned and experienced.
That’s exactly what today’s post is all about. I’m sharing 20 things that I learned in my 20’s. 20 things that if I knew when I was 20, my entire world would be drastically different. 20 Things that I will make sure my kids are aware of so that they don’t feel like the wasted time in life like I did. 20 things that will help you if you haven’t learned them yet. Hopefully you didn’t have to learn the hard way.
1.Friends that become Family are absolutely necessary.
I have no idea where I would be without my OG friends. I have 5 girlfriends that I have known since high school, one of them I have known since childhood. You see, when you graduate high school, or start college you are beginning your new life as an adult. A life that will be challenging, stressful, crazy, fun, and anything in between.
It is SO important to have good, solid friends by your side. Even if you don’t live in the same area anymore, having friends to visit often and to talk to when you need someone is absolute GOLD. I’ve actually heard people saying that life is better without close friends and I couldn’t disagree more.
For me, my friends have become family over the years and those kinds of relationships are unparalleled. We celebrated each others college graduations, new jobs, marriages, new house, new car, having children, and so much more. It really is a beautiful thing and as time passes, I’ve really understood the value of having a top notch gang.
2.Guys aren’t worth the stress and heartbreak
Sigh, I know many of us all have stories of times we spent crying over a man and wasting our time with someone who literally didn’t care about us at all, but seriously, if your relationship isn’t working or the guy is mentally, physically, or verbally abusive, ditch him. Relationships take up so much of our time and energy and if you have even the slightest bit of doubt, you need to step back and free yourself. You can live without a man.
It’s also super important to be educated on the signs of an abusive relationship and your options when you think your’re stuck in one. There is always someone that can help you but at the end of the day, the big decision making is always going to be up to you.
3.Having a baby is a big deal
While we are on the topic of relationships, I have to discuss having a baby.Having a baby is the crazies, most life altering decision you will ever make. While I don’t regret having my baby at a young age (19), I know from experience how hard it can be. Lucky for me I had my tribe to support me during the wildest time of my life, but some people don’t have that luxury. Practice extreme caution when considering having your first child. I don’t believe anyone is ever ready for motherhood, but being with the wrong person or in the wrong situation is a recipe for disaster.
4.Lack of financial education will destroy you.
I have a lot of beautiful memories from my 20’s, but overall, I feel like my 20’s was a waste of time. I feel like I wasted years that I will never get back. The reason why I feel like I wasted this time is because I didn’t do much traveling, I didn’t do many of the things that I wanted to do in life. I am finally starting to do these things now, but the reason why I didn’t get to do these things was because of money.
We struggled a lot financially for many years. We were a young family of 4 with no financial support from anyone. It’s hard to survive out here these days when you have children to look after and provide for. But even when we did have a good income, we wasted the money because we didn’t have any financial education. We were absolutely terrible with money. Not as bad as some people, but looking back at some of the decisions we made, I cringe. It wasn’t until I was 27 years old that I realized omg I’m almost 30 years old and I have absolutely no money. I haven’t done things that I thought I would be able to do and I’m not living life to the fullest potential. I gave myself a crash course on financial education and that single handedly changed my entire life. 2 years later and we have a ton of money in our savings accounts, purchased cars debt free, are planning more vacations and just living life to the fullest. Financial education is a game changer.
5. Don’t go to college unless you have a career plan
When I was in high school 11 years ago, kids were still under immense pressure to follow the plan that society tells us we should follow. The basic go to college, get a 9-5, work until you die, etc. But that was before the days of youtube, where the highest paid person on the platform is a child. In 2019, money seems to come a little easier than it did before. Meaning for some people who play their cards right, they can make tons of money online rather than getting in debt with college. Alternatively, people are using their online income as a way to pay off their college debt faster than they ever thought possible. But college is a major decision. And many schools allow individuals at the age of 19 years old to sign student loan contracts for insane amounts of money. with no credit history, job, or anything like that.
It is very deceiving because when you are young you don’t realize that in the blink of an eye those loans are going to be due, no matter what path you decided to take in life. I don’t know. I regret going to school. It was a waste of money AND the school I went to actually got shut down for FRAUD. So I was literally scammed into taking out loans and it just was a huge mistake. Not saying that it will be a mistake for everyone, I know plenty of people who went to college and are happy about their decision, all I’m saying that it isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.
6.Have fun but don’t waste time
One thing that nobody told me about graduating high school is that there would be a lot of partying and that sometimes partying is cool, and some times it’s not. Here’s the deal. I got pregnant when I was 19 years old so I had about one year of solid partying and then I had to start a new life. But what I learned from that was that partying didn’t do anything for me. 10 years later and if i’m being brutally honest, many of the people that I partied were not my real friends, many of them are dead because of drugs, a couple of them are serving long sentences in jail for domestic abuse, several of them are just not doing anything with their lives, 5 of them have died due to alcohol abuse, and a couple of them actually went on to live happy, healthy, prosperous lives.
Partying isn’t cute in my opinion. Especially if you somehow manage to find people who party every single day. Like what are you even partying for? It’s not acceptable to get blackout drunk several nights a week, not have a job, live with your parents, and party all the time.
I’m not saying don’t party, but make sure that you don’t get caught with the wrong type of people, respect your body, know your drinking limits, always let people you trust know where you are and who you are with in case of an emergency, and party in moderation.
7.Make the world you oyster.
One of my biggest regrets of my 20’s is that I didn’t travel. I had a good excuse I suppose. My husband and I were both working to provide for our children, but still. We didn’t even take day trips. If you have the time and money to travel, then TRAVEL. If you don’t have tons of money, explore your hometown and places nearby. My husband and I have been living here for 6 years and just a few months ago my friend showed me a stunning hidden waterfall literally only 20 minutes from my house. I call it the enchanted forest because it’s so pretty, but We drove past it for 6 years and NEVER knew it was there!
8.Don’t compare yourself to others
From now on, you will see people getting a good job, having a romantic wedding, getting engaged, buying a new car, buying a new house, flaunting their bodies and other materialistic things. But just know that there is absolutely no reason why you should ever be comparing yourself to others. We are all on a different path for a reason and it is super important to be grateful for the things that you have without comparing yourself to other people.
9. Take good care of yourself
I know for me personally, I had no idea that I would start getting wrinkles, and gray hairs before I was 30 years old. I swear I thought that was something that happened to people in their 40s and 50’s and after. But nope. life comes at you fast and before you know it you are going to start looking and feeling like time is starting to catch up with you. That is why it is super important to take care of your body and your skin every single day. Even if you are my age and starting to notice these things, it’s never too late to make out physical health a top priority.
10. Fall in love with yourself.
I feel like I have always had high self esteem and I’ve always loved myself, but not everyone is that way. It is important to know that you are a diamond, and you need love yourself as you are. If you have flaws that you want to work on, there is nothing wrong with that. But you never want to ever stop loving yourself or have feelings of low self worth. If you don’t love yourself it makes it harder for other people to love you the way you deserve to be loved.
These are my top tips that I wish someone taught me when I was finishing high school. Did I forget any? Let me know!