How To Be A Twentysomething

April 8, 2016

If you look up the word “Twentysomething” in the dictionary, you’ll find it defined as “of, relating to, or being a person who is in his or her twenties.” Somewhere along the line, we’ve decided that “young adult” just wasn’t clear enough in defining this whirlwind decade.

From “What I Wish I Knew” to “Things to Remind Yourself,” I find my social network chock-full of advice and how-to guides on living my most fulfilling life. My Internet-obsessed generation has the ability to analyze its experience in a way like never before. With hashtags and filters, we take our lives out of reality and onto the screen to compare, comment and quantify. The constant evaluations cause us to wonder, “Am I doing this right?”

A few months ago, I watched the TED Talk “Why 30 Is Not The New 20.” Clinical psychologist Meg Jay lays out three pieces of advice to twentysomethings on how to re-claim their adulthood:

  • First, get identity capital. By that, she means gather experiences that build you as an individual. Explore work and make it count.
  • Second, don’t limit yourself within your current social spheres. Weak ties, Jay explains, often lead to the next new experience we are seeking.
  • And lastly, Jay tells us to be as intentional with love as we are with work. Choose carefully and avoid wasting time on relationships that are simply convenient.

This advice comes with great purpose and research. The decade my parents once described as carefree and a time to do “basically whatever you want” has now become filled with expectation and/or promise. Meg Jay has even written a book about it.

Your twenties are not a throwaway decade. But I’m not convinced they’re make-or-break either.

With college graduation just around the corner, now is the time for many to face adulthood for the first time. What are you doing? What are you thinking?

I’m a planner by nature. A bit of a worrier, and often a perfectionist. Perhaps this has carefully guided me through difficult decisions and led me on a path to success. Or perhaps it’s made things harder. If I could join the Thought Catalog club and offer up a list of what I wish I knew before becoming a twentysomething, it would be this:

Everything will be ok.
224 (1)