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4 Lessons From My 30s I Wish I Knew in My 20s

4 Lessons From My 30s I Wish I Knew in My 20s
Written by Maria Sprints

In their early 20s, most people have just graduated college, started their first major job and perhaps rented their first apartment.

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When you are a young 20-something, you are just beginning your adult life and everything is exciting. Learning lessons and making mistakes are important parts of this time, but there are some things you know when you are older that maybe you wish you knew then. Here are a few to keep in mind.

It’s Never too Early to Budget and Save

In their early 20s, most people have just graduated college, started their first major job and perhaps rented their first apartment. All of the new-found responsibilities you take on during this time in your life can be overwhelming and hard to manage. Bills, groceries, student loans and other expenses can really test your financial responsibility. It can be easy to get in over your head, but sticking to a detailed budget and saving a little at a time can start you on a path to financial security. Stick to small, achievable goals, such as saving $25 a month to build up an emergency fund. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a savings account to help you stick to your plan.

Stay Healthy, Stay Happy

With so much going on when you’re starting adulthood, taking care of your mind and body can often fall off your list of priorities. However, eating whatever you want, staying out late and not having time for exercise can take its toll. Starting healthy habits in your 20s makes it easier to stay fit as you get older. However, staying healthy includes more than staying away from junk food and going to the gym every week. Some important things to take care of in your 20s include building strong bones, stretching and caring for your joints and working on keeping good posture.

Learn the Right Skills to Get by

We all learn some useful skills as we make our way through adulthood, even some we never expected. However, there are some skills that are more valuable than others, and everyone should learn them when they are young. For example, Relevant Magazine says everyone in their 20s should learn some basic cooking skills, how to parallel park, how to stand up for yourself in a professional environment and how to write a resume and cover letter.

You should also know how to do basic maintenance and upkeep around your house, such as safely changing and disposing of light bulbs, pest prevention and control and changing air filters. Your car is another thing you should know how to take care of, such as buying tires from reputable brands and retailers, changing your oil and checking your brakes, belts and other parts.

It’s Okay to Fail Sometimes

As you go through the rollercoaster that is your 20s, one of the most important things you can remember is that it is okay to fail sometimes. J.K. Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” series, said failing is inevitable, but what you do with that failure is what makes the difference. In her 20s, before becoming an international success, Rowling was jobless and turned down by many publishers. As hard as you try to follow your budget, stick to your diet and land your dream job, you will not always make it. But as long as you don’t get discouraged and keep trying, you’ll find your way.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

Something that took some time and effort for me to accept is that mistakes are inevitable and it takes hard work to achieve goals. Nothing worthwhile is easy.

2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

I appreciate the deep and supportive relationships in my life, both with my family and friends.

3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

My education. Earning a degree while working full time was certainly a challenge, but I graduated without student loan debt and a greater sense of pride in earning my diploma. I now have a goal to further my education with a master’s and doctorate degree.

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

I suppose one of the many “imperfect” things about me is people often say I am “too nice.” While many say this in a negative way, or think it means I am not strong, I believe it is a good thing. I believe in compassion, understanding and acceptance for everyone.

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my dog.

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About the author

Maria Sprints

Maria is a writer, philanthropist, animal lover, Earth advocate and citizen of the world. She has an affinity for public radio and three-legged dogs.