As someone who is officially in her ‘mid twenties’ and who has reflected more in the last few weeks than I have in ages, I decided to compile a list of things I personally believes every twenty-something needs in their life. Of course, some of these will differ depending on your personal circumstances, personality type, etc, but I think it’s a pretty foolproof list in general and I think you’ll agree.
1. Your Own Space
Note, ‘Space’ not ‘Place’. If you’re living with your rents, that’s totally cool – keep calm and save on! However, it’s truly imperative for every twenty-something to have their own space. As someone who is an introvert and needs time on my own to recharge and decompress, having a room of my own was really important to my relationship. Before I moved in, my boyfriend, his brother, and his friend were living together. This meant, whenever I came over, my only space was shared with my bf. Sounds all fine and dandy at first, but eventually you start to drive each other nuts. Now that I live there and his friend has moved out, I finally have my own room to relax, store clothes and female necessities, and hog the remote.
2. Something You Can Wear to an Interview
If you’re one of those people who has found their dream career or is self-employed, you’re killing it! However, situations change and having a suitable outfit to wear to an interview that indicates you have your shit together is always a good idea. Remember, it’s better to overdress than under dress no matter what job you’re applying to.
3. Someone to Hold You Accountable
As someone who is pretty self-aware, has a core group of friends and a boyfriend who is brutally honest, accountability isn’t something I’ve ever struggled with. Chances are, I know I’m in the wrong before anyone else has to tell me, and if I know I’m wrong and truly believe I’m wrong, I’ll be the first one to admit to it. Not everyone is this fortunate, so it’s important to have people to call you on your BS when necessary.
4. The Ability to Say ‘Sorry’
On the heels of number 3, the ability to admit when you’re wrong and apologize is something that’s important to learn sooner than later. The fact is, we all make mistakes, and that’s totally okay – we’re human after all. What’s not okay, is making a mistake, wronging someone, or saying something hurtful and not being able to admit that it was wrong because you;re too prideful or have too large of an ego. Saying ‘sorry’ isn’t easy. It can be uncomfortable and awkward, but everyone experiences the same discomfort, which makes the apology even more meaningful. Unless your ego means more to you than your friendship, relationship, job, etc, suck it up and get to apologizing.
5. A Passport
Assuming you’re like most millennials and want to travel and see the world and not be confined to one place, you’ll need a passport. Now that 10 year passports are a thing, it’ll be a one-time fee that’ll hold you over for many years and trips to come.
6. A 5 Year Plan
Sure, having goals is great, but goals without a plan on how to achieve said goals will never become more than a dream. So, set some pathways in motion to get you to where you want to be. Go to school, take personal development courses, budget, and set the plan in motion.
7. A Savings/Retirement Account
As my parents continue to remind me, I don’t want to just start saving for retirement when I’m their age. Open an RRSP or Tax Free Savings Account and start putting ‘X’ amount of dollars from every pay into it. Some companies will even match your contributions or at least a certain percentage of them, so it adds up quickly and grows over time.
8. A Healthy Relationship with Your Parents
Like many, my relationship with my parents was a bit strained through my rebellious teenage years. They always had my best interests in mind, but I, of course, viewed that as them trying to oppress me, so I argued and rebelled. Almost immediately when I moved away for college, our relationship improved and has only continued to improve since. Your parents want what’s best for you, they don’t want you to make the same mistakes they’ve made, and they have a wealth of knowledge to share with you for experiences you haven’t encountered yet (buying a home, for example). Trust that they’re not out to get you and want to help you succeed and you’ll begin to value their opinion instead of dread it.
9. A Sense of What Your Personal Style Is
By this time in your life, you should at least have an idea of what you like, what you don’t like, what flatters your body type, and what doesn’t. That doesn’t mean your style, like fashion trends, won’t continue to evolve. You’ll just already know the things you’re open to, and the things you are not.
10. An Online Brand
Thank you, Humber College, for preparing me for the world with a course devoted to social media. This may be surprising, but social media is actually taken seriously in the real world. Over 72% of employers will creep your social media accounts before considering you as a hire or even inviting you to an interview. That means your drunken photos, inappropriate statuses and questionable behaviour have got to go if you want to be taken seriously in the work place. Also, create a LinkedIn account. It’s like FB for business professionals.
11. A Support Network
Your twenties are said to be some of the most developmental years of your life. From school, to relationships, to babies and weddings, promotions, and house shopping – there is a lot of opportunity for things to go right (and wrong) and you need a core group of people to support you through the good and bad along the way.
Being secure in who you are, in your relationships, in your job, your body, etc are huge steps into becoming a successful twenty-something. Sure, we all feel insecure and feeling that way on occasion is totally natural, but have the confidence and self-worth to know that no matter how you feel or what happens one day, you will be fine the next.
13. A Makeup Combo to Feel Invincible
Whether you’re into the ‘natural’ makeup look, wear very little, or wear loads – one thing is for sure, you need to have a makeup combination that makes you feel empowered and completely invincible. It’s incredible how much more successful we are when we feel incredible.
14. A Bucket List
Want to travel? Want to get your Masters? Maybe you want to learn how to cook a specific dish or can, or grow an herb garden? Make a list and cross them off as you go! Not only will it keep you motivated, it feel so good when you’ve accomplished one and crossed it off the list!
15. An Idea of What You are For and Against
You don’t need to have it all figured out, but you should know the things you’re unwilling to compromise on. Whether you’re a feminist, believe in polyamory (or don’t), are pro-life or pro-choice – these are all view points you should have developed an opinion on at this point, and they are opinions you should be confident defending.
What would you add to this list? Let me know with a comment below!