I think age is an important factor for success. But success is a subjective thing in itself. Nonetheless, age is a great indicator of what we are supposed to be accomplishing in life. This is a very relevant topic in Psychology. Different theories of personality present life stages with its corresponding expected developments. Freud had the psychosexual stages. Erickson had the psychosocial stages. Piaget had the cognitive development and so on. And each one of these includes ages.
But I will not go on with a scholarly talk. I just want to take part in a growing number of online references that discuss what it’s like to be in your 20s. I have to say that like any life stages, it has its share of the good and the bad, joy and pain, love and heartache, of questions and answers, and of beginnings and endings. And don’t forget that there’s also a time for sobriety and complete, you know, blackout.
Here are the things that I know so far.
- Hugs are a bad day saver. Some days aren’t just the perfect day and I could go on to tell reasons why. But I’ll leave that to you. Personalize this part. And on such days, a big hug from a loved one could be the best gift. It can easily make you feel less alone, less terrified. Less of all the negatives.
- Consistent beer nights is just a phase. Those Friday and Saturday nights spent at the pub drinking with friends. I consider this a phase because responsibility is supposed to sink in at some point. Other than that, more meaningful activities and priorities must arise eventually.
- Quality over quantity. Primarily I am referring to relationships. One way or another you will find out that less is just the right thing. You can’t seriously and genuinely be friends with a hundred people and keep in touch with everyone from time to time. And you’ll actually notice and realize that not everyone from your friends would be there for you especially at a worst time.
- Acceptance. From that previous fact, all you can do is accept it. Accept that fact about life. And you’ll feel better.
- Appreciate the few. When you learn to accept that less is just the right number of people you need in your life, you have all the time now to appreciate them. Connect with them. Celebrate living with them.
- Thoughts of moving out. In the west this is normal. But among us Filipinos, it isn’t. Supposed you are done with the delinquent phase and you are genuinely trying to become a full-pledged independent young adult, then thoughts of moving out may be playing in your head by now.
- Self-doubt. For a lot of reason. For being all alone even when you are with family or friends. When it’s just you and your problem face to face.
- Lover. A lover is a good idea. Part of the freedom of being in your 20s is to explore the world. Embark on a road trip. Visit a deserted building. Try a new restaurant. The possibilities are endless. Savor the time while you still have no kids to put on top of your priority list, at all times.
- Be kind to your body. Not everyone’s a nutritionist or a medical doctor. Not everyone knows about the components of all the foods we eat. Most of us can go on for a long time oblivious to the effects of everything we put into our body. So there’s one thing I suggest you do. Try to know some facts about foods, alcohol, smoking and drugs. Try to know how these things affect your body.
- The questions. There’s a lot. If only we could ask for the counsel of all the old people in the world. They know best how to live a happy and meaningful life. Not that every one of them had that. I assume not. But the approaching end makes the difference for what they could tell us.
I don’t know how this list is exactly related to my intro that discusses success and age. Maybe success could be number 11. That we, the 20-somethings, aren’t all that sure that whatever we are doing now is the right path to success. And we have a lot of inspirations, people that we look up to and wonder if we could ever become one. If it’s even possible in the first place. If we have the capability to become successful.
So here are some things of what it’s like to be in your 20s. I am one small voice. One that asks. One that looks up in the night sky and wonder how.