Your 20s are for anything but settling – which is exactly why it’s a decade full of confusing moments and empowering breakthroughs. Whether you’re graduating college and hoping you’ll land your dream job or renting your first apartment and wondering how you’ll afford that vintage rug (because same), these crucial years will challenge the ideas you’ve held for yourself and determine the direction you’re headed because of them.
While it’s easy to say that all 20-somethings have their own version of how they want to live their lives, it’s sometimes hard to discover who you are in the midst of what seems like an endless amount of options for who you could be. Although we grow from the outcomes of our choices, it’s common to question our decisions as quickly as we feel guilty for the circumstances they put us in. So to avoid dwelling on these circumstances and begin appreciating the lessons that come from them, here are 10 things to stop feeling bad about in your 20s.
1. Your relationship status
Of course you expected this to be on the list, but a friendly reminder is always great. Regardless if you’re swiping right (or left – not sorry) during your lunch break or getting ready for a date night with your significant other, you’re on your own path when it comes to relationships and there shouldn’t be any shame in that. In the end, your relationship status is simply a detail in your life – not a determining factor on the quality of it.
2. Losing touch with friends
The transition of becoming an adult not only means growing up, but growing apart from the friends who we once deemed so important. Similar to how we go through different phases in our lives, it should only make sense that the roles that people play in them also change. Although there may be a handful of friends who stick around, there are others who won’t (and that’s okay). Instead of holding on to these fading relationships, accept this natural process and realize that people aren’t meant to last forever – and that’s what makes them important.
3. Sleeping in when you could be productive
If you’re anything like me, you pretty much know that any productive plans you have before 9 am on a Sunday morning don’t sound as appealing after you decide to go out on a Saturday night and fall asleep while eating Taco Bell (no regrets). Before you frantically wake up (late) and feel guilty for missing your chance to start your day early, stop. Even though it’s nice to want to be get things done immediately in the morning, it’s also necessary to get enough sleep to be efficient. So the next time you feel bad for indulging in some rest, remember that taking care of your body is just as essential as finishing your to-do list.
4. Changing your career path
To put this honestly, life is short and what you decide to do for 40+ hours/week should matter (to you). Whether this decision was triggered by your discovery of your passion or your hope for a more comfortable income, it can be scary to take a chance on yourself – and on the risk of things not working out the way you hoped. What we’re saying? The choice to change your career is one that you should be proud of. After all, the only thing more unfortunate than a career you aren’t satisfied with is one that you remain stuck in.
5. Unfollowing accounts on social media
With the lives of our peers available for our viewing (translation: stalking) at the touch of our fingertips and the opening of literally any social media app, it’s easy to fall victim to comparison and negative thoughts. Whether it’s the accounts that constantly make you feel bad about your body or the ones that always make you feel sad about your current circumstance, do yourself a favor and unfollow (or mute) them. Remember – you can’t control the content that people post, but you can always decide whether or not you see it. All in all, there are more important things to worry about and who you’re following online isn’t one of them.
6. Living at home
As 20-somethings who want to take on the world (without necessarily having the resources to do so at the moment), the reality of living at home is one that many of us experience and struggle. From the shame of still financially relying on loved ones to the embarrassment of not having another housing option, living at home can seem like a situation that directly correlates with an inability to be independent.
Due to the fact that every decision is different, this statement obviously isn’t true – and it’s unfair for you to hold yourself to a feeling of shame just because you don’t have your own space yet. So the next time this wave of disappointment hits, remind yourself that your current living situation is a temporary solution that’s helping you invest for a more permanent place.
7. Saying no
We’ve all been there – you didn’t meet your best friend for happy hour because you had a rough day and now you feel like you let her down. And you were tired so you didn’t help your coworker with her portion of the work project and now you’re dwelling on if you’re selfish. Even though there’s nothing wrong with being helpful to those around you, your mental and physical health shouldn’t be negatively affected because of it. By saying no when you actually want to, you’re prioritizing what you need instead of potentially suffering because of what others want.
8. Your spending habits
Whether you’re saving money while living paycheck to paycheck or spending money by paying for flights and road trips, your financial choices are based off your priorities and the things that are meaningful to you. Sure, there are smart habits to practice when it comes to money, but the final choice as to how you want to go about your spending is yours. So buy that jumpsuit you’ve been looking for or save for that international trip you’ve been waiting on – there’s no reason to feel bad for your spending habits when there’s no “right” way to spend the money you’ve earned.
9. Skipping a workout
No worries – that yoga class you missed to catch up on the newest episode of The Bachelorette will still be there the next week. While being active is always a good idea for a healthier lifestyle, your world won’t end if you don’t always follow your workout routine and your worth isn’t a reflection of how many workout classes you actually attend. It’s safe to say that sometimes life gets busy – give your mind (and your body) a rest by accepting that skipping your workouts every once in a while is a relaxing break instead of a regretful decision.
10. Not following the timeline you’ve set for yourself
We know – you were supposed to move to your favorite city at 24, quit your job for a year and travel around the world at 26, meet your soulmate at 28, and launch your startup company by 30. Don’t get us wrong – the issue isn’t imagining what your ideal life would be, but using it as a measurement of how successful your current life is. Although it might be disheartening to realize you haven’t reached some of the milestones you wanted to at a certain age, you have to remember that this doesn’t reduce your chance of meeting them in the future. So continue to fight for the life that you want, find beauty in the struggles that you face, and believe in the idea that your best days are just ahead.