In a similar vein to my last post, these are things that I wish someone had told me about being in your 20s when I was, oh, say 15.
- Life will get in the way of your plans. Nearly every time. Don’t ever stop planning, but be ready for an unexpected turn.
- Always get a copy of your lease and a receipt for any money you give to your landlord. Seriously. Always.
- It’s sometimes really hard to go to work. Go anyway. Being someone they can depend on is a good thing.
- On the other hand, don’t be afraid to call out (with enough warning) if you need a mental day. You will be able to get through the shorter pay check. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
- Don’t let people walk all over you. When people are taking up the whole sidewalk, don’t walk in the street. When they see you walking resolutely toward them, they will move. If they don’t, say excuse me.
- Take up exactly as much space as you need. Being a person gives you the right to exist in the world. But don’t forget that other people need space to take up as well.
- Don’t you ever, ever, be afraid to tell people what you think. At work, at home, in the store. If someone says something offensive, tell them. This will get easier the more you do it.
- As tempting as it may be, don’t try to reinvent yourself as a “real adult”. There is no such thing. Be a person. Be true to your ideals and your beliefs. This is what marks you as an adult.
- Don’t smoke. It’s bad for you and it’s really hard to kick.
- Spending money on things you need is not frivolous.
- Keep in touch with your friends. Set up coffee dates.
- Expect people to leave. You can’t all stay in the same city, or even the same state. People will move away. You will move away. Suddenly you will be in a city where none of your friends live. That’s okay. Make new ones.
- Finally, and most importantly, be kind. To yourself, to others, to the planet. This will make living a much easier task.