Oh, your 20s. What an interesting time in your life. You're old enough to be making some of your first major adult decisions but still young enough to make the dumb decisions.
This is the time for you to try your “firsts” and learn from them. Given, of course, your life will always be filled with firsts, but your 20s are the time you ideally want to experience the big ones. That way you are familiar/more aware if it happens again in your life.
Some experiences might be best in your 20s as well because you would want to begin settling in your 30s and so on. You oh so often hear older people say, “oh I wish I had done that when I was younger” or “ I wish I could go back and do it over”.
Well, trust me you don’t want to be the person 20-30 years from now wishing you had done so many things back then. There is a reason the 20s, whether the age or the decade, is called the roaring 20s. This is your time to go crazy and live.
But what all should you do in your 20s?
There are so many moments you want to be a part of in your life, especially while you’re so young. But here are 10 things every woman needs to do in her 20s and why they are so imperative.
1. Make a Drastic Career Move
Yeah, I’m coming right out the gate guns a blazin'! Your 20s are the perfect time to make drastic career moves that will push you towards your dream job. If you’ve read some of my past articles, you know that I repeat over and over again that I am a huge believer in getting your dream job.
If you are doing a job you love, you will never work a day in your life. Why would you want to spend your life in a dead-end job that you hate? Well, your 20s are the time to make the crazy moves and do the crazy jobs that push you towards your dream job.
Now for some, you find a really great job right out of college but for those of us not so lucky, you end up finding the first thing you can. It could be a great set up if you truly have no idea what you want as a career but hopefully by your late 20s you have some idea.
Well, take this decade to figure it out and make money moves towards it. You don’t want to get stuck in the loop of “oh I can leave at any moment. I’m just here for the money.” That may be the case and that’s all fine and dandy in your early 20s but don’t stick to that in your late 20s.
Actually, make that move, take that jump towards the place you want to be. You putting in that legwork now helps to set you up for a great career in your 30s where you can only grow from there.
Ugh, this one is the worst but so necessary. Now, of course, you can’t force heartbreak to happen but it is something every woman needs to do in her 20s. This doesn’t need to necessarily be a romantic relationship. It can be a friendship, family, or a job. It can be from so many factors.
But first, to experience the heartbreak, you need to keep yourself open to every experience. Open your heart to new people and new opportunities. This will help you to fully immerse yourself in life.
Now, why would I say to experience heartbreak? Because when you do, you begin to understand the depths of your emotions and what you can and cannot accept. You learn more about your expectations for the future. Seems a bit dramatic but it is almost like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
You feel what it is like to reach the bottom and learn how to only go up from there. This way when you experience it, it may not hurt so much the next time.
3. Be Selfish
Speaking of experiencing heartbreak, your 20s is a time to be selfish. I know that may be hard to hear because you have been raised on the old adage that you should never be selfish and always humble.
Well, I’m here to tell you fuck that.
You have to be selfish at some point in life because only you know what makes you happy. And if you don’t, you are the one responsible for figuring that out. This requires you to be a bit selfish and figure this out. If this means booking yourself a trip instead of working overtime, do it. If this means ending a relationship, do it.
A friend of mine actually wrote a great article about ending her engagement to travel the world. In the article, she acknowledges that this was a selfish decision but she summed it up perfectly.
“Sometimes you need to be selfish in order to live your best life. I made this decision based on my own happiness which is something I never do. As a people-pleaser, I am constantly ignoring my own wants and needs in order to make other people happy. But this was too big to ignore. My soul-fulfilling, deep-down happiness wasn’t something I could put off anymore.” (The Coddiwomplers).
Your 20s is the time to stop putting off your soul-fulfilling, deep-down happiness and truly find it. Make the selfish decisions to find you.
4. Solo Travel
Go Google things women should do in their 20s. Really go do it. I’ll wait here.
Without me having to even go search it, I can almost bet that at least 5 of the articles on the main page say something about traveling. Am I right? There is a reason everyone keeps saying it because it is so important.
Traveling is 10,000% something every woman needs to do in her 20s. Traveling gives you a sense of agency and helps you to connect with who you really are. It definitely helps if you don’t know who the f**k you are because you are put into a situation where you figure it out. How do I react to a different culture?
Do I handle pressure well? Am I the kind of person that shows up to the airport early or sprints to my gate at the last minute? There are so many attributes one learns about themselves while traveling.
Now I’m not talking about just any traveling. I’m not saying the road trip with your friends or a flight to a different state. No, I’m talking about solo international traveling. You may be thinking it is not in the budget to travel internationally, but there are so many websites that help you find budget airfare. I used SkyScanner when I decided to move to Ireland (another story for another day) to find my ticket because I could set alerts for price changes and get the lowest fare. So with that tool, you have a whole decade to make this happen!
I stress international travel because you truly put yourself out of your comfort zone.
“See what you like to do when the only agenda that you have to be concerned with is your own. What gets you excited? Notice how you feel throughout the day when you get to make all the decisions. Take what you learn and apply it to your everyday life. Do more of what makes you happy, and less of what does not. Big bonus: The confidence you get from being independent and doing things alone is huge” (LifeHack).
With the help of SkyScanner and the willingness to step out of your comfort zone, you will do wonders for your self-confidence and independence.
5. Move Away from Home
In your 20s, its time to not only fly the nest but the whole damn tree. At some point in your 20s, you need to not only move out of your parents but even try to put some distance between y’all.
Why does this matter?
Well “nothing feels more independent than moving out of your family home and renting your own place. It may seem daunting to begin with but it’s a great way to learn about life early on. You will need to learn how to manage your money, look after yourself and of course, the biggest benefit is not having to hide how drunk you are to your parents after a night out on the tiles…” (Huffington Post).
Now I wasn’t going to necessarily say that last bit but they are not wrong. Living on your own and away from your family is so beneficial. You have to trust your own instincts and it is the ultimate test of adulting. It’s ok if you still call your mom every 5 hours to double check something (I still do) but at least you are living on your own.
6. Radical Hair Change
Making a radical hair change is something I would say should be required every woman needs to do in her 20s. Dye your hair purple, get dreads, shave half of it off. Hell, shave all of it off! I’m 24 and have now dyed my hair, given myself bangs, cut it short, and in just a few days I plan on shaving it all off! Yeah, I know crazy but this is the time to do it.
Here’s the deal.
Do something wild to your hair because later on in life you won’t be able to go as wild. Your employees may question your purple mohawk as a 42-year-old CEO. No matter what, you do what you want, but after a certain age having crazy hair will not be as acceptable. You could be your own boss and be in charge of you. But on the off chance you’re not, get it all out of your system in your 20s.
7. Love On Yourself
I am asking for a lot in this one but it is something every woman needs to do in her 20s. It's tricky becasue many women are well past their 20s are just now coming to love themselves. It is hard being a woman in this day and age.
You are never enough in society's eyes and that can be so tolling. Well, I am challenging you to love on yourself in your 20s because if you lay the foundation for doing that now, you will be set for life. Do whatever it takes to show yourself that you are special and worthy of everything. It can be hard I know but here is a great video that shows how you can fall in love with yourself.
8. Have a No-Strings-Attached Relationship
Yeah, I said it. Go out there and have some random no strings attached sex. This can be so beneficial for your confidence and sexuality. Having a no-strings-attached relationship can help you to explore new things and still love on yourself while not in a committed relationship.
I am not saying there is anything wrong with committed relationships. I just think it would be beneficial to try different things before settling into a serious relationship. You typically settle down in your 30s, so use your 20s as that time to explore.
9. Detach from Social Media
Social media is everything right now. That’s not new. But what is is the effects social media can have on you. While I am not saying you need to completely give up social media, it is imperative to detach from it time to time.
Don’t make it your everyday routine. It is something I am personally working on because you become so attached to the staged idea of reality, you end up missing out on your own. “Having a well-reasoned attitude and understanding towards social media in this, ‘the social media generation’, is pretty pivotal to the twenty-something woman. It’s important to know that nothing and no one is perfect. Social media really is only an extension of a person’s reality, not the whole picture” (Independent.ie).
10. Keep Learning
Never ever stop learning. Just because you may be fresh out of college and swore up and down you would never go back to a classroom. Never stop learning. By this, I mean constantly keep your mind engaged. Join a book club. Take a free online course.
The best part?
Doing something that keeps your mind constantly evolving and up to date. Even if this means something as little as committing to reading the newspaper every day, do it.
There are so many experiences every woman needs to do in her 20s. But the biggest is to be open to life and dare to take new chances. You only get to do this once and should make the most of it while in your roaring 20s. Keep in mind that you do not need to accomplish all of these things at once. In fact, I would suspect that most of these happen in your later 20s. Just be sure that you do something and live your wildest life now.