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3 Big Goals To Think About In Your Twenties

My big dream when I graduated college at 22-years-old was to live in the big city.

It was a very cliché dream. I didn’t care if I was living in a small apartment in the rough side of town. I just wanted a job I could be passionate about in the big city. And I fully expected to work two jobs to make that dream come true.

This dream didn’t work out for a number of reasons.

Looking back, it’s probably for the better.

I could see myself burning out after just a couple years. Forget any promotions at work, social life, or relationships. Literally, my entire life would be work and sleep. It would’ve been a lonely little existence in a big city.

Would the job and the city really have been worth it?

Maybe it would have. But I didn’t live that dream, so I can’t say for sure. And now that I’m a little bit older, I’ve developed lifelong goals that I prefer over that big city dream of my 22-year-old self.

Here are three big goals to think about in your twenties:

Own A Home

I’ve always lived in temporary housing in college. From the dormitories to the campus apartments, I paid rent and went on with my life. It’s no surprise that my 22-year-old self dreamed of apartment life. And sometimes, I still like the idea of flexibility. After a year-long lease, you can simply just move out.

Then at one of my jobs, one of my coworkers stated how apartment life is a waste of money.

I never thought of it like that. And I don’t know if I would say a “waste” of money.

But I do think he had a point.

If you’re paying $1,500 dollars a month to live in an apartment, that’s $18,000 every year that you’re giving to your landlord just to live there. For cheaper apartments in more affordable cities, think about $800 a month and $9,600 a year. Don’t forget to include water and electricity bills if you pay those separately.

That’s a decent amount of money that you could be putting towards something you’ll one day own.

The argument against owning a home is all the responsibility and the costs of maintaining it.

Which is true. No matter what, there will be some costs.

But when you own your home, that’s your property. You can rent it out for a steady income of $6,000 or $9,600 a year. You can redecorate your house or condo and increase its value. It’s your home.

As I reach my mid-twenties, I’ve realized that it’s one of my goals to own a home one day.

Reader Q: Is it one of your goals? What do you think?

Finish School

This means different things for different people.

Not everyone goes to college right after high school. And realistically not everyone should. We’re all on different paths, and some of those paths may be better suited to experience over education.

It’s unreasonable to expect an 18-year-old to know what they want to do with their lives. Many students are thinking about college when they’re 17, as if they need to start planning their entire professional lives at 17-years-old.

People that go to school later have more professional and life experience, and hopefully more savings to off-set the costs of college. They may even know what type of career they want to work for better than they would have when they were 17- or 18-years-old. Their motivation will be stronger as a twenty-something year old adult.

And for those of us that have finished undergrad, maybe we have an eventual goal of graduate school.

Reader Q: Are you finished with your formal schooling or do you still want to do more?

Achieve Inner Peace

I define the idea of inner peace in terms of being comfortable with yourself. As they say, your relationship with yourself sets the standard for all other relationships. As such, it’s necessary for us to overcome certain invisible scripts and ingrained ideas to achieve this peace.

From what I’ve seen, this happens over time as we get to know ourselves better. Through our twenties we will be trying a ton of new activities. From roller derby to swing dancing to art therapy to learning new recipes, we will become more comfortable with our own likes and dislikes. We also will become more mindful and self-aware which will contribute to achieving our inner peace. It’s a journey, and we are each on our own path.

There is also something to be said about not giving anyone the power to take away your inner peace. There are many things in life, but especially relationships, that will try to disrupt your relationship with yourself. If a relationships or situation is making you unhappy and taking away your ability to thrive, that relationship or situation is toxic. It’s a goal of mine to be self-aware enough to recognize these imbalances and subsequently right them.

These are just three goals that have been on my mind lately. As someone in my early twenties, I’m still considering how I want the rest of this decade to pan out and what I want life to look like at the end of it.

What other big goals do you think about in your twenties? Comment below!

About the Author

Lindsey Zawila

Lindsey graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015 with a B.A. in Global Studies and Communications. She studied abroad in Austria (Summer 2013), Switzerland (Spring 2014), and India (Winter 2014). Her previous internships include the World YWCA in Geneva, Switzerland, the Foreign Service Institute at the U.S State Department in Washington, D.C., and CNN International in Atlanta, GA. In her free time, you'll find her reading, writing, making jewelry or friendship bracelets, sewing or refining her photography skills.