Skip to Content

What I Hope My Twenties Teach Me

29th birthday cake

Life is full of lessons. Some come easy, but others we have to learn the hard way and through our own life experiences. These are the things I hope my twenties will teach me:

1. Patience.

I’ve seen people who can’t even be bothered to even wait five minutes for a latte without complaining. I hope by the time I leave my twenties, I won’t be one of them. This also includes being patient waiting for promotions, packages to arrive in the mail (Amazon Prime has spoiled me), milestones to happen, and reaching my long-term goals.

2. How to say no.

As another opportunity comes along, we are all slated to say yes, no matter how full our plates already are. Saying no isn’t easy, especially when you think it could make or break you, but at the end of the day, the person that needs to be happy is you.

3. That I don’t have to take advantage of every opportunity.

Along with saying no, you don’t have to say yes to every opportunity you come across. Maybe it would have worked out and maybe it wouldn’t have. In either case, there will be others and you shouldn’t feel like you can’t say no to something just because you have a spare 30 minutes in your day.

4. Where I don’t want to be in five years.

You’ve probably been asked before, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Most of us give a typical answer: happy, successful, with a family, well-traveled, etc. Frankly, a dead-end job that barely covers the bills is not the future I see for myself. I hope my twenties teach me how to think long-term and make changes in my life now so that I won’t end up where I don’t want to be five or even 10 years down the road.

5. That abandoning toxic relationships is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Sometimes we realize just a little too late that we let the wrong people stay in our lives for just a little too long. I hope my twenties will teach me it’s okay to be selective about who I let influence me. And that I don’t have to feel bad about leaving those relationships behind me.

6. How I deserve to be treated.

The first step is realizing that the most important person in your life is you. The second step is realizing that someone who doesn’t hold you in a similar regard doesn’t deserve to have you in their life.

7. What respect is.

It’s far too common these days to see people be rude to each other. On the street, to waiters, to salespeople, on the phone – the list is really endless. I hope throughout my twenties, I’ll eventually realize that everyone I come into contact with deserves my respect, even if they don’t reciprocate it.

8. Failure and setbacks are two completely different things.

When you’ve got a lot riding on something and it doesn’t work out, it can feel like the world is ending and you’ve failed. I hope throughout my twenties I’ll experiences this over and over and over again. I hope I’ll learn to keep going.

9. The importance of cleaning up after yourself.

By the time you’re living on your own, you should be capable of washing your own dishes and laundry, operating a vacuuming, and cleaning your bathroom. If not, get on it. Seriously.

10. How to lead by quiet example.

This is probably the hardest of them all. At some point, you realize you can’t change anyone and you can’t help someone who won’t help themselves. You realize you can’t intervene, and so you continue your own life and lead by quiet example. I hope I’ll learn to shut my mouth and to not offer my opinion where it’s not wanted.

 May our twenties be full of epic adventures and honest life lessons.

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.