What I Learned in My 20s, Looking Back from my 30s

Every age gives us an opportunity to learn and grow as individuals. My 20s allowed me the opportunity to learn a lot about myself, my beliefs, and my views on the world. Although I learned so much during this decade, here are four key things I learned in my 20s.

1. Live your life for you.

It’s easy to get caught up in the expectations that others have for you.

For most of my 20s, I felt obligated to fulfill my family’s dreams and aspirations for me. I worked hard to make my family and others proud of me, but I wasn’t living the life that I wanted.

It took years for me to realize that I’m happier doing what I want to do. Sure, others will have expectations for me, but in the end I have to do what makes me happy.

2. Love yourself.

This might be one the important thing I learned from my 20s. In a society that places emphasis on image and perfection, there is a lot of pressure to fit that expectation.

For most of my 20s, I struggled with my body image. I can remember times when I thought being thinner or wearing certain clothes would make my life better. I would constantly compare myself to others and try to be something that I wasn’t.

But I finally realized that I needed to learn to love myself. I began appreciating and loving my body. With time, I learned to love what I saw in the mirror and feel more confident and comfortable in my skin.

3.  Be open to change and possibilities.

As someone who thrives on plans and schedules, this is still difficult for me. I love having a plan of action and having an idea of how things will turn out. But life has a funny way of changing or altering your original plans.

When I left my career as a teacher, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have a plan B, so the first several months were tough. I was terrified and excited all at the same time. It was the first time in my life that I didn’t have plans, and I was just experiencing life.

I learned that more often than not, things will not go as planned. Instead of planning every aspect of my life, I try to embrace new possibilities.

4. Discover & explore the world around you.

It all started with my first trip out of the country at twenty one. Now, eleven years later I still have the travel bug.

What I love about traveling within the U.S. and abroad, is that it allows me to interact with people who are different from me. I enjoy learning about different views, ideas and traditions. All of these experiences have helped me become a better person.

Whether it’s traveling locally or abroad, or just exploring other communities within your city, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.


Going into my 20s, I thought I would have it all figured it out.  But I learned with every decade come new experiences and perspectives. I’m thankful for all of the life lessons that I learned in my 20s because it shaped me into the person I am today.

Your 20s are an amazing time to grow and learn about yourself. So be open to every experience, and remember to enjoy it!


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