During every period of life, there are lessons to be learned. Some will be larger than others, and some will impact your life more severely. We learn these lessons in the comfort of our homes, schools, churches, and extra-curricular activities. In childhood, you learn to read and write, tie your shoes, and how to make friends. In adolescence, you learn about the effects of peer pressure, the value of hard work, and how to function as part of a team.
In adulthood, however, it is often not our parents, teachers and coaches guiding the way, but ourselves. Left to your own devices, the highs will be high, and the lows will be low. Growth and development stem from every success and every failure, alike.
What are some lessons that I learned independently in young adulthood?
1. It’s ok to make mistakes. No one is perfect, and you are going to mess up. It’s inevitable. The worst thing that you can do at this time is not forgive yourself or others for their mistakes. Friendships and relationships will change, you may lose a job, or spend too much money. It’s all a part of the growing pains of your 20s. Poor decisions will be made, but at the end of the day your future will sort its way out.
2. It’s ok to make time for your hobbies. It’s easier than you think to lose sight of what makes you, you. The stresses of everyday life will bog you down, and sometimes will make the world seem a little less bright. Hobbies serve as an outlet for you to engage in something that you love and enjoy. What is life without a little fun? This is a perfect stage to discover new hobbies, too. Take some time to explore your interests, and don’t hesitate to try anything once.
3. It’s ok to focus on yourself. These formidable years are the perfect opportunity to learn about yourself. You will learn about what makes you tick, what makes you feel joy, and how much you are able to endure. Early adulthood is a time for recognizing and improving your strengths, as well as learning more about your weaknesses. This is the time to become a better version of you. If you want others to believe in you, you need to believe in yourself first.
4. It’s ok that the world isn’t fair. Some people will be nice, and others won’t be. Some will make more money than you, and some will make less money than you. Lifestyles will differ drastically. We live in a world where social media perpetuates this, increasing negative feelings of envy. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, start focusing on the things that you do have. Count your blessings daily, and don’t take anything for granted.
5. It’s ok to laugh until you cry. Actually, it’s ok to feel every emotion to its fullest extent. You are a human, and not a superhero. There will be good days where you will feel joy, but there will also be bad days where you feel sorrow. You will laugh so hard that you cry, and probably cry so hard that you laugh. It is all part of growing. It boils down to how you are able to cope with your emotions, and what you take from the experiences. Amazing things will happen every day – you just have to look for them.
Growing up is difficult at every age, however, young adulthood tests individuals in a way that most are not prepared to handle. You’re going to need a pep-talk some days, and that’s ok too. Your early adulthood may be some of the best or worst years of your life, but by changing your mentality from a negative “I’m broken and helpless” to a positive “I’m growing and healing,” you will watch your life change for the better personally and professionally. By focusing on your daily mindset, you can make it a great life or not – the choice is yours.