Navigating your twenties is hard, but it can be made easier with the support and advice of those around you.
Whether you’re drawing on personal experience or sharing pearls of common wisdom, simply being present and showing up for your loved ones will mean the world to them.
If you know someone in their twenties, we’ve listed ten great pieces of advice you can share with them to help them seamlessly ease into true adulthood while relieving the stresses and anxieties that often go with it.
1. Nobody really knows what they’re doing.
When you’re in your twenties, it can feel like everyone has things figured out.
Whether it’s the older adults in your life or your peers, a lot of us will have felt as though everyone else knew what they were doing with their lives.
One of the best bits of advice to give a twentysomething is the reassurance that most people genuinely don’t know what they’re doing!
While some people are on a very set path, most of us are still learning, still changing, and still seeing what works best for us as we get older.
There’s no one way of doing things, and no one definition of success, so life really is all about discovering what works best for you.
Letting those around you know that there’s no pressure to have a big plan can help them relax and enjoy their 20s more!
2. There’s no rush.
Whether they’re worried about finding a partner, climbing the corporate ladder, or having kids, let your twentysomething loved one know that there’s no set timeframe for achieving any kind of milestone.
Your twenties are full of changes, whether it’s graduating and going from a student to a professional or seeing those around you settle down.
Life is constantly evolving, so there’s no point trying to have a strict path for yourself.
Let your twentysomething loved one know that they have time to figure out what they enjoy, what they’re good at, and what they want to invest more of their time and energy into.
Everyone is moving at different paces and change is something to be embraced!
They might be worrying about keeping up with those around them or feeling like they need to rush, so advise them to slow down, be more present, and move at their own pace.
3. Balance is key.
There’s so much pressure when you’re young to do everything and say yes to every opportunity that comes your way.
That can be agreeing to social events when you’re too broke to go, being pushed into a career path by your parents, or overfilling your schedule because you don’t know how to say no.
A great piece of advice here is to let your friends or family members know that they don’t need to be doing everything all the time!
It’s okay—and actually better—to strive for balance.
Sure, having lots of social plans can be great, but not if that starts to impact sleep levels. Equally, being too focused on a job can limit your opportunities to make friends and discover new hobbies.
Balance is key to sustaining their lifestyle of choice. Otherwise, they risk burning out or regretting the choices they make.
Reassure them that there’s no pressure, that setting boundaries is good, and that people-pleasing is only positive when the person they’re pleasing is themself!
4. Prioritize self-care.
We’re aware that not everybody has access to the gym, counseling, yoga, or therapy—but if they do, then reminding someone in their 20s to take advantage of these things is sound advice.
While it does cost money, it’s worth sharing with your loved ones that it’s an investment in themselves, and one that will pay off.
If they can’t afford a gym or exercise classes, encourage them to work out at home using YouTube videos or go for a run.
Therapy or counseling are also great tools to have in your arsenal in your twenties. They help you navigate tricky periods of change, whether that’s due to work, relationships, or family dynamics.
Let your twentysomething friends know that they’ll feel better from these investments almost instantly!
Of course, there are also a host of long-term benefits that come with investing in yourself early on, like better bone health, more radiant skin, and improved mental health.
By sharing the impact that self-care can have, in both the near and distant future, you’ll be supporting the twentysomething in your life with some brilliant advice!
5. Romantic relationships aren’t the only important ones.
In our twenties, many of us find that those around us start to prioritize dating and relationships.
If you’ve got twentysomethings in your life, you might notice that they start going on more dates or asking more questions about your relationship status. They might share more about their friends’ dating lives, too.
They’re likely trying to suss out what they should be doing and whether they’re ‘on track’ or not.
You can reassure them that they don’t ever ‘need’ to be in a relationship and that there are other areas of their life that would benefit from their time and energy.
A lot of young people become fixated on finding a romantic partner, often neglecting their existing friendships or not investing in pursuing new, non-romantic connections.
While it’s fine to prioritize finding a partner, make sure your friends know that there’s no pressure to do so and that they’ll be forever grateful for investing in their friendships while in their twenties.
6. Get on top of your finances.
This is a biggie, and it’s not talked about enough in your twenties!
For a lot of people, your twenties are a time of transition from student to employee, or simply into a young adult.
There’s often a big shift in lifestyle as a lot of people are getting jobs that take up more of their time and energy. There’s also a strong ‘living for the weekend’ mindset that’s often carried over from younger days of drinking and socializing a lot.
As such, it can be hard to prioritize your finances. You’re having too much fun, trying to squeeze joy into a life that might feel unfamiliar or stressful to navigate.
While it might seem a long way off, even things like pensions are an important consideration for people in their twenties. That might mean looking for jobs with better benefits packages or it might mean prioritizing saving over spending.
Encourage your twentysomething to set up a savings account or speak to their bank—most banks now offer free financial consultations and can get them set up with the right kind of account.
Make it clear that there’s no shame in talking about money, as they’ll then be more likely to come to you if they do have any issues. Equip them with tools like online resources and savings guides to keep them on track!
Having a healthy approach to money as early as possible is key to future success, whether that’s being able to buy a house, affording a comfortable lifestyle, or improving their mental health and lowering their stress levels.
7. Don’t live in an echo chamber.
This is something that becomes increasingly important as you get older.
For the average teenager, politics and world views aren’t exactly the most common subjects to come up at social events. While most young people are politically active, big debates and uncomfortable conversations often don’t develop until their twenties.
As such, it’s crucial that young people have access to views and belief systems beyond their own.
For most of us, our social media feeds are full of people we know, celebs we look up to, and things we’re interested in. As such, it’s likely that we’re only being fed one narrative—and that narrative, of course, aligns with our own views.
It makes sense, right? If we believe in something, we want to interact with others with similar values; we want to have conversations about our shared interests.
This is all great until we start believing that the world is aligned with our views. We become so used to our beliefs being affirmed and shared that it’s easy to forget just how many opposing opinions are out there. This is called an echo chamber.
A strong piece of advice to anyone in their twenties—surround yourself with opposing views!
The more you know about other people’s opinions, the more discussions and debates you can get involved in.
Learning to facilitate conversations with people who see things very differently from you is an amazing skill that transfers to the workplace, relationships, and general life.
It also strengthens your overall worldview, gives you fresh perspectives, encourages critical thinking, and shows you what you genuinely care about!
8. Ignore social media.
We all know the expression, “comparison is the thief of joy,” but how many of us live by that once we’ve been scrolling on our phones for five minutes?
Being in your twenties now is very different to previous generations’ experiences. Twentysomethings are being bombarded with perfect lives and aspirational content across all social media channels.
They’re being fed a constant stream of people constantly buying new clothes, spending time with huge friendship groups, going on great trips abroad every other week, and enjoying the perfect relationship, with jobs and lifestyles they love.
Of course, as you get older, you realize just how curated everyone’s online image is. But, in your twenties, when you’re already struggling to fit in and figure things out, this can be overwhelming.
One of the best bits of advice you can give the twentysomethings in your life is to not take what they see online seriously. Remind them that it’s a snapshot of someone’s life and not reality.
Rather than trying to compare or compete with what they see online, tell them to focus on themselves and how their life feels, not just how it looks to strangers.
9. Learn to accept yourself.
Well, where to start with this one?
Finding compassion for ourselves is hard at any age, but it can be especially tricky in your twenties when you’re trying to figure everything out.
These days, there’s a huge focus on self-love, which is great but can be challenging for a lot of people.
Rather than striving for love and endless body positivity, let the twentysomethings in your life know that neutrality is actually incredibly powerful.
Being able to accept yourself and come to terms with what makes you unique is so important to living a happy, healthy, fulfilled life. Part of providing advice around self-acceptance is also offering support.
It may be that the young person in your life is struggling to accept their identity, sexuality, gender, or appearance. When talking about self-acceptance, ensure you’re also giving them your time, energy, and support.
It may be that they need additional help through therapy or counseling, so be prepared to signpost them to helpful resources and tools.
Ultimately, in a world that makes money off your insecurities, being neutral and accepting of yourself is a huge achievement!
10. Enjoy being young.
There are few other times in life when you can do all the things you want to do.
For a lot of people, their twenties are the only time they’ll be able to take a long gap between jobs, not be ‘tied down’ with mortgages or kids, and be physically able to travel and be active.
Whatever their ambitions, let the twentysomethings in your life know that they should be embracing everything that their twenties can bring them.
Whether it’s jumping on a plane to enjoy a gap year or starting another degree, pursuing a new career or hiking a mountain, let them know that their youth is precious and should be enjoyed as much as possible!
When you’re young, it can be frustrating to hear everyone telling you how short life is—but it really is. The more you can encourage the younger people around you to make the most of their youth and freedom, the better.
There’s so much life out there to grab, so many opportunities, and so many paths to choose between. And that’s something to celebrate.
Offer guidance if they’re struggling, of course, but let them know that whichever path they choose will take them somewhere exciting—and, probably more importantly, somewhere they might not be able to explore when they’re older.
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