How to make the most of your 20s

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Quit your job. Buy a ticket. Fall in love. Never Return.

I for one have always feared growing up. Much like a modern day female version of Peter Pan, I have a wild and vivid imagination that I have never desired to suppress and yes – at 22 years of age, I still enjoy Disney films.

So I wasn’t particularly excited to pass into my 20’s and say goodbye to being a teenager. But after a couple of years on the job, I’m really starting to enjoy, embrace, and experience life in my 20s. So with that, here are the top ways to make the most of your 20s…

20 ways to make the most of your 20s

Dream. Explore. Discover.

Dream. Explore. Discover.

1. Seek happiness from yourself and not others

Accepting yourself is one of the hardest things to accept…… but it is almost undeniably the most important. As soon as you learn to accept yourself, the rest of the world and everything around you begins to fall into place, make sense, and you will feel as though until now you have lived your life seeing the world through foggy glasses. When we begin to seek only the approval of ourselves (and never that of others), we begin to shine.

2. Remember it’s about the journey, not the destination

Life is full of ups and downs…. but no time more than your 20s. It’s a confusing time – you’ve just finished your education and are ready to stand on your own two feet, but for the life of you – you can’t seem to get past the starting point let alone race to the finish line. As hard as it is, you’ve got to embrace this period of your life – having limited to no money but all the ideas you believe would rival Albert Enstein

3. Learn to let go

The past is in the past – you can’t change it… but the future is in your control. Learning to let go is one of the most difficult things we can come to terms with at any point in life. But like anything, practice makes perfect. The more you reside with the fact that it is healthier for you to let go of the past than to hold on, the easier it gets in the long run. Letting go of small things therefore has huge benefits – so start now!

4. Embrace change, that’s what life is about

Whether it’s change within yourself, change in others, change in your body, change in your outlook on life…. EMBRACE IT! Change doesn’t need to be combated (by the likes of fad diets, wrinkle removers and cosmetic surgery) – because that’s what makes us interesting! As human beings we are constantly changing and it should never be seen as a bad thing. Embrace change in your 20s, it’s the decade in your life where you should be discovering who you are and who you would like to be.

5. If you need a break, take it – and make it a long one

The modern day 20-something is restless, adventurous, and moves without fear of the future. Listen to your heart and give your head a rest – go on and take that adventure you’ve always wanted to and make the memories you know will last a lifetime.

6. Don’t chase perfectionism

Perfectionism is an ideal – an unattainable one. Why? Because ‘perfect’ is different to everyone. What you might perceive as perfect may be a complete abstract to somebody else – so you can never actually achieve perfect in a literal sense. So why chase it?

7.  Not everyone is going to like you, but accept it because you don’t like everyone, either

One of the most powerful ways to accept yourself and find happiness within yourself is to accept that not everyone will like you. You can try as hard as you like to please everyone, but take a minute to consider your own view on those around you and you will soon learn that it is not possible to please all.

8. Accept being wrong and making misjudgements

It is often hard in your 20s to shake the stubbornness  and accept that you could be wrong. For some reason in our 20s we become very, very very very sure of our beliefs and our core values. That’s okay and in fact it is even a good thing – but don’t let it deter you from hearing other people’s views that they are also very (very very very) sure of, too.

9. Eat whatever you want, and if anyone criticizes you – eat them too

The age old debate. Body issues are forever being cast into the spotlight but at some point in your 20s you are likely to hit the peak moment of just not giving a shit. If you like to eat healthy, do. If you like to eat junk food, do that too. If you like to dabble in both lifestyles, you guessed it – do it. Besides, whatever works for one person most certainly does not work for all. Don’t forget that.

10. Love without fear of repercussions or getting hurt

Did falling off your bike ever stop you from getting back up and straight back on again? No. So why should it be different when it comes to loving others. Well, it is undeniably different because love is the most selfless act, therefore making you vulnerable. But without embracing your vulnerability and learning to love, you’re missing out on the potential benefits, too. Sure, there’s a risk involved. But unless you’re going to stay inside your home wrapped in bubble wrap, life is going to involve some risks.

11. Remember the best response is often no response

Just as it is not possible to please everyone, it is also not probable to give everyone the satisfaction of a response. Your time is valuable, don’t waste it on anyone who isn’t worthy of a response (aka ‘haters’).

12. Your friends will change and so will you, Take this as an opportunity to make new ones

While it is important to embrace your own change, it’s also to embrace and accept that of others. Not everyone is going to stay the same – some will – but most will evolve and become a new, often better version of themselves. It’s a part of life to change – so don’t criticize others or let anyone else criticize you for doing so. Take this opportunity to go out and meet new friends with similar interests, you will be surprised how refreshing it is to invite a new person into your life every so often!

13. Dare to be different

Do you think Cara Delevigne became famous from smiling graciously with a precious wave as the paparazzi shot her entering and exiting fashion shows in Paris, New York and London? No. She stood out from the crowd. She was herself. She was ‘different’ and she didn’t care. BE YOU!

14. Embrace your flaws

The world has a tendency to suck you up and spit you out before you even notice it has happened. So what is ‘in’ one day is ‘out’ the next…. you never know how trendy those bushy eyebrows might become (a la Cara #13).

15. Never let many come between you and your happiness

Who’s in control of your happiness? You. Remember it is not what happens to us that defines us, but how we react to it. That shows true character.

16. Be in a relationship when you know its right and for the long haul, not because everyone else is getting into one

Relationships…. they’ll have you feeling on top of the world or 10 feet under water. But what about not having them at all? Remember there is no rush, fate will step in at the right moment, and for now – just focus on being you.

17. Don’t plan too far into the future

If there’s one thing I have learned from two failed relationships in my younger years, it’s that there really is no need to look too far into the future. You should love passionately, not possessively. Give generously, not with restraint. Give thanks graciously and without expectation. Just live in the moment, be present, and live every minute like it could be your last.

18. Live and let live

It’s just as important for your own mental health to live and let live. This means to hold the judgement, stop criticizing others, stop even taking the time out of your day to be concerned with what others are doing. Do your own thing, and let others do theirs. If you really must be involved in other people’s lives, remember to offer words of encouragement and be open to accepting each and every person for who they are. Life would be boring otherwise.

19. Carpe Diem!

It’s an oldie but my goodness, it is a goodie. It’s not just something to remember once every so often and seize that particular day, it’s a mnatra you should aim to live by and seize every day, every moment, every opportunity that comes your way. Never get too caught up in the mundane day-to-day routine, remember you can achieve more in one productive day than you can in one mediocre week. Make every day count!

20. Be yourself, everyone else is taken

Unfortunately it takes most people at least 20 years of living (some many more) to realise that our best self is just that – being ourselves. Society will force ideals on you – a stick thin frame, luscious long hair from the Pantene commercials, the newest fad diet to ‘lose those pounds’…. etc. etc. But at the end of the day, your best version of you is to just be you, whoever that might happen to be.

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    December 16, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    thank you for this i needed to hear this x

    December 16, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Seriously Brooke, you’re one of my biggest inspirations. Posts like this make me so proud to know you, even if it’s just a little!

    • Brooke Saward
      December 16, 2014 at 8:46 am

      you’re such a sweetheart <3 so lucky to have met you and a handful of other friends around the world... if there's one thing I'm thankful for this year it is that!!!

    July 31, 2014 at 2:18 am

    “Not everyone is going to like you, but accept it because you don’t like everyone, either”
    That one hit me hard and really changed the way I view things. You honestly have such great tips and they make you view things in a different way too 🙂

    Love Mow 🙂 xxx

    Clipping Path Outsource
    July 22, 2014 at 8:12 am

    I loved your speech “Quit your job. Buy a ticket. Fall in love. Never Return”.
    Excellent that is.

    Izy Berry
    July 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I think the key to your twenties is just following your dreams!

    June 29, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Love this post Brooke! It’s all so true. I think the hardest challenge to overcome in your 20s is being yourself and not who others wants you to be or expect you to be! xx

    June 28, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you for being such an inspiration & a boost to indulge in my life long dream, To travel.
    Thank you fir Your tips and amazing blog entries!
    And just Like you i am 24 and i still enjoy disney films.

    June 24, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Such a lovely post – a great reminder to us all. I’m not in my 20’s yet, but I find it slightly irritating when people spending so much time getting nostalgic over their youth. We’re still young! And there’s so much more living to do. Save the nostalgia for old age, when reminiscing brings you joy and satisfaction over how well you lived your life.


    June 24, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Loved this post, not only is it full of great life lessons for a person in their 20’s but applies to almost any age! I’m 19 and these 20 tips make up my life motto! 🙂


    June 24, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Excellent inspirational post! Made my day a 1000 times better! :)x

    June 23, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    This is a great post. I’m entering my junior year of college and I’m starting to freak out about what’s going to happen once my education days are over. This really helped to put my mind at ease- thank you!

    June 23, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    And bring your 20 s into your 30 s 🙂 With style of course 😉

    June 23, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Travel! Now it’s the time to do it that you don’t have big responsibilites!!