25 Things You Need to Accept About Your 20’s

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The 20s are a time of growth and change, when the realities of life set in. People can either accept these realities, or they can choose to see the world in a different way. No matter what, there are about 25 things everyone will realize at some point or another.

1. Nothing you want is going to fall into your lap. You have to get up and work for it, even on the days you don’t feel like doing anything productive.

2. Those men and women who look great and are in shape didn’t get that way accidentally. You’ll have to put down the soda and beer and hit the gym if you want that same look.

3. Whether you are happy or sad in life depends on your own choices, no one else’s. Take responsibility for your actions and accept the consequences.

4. Your parents’ reality does not have to become your reality. Live life according to your own convictions rather than theirs, but don’t forget to be there for them when they need it.

5. Love is neither as simple nor as clean as it appeared to be in your teenage years.

6. There is no such thing as luck. You can be in the right place at the right time, but if you aren’t ready for the opportunity that comes your way, you’ll miss it.

7. Sometimes failure is the best teacher life can give you. Sometimes it is also the most expensive education you’ll receive.

8. Friendships will form naturally. You can’t force them to grow, but you can work to nurture those that are failing.

9. The journey is just as important as arriving. That big list of goals you’ve set for yourself doesn’t necessarily have to get completed; sometimes the mere act of striving for them sets you up for a better future than you ever realized.

10. You can’t allow your perception of others’ lives to influence your mood. You just see the ‘highlight reel,’ never the work that goes on behind the scenes. People keep that close hidden behind a curtain.

11. People care about the same things, usually. No matter what the global climate might look like, ninety percent of mankind is more worried about what they’ll eat for dinner that night than what someone on the other side of the planet is doing. This is both a good and bad thing.

12. The world’s not that bad of a place. Media headlines rely on sensationalism, so the smallest unfortunate event gets blown out of proportion. On the other hand, good news doesn’t generate viewer ratings. Keep that in mind.

13. Your parents were right. As you grow older, you start to realize that more and more of the things your parents told you to do actually had a purpose – and that’s a scary thought, especially when you find yourself slowly turning into your mother.

14. Everything always works out okay in the end. The takeaway from this? If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.

15. It’s okay to be sad, depressed, and to feel lost. You don’t have to have all the answers. But it’s okay to be happy and not worry about the future, too.

16. No knowledge is wasted. Even if you feel like that class wasn’t worth anything, if you picked up even a tiny bit of random trivia that might come in handy later in life (and you never know if it will or not) then it was worth it.

17. There’s nothing wrong with being angry. Society says we should control ourselves, but righteous anger is permissible. Being cruel for the sake of an agenda is never okay, though. Should you ever find yourself abusing someone under the guise of ‘anger,’ you’re the wrong one.

18. Making at least one person smile every day is more important than anything else. Strive to make each day a little better than the one before it, if not for yourself, then for someone else.

19. Connections are everything. It really is about whom you know – and if you know the right people, doors will open to you that you could never even imagine before.

20. There is no better time than now to seek out adventure and to create memories. You can always make more money, but you can never make more time; remember that. Real life isn’t waiting to start, it’s already here.

21. Let go of the past. There’s a reason you broke up with your ex, just like there’s a reason someone new will come into your life. Don’t hold on to the sad things.

22. Fairness doesn’t exist, but don’t say that life isn’t fair. That just breeds pessimism. Things happen, good and bad, to good and bad people.

23. There’s no such thing as ‘bad people.’ Just people who made poor choices. Never give up on a person – there’s always a chance for change.

24. It’s a good idea to start saving money now. Even a small amount of $5 a week adds up over time.

25. Life is worth living. More than anything else, life is a beautiful thing. Strive to greet each day with the wonder and awe of a child, and realize that no matter what may happen, things tend to work out okay. You’re reading this article, either at work or from home. There’s probably someone waiting for you or dinner in the oven. And that’s a beautiful thing.

You’re young. You’ll make mistakes. But just the same, you’ll also stumble across ways of doing things no one else has, and you’ll develop your own unique view on life. It’s that outlook that makes you unique from anyone else who has ever lived. Don’t feel pressured to live the entirety of your life in the span of years between 20 and 30 – you’ve got a long time to go.