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Advice for the Twenty Something

As I am approaching my 32nd birthday, it got me thinking about all the things I wish I would have known or done in my twenties. To be honest, the twenties are a weird time in life. You are still trying to figure out who you are, what your purpose is, how to live in the real world, you aren’t a child but you don’t quite feel like an adult either. (This is beginning to feel oddly like a Britney Spears song.)

I was terrified of turning 30. I am not really sure why? Perhaps because I spent the majority of my life thinking that 30 was old. Or that maybe 30 was when the fun was over? Either way, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Any 30 something I know will tell you that your 30’s are way better than your 20’s. Surprising, right?

Advicefor thetwenty something

–Don’t be so afraid of turning another year older!!! I dreaded my 25th birthday. I felt like there really wasn’t any more birthdays to look forward too after that. But you know what? Life is a gift. There are way too many people that don’t get to see that next year. Don’t be afraid of it, embrace it!!!!

–Stop worrying that you don’t have everything figured out yet! When we were in high school, they started making us plan out our future. We needed to know what we wanted to be when we grew up, all that shit. But you know what? Life doesn’t work out like you planned. You can’t possibly know what the future holds for you, so stop trying to obsess over it. All it does is cause anxiety and isn’t allowing you to fully enjoy the now.

–Start your health and exercise routines now. Sure, your metabolism may not have been where it was when it was 18, but you figure it really isn’t that bad. You do these stupid crash diets to look good for that event next Friday night or that pool party this weekend but then you fall back in your old ways, you stop for fast food more often than you should and you aren’t consistent with work outs. Let me tell you something, especially you ladies….when you look in the mirror when your 30 and you see that gravity is starting to take Course on your arms, your face, your chest, just everywhere….you are going to wish you would have worked harder in your 20’s so that you didn’t have to play catch up in your 30’s. It isn’t easy my friends. Not even a little.

–Take care of your skin!!!! I can’t tell you how much I hate the fact that I went to the tanning bed and worried about having some color when I was in college. Sure it was only a few years, but I have some sun spots that nothing in a bottle will lighten or get rid of now. It isn’t worth it!!!! I have seen some of my classmates and they are looking a little rough these days. Leather skin is not in.

–Along the lines of taking care of your skin, be sure that you are removing your make up every night. Sure you might have gone out and had a few drinky drinkies tonight and you really just want to crash in your bed. But if you do that too often without removing your make up, your face will start to tell the story! I was pretty good about having a skin care routine in my 20’s and I am so thankful for it now!!!! And don’t forget to moisturize, no matter how oily your skin is and you think you don’t need it. You do. Just trust me, ok?

–Be the best friend that you can be to anyone, but don’t be a doormat. I was that doormat. And when I lost the one friend I thought I would have been friends with forever, my world came crashing down on me. It hurt so bad to be thrown away like I was nothing when I finally had stood up for myself and tried to let her know that she wasn’t going to walk all over me anymore. To this day I still get sad about it, but I look back and realize that I had given so much and got little in return. Friends come and go from our lives, and that is just the hard truth. It hurts no matter the age or how long you were friends but no one deserves to be used.

–Work on keeping a relationship with your family. Sure, life can get busy sometimes and everyone has their own schedule to attend to. But you know what? Family is everything. You are going to wish you spent some more time shopping with your mom or grabbing a drink with your dad. Those memories are priceless.

–Start adding to your retirement or 401K plan now. Anything that you can add is better than nothing! I didn’t think I could afford to do that in my twenties and now I hate that I have to make up for it.

–Stay true to yourself. Never try to act like something you are not because you think people will like you better. Living a double life like that is exhausting and helps no one. Own who you are.

What is a piece of advice that you would give to a twenty something….or me!

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  • Reply Laura August 13, 2015 at 10:03 am

    This is honestly the best post ever. I still suck at the skin care routine– I really haven’t ever washed my face at night — whoops. And I did the tanning bed stuff too and I wish I wouldn’t have. And people leave our lives for a reason— I know we’ve talked about it before with our crappy stories, but whatever, we found each other!! 🙂

  • Reply Jenn @ Optimization Actually August 13, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I guess I’m still a 20-something, but not for too much longer. 😛 Just from talking to the 30-somethings I know, it seems like 25 year olds spend more time agonizing over getting older than 35 year olds do. Which is ironic! Maybe part of that is not feeling ready to be “grown up” or not knowing what you want to do and everyone has some mental age that they think they’re supposed to have it all figured out. I’m just starting to feel really settled and comfortable with myself now, and it is the best feeling ever! I don’t have everything figured out, but I have more faith in my own abilities to adapt and roll with the punches. When I was 22 all I saw was potential mistakes and now all I see is possibilities. So yeah, getting older really isn’t so bad. (I always thought I’d be working on kid #2 or 3 by now, but now that I’m actually in my late 20s, I can’t even imagine having any! Soon, maybe, but not just yet.)

  • Reply Kay R. August 13, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I love this post. I wish I enjoyed 29 more instead if dreading 30 coming (its in 2 weeks) – I totally get this post!

  • Reply Julia @ Grace Makes New August 13, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Such awesome advice! I agree with everything you said, and I totally concur that the 30’s are waaay better than the 20’s!

  • Reply Katie August 13, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Love these. It’s so true. When I was 22 I thought life would be over when I was in my thirties. And then the rest of my twenties were such a mess. I was so lost. Partied way too much and struggled to find myself (or rather, hide from my true self.) I wish I could go back and give myself a hug. The twenties were way more harsh than my high school years.

  • Reply Laura @ Life with Lolo August 13, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Love this! Yes to all. I really need to work on getting my fitness in order and stop worrying about the “where I’m at in my life” crap. The struggle is real! I only have a few short years of 20s left.

  • Reply kathy @ more coffee, less talky August 13, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    ALL OF THESE! i love it so much. some of the 20-somethings i know are just silly and i want to shake some sense into them!

  • Reply Lindsay Latimer August 13, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    Yes yes yes!! Having just turned 30 I can tell you I was terrified. But the past 3 months I’ve felt different- in a good way! Bolder for sure. Taking care of your skin, health, and preparing for retirement are so true! I’m so glad I started doing those things earlier in life. I lost a friend this way, too, and was devastated at first. But when I really examined the situation I was so glad it happened! Such great advice today!

  • Reply Kate @ Green Fashionista August 13, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Love this post birthday twin – all of it! I was scared of my 30th too, and I could not agree with you more that my 30’s are soooo much better than my 20’s! And working out consistently instead of here and there has made a huge difference 😀

  • Reply Mattie August 13, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Thankfully I’ve started contributing to my 401K (though in small amounts…). I’m still working on the fitness routine…sometimes I’m so motivated and sometimes I go like 5 days between work outs. Which makes me feel guilty, but I want to make it a habit and keep it a habit! And I’ve definitely upped my skincare routine lately. This is great advice!

  • Reply kristen August 13, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Life is a gift – preach.
    ugh, don’t make me think about the 401k and all that jazz. we don’t even know which country we will retire in yet, so it’s hard – don’t want to put money into a retirement fund that will be too hard to get back.
    I was that doormat too. go you for standing up for yourself, and good riddance to bad friends.

  • Reply Morgan August 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    All great advice and things I wish I had learned a lot earlier in life!

  • Reply SMD @ Life According to Steph August 13, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Exercise routine, save more for retirement earlier, don’t use credit cards.

  • Reply Jana @ Jana Says August 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    This is solid advice. I’d add: don’t take on debt if you can avoid, don’t be afraid to let bad, toxic relationships go (friend, family, or romantic), and, if you still have them, spend time with your grandparents.

  • Reply Amanda August 13, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I definitely wish I would’ve gotten used to better eating habits and an exercise routine… trying to do so now is pure hell. No joke! Actual hell.

  • Reply Teh Megan August 13, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    That 2nd one about NOT making plans.. yeah, someone should have told 16-20 year old Megan that on repeat.

  • Reply jackie August 13, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    really great tips! especially the skincare one – it’s never too early. and i also wish i had started saving for retirement sooner too. even $50/month to a retirement account makes a huge deal.

  • Reply Andrea @ Living On Cloud Nine August 13, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I literally could’ve written this myself! I see these Young DNS without a care in the world blowing money on everything left and right, dropping friends, eating junk food all the time and I think oh girl it’s going to catch up with you! Sure I made some mistakes in my 20s but I tried to be as responsible as I could and I’m so grateful for it now!! Whether I would’ve listen to it or not, I think I would’ve been grateful for advice like this. You’re a wise woman ! Hope you’ve been having a traffic Thursday, I’m so excited tomorrow is Friday

  • Reply alyssa August 13, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    I was so afraid of turning 25, and it turned out to be the best year of my twenties so far. It was an amazing year. I love this post, Nadine! Happy to be able to give myself a few big check marks (exercise, skin care, savings, etc.) on your list. Haven’t slept in my makeup in YEARS. Even if I’m a little tipsy I manage to run a wipe over my face and get most of it off before bed. Best way to get into that habit, I swear, is to get white pillowcases. 😉

  • Reply Robin August 13, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    This is all good advice – especially about not being a doormat. There is a point where you can’t forgive people and you need to take care of yourself. Not forgiving some people and removing them from my life has freed me.

  • Reply Joey August 14, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    This is such an EXCELLENT post friend!!

  • Reply Katie @Running With Wine August 17, 2015 at 8:04 am

    I love all of this!!! Such great advice! I hate to admit but I still sleep in my makeup sometimes, its terrible I know. I’m glad to report that I’m already doing some of these and I’m working at being better at the rest. I even wore a hat the entire time I was in Cancun to protect my face!

  • Reply Alanna @ Alanna & Company August 17, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Great tips. I’m pretty bad with removing makeup. Luckily I don’t wear too much but still need to be better about removing even just mascara and eyeliner.

  • Reply Heather @ My Little HEA August 19, 2015 at 7:12 am

    I was good about removing makeup because I had acne and I thought that would help. While I don’t think it helped…hormones, I think it certainly didn’t hurt and laid the foundation for my nightly skin care routine now!! I wish I would have been exercise conscious when I was even in high school but it’s not something I ever was into. So much great advice in this post! Pinning it for the younger things that follow me!

  • Reply Duckie August 19, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Hells to the yes! I’ll be 30 next year and I’m so freaking out! Working out and budgeting are big ones I need to get in order ASAP!

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