Your twenties are a difficult time. Having
just graduated high school a few years ago, you’d been convinced by
society that you were ready to take on the world.
However, upon graduating college a few years later you realize
you’re no longer the oldest of the young adults; rather you’re the
youngest of the old adults.
With this realization comes a ton of other life lessons you’ll
learn from. Here’s a list of ten difficult lessons.
1. Your worldview is flawed
When you were in college, you probably took a philosophy or ethics
class, joined a couple protest groups, and thought you had all the
answers to the world’s problems.
When you get out into the real world, you’ll find things aren’t as
cut and dry as you thought they were.
Issues that seemed black and white when you were stuck in the
bubble of your college campus actually have myriad grey areas that
you never understood until you lived through them.
Once you’re dropped into the real world, you’ll immediately
realize you don’t know nearly as much as you thought you did.
2. You won’t always be right
Once you realize you don’t know anything, you’ll have to come to
the realization that you won’t always be right.
While in your twenties, you should start to see the world in a
more objective manner than you had as a young adult. You’ll also
realize that “being right” isn’t always the best case scenario.
Sometimes it’s better to realize you were wrong and work on
whatever issue is at hand, than it is to push forward under the
false impression that you’re 100% correct in your assumptions.
3. You should never stop learning
Just because you’ve graduated from a prestigious four-year school
doesn’t mean you have the right to stop learning. In today’s
ever-evolving world, being a life-long learner is a prerequisite to
Technology has made it easier than ever to continue your education
in some way on a daily basis, whether through online courses or
workshops, or simply subscribing to newsletters and podcasts.
The second you take a break from learning, someone with more
ambition will surpass you in knowledge, skills, and marketability.
4. You’re replaceable at work
Just because you have a job doesn’t mean you’ll always have a job.
There won’t be any boo-hoo pity-party for you if you mess up big
enough that your company can’t afford to keep you.
It’s an unfortunate truth that job security is no longer a
guarantee. You might even find yourself being replaced by a machine
at some point in your lifetime.
This is why you should continue learning and adapting to the world
around you. Staying current in your skills is essential in order to
make yourself as irreplaceable as possible.
5. No one owes you anything
Like I said, your sob story won’t get you anywhere in this world.
Just because “it’s always been your dream” to work somewhere doesn’t
mean that company will hire you.
Even if you’ve graduated from an Ivy League school, you can’t just
assume you’ll walk across the stage and step into a cushy career.
Your degree simply shows that you have the drive and ability to
work up the ladder from the bottom — which is exactly where you’ll
Being hired anywhere is a great opportunity. Don’t overlook an
entry-level position because you think you deserve more.
6. Relationships are difficult
This lesson applies to friendships and romantic relationships. As
you grow older, you’ll find it harder and harder to get together
with friends you’ve had over the years.
Although technology has made communicating with friends easier
than ever, our busy world has made it harder and harder to get a
bunch of your friends in the same room at the same time.
Forging a romantic relationship is incredibly difficult as well.
On top of all the hard work you’ll be doing to stay afloat in your
own life, you’ll also need to put extra effort into making sure your
relationship doesn’t get into a rut and end prematurely. Keep it
fresh, no matter how hard you have to work at it.
7. Your decisions have ramifications
When you were young, you could afford to be pretty reckless
without having to really pay for your actions. As an adult, every
decision you make will either contribute to building you up or
breaking you down.
Even something as innocuous as scrolling through Facebook for an
hour throughout your day means you’ve wasted five to seven hours of
your week that you’ll never get back.
On the other hand, using every minute of your spare time to read
and improve your life will put you ahead of those who take frequent
8. Money is hard to earn
When you were younger and either lived at home or lived off
college loans, money wasn’t really an issue. Even paying simple
credit card and cell phone bills didn’t absolutely drain your bank
You were actually free to use most of your earnings as you
pleased. However, the second you’re thrown into the real world, this
all goes away.
You’ll realize the value of every penny you earn the first time
you shop for your own groceries using your own money. This isn’t
necessarily a bad thing though.
You’ll also realize that money isn’t everything. Most importantly,
you’ll realize that you can be just as happy without money as you
were with it.
9. You don’t have forever to do what you want
Your twenties are an odd time. You’re just starting out in the
real world, and still trying to “find yourself.”
However, you also have bills to pay, so you’ll take any job you
can if you haven’t found the dream job you love.
That said, you shouldn’t let yourself become stagnant and stuck in
a job you dislike, because the longer you’re there, the less likely
it is you’ll be able to get out of it later in life.
While it’s never too late to learn a new trade, every passing day
puts you at less of an advantage. Get moving on your dreams as soon
as possible, because one day it actually will be too late.
10. Life never gets easier
Growing up, you probably watched your parents go through every day
like finely-tuned machines that never stopped moving. You never
really thought twice about it.
You might have figured that they were just used to the daily
grind, and were just coasting along. As you grow older, you’ll
realize that notion couldn’t be farther from the truth.
You’ll realize you have to put your all into every single day you
live, and go to bed exhausted day in, day out. Again, this isn’t
necessarily a bad thing, it just means every day is a chance to do
better than you did the day before.
Lessons like this frame your life in a different context. Most
importantly, you’ll realize you have even more respect for your
hard-working parents than you did in your twenties.