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Why your 20’s are for Finding Yourself

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Oct. 29 2018, Published 7:26 p.m. ET

As a nearly 24 year old I feel like I’m in a good position to write an article on why these are the years for finding and enjoying yourself. It’s difficult not to get caught up in societies beliefs that when you finish school you have to go to college and from there you go into the world of work and progress from there. When I finished my degree I felt as if I had to find a successful job where I worked Monday-Friday and came out with a good pay check, I was only 22 and already stressed that I didn’t have my life together. One day I just decided that I didn’t need to have my life together, I had the rest of my life for that, sure most of the time I still think of myself as a teenager in an adults body so why do I need to go out and have my life planned the way society thinks it should be? The answer is I don’t and one thing I’ve definitely learned is that I need to use these years to gain life experiences and just have fun and along the way life falls into place.

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Something for me that I’ve realised has helped me to grow as a person and have experiences I never thought possible was traveling. This is how you learn about different parts of the world and not just the country you’ve always lived in. Growing up in Ireland always meant that for vacation we would travel to Spain, France or Greece for some sun, but last year I decided I needed to go further so I went to Bali for 3 weeks. This was one of the best things I’ve ever done, you learn that the world is a lot bigger than you might think, I scuba dived, visited islands with no cars, walked in forests with monkeys, visited temples and just discovered people and places I never thought possible. After this I knew that I needed to see more of the world, so this year I decided to move to New York. This was a massive step for me as I never thought I’d live outside of Ireland, but I knew for myself to become more independent and to grow as a person in a city I’ve always loved that this was a good move for me. I’ve now been here five months and I definitely think I made the right decision, although it’s hard at times it’s made me grow and become more independent, but also helped me to realise what I do actually want to do as a career, all part of the bigger picture you know.

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Your 20’s are for enjoying yourself while you can still get away with it before you really need to start thinking about where you want to be in life. You don’t want to look back in 30 years and think that all you’ve done all your life is work. I know to do things you need money but why not live somewhere else for a while and work? It’s all an experience. If you went to college and studied something you didn’t actually like, go back and do something else, or try a few different things until you find something you love, there’s no deadline on when you have to get your life together. I know not everyone in their 20’s has the ability to just do whatever they want or to get up and leave when they want to but a lot of us do, we can do exactly what we want or go where we want to and we should! Life is about living and finding yourself and for me the years of your 20’s are the perfect time to do this. I know that if I had started my career straight out of college I may have looked back in years and regretted all of the things I didn’t do, I’m getting to live abroad in the city that never sleeps and meet some amazing people and just discover myself, that’s exactly what your 20’s are for.    

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