Navigating your Twenties
Words by Stephanie Mann
Images by Emily Sims
How to be a twentysomething. Isn’t that the question we’ve all been waiting to answer? From dating to working to traveling and spending money, it’s the solution that we’re seeking, the advice we hope to find that can define our young adulthood as successful and adventurous and fun. We all want to be the best version of ourselves, so what does that mean if we’re not even sure who “ourselves” is? Is it a carefully curated Instagram feed, a list of travel destinations that is so cool it’s envious? Probably not. So then, what is it?
Moving through the world as a new adult feels uncharted, and at times, lonely. We’re too old for our parents’ support yet perhaps too young for a family of our own. We’re wading knee-deep through this decade, stepping on rocks along the way. It can be isolating. Frankly, it can be really scary. But just because something is scary doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Just because something is hard doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
No doubt, an important aspect of our twenties is the start of a career. Finding your footing in any industry is struggle, but there are a few things we’ve learned at Moon Magazine that can hopefully ease the stress.
You will not get your dream job right away
When you’re starting out in any job, you won’t be doing the most exciting stuff right away. That’s not to say that your work isn’t important or that you’re not a valued employee. If a company hired you, I promise they think you’re smart and capable. Don’t get discouraged by “grunt work” and keep your eye on the end goal. What do you want to accomplish in the future? Never lose sight of that and your hard work will pay off.
You’re learning even when you don’t think you are
At any job, you’ll experience difficulties. Whether it’s projects, to-do lists, or coworkers, the daily grind can be overwhelming. Try to remember that each new difficulty presents a learning opportunity. Have a to-do list that is too long with too many nearing deadlines? Once they’ve passed, you’ll have learned the ultimate time management. Intimidating meeting with unhappy clients? Once it’s over, you’ll have a new-found confidence for professionally dealing with conflict.
Find fulfillment outside of your day job
It’s stressful to think you need to find all of your fulfillment in one job. That doesn’t have to be the case. Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to try? Take it up on the weekends, and you’ll be surprised at how enjoyable personal projects can be. You can even go a step further and start a more consistent “side-hustle.” Whatever you choose to do, remember that no one job has to be your everything.
You don’t have to figure everything out right away
In fact…you won’t! Don’t shame yourself for changing your mind or feeling things you didn’t think you would. It’s hard to know what you like and what you don’t without trying it first. So even if you change your mind or stray the course, don’t be afraid to call the shots. This is your life, after all.