40 Life Lessons I've Learned In My Twenties

40 Life Lessons I Have Learned [So Far] In My 20s


I would like to think that the older I get, the wiser and smarter I become. At the rip old age of 26, I feel like I’ve learned a lot through trial and error. Below are the top 40 life lessons I’ve learned so far in my 20s. Here’s to making the rest of my twenties count!

  1. Fake it until you make it– Don’t be overly cocky. But I’ve learned that if you fake the confidence that you don’t have [yet], 90% of the time you will actually start to feel more confident.
  2. Learn to cook– Eating out can quickly add up, even if you’re eating fast food. Learn a few basic meals so you can feed yourself. Bonus: cooking is usually healthier too.
  3. Buy a good mattressYou may think that a futon is a thrifty alternative to a bed, but you will wake up sore and unrested after a few nights. Buy yourself a quality mattress and it will be an investment that will last for years. [You spend 1/3 of your life asleep–don’t skimp!]
  4. Sleep is important– I’ve definitely had my share of late-night Netflix binge-watching sessions where you go to sleep at 2AM and then have to wake up for work in a few hours. Feeling constantly exhausted is a huge productivity killer!
  5. Don’t send emails or text messages when you’re angrydon’t send anything that you’ll regret later. In the heat of the moment, you might say something that you’ll regret.
  6. Be open to trying new things– I get it, going out of your comfort zone can be scary. However, you’ll never know what you’re missing out until you try it. For example, I recently tried kayaking for the first time, and I loved it! I’m a little regretful I didn’t try it sooner because it’s such a fun summer activity.
  7. Spend money on good shoes/insoles– Please do yourself a favor and stop buying those cute cheap shoes from Forever21. They’re terrible for your feet and I’ve often found that they don’t last long. Commit to buying ONE pair of quality shoes- quality over quantity.
  8. Don’t get caught up on social media– Remember that social media is a small snippet into someone’s life. No one is as happy or as perfect their pictures portray on Instagram– not even me!
  9. Busy does not = productive– Take a step and evaluate why you’re constantly busy- what can you change? Do you have too many things going on? Are you not focused enough?
  10. Don’t sign up for every credit card offer that comes your way– You only ever need a couple credit cards. At least one major one (From a bank, not from a store), and then a backup or two. It helps if each card has a strategy, e.g. one that gives you more cash back on groceries!
  11. Failure is ok– It happens to everyone. Try to learn from your mistakes, think about what you can do to avoid it next time and move on.
  12. Do a squat test when you’re buying leggingsThe key is to be comfortable and cute but not show what color your underwear is.
  13. It’s ok if you don’t know everything– Don’t pretend like you know what you’re talking about if you really have no idea. People will quickly figure it out and then you’ll have an awkward situation. What’s more is if you admit you don’t know something, but show a willingness to help the person find out, that can earn as much respect as actually knowing the thing.
  14. Don’t be afraid to ask for help– You don’t have to go through every hardship alone. Your friends and family love you and they want you to succeed.
  15. Make sure you drink enough water– It will help your skin and sometimes it really can make you feel fuller. Being dehydrated can cause all kinds of health issues, like kidney stones!
  16. Don’t get stuck on things that happened in the past– The past is the past and thinking about past event isn’t going to change everything.
  17. Losing friends sucks, but it’s normal– People change as they get older and sometimes you just don’t have that much in common anymore. It’s common for your circle of friends to shrink over time, but your bonds grow stronger with those who stay.
  18. Use sunscreen every day– Sun damage is accumulative and you don’t want to look 40 when you’re 25.
  19. Coffee is always a good ideaCoffee can’t solve all your problems, but it can help give you energy to deal with them.
  20. Take care of your body– You literally have a lifetime together, so treat it well! Try to eat vegetables every day, drink lots of water, and make an effort to exercise every once in a while.
  21. The definition of success is subjective– Every person has a different definition for what success means to them. As long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters.
  22. It’s ok to live in a crappy apartment/house– Housing is expensive, especially if you live on the East Coast like I do. Try not to get too jealous of all the gorgeous living spaces you see on Pinterest. Remind yourself that this is just a stage of your life.
  23. You can’t be good at everything– It’s better to be good at something than to not be good at anything because you tried to be good at everything.
  24. Figure out your finances – You work really hard for that paycheck so you want to make it count. Understand how much you’re spending and saving and what you can do to improve. Strive to set a budget and stick to it- every little bit of savings helps toward better personal finance.
  25. Get rid of the toxic people in your life– You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
  26. You can’t force people to like you– This has been a tough lesson to learn. Just think about it this way: you are awesome and if people can’t see that, then THEY are losing out.
  27. All things take time– You have to consistently put in effort and time before you can see results. I’ve tried, but believe me- you can’t rush time.
  28. You have to work towards your goals– I’ve talked about this before, but you have to put in effort. There is no substitute for consistent effort or hard work. Consistency is tedious, but it’s crucial for seeing results.
  29. Wrinkled clothes don’t look good on anyone– Expensive clothes don’t look their best when they’re wrinkled [this is also applicable for cheaper clothing as well]. Take a few minutes to use a steamer or if you feeling really lazy, utilize the dry cleaners.
  30. Be grateful for what you haveIn this age of social media, it’s completely normal to want more. However, take the time to appreciate what you have [this includes both the people in your life and material items].
  31. Fish that is on “manager’s special” or on special clearance is not worth it. You will regret it. 
  32. Make time for your friends– As you get older and you have more and more responsibilities, it can be hard to meet up with your friends. Intentionally set up time to meet your friends once or twice a month. If you don’t live in the same place, commit to having a recurring Skype date.
  33. Listen more, talk less
  34. Be present– When you’re talking to someone or when you’re on a date, strive to be fully present. Focus on what the other person is talking about and not on what you want to talk about next. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the better engagement you can have.
  35. Keep yourself informed– Please don’t rely on Facebook for all your news. Keep yourself informed with what’s going on in the world so you can make well-informed decisions. I listen to NPR  on my way to work!
  36. Learn to parallel park If you live in a big city like I do, parallel parking is unavoidable. Don’t worry, if you’re really terrible at it like I am, don’t be afraid to ask your passenger to jump out and help guide you into the spot.
  37. If you want the fries with your sandwich, then order the fries. Don’t lie to yourself and order the side salad…and then proceed to eat all of your boyfriend’s/husband’s fries. Let’s just say the way I learned this through lots of trial and error.
  38. It’s ok to say “no”Don’t feel bad for doing what’s right for you. You don’t have to say “yes” to things that you don’t have time for and or that you don’t want to do.
  39. Never stop learning– Just because you’re out of school doesn’t mean you know everything. You can always be better at something in your life.
  40. Use your turn signal– The people driving around you will appreciate it


What life lessons have you learned in your twenties?

40 life lessons I've learned In my twenties so far

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  1. Just bookmarked this post in my browser. I’ll be referring to these often! Thank you so much for sharing, these are wonderful pieces of advice. That tid-bit about the shoes is so real. There are times i’ve just gone to the mall and bought a cute pair of shoes then I have to go somewhere that requires comfortable walking shoes and i’m like “I have nothing to wear!” lol. Loved this post!


  2. I love this so much! I think this is a list everyone should read. Such good advice. I really like the advice about not texting when you are mad. It’s so true.

    Thanks for a good read!

    Kristen xoxoxk

  3. This is such a great list! I just turned 30, and your list reminds me so much of myself in my 20s. I particularly like #2 (learn to cook), #4 (sleep is important), and #5 (don’t email/text when you’re angry).

    I’m still trying to learn how to cook good food and think it’s such a crucial survival skill to have. Sleep is important not only for your health but also for your looks and productivity. I’ve emailed/texted my hubby when I was angry and regretted right after.

    Such valuable lessons! Thank you so much for sharing! ^.^

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