As someone who is officially in her twenties and who has reflected more in the last few weeks than I have in ages, I decided to compile a list of things I personally believes every twenty-something needs in their life. Of course, some of these will differ depending on your personal circumstances, personality type, etc, but I think it’s a pretty foolproof list in general for anybody looking to succeed.
1. Your own space
Note, "space" not "place." If you’re living with your rents or roomies, that’s totally cool – keep calm and save on! However, it’s truly imperative for every twenty-something to have their own space. As someone who is an introvert and needs time on my own to recharge and decompress, having a room of my own was really important to my relationship. Before I moved in, my boyfriend, his brother and his friend were living together. This meant, whenever I came over, my only space was shared with my partner. Sounds all fine and dandy at first, but eventually you start to drive each other nuts. Now that I live there and his friend has moved out, I finally have my own room to relax, store clothes and female necessities, and hog the remote.
2. Something you can wear to an interview
If you’re one of those people who has found their dream internship or is employed, you’re killing it! However, situations change and having a suitable outfit to wear to an interview that indicates you have your shit together is always a good idea. Remember, it’s always better to overdress no matter what job you’re applying to.
3. Someone to hold you accountable
As someone who is pretty self-aware, has a core group of friends and a boyfriend who is brutally honest, accountability isn’t something I’ve ever struggled with. Chances are, I know I’m in the wrong before anyone else has to tell me, and if I know I’m wrong and truly believe I’m wrong, I’ll be the first one to admit to it. Not everyone is this fortunate, so it’s important to have people to call you on your BS when necessary.
4. The ability to say you're sorry
On the heels of number three, the ability to admit when you’re wrong and apologize is something that’s important to learn sooner than later. The fact is, we all make mistakes, and that’s totally okay – we’re human after all. What’s not okay, is making a mistake, wronging someone, or saying something hurtful and not being able to admit that it was wrong because you;re too prideful or have too large of an ego. Saying ‘sorry’ isn’t easy. It can be uncomfortable and awkward, but everyone experiences the same discomfort, which makes the apology even more meaningful. Unless your ego means more to you than your friendship, relationship, job, etc, suck it up and get to apologizing.
5. A passport
Assuming you’re like most millennials and want to travel and see the world and not be confined to one place, you’ll need a passport. Now that 10 year passports are a thing, it’ll be a one-time fee that’ll hold you over for many years and trips to come.
6. A five-year plan
Sure, having goals is great, but goals without a plan on how to achieve said goals will never become more than a dream. So, set some pathways in motion to get you to where you want to be. Go to school, take personal development courses, budget, and set the plan in motion.
7. A savings account
As my parents continue to remind me, I don’t want to just start saving for retirement when I’m their age. Open an RRSP or Tax Free Savings Account and start putting X amount of dollars from every pay into it. Some companies will even match your contributions or at least a certain percentage of them, so it adds up quickly and grows over time.
8. A healthy relationship with your parents
Like many, my relationship with my parents was a bit strained through my rebellious teenage years. They always had my best interests in mind, but I, of course, viewed that as them trying to oppress me, so I argued and rebelled. Almost immediately when I moved away for college, our relationship improved and has only continued to improve since. Your parents want what’s best for you, they don’t want you to make the same mistakes they’ve made, and they have a wealth of knowledge to share with you for experiences you haven’t encountered yet (buying a home, for example). Trust that they’re not out to get you and want to help you succeed and you’ll begin to value their opinion instead of dread it.
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