The decade that is your 20s is more than an introductory period to adulthood. A lot of what happens and the lessons you learn stay with you for the long run. As I'm sure you know, your dreams won't be conveniently handed to you. They take hard work and overcoming a few roadblocks along the way. Your 20s include many curveballs, and that's why there's a wide range of unexpected ways your 20s shape the rest of your life — so those swings and misses aren't for nothing.
This period is a self-defining decade where you're trying to get your sea legs, so to speak. Although, this "sea" is seemingly made of Jell-O, and rent, student loans, and other responsibilities are the pirates who are trying to take what you have. All of this builds character, and it not only shapes who you are, but how you perceive life itself.
You have to give it to these years for opening your mind and heart to other possibilities. If there's anything you gain during this time, it's the ability to be innovative and adapt to the situations life puts in front of you. Your 20s may only be 10 years, but it'll have a strong impact on your future in these 11 ways.
1. You Learn To Favor Experiences Over Material Things
The happiness you get from a material thing will lose its spark over time, or a newer addition of whatever you have will be released. You learn that what you experience stays with you forever. So, are you buying that expensive leather bag or going skydiving?
2. You'll Likely Never Name Your Future Child Sallie Mae
Oh, Sallie Mae. Saying her name out loud is equally as forbidden as Voldermort's in Harry Potter. Debt is not fun, but dealing with it the right way now will have a huge positive impact down the road.
3. You Value Your Parents So Much More
In your 20s, you start to realize how dope your parents are. They'll only get cooler with their advice and the way they own adulting like total bosses. The rest of your adult years are less intimidating with them in your corner.
4. You No Longer Care About Popularity
The size of your friend group may shrink, but your love for your people doesn't. You don't need to roll with a huge flock in order to feel fulfilled. All you really need is a core set of genuine friends who have your back until the end of time.
5. You Aren't Just Down For Whatever
As much as you like to go with the flow of things and chill with your friends, you know your free time is precious. You actually want to spend it on things you enjoy, and you're not just going to do what everyone else wants to do all the time.
6. You Don't Expect To Remain One Way Forever
There will be many changes in your 20s, and hopefully, you don't try to fight them. You're meant to evolve and grow. Ditching the mindset that how you are now is who you'll be forever, makes life so much easier.
7. Finding "The One" Isn't At The Top Of Your Priorities
Your love story will unfold how it's meant to and when it's meant to, with so many factors that are out of your control. There's no point in making your hunt for "the one" a top priority.
8. You're Dedicated To Living In The Moment
Your zest for life may be amplified in your 20s, but those feels never truly leave you. Age and time will evade you, but the memories you make never will. Live in the moment.
9. You Can Make An Epic Comeback After Rejection
You've been there, done that. And while it's never easy being rejected, you get stronger each time and find a way to make a slay-worthy comeback that deserves a round of applause.
10. You Perfect Your "Me Time"
You don't reject that solo time — you actually look forward to it after a long work week, and grow so comfortable with your own company. DIY spa night with some rosé? You are all for it.
11. Your Drama Detector Is Calibrated
From reality TV shows and soap operas unfolding in your own life, your drama detector has been put to the test. You sniff out petty situations before they even occur. Your days of drama will be fewer and fewer if you keep your drama detector fine-tuned.
You're going to look back on your 20s someday, and relive all of the lessons you learned. This decade is the light tower that'll guide you the rest of the way.