Featured Image: @lulamawolf
Article By: April Driver
The transition from the teenage years into full adulthood is overwhelming. With that comes the burden of guilt that you may not be doing the right things or meeting everyone’s expectations.
I was once given some sage advice, “Your twenties are a roller coaster ride. You just have to hold on to what matters most – family, faith and true friends.” You don’t have to have it all figured out in your twenties. The goal is simply to use both your mistakes and your successes to gain wisdom for the next phase of life. So, cut yourself some slack and enjoy the ride.
The guilt we’re talking about here isn’t that helpful feeling that lets you know when you’ve done something wrong. We’re talking about that nagging feeling that destroys emotional energy and keeps you stuck. It’s time to let go of the past and move forward.
1. Where You Are in Your Career
It’s easy to believe that you’re the only one that doesn’t have your career figured out. However, most people in their twenties are still searching for their dream job. The thing no one tells you is that it’s okay for work just to be work. While it’s important to have a passion, it doesn’t actually have to be the job you get paid to do.
In fact, your career path is a journey, and you’ll likely have many different jobs and positions over the years. According to a Forbes article, many people’s “dream jobs” evolve over the years as your interests and needs change.1 Don’t try to rush the process of moving to the next level. Instead, take the time to master the position you’re currently in. Notice what you like and don’t like about your job so that you can use that knowledge to determine what you want your next step to be.
2. Your Relationship Status
For most people, the twenties are about finding a partner. That’s not a bad thing, but it is also okay to be alone. In fact, if I could redo my twenties, I’d spend way less time worrying about my relationship status and way more time having fun with my friends. Whether you’re single, dating or have found your soul mate, it’s okay just to be happy with your current state of affairs.
Give yourself permission to let go of the guilt and stress of having a defined relationship status. This is true whether you’ve said you love being single and then meet the perfect mate, or if you always have a date and just want to keep it simple for a while. Either way, it’s your life, and you shouldn’t have to explain your relationship status to anyone. That includes parents and friends.
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3. Student Loan Debt
70% of college students graduate with student loan debt, and the average amount owed is over $37,000.2 You are not alone with your student debt, so just let go of the guilt. Your best strategy is to plan to pay off your student loans over time. Make your payments on time each month and over time, your loan amount will get paid off.
RELATED ARTICLE: 12 SMART WAYS TO PAY DOWN YOUR DEBT IN THE NEW YEAR
4. Your Body Image
The female body is amazing! We are strong and beautiful. Yet, media and social pressure continuously tell women that our bodies aren’t good enough. From fitness fashion to beauty treatments, we are inundated with the message that we need to improve.
Stop feeling guilty about your body. If you love to work out, then do it. If you love to dress up with fancy clothes, hair extensions, and flashy accessories, then to that. But, if you prefer to keep it simple with basic face lotion, moderate exercise, and a laid-back wardrobe, that’s okay too. You, be you and LOVE the body you have with zero guilt.
RELATED ARTICLE: 12 HABITS OF ALL MENTALLY STRONG WOMEN
5. Saying No to Spending
See number four. When you start with student debt on your entry-level salary, you don’t have massive amounts of extra cash. The message a lot of twentysomethings hear is that life is all about the experiences. And while there is truth to that, you don’t have to experience everything during your twenties. It’s okay to say no to big trips, nights out and high dollar excursions.
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6. Living with Your Parents
As with numbers four and five above, living with your parents can be a smart way to get on your feet after college. You should not feel guilty about making a wise financial decision. However, you should feel guilty if you’re living with your parents and still acting like a teenager.
Ask how you can help around the house, offer to cook meals and pay for household expenses like groceries. If you want your parents to see you as an adult, then act like one, even if you are living in their basement.
7. Being Ready to Settle Down
People are getting married later; this is especially true for college-educated adults. In fact, the median age for women to marry for the first time is now almost 28 years old.3 The pressure has shifted from women feeling they must get married in their twenties, to feeling like they should wait. If you’re ready to settle down with someone you love, don’t feel guilty about wanting to make that commitment. It’s okay to get married in your twenties.
8. Not Having the Perfect Resume
It’s okay if you don’t have the perfect resume. While it may seem that to get ahead you need the right combination of solid GPA, internships, volunteer work and study aboard; there’s more to success than your resume. Work hard at your current job and seek opportunities. Also, if you aren’t happy with your resume, it isn’t too late to make changes. Start now doing things to boost your experience.
9. Not Being a Party Girl
You don’t have to believe the myth that your twenties are for partying. While it’s okay to go out and have fun with your friends on occasion, your twenties are also about preparing for your thirties. This means you need to be clear headed so you can focus at work and on relationships. Have fun, but take time to be responsible too. When you get older, you won’t look back and wish you had partied more, but you may wish you had focused more on what matters.
10. Letting Go of Some Friends
Friendship is essential and will be for the rest of your life. However, not all friends are good. As you move from one phase of life to the other, you may let go of some friends. I’ve found over the years, that friendships out of convenience often haven’t lasted. However, true friendship can span decades. Once you identify those relationships that may not last, it’s okay to let go – guilt free.
12. Not Staying Current with Pop Culture
It is okay to drop social media accounts and turn off your screens. The world is moving quickly, and there’s a constant bombardment of information. You don’t have to feel guilty about not knowing all the latest shows, movies, music or celebrity gossip. It’s okay to only invest your time in the entertainment that you love.
11. Needing Help
You do not need to feel guilty about needing help at 25 or 95. Part of being human and living in a community is needing each other. Sometimes you need help, and sometimes you get to be the helper. Don’t feel guilty about needing financial, work, relationship or emotional support. Just remember to be grateful when you receive help.
13. Not Having it All Figured Out
Remember, you will never reach an age where you have it all figured out. You can only learn and gain knowledge on the journey. Enjoy your life and don’t waste your time feeling guilty.
What are some things you are going to stop feeling guilty about in your 20s? Comment Below!