1. Always Be On A Diet. You are most likely the best-looking you will ever be. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy. I like my salads and green smoothies just as much as anyone, but like most things, it is all about balance. I think we’re far too young to always be thinking we need to lose weight. Most of the girls I know who are constantly on diets average the age of 25 and are not fat. After awhile, I don’t even want to be around people who are always on a diet because I just end up feeling guilty for wanting a cupcake. You should NEVER feel guilty for wanting a cupcake. Instead of torturing yourself for eating those nachos or that piece of chocolate cake, enjoy it. Especially if you are enjoying it at 2 am with good company. When you’re 40 years old it’s the people you’ll remember, not the calories
2. Look at Social Media for Longer than 5 Minutes. I’ll admit it- there are some days when I think I am full on addicted to social media. I’ve used it to flirt, creep, tell my mom I miss her, #tbt, promote my small business, and let people know I’m alive while alone in middle-of-nowhere America. It’s great for these things and I believe it serves an important purpose in our 21st century world. But sometimes, especially for our generation, we get sucked in to this vortex of social media and are left with a feeling that we are missing out or doing something wrong.
I know this first hand because when my newsfeed began filling up with engagements and ultrasound pictures a few years ago (it hasn’t stopped!) I started thinking “Where is my ring and my baby?!” I also currently live 3,000 miles away from family and loved ones. I’ll see all of my friends at a cookout on Facebook, or a picture of friends laughing together on Instagram with a caption that’s an inside joke (which I don’t get of course because I’M NOT THERE), and then I’m like “Eff this, I’m moving home next week”. When I disconnect from social media and start interacting and connecting with the real life human beings in my life right now, well, I actually start enjoying myself. I create my own moments instead of wishing I could be a part of everyone else’s.
3. Long for the “Old Days”. Gone are the days of being “one of the guys” or carelessly spending my money. Every male I now think is cool enough to hang thinks this means I want to date or sleep with them. I now have an apartment, cell phone, Internet connection, groceries and a car to pay for. I unfortunately have to take care of myself by going to a doctor instead of calling my mom and asking her to come take care of me when I’m sick (I still call her, she just can’t come take care of me). The dynamics of friend groups shift; they’ve had babies, they’ve broken up, they’re dating people you don’t like. Things just change. We grow up, move, lose touch. Memories are definitely important and I’m a sucker for nostalgia, but there is a fine line between reminiscing and holding on too tight. Wishing things were the same as they once were is useless and will leave you feeling miserable (and old)- trust me. Try being present and grateful for what you are doing in life at this very moment. Some day you will long for its simplicity that is unbeknownst to you now.
4. Compare Yourself to Others. To me, this is the most important thing you need to stop doing if you want to not only be a happy 20-something, but a happier human being. I’ve decided that this is the main reason why people our age are having a quarter life crisis. Someone once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”. Here’s the thing: I am 26 years old. You want to know what some other 26 year olds I know are doing? One is a stay-at-home mom that posts pictures of her adorable son and the delicious looking food she makes for dinner every night on Instagram. One just graduated college and is raising the most amazing and beautiful 4 year-old girl ever created (okay, I may be a little biased). One just started going back to college for the first time in 5 years. One doesn’t plan on going to college at all, but has started a successful photography business. One is a waitress, making bank mind you, and lives at home with her parents. One has what we call a career and a savings account with probably quadruple the amount of money I have in my checking. One is painting houses in Vietnam. All the same age, all doing something different.
And me? I’m a 20-something girl, enjoying the California sunshine, learning what’s important to me, waitressing, hanging out in coffee shops, and doing whatever else I can afford this week. Sometimes I’m really poor and eat ramen noodles for dinner. Sometimes I cry in my car and wish I could fast-forward this part of my life. Sometimes I’m content with spending my Saturday night in bed by 9pm, knitting and watching reruns of “My So-Called Life.” I’m okay with all of this. I’m currently having a life experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anyone else’s.
Everyone has a different definition of happiness, fun, success, failure, etc. After accepting that there are no rules, that it’s okay to not be doing what others my age may be doing, I can be in my twenties and not have a “career” or even a plan- as long as I am content with these things, well, that’s really all that matters. I sometimes envy people who seem like they’ve got it figured out right now, but hey, that’s just not my path at the moment. A friend my age who has a two year old told me she wishes she could be doing what I’m doing. So I guess we’re all a little envious of each other’s lives sometimes. But accepting where each of us are on our own journey, our own path to adulthood is what matters. I say embrace and make the best of it, whatever you’re doing. And if you don’t like what you’re doing, know you have the ability to change things.
Confession: I am 110% guilty of all four of these things. This advice comes from my own personal experience and you can take it lightly, harshly, or not at all. Do your thing.
By Kaycee Snowden