This is a post that I'd written a few years ago for a good friend of mine. Unfortunately, she has now closed her blog - so I thought it would be fun to share here!
Try as they might, your younger years do little to prepare you for the physical and intellectual freedom that you will have in your twenties. Sure, there are certain things that we learn better when we are younger, like languages and maths and other such 'traditionally' educational pursuits. Luckily (or so I've found), our twenties give us ample opportunity to learn, grow and explore in other ways!
1) Yes, it's not glamorous... but this is the best time to learn how to cook, clean and 'look after a household'. Being an adult comes with a lot of responsibility, and soon enough most of us will have to juggle this responsibility ourselves. Most of the time, learning to do everyday tasks is not at all exciting, but you'll thank yourself for it later on. Who wants to be a 30 year old who needs help from their mothers, fathers and significant others to do simple chores around their house? (This is important for men AND women. Thankfully we don't live in a historic society where the burden of looking after a house fell to the women. I know plenty of men, old and young, who are more than capable around the house, and they are no less masculine for it.)
2) Appreciate reading. In our twenties, we are still in an in-between stage where we are learning how and where we like to spend our time. While you still have the time and energy to make reading a habit, go ahead and do so. You won't be disappointed because you'll find that there are COUNTLESS worlds and ideas to explore. Learning is a never ending journey, and grabbing a few good books is a sure guarantee that you'll stay on this path!
3) I've said it before, and I'll say it again; learn to be alone in a healthy way! It's crazy how much this can help your confidence, self-awareness and ability to have great relationships with others.
4) Try and make contribution to community a higher priority than it has been. For many of us, a primary aspect of our twenties is change. Change from education to being employed, change of location, change of status, other kinds of change. Learning to be aware of and compassionate to the people around us will go a long way. While this can mean contribution in the sense that charity and community service are taken to mean, it can also be as simple as learning to REALLY listen to what the people around us are saying. They'll thank you for it, and sooner or later, you'll thank you for it.
5) Make activity a priority. Laziness is unfortunately rampant, and there are so many of us, myself included, who have extremely sedentary lifestyles. Much to the regret of our older selves, we choose to ignore all the evidence that tells us how important physical activity is. Luckily, there is time to learn and choose to be active. Apart from making us physically healthier, it'll help make us happier too!
6) Make happiness an EXTREMELY important priority. Too often, people our age look to the future for happiness. We plan and hope and fail to recognise and take advantage of the ample opportunities life gives us to be happy right now.
7) Travel. Travel now, travel often. Travel far, and travel near. This speaks for itself I hope!
8) Finally, but certainly not least importantly, know yourself. Learn more who you already are, and explore the kind of person you want to be. Appreciate yourself more than you have in the past. Soon enough, you'll see positive impacts of this on all other parts of your life!