The Truth About Your 20s

Your 20s are an important and defining time in your life. In these 10 years you will graduate from college and start your adult life in the “real world.” Our favorite TV dramas and reality shows have instilled many impressions about young adulthood that many of us try to live up to. However, as any adult who is nearing the end of or has completed their 20s will tell you, many of the ideas you have about this decade of your life are not as realistic as you think. Here are a few myths you shouldn’t believe.

  1. Rejection is the worst thing ever

Yes, rejection and failure can be painful, but it’s not the end of the world. In fact, sometimes rejection can be a good thing. As mentioned in an earlier post, there are two types of people when it comes to rejection, those who wallow in self-pity and those who learn from it and move on. With each rejection or failure we are presented with an opportunity to reflect and learn something. Though it may sound cliché, rejection from one thing can teach you valuable life lessons and lead you towards a path of something even better.

  1. Being good at school means you’ll get a great job

That fact that you graduated with a 4.0 does not necessarily mean you will breeze right into a career. Today’s recruiters are looking for candidates that not only excel academically, but also have had valuable work experience and are able to show transferable skills. So while it’s important to do well in your classes, use your college years to join some clubs, have some leadership opportunities, and participate in a co-op or internship.

  1. Your peers are your competition

Many millennials see competition and beating out their coworkers and colleagues as the only means of getting ahead in their career. This is not true! In the world of work, collaboration is the key to success, and in some instances, to that promotion you’ve been eyeing. When you work together with your coworkers you are able to accomplish tasks more efficiently while also gaining marketable teamwork skills.

  1. You need to have it all figured out

With pressure from friends and family regarding your post-graduation plans, many 20-somethings feel that if they don’t have their lives figured out by the time they are handed that diploma they have failed. In actuality, it’s OK to use your 20s as a time to explore your options and figure out what you want in life. What’s important is that you don’t let yourself stall out. Keep busy and keep progressing at a pace that works for you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help! A mentor can do wonders for figuring out your career and life goals. With time, you will begin to piece together what your life will look like in the future.

  1. Your 20’s is the time to have fun!

While it is important to have fun and enjoy your 20s, it’s equally as important to realize that these years DO matter. Although jet-setting around the world or partying with your college friends might be more fun, it’s crucial that you start building your career in your 20s in order to grow your network and develop skills and expertise. According to psychologist Dr. Meg Jay, “our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. Eighty percent of life’s most defining moments take place by about age 35. Two-thirds of lifetime wage growth happens during the first 10 years of a career.” So while it may be tempting, don’t neglect your job and keep pushing towards your career goals, and keep the partying to the weekend.


Jay, Meg. The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now. New York: Grand Central Pub., 2013. Print.