Excellent Advice From Wise Women On How to Get Through Your 20s
The Debrief: If anyone knows, these women do.
Your twenties is a difficult time. Arguably it's the age bracket in which you experience the most changes in your life: perhaps your graduate, maybe you leave home, you might move to another city, maybe you'll get married. The world is your oyster. A very scary oyster sometimes. A very scary, uncertain, oyster even. Because what if you don't know what you want to be? Where's your life headed? Will you ever be able to buy a house? Do you have enough friends?
Which is exactly why we asked some wise women for their advice on how to navigate the tumultous twenties and get through that so-called 'quarter-life crisis', because if anyone knows, they do.
1. Persia Lawson and Joey Bradford, founders of Addictive Daughter and authors of The Inner Fix: Be Stronger, Happier and Braver
'The Chinese word for 'crisis' is made up of two characters; one signifying danger, the other opportunity. When we were going through our own quarter-life crises a few ago, we choose to see it as a chance to really look at our lives, the choices we were making and get clear on where we wanted to be.
The 20s is a launch-pad to the rest of our lives: the decisions we make during this period will dramatically impact where we find ourselves in 10 years time. So shift your perspective, and see it as a positive: this is your time to start creating the life you want.'
2. Nimco Ali, co-founder of Daughters of Eve
'Do you know what? Enjoy it. Because life gets more stressful and your twenties are the best time for you to make the mistakes that will ultimately form your thirties and forties. You’re never going to get this space that you have in terms of the fact that you can have ideas and try things out and they’re easily forgotten in the next 10-15 years unless you do them online. It’s still forgiveable to make mistakes in your twenties! I think one of the keys things is don’t try to be grown up, because there’s like 20 years for you to do that.'
3. Janice Turner, columnnist for The Times
'Whatever you do, don’t worry that being young is necessarily the best time of your life and if you aren’t amazingly happy now, you never will be. I enjoyed my 30s and 40s far more than my 20s. I felt more confident, less phased by other people’s expectations, cared less about superficial things and I knew a bit more how the world worked. Which all contribute to making you happier as you get older. And mid-20s are hard: you’re not the youngest thing around but you still don’t have a secure foothold on life. Keep going.'
4. Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism and author of Girl Up
'Remember that underneath all the perfect social media posts and glossy mag features, secretly nobody else has any idea what they are doing either. And men are much more likely to fake confidence than women - for example, one study found that women will only apply for a job if they meet 100% of the stated job requirements, while men will apply if they meet just 60%. In fact, men are so much more confident at applying when they don’t fit the full criteria that when one university advertised a women-only position, THIRTY men applied for the job. So don't be afraid to put yourself out there and take a chance - ask yourself what's the worst that could happen and then do it anyway.'
5. Alix Fox, journalist and journalist, presenter and sex educator, who works as a Sex & Relationships Expert for Durex
'Reaching my mid-twenties felt like hitting 88 miles per hour in a DeLorean: suddenly, 'the future' – as in “I’ll be a successful magazine editor in the future”, and “I’ll meet my soulmate, earn enough moolah for a swanky-wanky wedding and one of those tall London townhouses with seventeen flights of plush-carpeted stairs in it and pop out a series of delightful hazel-eyed sproglets in the future” – the future was now, and it was time to make good on all those promises I’d breezily made to myself in the past. Except my younger self had written some intensely idealistic cheques that my older self’s ass seriously couldn’t cash. My older self’s ass was wider and dimplier than my younger self thought it ought to be, too. I was struck with guilt and panic.
'But old ambitions can date in the same way cinematic visions of flux capacitors and flying cars can: something that was made decades ago doesn’t always fit the realities of life in 2016. Let yourself off the hook if you’ve not managed to achieve the goals you set way back when you were tiddly and naïve. Take a moment to assess whether those goals are still what you really want anyway, or whether your desires have changed. Oh, and don’t let social media fool you into believing that everyone else’s careers and love lives are successfully soaring higher and faster than Marty McFly’s ride; we’re all scared, we’re all fudging it, we’re all learning as we go along. And Great Scott - you are doing just fantastically. Trust me.'
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