Biggest Myths of Your 20's to Unlearn
Today I enter the last year of my 20's. My 20's had a whole lot of changes and a lot of things that I thought were identity that turned out were toxic. I had a lot of burn out and growth, and now that I'm reaching the 29 I'm start to feel like the 30's are really going to be my prime. Not what you thought you'd hear from someone finishing her 20's? I'm here to bust some myths you may have heard about this decade of your life. RELATED: 28 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self
academic success translates to work/life success.
While I believe we must practice lifelong, continuous learning, the 20's is when many of us will finish school if that is the path we chose. I happened to extend my classroom schooling until I was 28 years old because I followed the path to being a healthcare professional - specifically pharmacy. It meant 4 years of Undergraduate Degree, 4 years of Doctorate of Pharmacy, and 2 years of a Master's Degree in Health-System Pharmacy Administration.
This past year I finally had my first year outside of the classroom since I was in preschool. I felt so behind being in the "real world" for the first time. I'm still just learning about finances because I was mostly on loans for living expenses with a part-time job for personal expenses. I just started learning about picking insurance plans including health care plans despite being in the health care field. Honestly, I still don't know how to find a primary care doctor or a dentist and I desperately need both.
The lesson to unlearn here is that very little of what I learned in the classroom prepared me for the practical things in life. I spent so much of my time training and that I essentially that I feel that it delayed my "adulting". I have a LOT of knowledge in my career field but this doesn't automatically mean I know how to set myself up practically for a long life ahead of me.
unless you do it in your 20's, you lose your chance.
I don't exactly know from direct experience whether this is actually a myth since I'm still technically in my 20's. However I'm basing this on fact that I'm turning 29 and feel like my life is just starting. The biggest piece of advice I would say is to take every fork in the road, whether it's in your 20's or later, with a strategic mindset and have an idea of your long term goals. While the chance may not come again in the exact way as originally presented I do believe that there is more than one path to the same place. And by the time the chance presents itself differently, you may be in a different place. RELATED: When Graduations End
you're supposed "settle down" by having a kids and owning a home.
I haven't talked a lot about my past relationships, but I was in a relationship for 6 years that ended in the middle of pharmacy school. I was in my mid-20's when this happened and my family was worried I would be unmarried for the rest of my life, that it was too late to start a new relationship, and that I would end up alone. More on that later and my mentality towards that, but that turned out not to be true. I'm in a relationship now and unmarried without kids. It likely won't happen before I turn 30 because that would make age 29 quite a year. But I went from a relationship that I thought would be it since we were together for so long, to coming to terms with being alone and thriving through it before finding a much healthier relationship.
As far as owning a home, I actually do have a mortgage. It's disguised in the form of student loans and instead of a house I have a piece of paper with my name on it that allows me to practice as a licensed pharmacist. And instead of a house I live in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City (for rent). Loans suck, but I'm not feeling compelled to buy a house anytime soon.
One battle at a time.
you're only going to make it if you have a high-paying job.
I have a job that means I can live comfortably in New York City in my own apartment, but there were costs that came with it. The cost of time, the cost of debt, the cost of identity while training. What does it mean to "make it"? I'm almost 30 and I'm still figuring that out. RELATED: 6 Essential Ways to Prepare for Residency
it's when you figure everything out.
I've learned that as you get older, you don't figure everything out. You just have more coping mechanisms to fake it better when you don't. You ideally gain the humility to ask for help when you don't know something. You understand the synergistic value of working collaborating And on the other end of the spectrum, what you DO figure more out is who you are. Your 20's test so much of your identity because you have more awareness of the world around you since now it's affecting you directly. RELATED: 10 Things I Would Tell My College Self
your life is over at age 30.
Have I debunked this with the prior answers yet? Society has you internalize (mostly women) that life is over at age 30. But in reality your thirties is MID-LIFE for many of us! My life personally is just beginning. I have a new job in a new city, a relationship with a great partner, and I'm free of school.
I can't wait for my 30's! But for now, I'll soak in 29 one day at a time.