When you’re young and hopeful, there are things you learn that turn out to be total myths once you get older. From outdated advice to time taken for granted, your 20s is a prime time to build, make mistakes and truly get the foundation laid for career success.
Writer Jessica Stillman details some of these lies many people wish they hadn’t listened to in their youth and how you can avoid the same mistakes today:
Lie 1: These years don’t matter.
If you’re telling yourself that your 20s are for self-exploration and fun and don’t really matter, you’re leading yourself astray, according to psychologist Dr. Meg Jay. She’s the author of The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And How to Make the Most of Them Now, and as she recently told Big Think, American 20-somethings:
…are living with a staggering, unprecedented amount of uncertainty. Many have no idea what they will be doing, where they will be living, or who they will be within two or 10 years. They don’t know when they’ll be happy or when they will be able to pay their bills. They wonder if they should be photographers or lawyers or event planners.…
Uncertainty makes people anxious and distraction is the 21st-Century opiate of the masses. So too many 20-somethings are tempted, and even encouraged, to just turn away and hope for the best.
Is reading this description—young adults who respond to sky-high uncertainty levels by telling themselves this life period isn’t really important—like looking in the mirror? Then it might be time to admit that this is the principal lie we tell ourselves about our 20s.