What you need to know in your 20s

The bloom of 20s youth seems to offer a platter of everything including good health, endless amounts of energy and the desire for knowledge and self-awareness.

However, as the playwright George Bernard Shaw put it, “Youth is wasted on the young”, is a simple saying that carries so much truth to it.

This is because it’s easier to realise the importance of so many universal truths later in life, yet these lessons and truths would’ve come in handy if only we realized sooner.

While the 20s phase can be the most challenging years, they can also be some of the best. However, when there are so many changes that happen in your 20s, you might start to wonder if you will ever have it all figured out.

Kirenga Karengera, creative professional, agrees that the choices in your 20s, will define the sort of life you will have when you turn 30. As such, the energy of friends you keep around you ought to be positive and supportive of your goals.

He adds that in life, nothing is handed to you, and so big dreams will demand big sacrifices- putting in the time and the work other people are simply unwilling to do.

“Don’t wait for things to be given or handed to you because you feel you deserve it for you must go for what you want, be serious and be consistent about it. Don’t be afraid to try new things you are feel attracted to, and be curious on as many things as possible.

Don’t fear failure because failure is the best teacher - it teaches you experience and experience brings you closer to success.

Also, you can’t love somebody if you don’t love yourself first. If you are fortunate enough to find good work and start earning early, buying “bling bling” things can be tempting but try to “bling bling” your heart and those you love before spending money on stuff you don’t need to impress others.

Being lucky is when preparation meets opportunity so work on being prepared and you will succeed,” he says.

Jackie Lumbasi, a radio presenter in her late 30s, agrees that as a 20 year old the temptation to fit in or do something because everyone is doing it is high, yet it is also the time to think as an individual and set personal standards.

It’s the time to start creating and building towards the future which is why you need to embrace every opportunity to learn and start saving money as soon as you start earning.

“First and foremost that could be the longest phase of life anyone ever lives. 30s and 40s fly by so fast, you won’t believe it.Think wisely about friendships, the friends in our 20s may be different from future friends but the value and foundation of friendships is laid in your 20s, so be wise, she advises.

Patrice Shema, 44, and founder of PatsBangers, says that for these young adults, maximum time utility is paramount. They also need to watch out for their choices and actions as anything they do will definitely impact their lives whether positive or negative.

This goes beyond taking care of their health as every effort will pay off even as they get older. The long term benefits will surface, when you age better and the risk of diseases will go down.

39-year-old, Fikiri Nshimiyimana, known as Ziggy 55, says the 20s phase is an open space where so many choices are thrown at you, which calls for caution in decision-making,especially with friends because they have a very big influence on the choices you make.

You need to have a dream and start working to realize that dream. Also, follow our passion not money because money will never be enough but when we start doing what we like it will give us satisfaction and generate income at the same time, he says.

As regards romantic relationships, Lumbasi advises young people to never be in a rush to have sex for if there is anything that is never ever going anywhere, it’s that.

“Do not do anything you don’t want to do because every choice has a consequence. Make personal choices.”

Proper guidance needed

In her view, Eva Gara, 58, the post teenage and young adult phase is quite a fragile one for so many young people as this is the time when they have just joined University or left their parents’ home, and have the liberty to do as they please, including going out late in the night, a first test of alcohol and whatever the surging hormones will want to lead them.

She adds, like she was in 20s, it’s the phase where they feel invincible and often feel like the parent’s role in raising them has ended. However, it is the phase where they need guidance, more so now than then.

“The best thing that could protect them is the guidance from older people, especially if it was started earlier on in their lives. The expression of experience being the best teacher may be true but one doesn’t have to go through it to claim it. If there is harm on the way that one who has been through and warns you about, why on earth would you want to experience it first?

A single mom who conceived while at university and had to drop out of school to take care of her baby should be listened to when she advises about keeping clear of relationships that could lead to a similar situation.

Trying out drugs for example, some young people could become addicts while others may be able to control it.

So why would one risk falling in this trap? Reminds me of the dangerous Russian roulette: the practice of loading a bullet into one chamber of a revolver, spinning the cylinder, and then pulling the trigger while pointing the gun at one’s own head,” she says.

Like Erica Jong once said: “Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame.” Her advice to the young adults is to explore and spread their wings, but when cautioned, they should listen as it may be the advice that may make the course of their life safer.

“Living a life of regrets and injury, physical or mentally is not fun.”

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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