20 Things I Learned in My 20's

20 Things I Learned in My 20’s

I can’t believe I’m already 30 years old. Saying goodbye to one of the most incredible decades of my life was both terrifying and empowering. I spent a lot of the last ten years figuring out what it was I wanted out of life and accepting myself for all that I am. I’m no life expert (what’s the opposite of that, because that seems more appropriate) but I wanted to share a little insight on what I’ve learned while navigating those ten wild self-discovery years known as Your 20’s.

  1. You will make mistakes. You’ll make a lot of mistakes – but that’s part of learning to navigate life without training wheels. Reflect on every experience with a scholar’s eye – and use those experiences as a guidebook for the person you want to be.
  2. You get to choose your friends. Find your tribe and foster them with all your being. A friendship is one of the most valuable everlasting tools you can forge.
  3. Be friends with faucets, not drains. Choose those who consistently fill you up, instead of emptying you out. Spend your energy on those who make you feel like the best version of yourself! Realize that you won’t vibe/connect with everyone – and that is okay! You get to decide who deserves your time.
  4. Do what you need to do to pay your bills. Your first few jobs likely won’t make you rich and they may not be glamorous, but work hard and be patient because the job you love is around the corner. I promise.
  5. Save what you can. It’s not always possible to save X dollars from each paycheck. But if you can save a little, do it. Living on a budget is normal – everyone has to do it.
  6. Don’t let anyone ever make you feel bad for how you look or what you eat. As long as you love yourself, that’s all that matters in the end. Anyone who says otherwise can sit on a tack.
  7. Eat dessert. You deserve it.
  8. Ask a lot of questions. Don’t be complacent; curiosity is necessary for success. Learn as much as you can about the world around you, become a student of your own environment. Never be afraid to ask, “how?” or “why?”.
  9. Learn to laugh at yourself. You’re going to screw up at some point – but if you can find humor in the discomfort, you’ll be just fine.
  10. Be honest, always. Lies may be easy to tell but they’re not worth the guilt and stress. Save yourself a lot of wasted time by telling the truth – even when it means you can’t please everybody.
  11. Invest in clothes that fit well and last a while. Buy a quality piece or two each season (a nice pair of jeans or a cashmere sweater, for instance) and you’ll save yourself so much more money in the long run.
  12. Life moves faster as you get older. Don’t forget to savor it – the “right now” is all we’ve got. Log off your digital life for a bit and appreciate what you’ve got around you.
  13. Laughter really is the best medicine so laugh a lot. Surround yourself with people who can make you church-giggle. You’ll live longer… look it up.
  14. Haters are gonna hate – that’s an undeniable fact. But let them hate a helluva long way from your radiant light. Your 20’s is about finding yourself, discovering your talents, and learning to love the f*ck out of who you are… because yes, you really are that awesome!
  15. Destiny and fate are great but sometimes they need a little nudge in the right direction. If you want something, don’t ever be scared to ask for it. Just make sure you can back up the request with what it takes to receive it – whether that be hard work, a go-getter attitude, or an emotional sacrifice. Reach for the stars, baby!
  16. Splurge on a quality mattress and you’ll be saving yourself a lot of future pain… literally. If you don’t have the funds for it right now, at least invest in a good pillow. Your neck deserves it!
  17. Resist the urge to gossip. Follow the old adage: “If you’ve got nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Be an agent for compassion and goodness. It sounds lame but you’ll be avoiding a lot of drama in the end. Believe me…
  18. Go on loads of dates. Meet people. It may go nowhere or it may go all the way… you get to write that narrative. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll inevitably get hurt. But in the end, like a hand to a flame, you learn how to avoid getting burned. And you eventually find a heart worthy of your love.
  19. If there’s something you don’t like about yourself, you can change it. We are who we are but we dictate our own destiny. Explore the person you want to be and take the necessary actions to get yourself there. We’re never ever too old to change.
  20. Take your time. Life isn’t a race… take the time to figure out who you are and where you want to be. Trust the process.


Scout Sixteen is a lifestyle blog from Justin Livingston. Justin grew up in Mississippi but relocated to New York City in 2008. On Scout Sixteen, Justin shares his passion in fashion, travel, food and drink, and mental wellness.