12 Things You Can Only Learn In Your 20’s

This is a guest post by Red Dress. The thoughts and opinions in this post are theirs and do not necessarily reflect my own. 

Hey, friends! I sincerely hope you enjoy this guest post sponsored by Red Dress! I know I got a laugh out of it, and I hope you do too!


Your late twenties is a gift. Seriously, you not only can legally rent a car now but you gain a whole new perspective on who you are and what you want to do in your life. I’m not talking like “win the lottery and tell your boss to suck it” type of perspective.

More like, “start looking into real estate and invest in your 401K ASAP” type of perspective. The decade long adventure that is your 20s will offer a lot of windows into the type of person you are becoming and what you will and will not stand for. Here’s my list of twelve things you can only learn in your 20s.

1. No One is Going to Love You Until You Love Yourself:

Harsh, right? You can’t expect anyone else to pick you up from your own pity party of self-loathing. Start cutting yourself some slack when you look in the mirror. You are beautiful, inside and out, and until you see that no one else truly will either. And hurry up and crack this nut. Because you’re too fabulous to fly solo for long.

2. Learn how to budget:

In your 20s you have legit responsibilities. Like ensuring that you live under a roof and not on the street (and your wardrobe is SO not portable). Chances are your current entry-level job doesn’t pay you the millions you deserve to answer those phones.

You have no choice but to make your paycheck stretch (like medieval torture style). Instead of crying about it in your chardonnay, Girl Up and find a budget you can stick to. You’ll thank me in a few years when you’re making it rain in your 30s.

3. Eat Better:

You may be able to eat like a truck driver (and drink like a fish), but pretty soon those Breakfast Burritos are going to catch up with you in the way of hips, thighs and heartburn. Start learning how to eat better now, while you can still enjoy the coveted trans-fats that are in all things delicious. Add some steamed vegetables to your daily meals and try a green drink for breakfast once in awhile. You are living proof of whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. So for the love of all things holy, just eat some frickin’ broccoli.

Image: Stocksy

4. Stop Dressing Like a Kid and Start Dressing Like the Adult You Want to Be:

Sure, you looked really cute in your boyfriend’s rain boots and button down back in the day. And you totally pulled off wearing Converse with dresses when you were a non-conformist teen. But you’re not a teen anymore, and your style needs to reflect that.

So grow up and go shopping. Hit up the shoe boutique and buy some stylish wedges that show off those butt-kicking legs of yours. Channel your inner #girlboss for a fierce style makeover that has you feeling less Girl Meets World and more Scandal. Olivia Pope wouldn’t have it any other way.

12 Things You Learn in Your 20's | Red Dress | Life Lessons

Image: Red Dress

5. Let Your Pores Up for Air:

Like so many teens before you, you probably experienced the rude awakening of adolescence with a face full of Proactive hungry pimples. Hopefully your skin has “calmed down” by now (pretty sure they started it) but chances are you’re still nursing a blemish from time to time.

Take care of your skin now so that you don’t have to invest your hard earned cash in laser-treatment-scar-removal later. Wash off your makeup before bed (yes, even if you have a special grownup sleepover). Pick products that are right for your skin’s temperament and use an SPF and moisturizer every day. Still not getting the results you want? Don’t be afraid to consult a professional. You ain’t playin’ no more.

6. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff:

Easier said than done, but try not to let every little criticism or insult get you down. Take a page out of Elsa’s book and Let It Go whenever possible.

7. Travel:

You may have all of the excuses as to why you shouldn’t, but none of that matters. Travel now and travel often. As you get further along in your career and hit more “milestones” it becomes harder and harder to find the time – or justify the money – for trips that are just for you.

Image: Stocksy

8. Pick Good Friends:

Surround yourself with good people that have your best interests at heart. If your so-called “friends” are creating drama and thriving amongst the fallout then cut them loose. It’s only a matter of time before you get put in the middle of that train wreck (and you are so not cut out for hot mess station).

9. Trust Your Instincts:

Your spidey sense is always on and you need to start listening to it. It’s especially good on first dates and job interviews (two things you’ll be doing lots of in your 20s).

10. Outsource Your Ladyscaping:

If you have the extra $$ to spare it’s totally worth it to let someone else groom you. Whether waxing, laser or sugar scrub, let a professional esthetician take the lead on how your downstairs maintenance is shaping up. It takes one thing off of your otherwise busy plate and boosts your confidence when deciding whether or not you’ll be swiping left or right this weekend.

11. Don’t Always Stay Where It’s Comfortable:

You’re too young to say No to trying new things. You don’t have the fear of breaking a hip or losing the farm so go ahead and take a few risks. Step outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Maybe you’ll like skydiving. Maybe Indian food IS a part of your palette pleasure zone. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still hate some of the things you try (hot yoga, I’m looking at you) but at least you won’t feel boring.

12. Don’t Forget Where You Came From:

Being on your own for the first time is exhilarating and you deserve to make the most of it. Nobody wants to turn into their parents, but you shouldn’t be so quick to leave them in your dust either. Visit home whenever possible and stop looking at your parents as “the man keeping you down” and start appreciating them for the life experience they’ve been trying to force down your throat since you could talk. After all, they’ve been adults a lot longer than you and they probably have a couple of tips (except I’m pretty sure they won’t agree with #10).


What have you learned in your 20’s? Do those lessons align with these? I’d love to hear them!

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41 Replies to “12 Things You Can Only Learn In Your 20’s”

  1. Thanks for sharing your lessons! So helpful 🙂 x

    Anne
    http://thedreamchaser13.blogspot.ro

    1. Glad you liked them!

  2. I LOVE how you mentioned dress. It’s hard to ditch the old t shirts but when it comes to the office it’s time to find something that’s more professional but still shows your personality and style.

  3. Definitely some good tips here! Budgeting is so crucial!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    1. It really is! I just wish I was better at it!

  4. Ahh i love the red dress boutique!!! Also these are great lessons!!

    Rachel | The Confused Millennial

    1. They definitely hit the nail on the head!

  5. So good! Especially #8 – I developed my closest friendships in the mid-20s (I’m now in my mid-30s) and even though we all live in different cities (one is even in a different country) I am still able to maintain them (I do have to set a weekly reminder on my phone to text them, but it works for me). I love them so much & am so grateful for what they add to my life, so I make the effort to stay in touch despite the miles.

    1. It’s so great how you’re able to stay in touch with everyone!

  6. All great lessons that you can learn in your twenties! Let’s be real though, there are countless!

  7. You nailed it! I’m starting to feel nervous about being on the wrong side of 25! It’s time to clean up my act before I hit 30!

    1. I don’t think there’s any wrong sides of 25!

  8. These are definitely all things I came across and learned in my 20s! Especially when your metabolism starts to slow down and you need to have a healthier diet!

    1. Ugh yes I’m def experiencing that now!

  9. Yes to loving yourself and eating better (and just taking care of yourself so much more on the whole.)

    1. Yes! I feel like that’s something we all learn the hard way though!

  10. I loved these tips! Especially the one about skincare and traveling!

    1. Skincare and traveling are very important!

  11. Southern & Style says: Reply

    This is a great list-I especially agree with skincare, so important to invest in while you’re still young! And budgeting too, save up while you’re young and you won’t have to slave away at a job your entire life!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  12. I think budgeting and learning about money, taking good care of your skin, and not sweating the small stuff is so important!! I actually traveled more in my mid 20s than I did in my whole life. My first real vacation was when I was 23, and I try to take one every year (I’m 31 now – some years, I was able to take two!)

    1. That’s awesome!!

  13. #1 is the biggest lesson to learn! Great tips.

    1. It is a great lesson!

  14. These are all such great lessons! They are all so important!

  15. Great list! I love the lessons!

    1. Thanks for reading girl!

  16. lovelysilvia says: Reply

    These are all such great lessons for everyone in their 20s!

    1. I agree! Thanks for reading!

  17. Love love love this! I can esp. relate with adding green things to your diet. And now that I’m looking at my grocery list, I notice I’ve put zero green things on it. Guess I need to start with my broccoli & spinach smoothies.

    1. Ugh I’m bad at putting green things on my list too!

  18. These are all such good points– I wish I would have gone a little harder on these in my 20s!

    1. Thanks for reading!

  19. Love this! Especially number 1! It’s truly the most important lesson to learn in your twenties.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  20. Great tips! Couldn’t agree more with dressing like an adult!

    1. Yes that is an important one!

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