As someone nearing my mid-twenties, each day, I become more and more aware of the things I have to do to enjoy a secure and stable life in the future. I know that these are the years where I need to work extra hard and throw myself into the grind because when else will I have this youthful energy and passion? But I’ve only been a part of the workforce for a couple of years after getting out of the university, so don’t I deserve to walk through my early twenties at my own pace and take things in stride?
In the past, I thought college would be the most challenging part of my life, but that pales in comparison with the challenges of being a professional. Being a full-fledged member of society has given me plenty of realizations, finding the balance between enjoying life and working for security and stability more difficult.
Health Is Everything
When I was in school, I got to take the day off whenever I get sick and just lounge around the house in my PJs being attended to by my parents. But now, when I fall ill on a workday, there’s no other reaction except to quickly drink meds and hope that I’d feel better in the following hours. As a professional, getting sick means that you will not be paid for the day if you’re still on probation and a mountain of tasks waiting on your desk.
Back then, I didn’t make an effort to become healthy; I’ve been in this situation countless times, especially during my first job. But now that I’m a few years in the industry, I know that being healthy does not equal a relaxing day at home, so I make sure that I eat, sleep, and work out to keep my defenses up.
Budgeting Is Important
I still remember the very first paycheck I got and the thrill I felt seeing the amount from an ATM screen. During my first assignment, my salary was on the minimum wage borderline, I stayed for eight months, and it never increased despite my hours of overtime and weekend work. I was the embodiment of ‘overworked but underpaid,’ but even so, being paid for my efforts made me ecstatic. Though it was only a measly amount, it was a sum I have never received in one go my whole life.
Naturally, I celebrated by buying many things for my loved ones and me, and before I knew it, I barely had enough money to last a week when the next payout is still days away. Thankfully, I managed to stretch my money by opting to forgo using public transport and buying cheap lunch. Now that I’ve learned my lesson, I first pay my bills, keep some for savings, and spoil myself a little with what’s left.
Work With Your Future in Mind
As a young professional, I used to work to buy material things that have no significant impact or will not benefit my future in any way. I was contented and happy to have the money to buy the things I wanted. Now that I’m older, I’m surprised to find myself steering clear of things that are not beneficial. I used to save up for small things, like books, gadgets, or toys, but now bigger and more serious investments are in my thoughts 24/7.
Most twenty-year-olds live on rent, and that’s a viable option for people who still haven’t settled on a place they want to live in for a long time. These days, I think that I have seen the location I want to spend most of my life in, so renting is out of the window. For folks like me who don’t have millions of savings, getting a home loan from a trusted mortgage lender is the best option.
Finding Your People Is Essential
When I joined the workforce, I found myself going through life alone and talking less and less with my friends. This fallout happened suddenly and without an exact reason. There’s no bad blood and no dramatic cause of separation; life simply happened. Once we found out why we realized that we were just busy and decided to cut ourselves and each other more slack because we were entering the new phase of our lives.
When we fixed the whole situation and found our way back to old friends, I remember thinking that I found the right people. Belonging to a circle that appreciates you and gives you the space you need to grow in your chosen field is something I can liken to having a forever home that you can always return to whenever things are good or bad.
I’m still young and have years ahead of me before I bid my twenties goodbye, but the realizations I collected from the recent years are something I’ll treasure and keep for the rest of my life.