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21 Things I Learned in my Twenties

By: Puja Satish

Your twenties are a time filled with exploration, discovery, and adventure (in more ways than one!) Whether it’s figuring out your career aspirations, personal relationships, or deep introspection, your twenties are delineated by constant change. As I finish up the first semester of my final year of UT, I’ve learned more about myself than in any other period of my life – mostly unexpected, but transformative nonetheless. 

1. Take time to invest in relationships that bring you joy. 

There’s often a pressure to be friends with everyone in your class or student organization, but a few, strong relationships are so much more valuable than tons  of draining friendships. Quality truly is more important than quantity. 

2. Financial literacy and saving money now can help you build financial skills early in your career. 

A little money saved now can go a long way in the future, and more importantly, can teach you the value of careful investing. That being said, college is meant to be fun, so if you can, treat yourself! 

3. No exam or homework assignment or class grade will define your career and life. 

You can learn a lot about what you like or don’t like in your classes, but just remember, course grades are small moments in your life and not worth undue stress by any means. 

4. Dedicate time for yourself and what you love. 

Not every hobby or interest has to be productive or growth-focused, if it brings you joy and makes you feel relaxed – do it! There are no benchmarks or standards for what is joy worthy. 

5. Write down or take time to think of one thing that made you smile each day. 

Journaling is a great practice to increase memory retention but even a quick note on your phone can help you find the small silver linings. 

6. College does not have to be the best 4 years of your life. 

College is hard. Classes, relationships, work, and personal development are no easy feats to conquer, and it is more than okay to struggle. You do not have to equate your twenties to the best years of your life, life is long and winding, and you have years ahead of you to be the best version of yourself. Every version of you is worthy of love. 

7. READ. 

Reading can often feel like an action item or something to check off, but even a few chapters every week or month can help ground you and learn a little more about something. Reading taps into our sense of adventure and discovery in a completely different way than other activities. 

8. Set up boundaries. 

Both professional and personal boundaries can help you give yourself back valuable time and energy. 

9. Enjoy yourself - even with the small things. 

You will never get moments back so try to be as present as you can. 

10.  Disconnect every once in a while. 

This does not have to mean a full social media cleanse or no laptops for a day, this can feel unreasonable as a college student. Just take a couple hours every few days where you take time doing something outside or even inside but away from technology. 

11. Volunteer with a local organization or group that supports a cause you are passionate about. 

There are so many ways to get involved with the community and choosing an organization that contributes to a mission you believe in can be a great way to create tangible progress. 

12. Explore a new location every few weeks or try studying in a new setting to change up the scenery. 

Studying at the PCL or even the same college building can become monotonous, but finding a new hidden study spot can be a great way to explore more of campus and change up your routine! 


13. Call your family or long-distance friends once a week to reconnect. 

College can feel lonely sometimes even when you are surrounded by friends, so call up family or long-distance friends just to feel a little more grounded. 

14. Take photos and record your favorite moments. 

 Moments can fly by and years from now, you’ll want to have a record of your favorites. 

15. Know you are so worthy and valuable and people who do not reciprocate your gratitude are not worth your time.  

Being everyone’s friend should not always be the goal because your time is valuable and scarce, so dedicate it to the people and things that bring you joy. 

16. Make short-term and long-term goals and see what you can do every day to get closer to your aspirations. 

Goal setting is a great way to move a little closer to your dreams and ambitions. 

17. Try to move a little every day, whether it’s a quick walk or gym session or dance class! 

Texas weather is wildly unpredictable, but getting in a short walk or workout session can be a great way to take a break. 

18. Having fun looks different for everyone, and appreciate the differences, try out something new every once in a while. 

There is no one definition of fun, so be adventurous, do what makes you happy, and be comfortable being uncomfortable. 

19. Know that your career is nonlinear and a journey so your first job does not and most likely will not be your last. 

Interview and recruit with companies that align with your personal values, but more importantly, with people who you get along with. 


20. Make playlists for every era of your life! 

Music can be the best way to capture and archive moments of your life and listening back can be the best way to remember parts of your life you may have forgotten. 

21. Be super proud of yourself every single day, waking up is an achievement in itself. 

You are a champion everyday and deserve a trophy just for existing! 

Life is filled with the unexpected, but by remembering a few key lessons, the journey may just be more enjoyable! 


About The Author:

Puja Satish '24


Entrepreneurial LeadHERship Fall 2023 Student

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