Young Professional Advice from Friends – Your Twenties: The Ultimate Experience

This is a  Young Professional Advice from Friends post written by Ashley Sapp at Chaos and WordsYPAF is a collection of voices from different ages, places and industries to share advice on starting off and being twenty.
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Your Twenties: The Ultimate Experience

When one begins their twenties, s/he may be in college, searching for a job, working multiple positions, still living at home, finding his/her own place, moving somewhere new, beginning his/her career, perhaps even getting married and having children, or many other examples. The choices are seemingly endless, and that is, in part, of why being a twenty-something is probably even more daunting and confusing than being a teenager. There is still so much to learn, and yet, we are considered adults.

Being uncertain on what you want out of life can be unsettling. Personally, I ran through a multitude of ideas of what I wanted my career to be, and though the industry and job title varied, there was one thing I remained passionate about at all times: writing. What I slowly figured out was that there are ways to put my skills and passions to cohesive use if I did not limit myself on what my possibilities could be. That is perhaps the biggest piece of advice I have to offer other twenty-somethings: allow your potential to expand continuously. There is no need to cut yourself short before you even start.

I had trouble with this notion, believing that because I had little “real world” experience, no employer would want to give me a chance. However, if I had continued that line of thinking, I would never have been offered the position I have now, where I get to proofread and edit manuscripts, articles, and reviews for a heart failure research physician. We will always be in varying learning stages throughout life, as it is part of growth and knowledge, but it is especially true during our twenties. We maintain aspects of nativity, leaving ourselves open to interpretation. One thing some of my own mentors have told me is that they forget how to be naïve as an adult. This doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but being a bit green around the edges allows us to soak up experiences and information like a sponge and truly appreciate it.

Acknowledging naivety but striving for excellence also creates an atmosphere of strengthening talents and passions.  The continued desire to learn, grow, and then utilize all of the above is one way to align our passions with our skills. Despite inevitable rejection, I was able to rekindle the drive to do something I enjoyed. It may be corny, but keeping ourselves rejuvenated when it comes to our careers is important since opportunities can be found in a multitude of places. Rejection is difficult to face, but it is not necessarily the end. It’s imperative to keep in mind that we will always be learning, and at times, rejection enables us to find an opportunity we otherwise would not have thought of (I experienced this exact phenomenon after many dead-end interviews).

Something I’ve been learning along the way is that our twenties are not about figuring it all out, as it may seem. We will always be on that path, so don’t stress yourself out if you’re going at a different pace than others. This is YOUR life, and no one else’s. Embrace the ups and downs, the confusion, the innocence, the fun, and the ultimate experience of being in your twenties while you’re in them. There is a reason this particular decade of age is written about so often: bend with it and enjoy it.

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AshleyAshley Sapp is a twenty-something southerner with a love of all things bookish and wordy. Her ultimate dream would be to sit out on the beach with a pen and paper, writing out her novels to the music of ocean waves. In the meantime, she’s an editor and writer with a passion for human rights and publishing.

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12 thoughts on “Young Professional Advice from Friends – Your Twenties: The Ultimate Experience

    • Exactly, Rebecca! It’s not as though there is some end-goal we are trying to reach, as our goals will continue to change as we grow. A deep-discovery journey is the perfect way to put it! Thank you for reading/commenting!

  1. Ashley, I love this! Believe me, I’m in my early 30’s and I’m still figuring things out everyday and making career and life changes I could have never anticipated in my 20s. Who says we have to have it all figured out by a certain point?

    • I’m glad you liked the post and that things are working out for you in your 30s. I do agree that you can never fully figure out life and you’ll always have to be adapting to changes. You may not figure everything out by a certain point, but taking advantage and working through things in your twenties will definitely set you up for a better future.

    • I love that more and more people are learning to be okay with never figuring it all out. I think it used to be drilled into our brains that in order to be successful, we had to reach certain milestones within specific time-frames. And that’s just not realistic nor is it enjoyable. Thank you so much for adding your perspective, Jewels!

    • Thank you, Nick, and I agree! Far too often we seem to get in our own way. If we have the confidence to make choices that would make us happy, then why not go for it? Absolutely, I think we are far more capable than we give ourselves credit for at times. Success can be as small as taking that first step.

  2. Bad. Ass. I love the line about not discounting yourself before you even start. I have a problem talking myself down about things. Especially when I first began writing again. High five lady :)!

    • Ah, thank you, Becca! I have the same problem. I am my own worst critic, and that often involves beating myself down and thinking I’m not good enough to accomplish something. Being a writer, I think, exemplifies how difficult all of this is as it involves putting yourself out there in everything you write. And that can be utterly terrifying. Just remember that you’re capable of great things if only you’ll give yourself the chance!

  3. Pingback: Sneak Peek of Next Week’s YPAF with Kayla Cruz | Ask The Young Professional

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