The 20’s, The Best Decade for Making Mistakes!
Posted On: August 14, 2018
Robyne F. Howard Psy.D.
Lakefront Counseling Group, Ltd.
Not sure what choices to make in your life after graduating from college?
It’s okay not to know!
Launching into the adult world can be, and is, exhilarating, scary, dumb-founding, overwhelming, fun, your worst nightmare and “are-you-kidding, I have to do this myself now”, all rolled into one.
It’s very normal to feel all or most of these things. There are many decisions to make. Sometimes, choices are made for you because of college loans which require an immediate job or a career track that creates easy access to an abundance of jobs and opportunities. Perhaps you want to postpone the adult world and travel or volunteer for a year, be a live-in nanny or work at Starbucks and live home while you figure it out, or maybe even create your own company.
Know that the 20’s are the best time to experiment – rule in and rule out things, make mistakes. Join a big established company or a small start-up, experience an old-school type of top-down boss or try a we’ll-figure-it-out together, laissez-faire boss. Go to bars and parties most nights or “only on weekends because I have to be home early to get up for work”. Use multiple dating aps or stick with one good partner, live with roommates or save money and stay with parents.
A tremendous amount of learning can happen if you stay mindful of your experiences along the way and what they tell you about yourself. Be open to the feedback you receive, learn about where you excel and where you struggle, assess your level of risk, be mindful of what you enjoy and what is difficult to endure. Allow yourself the space to make mistakes while reminding yourself that this is data that can provide a better foundation for making good choices in your future.
What you find about yourself through these experiences will set the tone for your 30’s and beyond. The self-knowledge you have gained will help you to grow your instincts and internal voice, utilize good judgement and experience increased self-confidence throughout your life. This kind of self- understanding only comes from placing yourself in experiences that teach you about yourself.