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How to Know Yourself in Your 20s

By Emily Robinson

I’ve always loved celebrating my birthday. There has to be an elaborate plan, with a huge display, and lots of attention on myself. For my 23rd birthday, I went to Las Vegas with my best friend. It was the only birthday where I didn’t get to assemble a big group. Why? Because I am no longer in college, and all my friends are scattered around in different cities. However, I still wanted to go somewhere that I’ve never been before, and I was lucky enough to have one friend who would go with me. 

Birthday cake for blog about finding yourself in your 20s

It was a wild and messy trip, full of unique memories that I will cherish forever. And all of these moments came about by chance. We couldn’t get into the restaurant that we had planned to go to, because it was too late to make a reservation. The only restaurant that would let us in was a Spanish fusion restaurant, and it ended up being a blast. The sangria was the best I’ve ever had, and the music was a blend of Bad Bunny and other artists that we love. Then, we happened to see a billboard with Calvin Harris’ face on it as we walked home from dinner. This led us to buy tickets for later that night, and we got to see his first time playing at the new Fontainebleau hotel in LV. We also happened to be there during the Super Bowl, which we watched from a sports bar outside the stadium. 

There were many other memorable moments from this weekend, but what I remember most is the fun we had while being spontaneous. This showed me that a birthday doesn’t have to be an elaborate plan, or have dozens of people, in order to be important. As I grow older, I am learning that how experiences look will change over time. Just because you are used to having birthdays a certain way, does not mean that you can’t enjoy them after you have to depart from what you know.

In the midst of life’s changes, there is one way to be sure that you are still having the best experience possible. That is to be true to who you are. I am someone who enjoys adventure, new places, random side quests, etc. This is something that I could easily give up just because I don’t have anyone to go with, or because I’m getting older. Honoring the parts of yourself that have been there your whole life is a great tool to feel at home within yourself. 

Be flexible with the “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” and “how,” of life. Events will turn out in ways you could never have imagined. However, understanding the “why” is something that you can control. Why do you want to go to new places? Why do you want to have certain kinds of friends? Why do you want your life to look a certain way? Everyone in their 20s is trying to figure out the logistics of their lives, and this is important. But the best place to start making a plan is to meditate on your “Why?” Ask yourself these 10 questions, and then ask why that is your answer.

10 questions that I ask myself to figure out my “Why?”

1. What was my favorite thing to do as a child?

2. What was I doing the last time I felt carefree?

3. When do I feel jealous of others? 

4. What is my ideal day? 

5. Who makes me feel the most accepted? 

6. Is there a time that I wish I had stood up for myself in the past, but didn’t?

7. Which of my habits show self-love, and which habits are destructive?

8. What do I like to spend money on? (Besides basic food and shelter)

9. Was there a time where I made myself smaller to make someone happy?

10. Which of my goals feels the most important?

Golden 20 balloon for blog about finding yourself in your 20s

Getting to know yourself is one of the great advantages of being in your 20s. There are (usually) few responsibilities outside of supporting yourself, and it’s a privilege to be able to slow down and think about life. However, it’s so helpful to figure out why you want the things that you do. It helps filter out the goals that you are performing for other people, or for unhealthy reasons, such as shame or fear.

When you get to know yourself intentionally, you can align your actions with a plan that gets you on the best path for you. Remember, there is no “correct” path, there is only the path that you make for yourself, with or without self-love. 

*Disclaimer: Emily Robinson is not a Remain Connected therapist, she is the Marketing Director. This is not licensed therapeutic advice.

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