Our twenties are a time for new experiences, creating our future, and living life to the fullest. There will be challenges, people that come and go, and difficult choices but choosing the direction of your life is exciting, empowering and sometimes a little frightening. But this phase of life should also be fun. Here are five ways to get your twenties off to a great start.
No matter where you are in life, expanding your mindset and exploring your interests is important. Curiosity influences our decisions and gives us meaning. Before life gets busy, now is the best time to explore your options, try different things, and find out what you enjoy. Whether you are interested in becoming a teacher, a public health professional, or a climate warrior, explore opportunities that allow you to try out experiences and discover what drives you.
Find Lifelong Friends
Once you graduate from high school or college, you’re faced with a different challenge--how to make new friends. You no longer have a central location filled with people your age. Joining a group activity, like an exercise class, a travel club, or programs like AmeriCorps NCCC, will help you meet people with similar interests. Having a diverse network of friends will benefit you later in life, even if you don't realize it now.
Kickstart Your Career
Regardless of your career path, everyone starts somewhere. Internships or entry-level jobs may not match your goals. Programs like AmeriCorps VISTA or Public Health AmeriCorps can help kickstart your career by providing valuable experience, leadership skills, and a network of like-minded people. AmeriCorps alumni also gain access to an expansive network of schools and employers who know the value of national service programs and the skills they help you develop.
Whether it’s two hours volunteering at a food bank, organizing a park clean-up, or serving as a mentor, giving back to your community has many benefits. In addition to the positive impact on others, volunteering is a known mood booster, helps you build skills, and gives you an opportunity to meet new people. Volunteering is perfect for anyone who wants to accomplish everything on this list and make a difference at the same time.
Make a Plan and Keep Your Budget in Mind
One of the hard realities of adulthood is making ends meet. Between student loans, living on your own, and a lack of funds for college, many struggle to reach their goals in their twenties. Having a life plan is both a guide and a reminder of what you want to accomplish in your personal and professional life. Through AmeriCorps programs it’s possible to earn a living allowance, an education award, and a chance to place current student loan expenses in forbearance during service years. Now is the time to take advantage of opportunities that set you up for success later in life, so you're not burdened by debt.
Whether you follow any of the suggestions above, remember to have fun and make the most of your twenties. Mistakes and challenges happen but those are steppingstones to learning lessons. If you’re reading this, you're probably already planning for this decade to be the best yet.
AmeriCorps members and alumni, like Domingo, choose their future every day by making their service count, from strengthening communities to developing their own skills. Their stories remind us that there are so many ways to make a difference. So go out there and make it happen!
Get started at AmeriCorps.gov/Serve