I’m turning thirty this month. Thirty! It’s a milestone birthday. One that often makes people stop and reflect on the decisions they’ve made and take stock of where they are at in their lives.
After a lot of thought, I’ve picked out some key lessons from my 20s that I’m going to take into my 30s. Lessons that have set me up to have an amazing third decade of life.
4 Lessons From My 20s That I’m Taking Into My 30s
Living at home during college taught me to live within my means
To save money and avoid taking out school loans, I lived at home during college.
At the time, I hated it and I had major FOMO. All my friends went away to make new friends and enjoy campus life. Meanwhile, I felt stuck at home, commuting to school, and working as a waitress to pay the bills.
I could have taken on student debt to live on campus, but now that I think about it – I’m so glad I decided to live at home and save money.
I traded in a few years of dorm life and in return have enjoyed financial stability sooner. This stability allows me to do more things, like travel! It was the unconventional thing to do but I knew it was practical.
I learned to live within my means early in life.
Traveling taught me that you can achieve anything if you make it a priority
When I was a kid the walls of my bedroom were covered in maps and magazine cut-outs of all the places I wanted to visit in the world.
In my twenties, I made it to twenty three countries and have already seen so many of the places that I dreamed of as a kid. Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal, Big Ben! It’s an accomplishment that I’m so incredibly proud of because I got there on my own through hard work and saving.
This lesson taught me that any dream is possible in life if you make it a priority. The older you get the harder it is to travel (that’s not to say I’m not going to try). I’m glad I made the most of it when it was easier to pick up and go!
Having a five-year engagement taught me to live by my own timeline
My husband Ted and I are high school sweethearts. He asked me to marry him the summer before our senior year of college. We could have had a wedding soon after but instead, we took our time. We went by our own timeline and made sure we finished school and focused on our careers first.
Five years went by before we even started wedding planning. Folks kept asking us when we were going to finally get married. Had we rushed things though, I don’t think we’d be where we are today. Having the guts to take things slow and do things according to our own timeline made all the difference.
The same will apply in my thirties, we’ll hopefully buy a house and start a family in our own time.
Choosing the unfamiliar internship taught me to take a chance
During grad school I had received two internship offers – one in an industry that I knew well, and the other in a completely new field that I knew nothing about.
I ended up going with the one that made me the most uncomfortable. Looking back it was one of the best decisions of my life. It turned into my full-time job where I’ve been able to grow and build a career in a field that I never even knew existed.
Getting out of my comfort zone made all the difference and I have a career that I love.
So that’s it – the life lessons from my 20s that, in hindsight have set me up for happiness and contentment in my 30s. I’m happy with my relationships, career, and overall experiences. Even though I’m going into 30 armed with a bit of wisdom, I know that there’s so much more to learn ahead.
Here’s to a new decade of growth, reflection, and joy!
Christina is a lifestyle blogger and old soul working to balance her adventurous spirit with her love of cozy nights at home. She lives in Chicago with her high school sweetheart Ted and mischievous rescue dog Winston. If you’re looking for trip ideas, home inspiration, or want to follow her journey into 30 check out her blog My Petite Joys or Instagram (@my.petitejoys).