Being a 23-year-old millennial* is…confusing. As millennials, we might be confident, but our lives are rife with identity crises, unemployment, relationship drama, you name it.
But, on the bright side, we can all learn from each other, so I’d like to share some personal life lessons and tips with you.
Mindset and lifestyle
As mentioned above, life as a millennial can be tough. Managing your lifestyle goes a long way towards living a better life, however. Work on creating a lifestyle and mindset that builds you up, enabling you to live a happier life.
Here are some basic principles and habits I strive towards in order to improve my life in general:
1. Always be open-minded and teachable.
2. Live larger. Go further. We are capable of so much more than we think. Don’t be afraid to dream big, set crazy goals, and explore unchartered territory. While we’re still young, we have to live life to the fullest.
3. Fuck what they think. A friend once told me that this is THE golden rule in life…
4. Get a morning routine that energises you. Our days can be so exhausting, so it’s best to start your day right.
5. There’s nothing wrong with being confident. In fact, you should actively work on building your confidence.
(Here are some pointers on building confidence: A List of Quick Confidence Boosters)
6. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too young to change the world. Mark Zuckerberg was 19 when he created Facebook!
7. Change is inevitable. If things don’t work out the way you want it to, be content. Just go with it.
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts
8. Time management is a necessary tool.
9. Work out regularly: It’ll make you stronger, fitter and, as a result, more confident.
At 23, you most likely need to work – no more loafing of your parents. But it’s hard to find a job, and if you happen to have one, you’re one of the lucky ones…
10. If you have to settle for a low-paying (or unpaid) internship, plan properly so that you can afford to make the most of it.
11. On that point, whatever job you do, budget. Note that an important part of this budget is an emergency fund.
12. Accept that you have to start from the bottom, but don’t be afraid to make a big impact.
13. Always maintain a work-life balance. It’s easy to slip into the pattern of your life revolving around your job. Stop – and find balance.
14. Try your best to get along with your colleagues.
15. Offices tend to have lots of drama – believe me, that’s one of the best parts! Actually witnessing (or being involved in) real-life office drama. Step aside, Suits!
Seriously. As millennials, making new friends is hard. It’s pretty awkward too…
16. Skill up in the art of small talk. Practise small talk every chance you get, even if it’s just your Uber driver.
Bonus tip: Small talk helps break the ice at business meetings.
17. Your vibe attracts your tribe. The best way to attract “your people” is to be yourself.
If you don’t act like yourself, you’re going to attract a tribe that has nothing in common with the real you, and they might even bring you down.
18. It’s important to be part of an uplifting community. Within it, a culture of encouragement is created and people flourish. So whether it’s your neighbours or a church, find your community.
19. When it comes to friendship (especially new ones), find a balance between blasé and clingy. You have to show you care, but not too much.
20. Work on your commitment issues. Your future self will thank you.
21. With opposite-sex friendships, be careful not to lead someone on. Chances are, you know how much it hurts to become emotionally attached to someone only to be rejected a few weeks later.
22. Even when you see so many of your peers getting engaged, don’t become disheartened. Your time will come to meet “the one”.
(Yes, even Justin Bieber is engaged at 23! But remember: he has a very different life than yours. Which brings me to the next point…)
23. Don’t compare your social life to celebrities’ “exciting” social lives. Your social context is unique, and you’re lucky in your own way.
*FYI: A millennial, aka a “millennium kid”, is a person born between the years 1982 and 2000, reaching adolescence around the start of the 21st century. We tend to be more technologically savvy, optimistic, and open-minded than previous generations. Our mantra is “follow your dreams”.