Disregard these social pressures if you want to be happy in your 20s

June 13, 2017
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While people will tell you your teenage years are the crucial development years, there’s probably no decade more important to self-discovery than your 20s. While in actuality you might be killing it in your 20s, there are always going to be societal pressures that make you feel like you’re failing. If you want to have a successful and happy decade, these are the things you should ignore.

The need to have more likes and followers

While social media isn’t necessarily going to be bad for you, it can become a dangerous thing to obsess about. Whenever we post a photo to Instagram or a status to Facebook, we judge our self-worth based on the validation that comes in the form of likes and comments.

Social media can cause you to start viewing your life through a lens of what will get you more followers, but more followers won’t make you any happier. Instead of getting the phone out for every brunch, concert or every single moment when you’re travelling, take some opportunities where you don’t have to snap or comment on everything and you might enjoy it more.

Getting engaged before you turn 30

While 30 does seem like a long time away when you're in your early 20s, the amount of proposals you see popping up on Facebook can sometimes make you feel like it’s creeping up fast. If you’re single, you might worry about your timeline when the ideal situation is to meet someone and know them for a few years before you settle down.

But when did this number become so important? There shouldn’t be a rush to get engaged and there definitely shouldn’t be the assumption that it’s bad to be single when you turn 30. If you’ve found someone, there’s plenty of time. If you wait, you'll probably be in a position where you're way more likely to be able to afford it – what’s the rush?

The idea that you need to buy property ASAP

I’ll take my $22 avocado on toast instead, thanks. For any twenty-something who owns property, it’s an amazing achievement and obviously not an easy one. But that doesn’t mean that any twenty-something who doesn’t own property is a failure.

It’s hard for anyone to enter the property market right now, let alone the twenty-somethings who are still at uni or at the early stages of a career. If that’s what you want to save towards, good for you and you should go for it. But if you’d rather save for travel and life experiences you can afford, that’s still a pretty good goal to work towards.

Religiously following trends

There will be a point when you realise that following every single trend will make you look exactly the same as everyone else. While there’s nothing wrong with being fashion conscious, you can be fashionable while also embracing your own style and individuality. You’ll also look better and feel more confident in yourself if your hair style, clothes and general look is what actually suits you.

Thinking you need a high-paying job to be happy

This is the trap many students fall into when they choose a degree. Once you experience the broke af student life, you can see the appeal in going after a high-paying job. But don’t choose that position as a lawyer or an accountant if it’s going to make you miserable. Only pursue a career that you could actually see yourself loving every day, even if it means settling for a low wage. No amount of money will make up for daily misery.