Your twenties is the time to find yourself and discover who you are, so they say. But you’ve come to realize it’s not as easy and magical as you previously thought.
Here are some tips to help you during this sometimes frustrating, confusing, yet exciting phase of your young life.
DON’T PURSUE A HIGHER DEGREE RIGHT AWAY: Unless you have a passion for a specific field like medicine, politics, art, law, or whatever it may be — wait on pursuing a higher degree until you figure out what it is that you truly want to study. Ideally, if you’re not ready for higher education, try to tackle something lighter (i.e. community college or vocational school).
ASK QUESTIONS: Don’t be afraid to ask questions about faith. It’s a part of growing and learning. You can always speak to your parents, a local imam or even a religious study group. Seek the opinions of others and then do research yourself. Learning about other faiths can help your own religious identity grow, and in turn, solidify your personal identity.
TALK TO OTHERS: Ask your closest friends and family members what they think of you. They could see you as an honest, trustworthy, caring and loving person, when you might not have the best impression of yourself. This discovery alone can help alter the way you look at yourself, hopefully for the better.
DON’T JUMP INTO A RELATIONSHIP: Thinking about marriage in your twenties is natural and can be rewarding if you find someone who supports you in your quest to find yourself. But don’t jump into a relationship because you think it will fill the emptiness in your life. You have to fill that emptiness yourself, and it starts by figuring out your insecurities, fears, passions and things you need to work on.
EXERCISE: You may be thinking, “What does exercise have to do with finding myself?” Well, quite a bit actually. The more you keep your body healthy, the more your mind and soul will stay nourished. Once your mind, body and soul are in sync, you can think clearly about the person you are and the person you want to become.
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO: Some people discover their passions at a young age, and make a career out of it. Julie Andrews, for example, chose to be an actress and singer because she loved to sing and act, and she knew she was good at it. If you don’t know what you are passionate about, that’s okay. Figuring out your personal identity alone (i.e. character and manner) will help you master your self-esteem and confidence to the point where you will be able to tackle any professional field you are interested in pursuing. Think about what you’re interested in, what you’re skilled at, and chase it!
DON’T GIVE UP: Don’t get down on yourself. If you feel like you’ve reached a breaking point, go to people in their 30s or older and seek their advice — they’ve been through it.
There’s a lot of pressure at this age to know who you are and what you want to do with your life, but the fact that you are even thinking about it means you’re taking a step in the right direction. And always remember, you are not alone.