Welcome to your twenties! The time when everything is scary and confusing and WHY DIDN'T THEY TEACH US THAT IN SCHOOL? Never fear: We have life tips for twentysomethings, plucked from a delightful new guidebook, The Twentysomething Handbook by Nora Bradbury-Haehl.
A young-adult minister with 25 years of service, Bradbury-Haehl created this guide to help take away some of the noise and overflow of information, simmering it all down to one book. Each chapter includes actionable advice on every topic a twentysomething likely needs guidance on, from finding the right job to making friends in a new city.
Your twenties are a weird, wild, fun time. And also a very trying time. Trust me—I just exited my twenties. And if it weren't for all the chaos and learning in that decade of madness, I wouldn't be here.
So let's get to some of the highlights of life tips for twentysomethings and why this book will absolutely help you, or your beloved twentysomething, navigate the murky waters of adulthood.
1. Learn to love where you are
It's hard when you're fresh in the world of adulting and living in a strange, small city, working for the only company that would pay you a livable wage. The grocery stores are different, your family is far away, and your friends are scattered around the world. It gets lonely. But you can learn to love it as a stepping stone on the path to where you're going to end up. You have to face this new place for what it is, get acquainted with it (what's the culture like? is the weather something you need to worry about?), and start calling it your home.
2. Respect your roommates
Whether you're living in your childhood bedroom or in a new apartment with a roommate or two, you need to set boundaries right away. Who does which chores? Are overnight guests allowed? How will you deal with conflict? And please, be courteous and tell your roommates when you're leaving and when you'll be back.
3. Feed yourself!
You don't have to be a Food Network star to keep yourself fed and happy. It takes work—and lots of trial and error—to find recipes, plan grocery trips, and prepare food, but it is absolutely worth it. Try new things. Try things you've never seen before. Try things you hated as a kid. And don't forget the magic of meal prep, where you make a large batch of something and divvy it up into containers to take with you for lunch.
4. Be smart with your money
Finances are the hardest part of being a twentysomething. You probably have student loan debt, rent, and other bills that demand your attention when splurging on something nice for yourself is a much more intriguing way of spending. Make yourself a budget, map out what you can comfortably spend, and stick to it! Pay minimum balances no matter what. Throw extra money at your debt. One day, things will feel more attainable. Right now, you just need to stick to your goals and your budget.
5. Take care of your mental health
Your twenties are a rollercoaster of experiences and emotions. Pay attention to how you're feeling, and how certain things make you feel (do you sweat profusely at a crowded bar? spend your weekends as an unshowered blob on the couch?) and find ways to keep yourself mentally healthy. If you can afford it, therapy works wonders. Take time for yourself. Go for walks, meditate, do breathing exercises—anything that soothes you, make time for it. Your mental health will thank you.
But these are just general pieces of advice from The Twentysomething Handbook; the book gets into the nitty-gritty of each of these facets of adulthood and more, including how to find the best apartment and what kitchen tools you should own. Best wishes on your adventure!
Ashley Holstrom is a book person, designing them and writing about them for Book Riot. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color.