I turned 30 in 2022 and I won’t lie, I had a bit of a time of it. Despite 30 being this huge milestone with lots of confusion attached to it, I think your 20s are the most confusing decade of all. Whilst there’s no rule book for it, I definitely believe there are some things to do in your 20s that are important for personal growth.

things to do in your 20s

My 20’s were… interesting.

And certainly not the 20’s that I envisioned for myself as a teen.

They started with me in the midst of the worst period of mental illness of my life. Slowly, throughout the very early stages of my twenties, my world got smaller and smaller until all I knew was the four walls of my bedroom. I had no friends in my 20s. No prospects. And absolutely nothing to keep me going.

Of all the things to do in your twenties, being a prisoner to your own mind is NOT THE ONE.

And even now, at thirty, I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be or thought I’d be at this age.

Your 20’s are a weird and confusing time. With half of the people you know settling down with marriage and kids and the other half travelling solo around the world being a digital nomad.

But I find that comforting. Because it shows that there are so many things to do in your twenties and no one way is the “right” way.

Life is all about growth – however you decide to do that. But now that I’m out of my somewhat unconventional twenties, I wanted to share some things to do in your twenties to help with personal growth!

17 things to do in your 20s for personal growth:

things to do in your 20s

1. Find an exercise you enjoy 

By our 20’s, we should all be exercising on a regular basis. With the increase stress of work and relationships, an exercise routine is a vital part of our routine to help keep us as healthy as possible as we move through our 20’s and into our 30’s where, sadly, health issues are more likely to crop up. Whether that’s HIIT workouts, swimming, Yoga practice, running – find something that suits you!

2. Establish some savings for the future

Now is the time to save, save, save! I wish I had started saving money much sooner than my 20’s because during a good number of years during my 20’s, I wasn’t earning anything due to my anxiety being so bad I couldn’t leave the house. Thankfully now I’m earning a full-time income from my blog and my savings are flourishing but that wasn’t always the case!

3. Let go of friendships that no longer serve you

It’s totally normal for friendships to fizzle out in your 20’s. As we grow up, we get different priorities and often go our separate ways. That doesn’t have to be a negative thing either – it just IS. So learn to accept that it might be time to let go of those friendships that no longer serve any role in your life or those relationships that don’t align with you anymore.

4. Talk about your mental health

Whether you feel like you need to or not, I urge you to start (or continue) talking about your mental health in your 20’s. It can be a tough decade, with a lot of curve balls. So don’t forget to put yourself first and seek the help you need if required, such as going to therapy or starting on anxiety medication. Get open and honest about your mental health.

5. De-clutter all your old rubbish 

It’s time to have a de-clutter. Are you keeping a ton of old stuff from your childhood and teenage years? If so, why? Is it for sentimental reasons? If so, have you looked at or thought about any of those items in the last 5 years? If not, get rid of it. Scale down what you own and if you want to keep some stuff from your childhood, choose wisely.

things to do in your 20s

6. Find your signature fragrance 

Now is the time to confirm your identity to the world. And fragrance is an amazing way to do that because smell can be so powerful. I’m sure we’ve all got a certain smell or fragrance that reminds us of someone or somewhere? Personally, I’m a Lady Million by Paco Rabanne kinda gal!

7. Attend your cervical screenings

Of all the things to do in your 20s, I feel like this is one of the most important. A few months before you turn 25, you’ll be invited for your first cervical screening. Make sure you attend these – they’re so important and are such a convenient test to help save lives and prevent future problems.

I’ve been for LOADS of cervical screenings and colposcopy appointments at the hospital, due to them finding the HPV virus (which can cause cervical cancer) as well as abnormal cells. I’m so glad I attended all of mine. Here are some posts you might find helpful if you’re struggling with attending your screenings:

8. Find a hobby without the need to monetize it

With all the stress in our lives during our 20’s, hobbies can play a vital role in our self care and well-being. However, hustle culture online has it that we should be trying to monetize every aspect of our lives which honestly, is total bo**ocks. Find a hobby for YOU. Even if you never show or tell anyone. Find something that helps you cope.

9. Know what self care works for you

Of all the things to do in your 20s, it’ll be crucial for you to establish a self-care routine. You’re going to need it. But don’t follow the crowd. Experiment. Find what works for YOU. Self care comes in all forms, from mental, physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Here are some self care posts you might find helpful:

10. Understand your priorities 

Notice how I haven’t written ‘travel’ on this list? Whereas most other people you speak to will say you “have to travel in your 20’s!!!” Well that’s because now is the time to figure out your priorities. And for some, travelling is NOT a priority in their 20’s. Which is fine. It literally doesn’t matter what your priorities are, just figure them out.

11. Cherish your relationships

When you get into your 20’s, you’ll get the stark reminder that your loved ones are getting older too. This has definitely been my least favourite thing about being in my 20’s but obviously something none of us can change or control. What we can do though, is make TIME and cherish those relationships while we can.

12. Learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes 

One of the most important things to do in your twenties is to forgive yourself for your past mistakes. Especially those mistakes you made in your teens or when you weren’t in the right frame of mind. We are f**k up every now and again. But the only person you’re guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with, is you. So you better forgive yourself eventually.

13. Learn the value of alone time 

Alone time is so important at any age but in your 20’s when there’s so much hustle and bustle around you, so many plans to make, people to see, things to do, it’s so important to establish a relationship with yourself where you can spend quality time with yourself and enjoy it. Whether that’s a solo spa date, a cinema trip or a meal by yourself.

14. Challenge yourself 

Now is the time to challenge yourself. Challenge your limits. Find out what scares you. But try it anyway. Surprise yourself. Learn that you CAN do it. And if you fail? So what.

15. Learn how to cook at least 10 basic dishes

You’ll be fending for yourself in your 20’s so now is a good time to learn how to many some yummy go-to meals. Quick meals for after work, easy meals for when you’re hungover, nice meals for when you have guests and everything in-between.

16. Master your mindset around money 

As well as establishing some savings, now is also a great time to master your mindset around money. Trust me, it will do you wonders going forward in life! Learn the basic principles of money. The fact that money is just paper with energy attached and how and why you should be grateful for every penny you receive.

17. Learn how to say ‘no’

Of all the things to do in your twenties, I think this is one of the most important. We’re past the University phase. We’re past the getting pissed over the park phase. Past hanging out with people we don’t like or have nothing in common with. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to follow your heart and your head and know when enough is enough. Preserve your energy. Use it wisely.

There are many things to do in your 20s for self growth but here are a little selection of the ones that I think are the most important.

These are the ones that I came to learn throughout my 20’s and I’m really glad I did because I learned a lot from them. I don’t think I’d have the level of self awareness I do now, had I not figured these things out.

If you’re in your 20s right now and you’re struggling or things aren’t going to plan, I feel you.

Your 20s are hard. And confusing sometimes. There’s literally no way around it. Some have it easier – I certainly didn’t. 

But for most it’s a monumental time of self-growth and possibilities. And you have everything you need in you to get through it.

Do you agree with these points? Do you have anything to add to this list?

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  1. Great tips/suggestions. I’m also 28 and I have mastered most of these, except cooking and having a signature fragrance. I still have two years to figure those out 🙂

    All the best, Michelle

  2. Now I’m in my thirties (very early thirties) I don’t feel as though I regret as much – I wish I’d travelled more but that’s it I think xx

  3. Yes! Absolutely love all of these ideas! I think having a hobby just for yourself with no other motive behind it like money is so important. I think there’s always so much pressure to keep up with everyone else and always be doing the most and it just doesn’t need to be like that. Just live your life and be happy xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

  4. This is such a fab read! I love all of these ideas I turn 21 in a week and I am so excited to start learning more and doing more things!

    Amber | The Unpredicted Page

  5. This is exactly what I needed right now, I’m definitely learning to be smarter with money now I’m out of uni👀 and forgiving yourself for past mistakes is so difficult sometimes but such a necessity x

  6. Hi Jenny I strongly agree with these tips it’s only two things I must take a closer look at it’s that cervical screening situation I have never been to one and never thought of it although I have been working in a hospital earlier this year before my contract ended so you really gave me something to consider before I reach my 30’s. And when it comes to cooking as much as I’m not a fan you also right because I get to chase people away by making excuses when they talk about visiting me telling me I should cook since I don’t know many recipes so that’s also something to look at. Just to add one more on the list and say Don’t forget to friendzone God you will need him as your best buddy in your growing up journey. By the way thank you for sharing these take care.

  7. Thank you for such a great sharing. I’m 22 now and I already feel like I have no time left being 20s. So it’s nice to read your artical, feel like meeting the “future me” <3 hope you have a great day!

  8. Oh my gosh agree with these points doesn’t even begin to cover it. I’m the same age and literally feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, where I’m going or even where I want to be. These are some fabulous suggestions and really made me think about which ones I should put a focus on. Thank you!

  9. This is a great post and filled with fab advice ☺️
    I am 33 and I feel like I’m only now able to say I’m some what closer to achieving if all of these points…although not completely I’m definitely moving in the right direction. I feel it’s important to remind ourselves that everyone’s journey is different and we all reach and achieve our goals at different times in our lives and that’s absolutely fine 💚❤️

  10. You’ve mentioned some great ideas. I decluttered my belongings not that long ago and was able to decide what I really wanted to keep. I’ve now got a couple of storage boxes to put sentimental items in without having to have them on display.

  11. Well, I managed to do 8 things in my 20’s which is great for me! I haven’t learned how to cook, attend first cervical screening, and master my mindset around money lol These are suppperrr great reminder, Jen! Thank you for sharing this 🙂

  12. Love this wholesome post, especially the idea of finding my signature fragrance! De-cluttering old books and papers gives me such a feeling of freedom and the space to start collecting new memories.
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. As someone who has recently turned twenty, I thank you for this. I’ve already started doing a few of the things you mentioned, but could definitely do with doing a few more (such as getting rid of a few things I’ve kept over the years that I probably don’t even know I have)

  14. Love this post. I have definitely found my 20s to be quite confusing too. Before I got into my 20s I was thinking I’d do so much like I’d be married with kids but I’m turning 26 on Saturday and I haven’t done either of those. Learning to cook is so important, I’m so glad I enjoy cooking. I’ve always been big on saving growing up too, so I would definitely recommend that too. Great post! xx

  15. I’m pretty dang grateful that at 26, I’ve found ways to incorporate almost all of these things into my life in positive ways. You have so many excellent and meaningful suggestions that could change somebody’s world for the better. I love it! Also, LOVING your new blog theme. It looks beautiful!

  16. I’m 26 now and I’m actually glad I started saving money when I was a lot younger and I have continued to do so. I’m also kinda glad my circle of friends has gotten smaller, but more meaningful over the years!

  17. I feel you when you mentioned about the declutter old teenage stuff. I used to have a memory box and it was FULL of letters and invitations and I remember coming back from uni (back in 2016) and going through it and just had a little bonfire with it haha! I felt great after.
    But I agree that your 20’s are weird and all over the place. I am mid 20’s now and just feel confused and like you said you just see people all around you either travelling living the dream or settling down having kids/getting married etc. I really enjoyed reading this thank you for sharing xxx

  18. I love all these points Jenny! I need to learn the art of saying no, that’s one thing I’m guilty of not doing! I’ll be turning 28 next year and I’m honestly dreading it! But after reading this post, I’ll be eager to fulfil these points you’ve made before I turn 30 in a few years time! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

  19. Since turning 28 last week I actually feel it – but in a good way if that can make sense. I love all these things you’ve mentioned and I can’t stress enough the importance of getting to grips with your finances! That and realising that your health is your wealth and should come first in all cases!

  20. I definitely agree to all of your points! I specifically love treasuring your alone time. I learned that in my 20s too because I had kind of like a quarter life crisis, and I learned so many things about it including treasuring my alone time. 😊💕 thanks for sharing this, Jenny!

  21. Love this, you’ve covered just about everything in terms of looking after yourself here. Learning to say no is so so so important. And I love that you mentioned a hobby without financial gain. The idea that everything needs to be a side hustle is so exhausting x

  22. I agree with everything you said. I was robbed of a lot of my 20s, due to illness – I became ill at 24 but I still learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed my early 20s. I think when we’re younger, we all have these milestones in our head that are just so unrealistic! There’s no timetable in life! x

  23. These are all great and I really resonate with them. I think I’m particularly focusing on savings and finding hobbies that aren’t career/money related. I also love that you pointed out forgiving yourself, it’s so easy to look bad and feel guilt about stuff even though everyone else has forgiven and moved on from it years ago. Thanks for sharing x

    Nicola | nicoladaletraining.com

  24. Suuuper important points , and here’s the best part! If you don’t manage to figure it all out in your twenties, the thirties don’t differ much 😉 You’ve still got plenty of time. I wasn’t ready or able to figure out my money mindset or prioritize my real friends over the fake ones until I turned 30. I was too busy concentrating on just having fun before that 😀 And that’s totally okay! We only live once, let’s make the most of it. xx

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