I’ve lived through my 20s. While I can’t tell you the exact path that will lead you to your destiny, I can list several things that will prematurely trap your life. If you’re aware of these, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding them.
Chronic paycheck to paycheck lifestyle
Your twenties are the time to experiment to find your strengths and weaknesses. Through trial and error, you’ll narrow down what profession aligns with your strengths. It’s a subtle emotion you’ll feel in your gut — this is for me.
Most people don’t get there.
Money buys the freedom of time to try new things and to feel safe knowing that even if something falls through, you won’t be out on the street.
Paycheck to paycheck lifestyle traps you in perpetual stress. It wears you down mentally and physically. You can’t risk pursuing creative endeavors for the fear of losing your job — which you can’t afford to do.
You work just to sustain your existence. A few decades from now, you reach a breaking point and ask — what the hell am I doing with my life? This is the dreaded mid-life crisis.
Too many people are slaves to consumption and in the long-term, it doesn’t bring satisfaction.
Start saving up an emergency fund and get to the point where you can survive without income for at least a half year.
You’ll have the freedom most people will not. You’ll have freedom to pursue creativity lessen the chances of living a life of quiet desperation.
Worthless School Loans
There are plenty college degrees not worth your money.
There’s human value and there’s market value. While many degrees offer human value, not all offer market value.
They won’t tell you this as school campuses are an echo chamber and they are a business.
If you’re picking your college major by a coin-toss, you’re going to be have a bad time.
At best, you might luck out with a prospective career that has enough demand and can bring in enough income.
At worst, you’ll be stuck with student loans without the ability to bankrupt them and without a career that can bring enough income to buy you freedom. That means you’ll have to defer family life, getting a house, and continue throwing money towards a school loan that provided nothing in return.
Don’t chance it. If you decide to go to college, make sure you use some of these research techniques to ensure your degree will be worth the money you’ll be obligated to pay for it.
Have kids out of wedlock
I became a father in my mid-30s. Your life really does change and the priorities you thought you had before are quickly replaced by family-focused ones.
People used to tell me — Take advantage of your free time now because when you start a family, much of that free time goes away. The truth is that you can’t comprehend this until you actually start a family and look back on your life.
Starting a family is starting another stage in life. Don’t cheat yourself by accidentally starting a family before you’re comfortable in your own skin.
Some say that you’re never really ready to start a family. I don’t think that’s true. I was 75% ready and the other 25% was anxiety towards starting a new stage in life.
Even though I think it’s premature, you might find it right to start your family early in your 20s. Your circumstances different than mine.
Don’t be reckless and leave starting a family to an accident or an oops. You’ll feel cheated for skipping the life stage where you can solely focus on your self-development so that you’re ready to take care of your family when the time is right.
Dependency on Hard Drugs
Drugs are a complicated topic. There’s too much black and white without nuanced grays. The keyword here is dependency.
Dopamine receptors are responsible for motivation and reward seeking behavior. Hard drugs spike dopamine receptors much higher in a shorter period of time than what is naturally possible.
The things that used to feel good naturally won’t feel like much when compared to a heightened dopamine spike from from a substance, especially if it’s habitual.
While you’re not guaranteed to get hooked, there’s a chance of falling down a slippery slope into habitual usage.
With regards to hard drugs, the juice is not worth the squeeze.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse. I think there’s a person in every family that knows a relative that ended up in jail due to ignorance of the law.
Felonies will follow you around through background checks. Applying for jobs is hard enough without the extra baggage of a felony showing up.
If you need to fight the law, do it in courts, not on the street. You’ll 100% lose otherwise.
You have the right to remain innocent is a great book on basic rights, especially pertaining to encounters with law enforcement.