As I approached 30, I was repeatedly asked, “are you ready?” 

I mean, maybe you shouldn’t have the same posters from your college dorm on your walls, and you should be eating more than Spaghetti O’s and ramen, but aside from those types of imposed societal expectations, life pretty much stays the same.

Crossing into my 30s, however, did give me a great chance to reflect on my 20s. (Ever spent hours scrolling through your Facebook feed going back in time?) As I thought through the big milestones of my last decade, I was flooded with gratitude – my 20s were a time filled with exploration, discovery, travel, wonderful people, and incredible amounts of growth. It was also filled with lots of angst, failure, insecurity, and difficulty. Yet, in reflection, the tough memories take on a different hue – it’s easier to see how those times made me a stronger, braver, more resilient person.

Young man journaling As I thought through the moments that brought me the most growth, here are some of the lessons I learned along the way: 

    1. Comparing yourself to others is the fastest way to unhappiness.
    2. Learn how to think. What you learn in college is important, but learning how to think critically and strategically will serve you well your whole life.
    3. Faith isn’t good or bad – it’s what you bring to it that matters.
    4. Remember – you’re smart, capable, talented, and awesome. You can do more than you think you can if you believe in yourself.
    5. Also remember – you are stupid, and don’t know anything. Learn as much as you can from people more experienced and wiser than you.