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20 Things I learned in My 20s

by MIKA ROBINSON

As I reflect on my roaring 20s, I’ve come to realize that I’ve A. come such as long way in what seems like such a short period of time. B. I’ve really gained so much wisdom and perspective on just about everything and C. the pandemic definitely stole my late 20s but I try my best not to be salty about it.

Which brings me to the reason we’re gathered here today—sharing things that I learned in my 20s that will have you saying “Damn Mika, you ain’t never lie!” So, grab your cup of tea (or wine) and get ready for some unfiltered (and unsolicited) wisdom. And oh, yeah…Happy 30th Birthday to me!

1. Everybody isn’t your friend… and that’s okay

things i learned in myv 20s nikki baby that bitch

In life, you’ll encounter all sorts of people—some people you’ll click with instantly. Some you may take some time warming up to. Other’s may down right get on your damn nerves so bad that you’ll regret the day you first ever crossed paths. It’s alright to accept that not everyone will not be your cup of tea (spoiler: sometimes you won’t be theirs either). Make it a point to surround yourself with those who uplift and support you, and let go of toxic connections or peoples that just don’t do it for you.

2. Compartmentalizing your friends is also okay

things i learned in my 20s meg thee stallions shocked bet awards

I know some people are going to 100% disagree with this. And if that’s the case, go write about it on your own blog. From my experience its normal if each friend plays a unique role in your life. Some are your partners in crime that will hop in an Uber with you to run down on the trifling, good for nothing type of brother that broke your heart. Others may be the ones that you feel comfortable talking about things like major career and financial decisions.

Embrace the beauty of diversity in friendships and cherish the different needs each relationship fulfills. Stop expecting one person to be your everything—that’s way too much pressure even for the greatest friend in the world.

3. Knowing how to drive is actually important

Even if you reside in the concrete jungle of NYC, learning to drive opens up opportunities and gives you a sense of freedom. Who knows when you might want to embark on a spontaneous road trip? Or you simply have to be the designated driver due to an emergency of some sort. Not to mention, taking cabs and Ubers everywhere in this economy is draining your bank account. BFFR.

4. Take responsibility for your own issues and actions

things i learned in my 20s insecure molly accountable

Blaming others for your problems only holds you back. From my experience, people who don’t take accountability generally lack self awareness, repeatedly get caught up in the same vicious cycles and quite frankly, become stuck in their ways. It’s time to own up to your mistakes/poor decisions, learn from them, and grow tf up. You can’t keep blaming the same people and situations forever. It’s getting old and tired.

I love a good trend as much as the next girl, but chasing trends will leave you with nothing more than a closet full of clothes you’ll wear a few times, forget about, then eventually dispose of. Instead, focus on buying pieces you genuinely adore and will wear time and time again. Pieces that call your name and bring you joy whenever you pick it up. I personally get excited curating a wardrobe that fits me (and possibly passing it on to my beautiful unborn daughter).

6. Embrace solo adventures tiktok

How many trips have you attempted to plan with a group of friends that never made it out the group chat? How about all those restaurant TikTok vids you’ve been sending to your friends with no actual reservation in sight? Exactly. Treat yourself to dinner dates, embark on solo trips, and engage in activities that bring you joy. Riding solo does wonders for self discovery—don’t take it for granted.

7. Trick yourself into being a type A girlie

You don’t have to be born an organization guru or the girlie that lives off of a to-do list. However, with some many moving pieces in this ghetto that we call adulthood, these type of characteristics make a huge different. Implement little tricks and routines to boost your productivity and organization skills. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. And yes, buy the iPad because it can actually help you get your life together (that’s my experience at least).

8. Not all workplaces are toxic

how to quit your job

Contrary to popular belief, there are workplaces out there that nurture growth and foster a positive environment. Seek out opportunities that align with your values and don’t settle for less. Yes, it is ghetto that we have to work to live in the first place (who actually is responsible for this?) but you honestly don’t have to be miserable doing so.

9. …but don’t be afraid to quit a job

things i learned in my 20s i quit harlem series

And when it comes to a job that I don’t f*ck with? I’ma quit it. I remember writing a blog post about when it I knew it was time to quit my job. Spoiler: I didn’t regret quitting that job or any other job after that. Your happiness and fulfillment matters. If a job doesn’t align with your goals or values, don’t be afraid to walk away. It’s not the end of the world—it’s a chance to find something better. Plus, we all know that when a job is through with you they don’t think twice about kicking you to the curb.

10. Master the art of money management

things i learned in my 20s michelle obama money gif

Leave your money trauma in the past. Stop calling yourself broke. No more saying, “I’m so bad with money.” Money has energy and the way you move with it determines how it flows back to you. Don’t be delusional and go finance a pink Tesla in the name of manifestation but just know that money is made up and unlimited—there’s nothing stopping you from getting to it except yourself.

Also, work smarter not harder. More money doesn’t necessarily mean more work.

11. Harness the power of your words

things i learned in my 20s awkward black girl issa rae 20s

While we’re touching the subject, remember words hold incredible power, so choose them wisely. Avoid negative self-talk and reframe your mindset. Instead of saying you’re broke, focus on manifesting abundance and financial freedom. Whether you have to put it in a vision board, pray on it or create mantras, watch what you say and only speak power into yourself and the world.

12. Stop giving everyone the benefit of the doubt

things i learned in my 20s nene eye roll

Sometimes, the doubt just don’t benefit a damn thing. Not everyone deserves a place in your life. Don’t force connections with people who consistently prove themselves to be less than worthy. Value yourself enough to surround yourself with genuine souls.

13. It’s okay not to have everything figured out

Let me start by saying being scared to turn 30 is crazy. There’s no magical age when everything suddenly falls into place. Embrace the journey of self-discovery, learn from the twists and turns, and trust that life will unfold beautifully on its own time.

14. Take care of your body, inside and out

things i learned in my 20s working out martin

If there’s one thing that I learned in my 20s, it’s that your body changes a lot. Gone are the days that you can marathon drink, eat bacon egg and cheese sandwiches every morning and be in the best shape of your life. Your body is your temple, so treat it with love and respect. Nourish your body with wholesome food, protect your skin with sunscreen, stay active, and prioritize self-care.

15. Stop caring about others’ opinions

things i learned in my 20s oh irrelevant ericka lhhatl

A a fly, Bajan singer turned entrepreneur once said “people gone talk whether you doing bad or good”. Opinions are like assh*ole’s–everyone has one. Focus on your own growth and aspirations. As long as you’re being true to yourself and pursuing what feels right to you, what others think is irrelevant. Chances are they’re projecting their own insecurities onto you anyway.

16. Silence speaks volumes

things i learned in my 20s silence

Not every situation deserves a response. Sometimes, the best approach is to keep it cute and keep it mute. Your peace of mind is worth more than engaging in unnecessary drama. This includes online, btw. Like girl, are your really going to let @UserExperiment626 really piss you off at 8 am with their lame a*s comment?

17. Get better with time

things i learned in my 20s desus and mero

Respect your time and others’ by being punctual. Being fashionably late might sound cool, but let’s face it, it’s just plain rude. Show up on time and radiate success. Furthermore, be realistic with time. A lot of people who feel like they don’t have enough time just are delusional with time.

Bonus: Buy back time by delegating tasks when and if you can. For instance, I’m officially pro drop-off laundry because going to a hot NYC Laundromat for a few hours every couple of weeks just doesn’t work for me. For you this may look like buying groceries with Instacart or finding a Virtual assistant if you’re really about that life. Find ways to “make time”.

18. Build a routine

Structure and consistency are legit the foundations of success. We learn this all the way up to the time we’re in college and drop it once we enter the real world. Create a routine that aligns with your goals, helps you stay organized, and maximizes your productivity + happiness. Your future self will thank you.

19. Being single is not the end of the world

things i learned in my 20s i feel so damn powerful cardi b

As much as I want to be shouting “my man, my man, my man” from the top of the Empire State building, I’m loving how much I’ve been loving on myself. I actually think it’s making me a better person for a future partner. Love yourself unapologetically and focus on personal growth. Your ideal partner may be busy working on themselves too. Embrace the single life, indulge in self-discovery, and cherish the freedom to create your own happiness.

20. Unfollow uninspiring people online

things i learned in my 20s lhhatl social media rasheeda

Your online space should be filled with inspiration and positivity. If someone doesn’t light your creative fire or uplift your spirit, it’s time to hit that unfollow button, expeditiously. Surround yourself with those who ignite your passion.

Life is a journey of self-discovery, growth, and constant evolution. Embrace the lessons, celebrate the wins, and navigate the lows with grace. Remember, you’re a force to be reckoned with. Stay true to yourself, live fearlessly, and keep slaying, because you’ve got this!

Drop a comment below and let me know which lesson resonates with you the most. And don’t forget to share this post with your tribe who need a dose of realness. My DM’s are open on Twitter and IG if you’d like to talk more!

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