Tag Archives: advice 20 year old self

Life Lessons: Advice For My 20 Year-Old Self


Me in my early 20s

I’m sharing one of the very FIRST blog posts I had put up on This Beautiful Day. It’s an oldie, but a goodie – full of life lessons I seem to keep learning and confronting over and over again. Hope you enjoy! xo – Lisa

My 20-something self was a lost, people-pleaser that was more concerned with being liked above anything else. Girls are generally raised to be nice, not necessarily assertive and though I was goal-oriented, by vision was fuzzy and a little naive. I had a warped sense of direction. Here’s what I would have told my 20 year-old self:

1) Set Reasonable Goals – Yes you can aim for the world, but break your goal down to small attainable steps to lead you towards what your bigger vision is for yourself. The point is not to set yourself up for failure, that you beat yourself up and not start over. It really is about small steps. What do you need to do next to get to where you want to be?

2) Forget About Being Liked – People should like you for who you are. If they don’t, too bad – that’s their loss. I wasted a lot of my 20s worrying about being liked. Spend that energy thinking about what you want. No one else is going to do this for you. I would also like to add that you should not waste any time trying to impress people you don’t like. Trying to be friends with the world is exhausting. See my people-pleaser problem above. (more…)

Advice For My 20 Year-old Self: Erin Helcl

Erin in her 20s

Erin in her 20s

By: Erin Helcl

I was only 20 when I graduated from college, ready to take on a new career, challenges, responsibilities and experiences. Here are a few pieces of wisdom that I have learned since then what I would tell my 20 year-old self:

1) Face Fear Head On – You have lots of time to bounce back if life doesn’t work out exactly as planned. To me, your 20s should be about learning who you are and who you are not. The best way to learn is by taking risks and trying new things. Go for what you want and learn from your successes and failures. Whether it’s moving to a new country, jumping out of an airplane, speaking your mind, approaching someone new – you can learn something from any outcome if you keep your mind open and don’t let fear get in your way.



Advice For My 20 Year-old Self: Lisa Jackson


By: Lisa Jackson

If my 20 and 33 year-old selves met in a Back to the Future time warp, I’m not sure if they would recognize each other.

When I was 20, I lived with my parents in Scarborough and didn’t even have a driver’s license. I spent weekends working, studying, and watching movies in the basement. I’d never tried Thai food or sushi (!). I was stuck in a post-high school funk –I struggled to make new friends and find my niche. The “dependent” box on my parents’ income tax forms didn’t even begin to describe me.

I’ve come a long way since then, but a few things haven’t faded with age. I still care deeply about social justice issues. I’ve travelled to 20 countries. And I’m still pursuing my dream of becoming a writer.

And so, dear readers, here are my life lessons from surviving my twenties.


1. Sometimes, our parents are wrong.
Parents don’t always know what’s best for us. They may have wise words and good intentions, but sometimes, their expectations are unrealistic, outdated, or just wrong for us. For years, my mother tried to transform me into a math whiz. I shed many tears over equations and geometric shapes. Even still, I considered taking computer science in university just to please my parents.

Luckily, I listened to my gut. I enrolled in English and History instead.

Remember that you’re the expert in your own life and you can proudly choose your own path. And if your parents disagree, it’s no biggie – they’ll get over it and love you anyway.



Advice For My 20 Year-old Self: Tamika Auwai


By: Tamika Auwai

Being a first born, overachieving Leo – I always did things as expected and carried that into my early adulthood. Ever the model citizen, I went to school for sensible business administration, not my passions of journalism or fashion — more secure job options, I thought. I took the first jobs I was offered whether or not I really interested in learning about the company or industry — better employed than not. I bought into RRSPs and life insurance policies — start saving young for retirement. I moved straight from my parents home into my marital home never really having my own place — better to mortgage than waste money on rent.

If it sounds like a recipe for success, it was. I had $10K in my RRSP and a senior-level management position by age twenty-five. I got married and owned a house by twenty-six. On the surface my life was on track, maybe even ahead of the curve and my parents were quite proud. Underneath I was holding back, focused entirely on the life plan that was given to me rather than stumbling about growing into who I really wanted to become, making choices based on what I thought I should do and not at all what I really longed for. (more…)

Advice for My 20 Year-Old Self: Natalie Taylor

Photo by: Avril Sequeira

Photo by: Avril Sequeira

By: Natalie Taylor

As I’m in my early thirties, it was really fun to think about being 20 again and what I’ve learned. In my twenties, I was definitely lost in so many aspects of my life but I always remember what Tina Fey said in an interview. She said, “Say yes.” When you open yourself up to risk, you open yourself up to failure but also opportunity. My twenties taught me to be flexible and open to the joys and challenges of life. Now is your time to experiment and have fun! Here’s my best advice:


1. Sit Down With Yourself

It’s okay to be lost. I was very lost at three pivotal ages: 20, 27 and 29. So I sat down with myself and asked “what would make me happier than I am right now?” I finally figured out my major in University at 20 after humming and hawing about it (not so coincidentally English and Geography); I figured out that I wanted to write at 27 after being in a career that didn’t work for me and I figured out that I really wanted to be a travel writer/blogger at 29.

Those decisions helped me figure out my goals from there. I also asked myself: What are the three things I must have in a career? What are my three best skills and how can I use them towards what I love to do? What have I always loved doing since childhood? For me, I knew that I needed a mix of my passions of travel, writing and social media. I manifested those three words like crazy into my thoughts and told everyone and anyone that’s what would make me happiest. Shortly thereafter, I got a job as a travel columnist. Two months after that, I was working in social media for a travel company. Now I’m picking up clients related to my niche: Toronto and hyperlocal travel.

Your dreams can happen but you need to know what they are. When you know what they are, people will go out of their way to help you, especially if you’re genuine about your passions and goals. Make sure you have a specific niche and hone it. Own it. The more specific your niche is, the easier it is to find ideas/clients/sponsors/advertisers/like-minded souls that fit who you are. It will take time but don’t give up!