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Jessica Schiffer is the founder of Twenties Collective, a group that writes about the unique challenges and joys of being in your 20s. One of our favorite columns of hers is "20 Sense," in which clever, successful women share their insights into what they learned during those 10 years.
By now, it is news to no one that your 20s can be wildly confusing — numerous corners of major industries, including film, television, and publishing have profited from 20somethings' sloppy segues into adulthood. But, despite all the evidence out there that it's normal to sink more than you swim during this time, I still found myself searching for ways out of a particularly messy patch just last year. What do I want out of life? What do I really value? Is it possible to be happy and successful, or must I choose between the two?
After wasting far too much time in the self-help aisle, I decided to take a different route and retrace the steps of women whose lifestyles and careers I admired. Surely this diverse lineup of editors, bloggers, writers, designers, and psychiatrists would have the answers. While they didn’t lay out a clear plan for me to survive the ensuing decade, they all let me know that the learning curve was steep but transformative, and the years full of teachable moments that could actually be of great value to my adult self. Being open to such lessons would be vital, they noted, but so would being kind to myself: surrounding myself with people who truly appreciate me; challenging myself, but not pushing myself over the edge; and, most importantly, constantly dancing between work and play.
I’ve selected my favorite answers from the bunch so that you, too, can subdue the excess worrying that comes with these years, and take it a bit easier on yourself as your 20s progress. If these ladies got through it so mightily, we will, too. After all, that's what being young and resilient is all about.