Life Advice Every 20-Something Should Live By

Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
I moved to New York without a concrete plan, much less a job. And during that confusing, ungrounded multi-year quest to land somewhere permanent and in the field I wanted to be in, I often turned to quotes. When I needed courage, inspired by both Wild and Simon and Garfunkel, I wrote a lyric from one of their songs on a Post-It note: "I'd rather be a hammer than a nail." I would repeat that to myself before I met with my boss or sent a follow-up email on a job posting.

Later, when I was in the final rounds for a job at Refinery29 that I just wanted so badly, I reminded myself of a Beyoncé quote over and over again: "You could actually work super hard and give everything you have and lose."

I've always had a love-hate relationship with quotes. Repeated too much, they can become trite and meaningless. Though, the right quote can provide you with comfort and motivation — and light that proverbial fire under your ass. And those quotes — and many others — truly did that for me (and still do).

We've rounded up 15 quotes from amazing women that do just that. Pin or print your favorites, and hopefully they can provide the inspiration you need that pushes you to take the next big step.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Strayed's column, Dear Sugar, was full of advice that is both compassionate and no-nonsense, and her message to tackle life head-on is a message we can all be reminded of.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Particularly motivating if you're looking to make a career switch.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Eleanor Roosevelt's amazing life is proof that she not only said these words but lived them, too.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Sometimes, your best option is "fake it 'til you make it."
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Read this before you take a deep breath and ask for more responsibility — or a raise.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Let the original bossy pants remind you it's always time to seize the day.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Figure out the answer — and do it.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Remember: It's okay to be scared — that means you're being brave. You can do it!
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Every day includes that 3 p.m. slump. Grab a cup of coffee and get back to it!
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Life isn't always fair, but don't let that be your excuse for not giving it all you've got.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Both a reminder that there’s a bright side to difficult times and, in those times, it’s important be your best self.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Sometimes, avoiding mistakes by playing it safe is the biggest mistake you can make.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Michelle Obama put it best: You can’t do it all alone — and you shouldn’t have to. But sometimes admitting you need help is the hardest part.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Read this before you go into a meeting — you (and your ideas) deserve to be heard.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
No one can have it all at once — not even the Notorious RBG. The road is long and you still have much to learn and achieve.