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20 Things Every Twentysomething Should Know How to Do

Did you read our blog post about 20 Things You Should Know Before You’re 30? Well, the work’s not over yet for the up-and-coming generation! Debra Fileta in her article recommends learning that you can’t please everyone, learning to value your parents, and remembering that life doesn’t follow expectations. Over at Relevant Magazine, Tyler Huckabee has a few suggestions also, and makes a list of 20 things every twentysomething should know how to do. Some are simple and practical, like being able to make a great breakfast, parallel park, or brew your own perfect cup of coffee.

Some seem simple (indeed, are things we learn at tender ages) but are so hard to live out. Huckabee says about being able to argue kindly, that:

“[It’s] [a]n increasingly rare trait, but you’ll be better for it. Learn how to have your own opinions (and make sure they’re actually yours—not just something you “heard somewhere”) and how to put them firmly and politely, in a way that invites spirited conversation. It's a rare and wonderful thing.”

Huckabee also tackles technology, undoubtedly the darling of the twenty-something generation. Limit your online life, he writes, and be able to defend your media choices.

“Whether you like Kendrick, Kings of Leon or Ke$ha, you should be able to articulate why. The media we consume affects us, and you should be able to explain to yourself why you’re listening, watching and reading the things that you are.”

In a world where a common answer to “why do you like that song?” is often met with a shrug and, “well, the beat is awesome…. I don’t really listen to the lyrics…” – Huckabee’s advice there is pretty refreshing, I must admit.

Most importantly, Huckabee’s list emphasizes both other-care and self-care. Depending on one’s personality, it can be easy for a young person to totally fall to one end of that spectrum and neglect the other. When you’re starting out adulthood and finding your way in life, it’s imperative to foster love and respect both for the people around you, and for the body God has given you. Huckabee says know how to stand up for yourself, be alone, and stay well-rested, or you could lose yourself very easily. But also learn to bite your tongue, tip generously, and hold onto a good friend, lest you lose sight of others and neglect Paul’s exhortation:

“give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10).

Our authors at Crosswalk have many suggestions on life-lessons, too. Allison Vesterfelt recommends learning to live life with less baggage. Megan Pacheco insists that keeping an eye on how a potential mate handles his or her finances is absolutely crucial. Zach Hunter pushes for a resurgence in respect and honor in how we treat one another. And Felicia Alvarez suggests, for the bloggers out there, to remember why you write, follow God’s lead, keep it clean, and be bold in love.

What advice would you give to the twenty-somethings in your life? If you’re in your twenties, what do you think is important for you to be learning during this season?

Debbie Holloway is the Family Life Editor for

Publication date: October 9, 2013