How to adult in your 20s

The Fang Girl
5 min readJan 29, 2022


Here’s a series of curated essays from amazing people in my life.

20s is a period of being bold, self discovery, and saying yes to new opportunities. (I say “nope” a bit more in my 30s). Surround yourself with positive energy. Know that people will move in and out of our life, and that’s ok. Always wish them well.

Hone a skill that brings joy to you and others — playing an instrument, baking buns, writing children’s stories, etc. Spend more time with loved ones. You think you have time but don’t assume. Less social media, more sunsets.

Be kind to people, but don’t take shit.

— Jasmine

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

We do regular checkups with our doctors and dentists, please do the same for your mental health.

Plan for the future but try your best to live in the present, and be fully present when you’re spending time with others.

Save and invest early, but also spend on experiences too; time will become a more limited resource.

Don’t forget to stay curious, be spontaneous, have fun and play too; adulting doesn’t have to always be serious.

Some friends might be acquaintances won’t be easy, but it’ll eventually be ok. This transition will give you room to cultivate and build other relationships that fit better with your next season in life.

— Tania

I wish I knew how much your surroundings can affect your life. When I made a the move from Hong Kong to New Zealand, the drastic change of lifestyle and pace really helped me self-reflect on a lot of personal faults/toxicity I had. With that, I always encourage everyone to just “make the leap” into something unknown. I knew no one in New Zealand or an exact plan, but came out of it with lots of friends, stories, and new perspectives on my life.

As cliché as things sound, I wouldn’t do anything differently/regret anything — it all happens for a reason, but it is up to you to actually find the lessons to be learned.

Talking things over with a close friend, that is willing to challenge you, can lead to a better understanding of how to process new thoughts/ideas.

— Chris

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

To me, there’s no such thing as failure in early 20’s. It’s a time of character development, which can only happen through experience. And sometimes “the best things in life happen by accident” — a quote my professor in college shared with me before graduation.

- take risks with love and tell people how much they mean to you when they are alive
- nurture creativity and volunteer in your community
- go to therapy ASAP
- befriend ppl who are not in the same life stage/age as you
- limit social media

I live with zero regrets. However, I do wish I knew to tell people I loved how much they mean to me before they’re gone. I didn’t know life’s fragility until I hit my 20’s when a number of people who made a significant impact on me passed away: grandpa, tennis coach Mickey, and volunteer friend Patti. I leave you with a thought provoking word: “You can be the master of your fate. You can be the captain of your soul.” But you have to realize life is coming from you and not at you. And that takes time.

— Danica

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

1. If you want to try something new, don’t overthink and just go ahead and try it. A lot of things we were afraid to give up in our 20s. But when we look back, we might find these things are no longer important in our current lives or don’t even exist.

2. Be open minded, meet a lot of people, travel to a lot of places, and learn as much as possible from your own experiences. No need to define yourself too soon since you might change your mind anyway.

— Joanna

Photo by Niketh Vellanki on Unsplash

Advice I’d give to 20s: when you are blazing your own trails and trying out something new — ie. new career, new lifestyle, new habits etc — don’t be afraid to experiment, and observe the outcomes of each experiment with self compassion.

Don’t beat yourself up if something doesn’t work out — both successes and failures are outcomes you can learn from, and often times the failures are invaluable insights to help you adapt & pivot toward something better.

Test, learn, iterate and have fun!

— Amy

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

I wish I learned early on how to be a fixer.

By nature, I am a builder at heart. I broke a lot of things and left them broken when I was younger.

Now, I’m learning the hard way to be a fixer through consistency, grit, and perseverance. I don’t know if it’s just me that I think things can be so replaceable, but some things just aren’t.

The list goes on.

I hope that anyone in their 20s learns to be a builder and a fixer — that way, whatever they do, they’ll succeed.

— Emily



The Fang Girl

A travel & lifestyle journal by Emily Fang. She jots down her personal thoughts as she ventures in Singapore, San Francisco, and Taipei. Blog is