10 Things Every 20-Something Should Know

Note: This is a humor piece intended as a response to the many "Things Millennials Should Know" or "20 Lessons For 20-Somethings" articles out there.

1. Time is not limitless

You don't have all the time in the world to do what you want. In fact, you'll probably die by the time you're 30 so it's crucial that you find a spouse, have kids, own a mortgage-free home, find a steady job, and come to terms with your spirituality before it's too late. Make the most of what you had yesterday.

2. Not everything revolves around you

With the advent of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, and a host of other social networks, the millennial generation has become more self-absorbed than ever. It behooves you to become more selfless. Not everything is about you. In fact, nothing is ever about you. Not even your birth certificate.

3. Listen to your elders

The older generation has more experience and knows more than you. Everything you ever thought until now is a lie so keep quiet and stop being such a know-it-all. Just because you think the Earth is round, doesn't mean it is.

4. Be prepared for every job interview

Always do research on the company and prepare questions before entering a job interview. Make sure you wear clothes, know when and where your interview is, and ask intelligent questions like "Where is the elevator?"

5. Learn to be frugal

Spend less than you earn. Being free from the clutches of your parents also means being frugal and paying your own bills on time. Remember when you used to be frivolous and buy things like food and clothes? No longer. If you're making $35,000 a year, don't spend any money and put the rest away. You'll thank yourself later.

6. Build your technical skills

In this day and age, computer programming is a highly valued skill. For example, if you're planning on becoming a doctor, make sure you know how to make a website background pink. You can't conduct open-heart surgery without knowing CSS, HTML, and most importantly, JavaScript.

7. Form healthy habits

All that drinking and partying will catch up with you fast if you don't form healthy habits now. It's a fact that the millennial generation will be outlived by their parents. So exercise six times a day, follow a macrobiotic, gluten-free diet, and make sure you're potty-trained.

8. Stop hiding behind your phone

Stop texting, G-chatting, iMessaging, and Skyping, land have more face-to-face conversations with people. In fact, get rid of your phone and computer altogether. You'll develop more meaningful relationships with your out-of-country friends.

9. Step out of your comfort zone

Try new things as much as you can. Travel around the globe even if you don't have money. Eat foods that you're allergic to. Walk across the Atlantic Ocean. You'll learn more about yourself in the process.

10. But seriously...

Life is a continuous learning process. Everyone can benefit from the lessons targeted at 20-somethings whether you're 16, 22, 50, or 78. The problems that plague millennials are ones that transcend generations. Elders, take a look at your own youth before criticizing ours.

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Esha Ray

Esha Ray is a graduate of New York University where she received her B.A. in broadcast journalism and economics. She currently works for WNET New York Public Media as a production assistant. She's a fan of photography, traveling, and television marathons. Follow her on Twitter @TheEshaRay.

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