Lifestyle | March 23rd, 2023
Why Your Selfish Season In Your Early 20’s Is Important
By: D'Aja Byers
Being selfish in your twenties is a conversation that many young adults face once they hit a specific stage in their life. Leading up to those twenty-somethings, we hear the iconic saying “it’s okay to be selfish in your twenties,” but how many of us really understand what that means?
How people choose to approach their twenties says a lot about the journey they’re willing to take & where they are personally at in their life. There are so many unique ways of exploring your twenties that create an open space for adjustment, growth, and lessons.
Some choose to take their twenties seriously and concentrate on things that help them achieve lifetime goals – like focusing on their career or starting a family, while others use their age to live freely and do whatever their heart desires.
Ismara Cajuste, a senior public relations major from West Palm Beach, FL, describes what being selfish in her twenties means to her while still navigating through her 4-year relationship.
“Choosing yourself. Focusing on you. Loving yourself. Using this time to discover all the weird and wonderful things that make you unique,” said Cajuste.
Like most people discovering their own personal journey in their twenties, Cajuste’s unique way of being selfish in her twenties has taught her that it does not make her arrogant but instead helps to develop her own personal story and journey in life.
“Being yourself and still being nice to those around you always goes a long way,” said Cajuste. “When I learned self-worth, I had to realize in our lives there’s really a true few; everyone is not your friend, and that is okay. It’s a part of transitioning into a woman,” she continued.
Journey to Selfishness
Like many others whose experience with being selfish has shaped many of their lifelong experiences and taught them more about themselves, the journey can sometimes be faced with various trials that lead to an ultimate test. In our twenties, we understand what the meaning of selfishness is, but we rarely apply it to our everyday lives and success journeys.
Markayla Oats, a 20-year-old public relations student openly expresses her new-found experience of being selfish in her twenties and the valuable lessons she has learned so far when asked what being selfish in her twenties means to her.
“Being selfish in your twenties to me means figuring out yourself as an adult, really sitting with yourself and reflecting on the things that you like and dislike, maybe about yourself, maybe about friendships and romantic relationships as well,” Oats said. “Really focusing on self-care and my personal career goals and how I want the trajectory of my life to be,” Oats continued.
As someone who has a unique way of being selfish in her twenties, Oats has chosen to not put romantic relationships at the forefront of her mind or even make it a priority as she commits to being single.
“I take time out of my schedule to have fun and enjoy myself, sometimes not as much as I should; that is something I want to work on because I think it’s super important to kind of dabble in different scenes to see what you like and dislike, and how much of one scene you can tolerate,” Oats said.
Although Oats expressed her opinion on relationships in her twenties, she shared an interesting opinion on whether or not being in a relationship can affect your journey toward being selfish.
Making You A Priority
“Relationships do not have to affect you being selfish in your twenties, but I do believe most people let it affect that. I think anything romantic – if you are having internal struggles with who you are as a person – should be lighthearted until you fully understand who you are as a person,” Oat said.
“Prioritizing yourself at an early stage in life is important because it eliminates the extraness that is surrounded by romantic relationships,” Oats continued.
Many people who do indulge in romantic relationships throughout college have the experience of navigating through young adulthood with a partner who may share similar experiences and habits that helps them better understand each other.
A 22-year-old female pharmacy student, who wishes to remain anonymous, details the benefits and harmfulness of being in a relationship while navigating through your twenties.
“Being in a relationship in your twenties definitely exposes you to early phases of love and teaches you how to grow as an adult within a relationship and protects you from experiencing some trials that single women in college deal with as far as being with different partners, and endangerment situations. You’re able to be consistent and grow as a woman,” she said.
“The bad thing about being in a relationship is that it’s kind of hard for you to be selfish at the same time because you want to take into consideration your significant other, especially when it comes to job opportunities that may cause you to separate or reconsider the location. You have freedom, but you still have to respect your partner,” she continued.
It is clear in every story that whether you take a traditional or non-traditional path of exploring your twenties, there is always room to allow yourself some grace and to be a little selfish. More than any other decade of life, your twenties shape who you will become.
The way we love ourselves says a lot about what we value and who we can connect with in the future. Sometimes being selfish sets the tone for security. The ability to enjoy yourself through being selfish can very well mesh with relationships in the future, your happiness, your success, and your career