The Intelligent Girl’s Guide To The In-Between Stages Of Your Early 20’s



You are a legal adult, but at the same time you are struggling to define some parts of your identity and are coming to a deeper of understanding of what is expected of the new, adult you. You take ownership of your life financially, but every once in awhile you run into a tight spot and your parents still spot you from time to time. You have an idea of what you want to do and what you are not willing to do; however, you wouldn’t say that you fully know exactly what you want to do with your life. You would describe yourself as somewhere between “I got it” and “I wing it.” Here is the intelligent girl’s guide to the early stages of certainty and the lack thereof.


No One Is Self-Made (Be Grateful)

There is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the makeup of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.George Burton Adams

You actually don’t get all the credit for you. From being potty trained to passively inspired by strangers, people leave fingerprints all over your life. Intelligent girls realize that they are a result of many and are proud of the eclectic story that lives in their veins. There are parts of your story that are harder than others but in the end, the good and the bad shape you. As you transition, pay attention to all the little surprises along the way that end up nudging in the right direction and whisper your thanks as you move along on your road of discovery.


Mentors Are Great, So Find Ones That You Trust

Having a more experienced and successful counselor guiding someone in a chosen profession is a wise decision and good career move.Jose A. Aviles

Intelligent girls understand that they only know what they know and that if they ever want to know more, they may need to ask someone else. You get to choose who mentors you, who you receive from. Pay attention to people in their expertise and learn who to ask. Not every mentor needs to know that they are your mentor. Just find someone that you trust and respect (who respects you back and sees potential in you) and grab a drink to go with them and ask them questions as you walk. They know what it’s like to be where you are and they want what’s best for you.


Family Is Still Family, Even When You Are Grown Up

When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family.Jim Butcher

You are never too grown for mom or dad. If you had a good relationship with your parents before becoming as aware of your adulthood as you are now, then invite them over, go visit them,  or go out to food and talk. They still love you, want to be there for you, and will see be by your side.


You’re Not Alone In This Stage Of Life

We are one species out of a billion” ― Hiba Fatima Ahmad

Sometimes you feel like you are existing between so many projects, identities, and interests that people can’t relate when in fact, they probably all do. I think people are always caught between a few things. Knowing that choice and growing into yourself is not something that you have to face alone should relieve you. Just knowing that people relate makes it all a bit more bearable.


Don’t “Yes” Because You Think You Should

When I claim more than what I can handle, I limit the opportunities for another person in my community.Jeff Shinabarger

When you are learning balance, sifting for gold, discovering who you are and trying to not lose your mind, sometimes “no” becomes your best friend. You have limits, learn them, challenge them, and then when push comes to shove, listen to them. You don’t have to do everything, and bottom line— you can’t. Save yourself the stress and be honest up front.


Mistakes Don’t Disqualify You

Our trials are our greatest teachers, mentors, and benefactors.” ― Auliq-Ice


We all screw up, so congratulations…you are human. You will mess up as you learn and as you grow. Loosen up, learn to be okay with being flawed (but try not to repeat your same mistakes…there is something to be said about actually learning from your mistakes). Keep going.


Nothing Can Stop You Like You Can, Believe In Yourself

Believe in your infinite potential. Your only limitations are those you set for yourself.”  Roy T. Bennett

Most times, it is easier to believe in the finished product than a product in the process. It also sometimes to see the best in others and the worst in yourself because you have context on you. But when you don’t believe in you, it makes it nearly impossible for others to believe. You define the expectation that people should have for you and the things that you produce. Cut yourself some slack when your are processing and find yourself in an in-between stage in life. Believe the best about you and keep rooting for you. You will have more than enough critics coming your way soon enough. Don’t add to the noise. Learn to love your voice.


Keep growing, keep going, and keep owning it all. This is your life that you are living right now. Sometimes it’s fantastic and sometimes it’s subpar, but the whole thing is yours. You are in-between, you are in a process, you are learning, and it is all okay. Believe that it is okay and that you are okay, release your anxiety and take it easy. Transitions take time and they are always a tad bit tricky. You’re doing great.