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We asked the Good Things Guy community what they wish they had known before reaching 30. The life advice. The helpful tips. The important things that might just make adulthood a little easier for others. Here are some of the tips we loved:


South Africa (2 July, 2023) — Youth Month might be over, but all the young people in our country don’t just disappear because it isn’t June anymore, and neither should the spirit of guidance and encouragement. Adulthood is filled with more lessons than most classrooms. And, navigating the jungle of our twenties doesn’t come up on curriculums. Most of us curate our own maps of advice, and if we’re lucky, good people share theirs with us.

We asked our readers and friends to share their maps. The lessons they’ve learned, the tips that helped; really the important things everyone should know before reaching 30.

Here’s Our Youth Month gift that never expires:

You don’t need to stick to the path you decided on when you knew less

“Use your 20s to learn as much as you can about everything so that you can determine what you really want to do for the rest of your life.”—Melanie Cope Machial.

“Don’t get stuck where you believe you should be. Take your time, explore and discover where you belong.”—Andy Good.

Being decisive is that skill and the antidote to feeling stuck

“Things don’t have to stay the same. You can change. Your circumstances can change. You need to decide and not let life happen to you. Live.”—Renée Leeuwner.

“When you don’t make decisions for yourself, life makes them for you.”—Anonymous submission.

Water your relationships

“Nurture Relationships: Invest time and effort in building and nurturing meaningful relationships with family, friends, and mentors. Surround yourself with people who inspire and support you, and reciprocate that support to others. Remember that relationships are a two-way street, and maintaining them requires communication, empathy and understanding. The bonds you form will enrich your life and provide a network of support during both good and challenging times.”—Brent Lindeque.

“When it comes to friends…quality over quantity.”—Hayley Mulder.

“Have the difficult conversations with empathy.”—Netterine Venter.

“Love doesn’t end when a love ends.”—Zithe Kamesa.

“Choose well when choosing a life partner. This person will possibly co-parent with you one day. Will she/he do that in a loving and responsible way?”—Lalie du Plessis.

Embrace failure!

“Embrace Failure: One of the most valuable life lessons is to embrace failure and see it as a stepping stone to success. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes, as they provide opportunities for growth and learning. Each failure is a chance to learn valuable lessons and improve yourself. Remember that failure is not the end but a part of the journey towards success.” —Brent Lindeque.

“Being brave opens doors, fear closes them. Bravery doesn’t mean you’ll succeed, but even if you fail, you’ll never have to wonder what was behind the door.”—Ashleigh Nefdt.

Work, passion and the balancing act

“Being in love with your job improves life by 10000x.”—Stefano Rosolen.

“Corporate is not for everyone. You’ll spend a lot more time in that office than you can even imagine. Don’t be afraid to lose the suit, and if you can’t find an opportunity, make one.”–Anonymous submission.

“Spend time with your family and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Work will be there tomorrow, don’t miss the moments with your family that you will regret missing later on.”—Dominque Maria Tricerri.

“Follow your own dreams and aspirations. When you do what you love, you’ll find greater satisfaction, motivation and a sense of purpose. Remember that your passion may evolve over time, and it’s okay to explore new interests and make changes along the way.”—Brent Lindeque.

Parent yourself through self-care, patience and winging it

“Prioritize Self-Care: Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally is crucial for your overall well-being. Make self-care a priority and practice habits that nurture your body and mind. Establish a balanced lifestyle that includes regular exercise, healthy eating, quality sleep, and time for relaxation and rejuvenation. Remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish; it’s necessary for your happiness and success.”—Brent Lindeque.

“Try not to have a timeline of where you “think you should get to.”—Megan Cootz.

“Everyone is just winging it. Trust in your own ability, educate yourself, follow your heart and take your brain with you.”—Nicolene Stuart.

Learn how to be your own cheerleader

“You don’t need someone else’s validation to know/believe you can do something amazing.”—Malusi Mpofu.

Go where you’ll grow, even if it’s scary at first

“Grow in the direction you want to grow in. You’ve got this, it’s your life choose your fit rather than fitting in.”—Vicki Vix.

“Change is uncomfortable but necessary in order to grow.”—Ruan Lotz.

“Instead of resisting change, embrace it and see it as a chance for personal development. Be open-minded, adaptable, and willing to step out of your comfort zone. Embracing change will enable you to navigate life’s challenges more effectively and discover new paths and experiences.”Brent Lindeque.

Comparisons will hold you back

“It’s only you vs you, that’s it. Comparison is the thief of joy.”— Jordan Muller.

“Try not to compare yourself to others in life, love, education or achievement…You are a unique individual with your own path to make…Own it!”—Daniellé Hardenberg.

Take every opportunity to learn, lessons are all around you

“When you speak, you’re only repeating what you know. But when you listen, you’ll learn something new!”—Vaso Zervos.

“Keep your brain active, keep learning. Do that course.”—Hilton Buddies.

Learn the value of time and travel

“Pack your backpack and get to know the world. Expand your horizons. Use public transport. Eat where (and what) the locals eat. Then come back with a better understanding of cultures, people and yourself.”—Marié Bester.

“Trade possessions for opportunities to travel (you’ll sell the thing, but you’ll never forget the holiday.”—Melanie Cope Machial.

The Practical Things:

“Gross salary is NOT what ends up in your bank account.”—Tshedza Magugumela.

“First save, then spend. But, DO NOT SAVE YOURSELF TO DEATH, you need to live too!” —Netterine Venter.

“Do not open a clothing account so you can have the needed debt to be an adult and pass a credit check. Just rather save your money. Clothing accounts are a slippery slope.”—Tyler Leigh Vivier.

“The power of compound interest!”—Patricia Pearson.

“Learn how income tax works and how to do your returns!”— Sabrina Velini.

“Always and I mean always make sure to ‘overclean’ your apartment when you move out of a rented place. Your rental agent will drain your deposit amount for even the tiniest mishap! Don’t forget to take pictures of everything when you move in so you don’t become the fall guy.” —Anonymous submission.

“Start saving for your retirement with your very first salary. Get used to making that payment very early on, so that you don’t have to fork out huge amounts when you’re older.”—Nadia Lusted.

“Use that sunscreen lotion—EVERY day!”—Claudia Parbhoo.

Sources: Good Things Guy
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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