Featured Blog: 20 Things I Learned In My 20s about Life and Money: Part 1 – The Life Lessons

Written by Team WFAN

Women Financial Advancement Network (WFAN) strives for a society where women join the financial system in an equitable manner to lead a more meaningful life.

February 6, 2014

The following blog is by Sophia Bera originally published in her website Gen Y Planning.

In honor of my 30th birthday on February 9th, I’ve decided to write this two-part post: the life lessons and the money lessons that I’ve learned throughout my twenties. Today, you’ll find my 10 life lessons and next week, I’ll share the 10 money lessons I learned as a twenty-something. Enjoy!

1.  Layers Are Your Friend

This applies to both your clothes and your hair.There are so many times where I’ve been freezing at a conference or sweating giving a presentation – but I’ve finally learned to dress in layers.Also, if you’re a curly haired girl like myself, for the love of god, add some freaking layers to your hair so you don’t spend the first 18 years of your life looking like a triangle head.

2.  Stop Dating Jerks

Yes, the bad boy is fun to chase and then once you’re with him he’s a big jerk. Why is this a surprise?! Stop it.It’s ruining your self-esteem and you should really go out there and find a nice guy. Tes, a man (or woman) that’s nice to you! They exist!

3.  Marry a Nerd

Nerds make amazing husbands!Why? Because they love you for you (with all of your craziness).They are really nice guys, and they are smart, caring, fun, interesting, etc.Jake is a total nerd.He loves video games, Magic the Gathering, and those crazy board games that have to deal with resources and harvesting stuff. (All the nerds out there know exactly what I’m talking about.)

4.  Embrace Your Body

Your body is the only one you’ve got. Enjoy it, be kind to it, and take care of it.If you’re a curvy girl like me, just embrace it and stop worrying so much about your weight and instead focus on fitness. If you’re insecure about how you look, stop for a second and think about all you can do. You are able-bodied.You can run, jump, dance, swim, hike and explore! Your body can do amazing things. So don’t take it for granted by being down on yourself or not giving your awesome bod the credit it deserves.

5.  Take a Dance Class

Dancing is fun! It’s also a good skill to embrace. It comes in handy at weddings and while you’re traveling.Or if you’re at a bowling alley and there’s a Britney Spears dance off, you might just win!(That was a decade ago, but yes, it really happened.)

6.  Have a Go-To Karaoke Song

I have a few.I was a Theatre Major in my undergrad and went to college in a small town.Many weekends consisted of hanging out at the local karaoke bar.My go-to songs are: “I’m Just a Girl” by No Doubt and “Waterfalls” by TLC with the rap part!Nope, many people cannot do the rap part, but I’m proud to say this girl can!

7.  Stop Worrying About What Everyone Else Thinks

You’re obsessing over the dumbest things.Get over yourself.Stop worrying.This will be the hardest thing for you to actually achieve, but don’t give up – when you finally stop spending so much time and energy worrying over what someone else may or may not think of you, you will feel amazing, less stressed, and totally empowered.

8.  Stand Up for Yourself

When you’re getting bullied or pushed around by a boyfriend, a boss, or whomever, sometimes you need to stop being nice and just tell it like it is.Don’t wait for someone to rescue you.This may lead to a change, a breakup, a lost job, etc. but life is too short to put up with someone else’s crap.The sooner you learn to speak your truth, the sooner you will live the life you’re meant to live.

9.  Be Yourself

There was a time when you felt you had to “fake it ‘til you made it” but you don’t need to do that anymore.(You never needed to do that, honestly, but it’s hard to understand that when you’re younger and feeling pressured to fit in to a certain mold.)  It’s time to be yourself and let all the different parts of you show.Sometimes you may be incredibly passionate and headstrong about an issue, other times you might get silly and charismatic. As soon as you start to show your true colors, you will attract friends that admire those qualities.

10.  Be a Good Friend

You have the most amazing friends in the world.Love them, support them, honor them, and they will do the same for you.I have so many good friends in Minnesota: Gemma, Brianna, Steph and Danielle; but it’s also wonderful to have friends in different time zones like Laura, Mary Beth, and Hannah.The benefit of having friends around the world is that when I’m having a freak-out-moment, one of them is usually awake to Skype!


About the author: Sophia Bera, CFP® is the Founder of Gen Y Planning and is a financial planner for Millennials. She’s passionate about helping people in their 20s and 30s across the with their money. She is a contributor for AOL’s Daily Finance website and has been quoted on various websites and publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Yahoo, Money Magazine, InvestmentNews, Financial Advisor magazine, and The Huffington Post. She was named one of the “Top Financial Advisors for Millennials” by the website: www.MoneyUnder30.com. Sophia is a sought after speaker and presenter and is an active member of the Financial Planning Association. In her free time, she enjoys performing as an actor/singer and traveling the world with her husband, Jake. Follow her on Twitter @sophiabera or sign up for the Gen Y Planning Newsletter to stay up to date on financial articles geared towards Millennials.


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