Contrary to what our pop culture portrays, your 20s are a period of immense personal and professional exploration, a learning process that's just as confusing as it is exciting. Widely regarded as your "formative" years, what you do between ages 20 and 29 can set the stage for success later in life—both at the office and in your social life. So how do you invest in yourself during your 20s to better shape your 30s? Business Insider recently scoured Quora threads and TED Talks in search of some answers, compiling a list of peer-reviewed tips in the process.
Here's what the sources had to say:
Find a mentally stimulating hobby
As we discussed last week, certain unassuming hobbies like writing and working out can double as IQ- and brain-boosters. Quora user Deepak Mehta also suggests doing puzzles, engaging in role-playing games, or playing chess as a way to stimulate your mind and take care of your mental health.
Get out of your social comfort zone
Your 20s are about expanding your friend circle as well as developing the social skills you'll use throughout adulthood—it's time to face any social anxieties head-on. "I know after college one's social group often changes so joining organizations helps one expand their circle of friends," writes another Quora user Hunter McCord. Try attending work networking events, joining a book club, or going on a few dates to put yourself out there.
Keep up with the news
While the emergence of fake news will undoubtedly change the way we consume online media, staying on top of current events is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to invest in yourself during your 20s. "Chances are, you'll find your passion [while reading the news], whether that's a cause you're interested in or a niche you believe you can fill," writes Quora user Heidi McDonald.
How do you invest in yourself during this critical time in life? Share your suggestions below!