You're young.  You're free.  You have the rest of your life to figure it out.  But, what if I told you that every decision you make now - matters.  Every choice.  Even every non-choice.  The rest of your life is determined by the choices you make today.  How easy or hard.  Vacations.  Paychecks.  Everything you do before you turn 30 - matters.  Every choice you make, matters.  Here are 6 choices before the age of 30 that will greatly affect how easy, or difficult, your life is after 30.

Your grades in school: Understanding what your weird English teacher is talking about may not seem important, but grades in high school determine what colleges accept you and what scholarships are offered- meaning less student debt later.  Once in college, scholarships for good grades are available.  Studying now can decrease the amount of loans you need and less time to pay off student debt later.  Working hard now means not having to work as hard later.

When you get pregnant:  Girls who get pregnant at a young age are less likely to finish high school and very unlikely to earn a college degree.  Single moms with limited education struggle to pay bills.  While the guys don’t tend to stick around, if they do- what kind of lifestyle can they provide with a limited education?  Waiting to get pregnant means you will struggle less later.

If you go to college:  Girls who earn a college degree after high school are more likely to have better jobs with better salaries and benefits than girls who don’t go to college.  Often, this realization kicks in and girls try to go to college later, but now with kids at home and work 3 times as hard.  Making sacrifices now to go to college or a technical school means less sacrifices later.

The man you choose to marry: A life partner is more than just “being in love.”  His trustworthiness, ability to work through conflict and compromise and whether he is hard-working will significantly impact your life.  So many girls report feeling betrayed by cheating husbands or husbands who are unwilling to work out problems.  Other girls are frustrated by their husband’s unwillingness to help with household chores or to maintain employment, so they are left juggling the bills and all the household chores.  Choosing the right husband means less stress later.

The career you pick:  Do you want to travel?  Have weekends and holidays off?  Kids?  Have a big house?   While you may not need a mansion on a lake, you need to consider what lifestyle you want when choosing a degree.  For instance, if you choose a career path that ends with a job making $20,000 a year, you will likely not live the comfortable lifestyle of your friend with the job making $80,000 a year.  Matching your career pick to your desired lifestyle means more life satisfaction later.

Drinking, doing drugs & breaking the law: Doing drugs and hanging out with the wrong friends means you could end up with legal consequences (jail) which stays on your permanent record if you are older than 18.  This can prevent you from getting future jobs and even keep you from getting into certain college programs.  You could also end up getting hurt or permanently disabled.  Choosing to not doing drugs or break the law now means more opportunities for employment later and staying healthy.

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About the Author

kristenhodges

Kristen lives in Florida with her awesome husband and 3 energetic kids. She earned a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan and is a psychology professor at a local university. In her free time, she hangs out with family and friends, volunteers at her church and laughs as much as possible. She has a passion for Jesus, helping others and anything chocolate. Follow her on instagram @kristen_hodges_cg