It's that time of year again, early 20 something-year-olds are graduating and entering the workforce/real world. Congrats graduate, you worked your ass off earning your degree. Here are my $0.02 for you as you move onto different adventures.
Investing and compound interest
Invest early and invest frequently. Purchase stocks, bonds, ETF's, mutual funds. Contribute to your employer's retirement plan or 401K. Rent out rooms in your apartment/home, own equity in local businesses/startups. You are in the greatest position at your age since you'll experience sour markets, but can recover easily, since the greatest asset you have working for you is time.
A professor once told a friend of mine that they will have a higher net worth than him, simply because they started investing at a very early age compared to him. By simply placing $100 a month and receiving an average 10% return, after 65 years, or nearing retirement, you would have amassed a net worth of $14 million.
Don't focus on the rate of return for now, but rather the percentage of your income that goes towards investments. Place $X amount of money and over time (and I mean, a few decades) it will be worth $Y amount of money.
Me, I'm always broke, but that's due to the fact that I place 80% of my net income into stocks, this is only because I have no major responsibilities or payments to take care of. Your risk tolerance should be high, but not stupid, speculative, or a complete gamble.
Update your resume
Obtain internships and go into the field of work that you studied for. Place such experience and credentials under your belt (resume) to seem more valuable to your current and future employer. Become far more valuable than the next person trying to take your job.
Unfortunately for me, I don't have such credentials, I am just as qualified to do my work just like the person next to you. There is no security for me, I am replaceable. You, on the other hand, have a degree that says "I know what the fuck I am doing" so put it to work and do not let it go to waste.
Finding your soulmate
The fun, unprotected, sex and one-night stand with strangers craze are over. It's time for you to get serious in terms of relationships and choosing your partner. Whether you meet your significant other through tinder, a bar, or a church, it's best to figure out if s/he is the person you would want to spend the rest of your life with.
I don't like wasting anyone else's time and I certainly don't like anyone wasting mine. If I don't see any future between us, then I save my breath for the next person I see a lot of value in as well as a healthy future. It makes you a mature individual and a person who acts their age.
Purchase experiences not materialistic things
Go out and travel, rock climb, visit another country, take a language course. As these experiences will be memorable, provide a learning experience, and will be cherished for the many decades that follow. Stories that you can share with others. Do not purchase materialistic things, while yes, it does bring pleasure and joy upon purchase, over time it doesn't bring many memories. It's just that, an item that is replaceable.
I don't like the term "work/life balance" since to me there is no balance at all. It's just working long and hard hours the first 2 - 3 decades of your life. Sacrifice must be made if you want to reach financial freedom, not to the point where you jeopardize your relationship with family and your significant other.
Vices and addictions
Drop any bad habits/addictions that are getting in the way of your life. No one should be dependent on any substance, especially substances that waste your time, is overall bad for your health, and ruin your relationships amongst your peers or family.
Love and forgiveness
Remind people that you love them, as you never know when your time (or even their time) on earth is up. Forgive people that have done you wrong and ask for forgiveness for the people you hurt. Life is awfully too short for you to be resentful towards someone, remind people that you love them.