What advice do you have to give to someone in their early 20’s?
Open an IRA account and don't fall in love so easily. Ease up on the partying if you are doing that too.
Never rent an apartment or house with anyone else. They will be happy to walk out on you and leave you with the rent and utilities to pay. Get your own place, even if it's small and modest. Avoid credit debt like it was the plague. Once you get started on "living above your means" there is no stopping the vicious cycle of spending your paycheck on paying credit cards. Don't let your boyfriend move in with you, or you move in with your boyfriend. It's too easy for them to take advantage of you, threaten to kick you out if you don't do whatever they say, no matter how immoral, unethical, illegal, debasing, humiliating or financially harmful it is. If they move in with you, they will quickly become the lazy, unemployed boyfriend who camps out on your couch all day and eats all your food without contributing an equal amount to the workload or expenses payments. They are in a situation where they can "have the cow and get the milk for free". They don't want to get married when they can have all the benefits without the commitment or responsibility. Don't trust anyone. Humans are wired to enjoy betraying each other and using each other to get whatever will benefit them personally. Deep down they don't care what harm comes to you as long as they get what they want. This includes things like sharing rides to work, or even having your boyfriend take you out. Drive your own car so if he starts acting like a jerk, or wants to drive you out to the country and threaten to dump you if you don't have sex with him, you can drive yourself home. Cars are an efficient, safe way to get from one place to another. Avoid getting swept up in the competition attitude, or the road rage attitude. Just keep on chugging along at the speed limit and let them go around you or find someone else to taunt into charging off down the street to see who can get there first. Avoid getting a pet unless you are committed to a 20-year guardianship and know how to take care of that animal and make its life full and enjoyable. Too may people like kittens but have no idea what a cat needs to make its life safe and happy indoors. (Don't ever let one outside.) As for careers, you are better off finding something you enjoy doing, and do it well, instead of doing what others think you should do (like climb the corporate ladder) and be miserable and frustrated at it. Better to live a modest life and be happy being a car mechanic than to be a graphic artist with deadline pressures and stab-you-in-the-back co-workers looking to get your job. If you are unhappy with your life, then change it. That includes breaking up in relationships that are sapping your energy, trying to please people (like parents) who will never be pleased, staying in a dead-end job. You and only you are responsible for your happiness and only you can decide what needs to be changed to give you the freedom and peace to enjoy life.