Learning foreign languages can spruce up your resume, make you an attractive option to potential employers and bring several brain benefits. For this reason, many people in their twenties feel pressured to learn a language while also studying other subjects. If you were attempting this and ended up feeling overwhelmed and lost, you’re not alone! Your twenties provide the first experience of adulthood and standing on your own in the world, and with so many new responsibilities to handle, it’s natural for language learning to end up on the back burner.
The Many Distractions of Your Twenties: What Gets in the Way of Learning Foreign Languages?
If you’re living a quiet life in your twenties, you’re a bit of a rare breed. For most, this phase of life is a wild adventure, filled with new people, experiences, and locations. Many of the typical distractions stand a chance of getting in the way of language learning, but with a little effort, you should be able to balance studying foreign languages with your other educational and social efforts.
If you’re in college, you are likely studying a variety of subjects and taking in new information at a fast pace. It can be difficult to keep everything straight. If you want to learn a language during your college years, you will need to find a way to make practicing a priority.
College can also be a great time to learn a new language because you’ll have plenty of peers around to practice with. This is especially true if your school has a diverse student body. Learning to budget your time will be a major key to success.
2. Social Media
Older adults are distracted by social media as well, so this problem isn’t necessarily limited to folks in their twenties. However, the lifestyle most people have in their twenties tends to involve both meeting a lot of new people and engaging with the community. This could mean taking part in activism or political discussions, volunteering for local events and participating in social gatherings. All of this can mean more notifications popping up on social media sites even when you’re home trying to focus on your studies.
Despite the difficulties of social media, you can still set things up to help you meet your goals. Turn off notifications so they don’t distract you while you’re studying. You can also seek out online friends who are studying the same language and practice the language in your communications online.
3. The Party Lifestyle
It can’t be denied that most people in their early twenties enjoy going out to party. This doesn’t apply to everyone, of course. If you don’t drink or party and instead choose to focus on your studies, congratulations! You’re ahead of the game.
This isn’t to say there is necessarily anything wrong with having an enjoyable time. If you stay healthy and keep partying in balance with the rest of your priorities, you can still have a productive journey through your twenties. However, excessive drinking, partying and late nights out can take a toll on your ability to focus, which could prove detrimental when learning foreign languages. Avoid trouble by limiting your drinking to one evening a week and getting adequate sleep the rest of the time.
You learn a lot of life lessons in your twenties. Some people luck out, meet the love of their lives and marry, but most people experience their first major heartbreaks during these years. By the time you reach your thirties, you will likely have a better grasp of what you want and how to manage the relationships in your lives, but when you’re still a relatively young adult, relationships can be very confusing. Struggling with an ongoing problematic relationship can be a major distraction, and this can pull your attention away from your effort to learn languages online or in school.
That said, relationships can also be supportive of your language learning. If you have a healthy relationship, especially with a partner who is willing to help you practice, then your relationship might allow you to learn foreign languages sooner than you would have on your own.
Perhaps you took a different road in life, and rather than going to college, you started a family early. Raising children takes a lot of work, and if your child is still young, you might not be getting adequate sleep.
It might seem that learning foreign languages is impossible during this time, but with apps that allow you to learn languages online, it’s easy to practice for a few minutes each day. The important factor here is not being too hard on yourself. Set goals, but don’t pressure yourself to become fluent in a language overnight.
One fun aspect of learning languages that is unique to parents is the ability to practice with your kids! Most children will be fascinated by foreign languages, and if you regularly practice with them, they will have a better grasp of the language as they get older as well.
Learn a Language Early: Starting in Your Twenties Can Support the Goal of Fluency
Even though the twenties are full of a plethora of distractions, the earlier you begin to learn a language, the sooner you will be fluent in that language. If you begin practicing your language during your twenties and get distracted, the process might slow down a bit, but you’ll still be learning habits and picking up bits of the language that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Regardless of how busy your life is, there is no better time than now to begin learning foreign languages. With the free language apps available to help you learn languages online, it’s easier than ever to get started. You’ll be glad you did as you’ll soon be looking for a job.