Ellie Thumann on the Joy of Not Having Things Figured Out in Your 20s

Ellie Thumann.<p>James Devaney/Getty Images</p>
Ellie Thumann.

James Devaney/Getty Images

Having just celebrated her 22nd birthday, Ellie Thumann appears to have wrapped up an incredible October. Not only did she ring in her special day on Oct. 29 surrounded by friends, she also hard launched her relationship and reflected on her successful year thus far all within the last few weeks.

While it may look like she has things all figured out, the 2023 SI Swimsuit rookie admitted during a recent panel discussion that it’s O.K. to not know what you’re doing while in your 20s. During SI Swimsuit’s “Be You Women’s Empowerment Series,” presented by Maybelline, at the University of Cincinnati on Sept. 21, Thumann answered an audience member’s question with some incredibly sage wisdom.

When an attendee asked Thumann and fellow models Sixtine and Christen Harper if they’ve always known that they wanted to work in the modeling industry (and how they figured that out in the first place), the Arizona native shared a few anecdotes to illustrate her viewpoint that it’s O.K. to just figure things out as you go—which is exactly what she’s doing.

“I feel like I resonate you guys because I’m around your age and even though I know what I’m doing with my career and I’m happy, I still get the question like... ‘What’s next for you?’ and ‘Where are you going next?’” Thumann shared. “If social media went away tomorrow, what would I do? The answer is, I don’t really know. Because I feel like I’m at a point where I’m changing so much every month.”

Thumann, who has been a content creator on YouTube since her early teens, noted that while she has a few friends who have known they wanted to practice medicine since they were 12, her older sister, Erin Thumann, on the other hand, changed majors several times throughout her college career.

“It’s also just as equally O.K. and important to like, not have everything mapped out, and in your 20s, allow yourself to find what interests you throughout school and even after school,” she stated. “But I think the best advice would be to take different classes, maybe something that you never thought you would enjoy, kind of explore around, and see what you’re kind of finding more interest in.”

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