On my birthday, I usually write a list of things I learned that year. I have to say, despite being epic on paper (yoga teacher training, getting my dream job, moving to San Francisco), 25 hasn’t been the most inspiring year of my life.
That said, whining is for losers (namely, me) and things are most definitely looking up. But still, I feel like there are so many things that really suck about being in your twenties. And even though I want to relish my singledom and youth, I can’t help wishing I had a bit of the backbone and confidence I find in my friends who are thirty.
Being 20 means…
You want to do all. the. things. You want to travel your face off, but you also want the grown-up experiences of a steady job and pay check. You want to be single forever and make out with all men/women in the world, but you also crave the comfort and love of a real relationship. You want a car and clothes that didn’t come from Forever 21 but you don’t want to be bogged down with possessions.
You are always fighting for your career. You’re automatically seen to be inexperienced or junior and you really have to work your ass off for raises, promotions and the respect that you actually know what your doing. On that note…
Most of the time you really have no idea what you’re doing.
You don’t have a long credit history so everyone wants you to have a damn co-signer for loans so buying a car/house/school loan still requires your parents. Which makes you feel like a teenager. For those of us who managed to get a loan without the ‘rents, interest is sky-high.
Metabolism is a thing. I seriously don’t remember giving a shit what I ate before I turned twenty. Now I’m 20lbs heavier than I was in college and I can’t eat fucking anything but lettuce leaves or my ass stops fitting into my stretchy pants.
You are expected to take care of yourself and maybe a dog or a plant or an oops-I-had-a-baby but you barely know how to work the circuit breaker.
Everyone expects you to know grown-up things. Um… I had no idea what APR meant until I had to buy a car. I had no idea how to research insurance policies and ended up screwing myself over. Legal documents, different bank accounts, retirement funds… I have a stack of books about personal finance and frequent flier programs and career success and there’s so much I don’t know about anything. Why WHY WHY did Davidson require me to take Plant Biology and not offer a class in Financial Management?
You still give a crap what people think but are old enough to wish you didn’t.
Hangovers don’t last a few hours. You’re out of commission for days.
It’s okay to not have “hobbies”. In college we took dance or loved debates or joined a sports team. As an adult you aren’t expected to do anything but work and have friends. But I miss singing! And art class! And field trips! WHY ARE THESE NOT THINGS?
Making friends is 500 times harder than it ever was.
It’s assumed that if you don’t have children you don’t need for a work-life balance.
No one taught you how finding a job really works and instead you have a crappy resume that no hiring manager would ever look at twice.
You remember the days of phone calls and printing MapQuest directions but you love the ease of being able to plug in an address on your phone and texting requires less human interaction so you’re stuck in this vortex of technology that you realize is inauthentic and destructive but you can’t stop.
Your ovaries scream for babies but your mind wants to run very (very) far away.
Health is an issue you care strongly about. By the end of your twenties you’ve most likely had a scare or been diagnosed with a chronic condition or have had a friend pass away. You spend a lot of money on doctors and pills and time on research and you realize you’re completely fragile.
Half the people you spend time with are assholes.
You have a choice in where you live and you either feel so overwhelmed with choice and keep moving around or your so paralyzed by fear that you end up in the same place you’ve always been.
People stop teaching you. Maybe it’s the internet or the idea that Gen Yers are lazy, but there’s this abandonment after college where no one takes the time to really teach you anything. Google is great, but I prefer an in-person teacher/expert/mentor to tell me what I don’t know I don’t know.
It’s not okay to be quiet. I’ve never been a drinker or a party-goer or a drug-taker. And until you’re married with the babies you’re expected to want to live it up and act crazy and do stupid shit so you can reminisce forever about how baller you were when you were young. Except I am most definitely 80 on the inside, so people get confused and – to be perfectly honest – a little agro when I don’t share their similar YOLO sentiments.
Okay, so this is a little whiny. But am I the only one who’s itching to get older and over this weird pubescent-adult phase?