OK, you did it! You are in your twenties! College is probably almost done there’s that job you’ve got lined up that’s a stepping stone to a stepping stone to the job you’ve been dreaming about since you were 11 you can most likely legally enter a bar and have some happy hour- grabbing deals, maybe grad school is underway, your wedding venue is almost booked up, or you’ve finally gotten around to throwing away those old shoes you wore to your high school graduation. You recently realized that The Story So Far’s “Upside Down” hits a little too close to home and you’re starting to feel outgrown half your life and brand new in the rest of it. Everyone seems to be in different chapters of their lives, going about a million miles an hour. Whatever the case, I’ve come to realize that the overall experience of your twenties can be a little…well, odd. Let’s take a moment and break down why.
The living situation
Everyone has a different performance and everyone has a lot of feelings about it. You have your friends who moved back in with their parents after college, that co-worker with the studio apartment, the guy you dated who has four roommates, and maybe you still rock the glow in the dark stars on the ceiling of your nursery. You can’t wait to move out on your own, while your rent-paying friends sometimes secretly wish they’d lived at home a little longer.
Try not to worry too much about the scenario you are currently living in – that may be much easier said than done, but housing issues are always tough and somehow don’t make you a loser. A useful tool for any category you fall into is to take advantage of some of those budgeting apps to keep your bills and expenses and all that fun stuff in order so you can really see what moves you can make and how to make them. can make it even better. Just get your credit score and make your bed.
The whole work thing
As Blink-182 put it so simply: work sucks, I know. That is, except for your roommate who can’t stop raving about her super cool job that pays really well and has all the best co-workers who are suddenly 17 of her new best friends. You have the assistants, the nannies, the baristas, the reps, the counselors, the bloggers, the unemployed, and everything in between that sometimes sounds a whole lot better than whatever you’re doing. That may seem true at the moment, but it’s all part of the process. The jobs you have now are not always meant to be forever, but more so a piece of the puzzle that makes up the career you worked so hard to start building.
That desk jockey job you landed after spending an inordinate amount of time on Indeed could be your dream come true or your absolute worst nightmare. Don’t let either feeling eat you up too much though – society has a really funny way of making it seem like your job is the only thing that defines you. No shame in whatever you do now; don’t forget to keep your head up, do a good job and collect that coin.
Keeping up with the cart… No, just staying in touch with your friends
In the mix of it all, you realize you haven’t seen your best friend in weeks. You’re both exhausted from work every day, everyone at the bar that you two used to love is suddenly younger than you, and the two of you are totally content DMing memes as a form of communication. Humans are social creatures at their core, so some of that weird and distant feeling you might be creeping in might need a little contact with another living person outside of work.
Adulthood may have taken over almost every inch of your life, but that doesn’t mean grabbing dinner with your friends every now and then is completely out of the question. The older we get, the harder it is to maintain friendships, so keep the ones you love close and don’t let them fall through the cracks of aging. If you’re old and gray together, you’ll be glad of the times you got together and split apps at Applebee’s while whining about work and that guy you met last weekend.
Treating yourself isn’t always self-care
Unfortunately, a face mask and a glass of wine don’t always solve everything. The two rabbit holes we twenty-somethings tend to fall into is the I-don’t-have-a-damn-thing-for-myself-in-an-eternity-and-I-basically-forget-who-I-am , and the At-any-little-inconvenience-I-should-get-a-latte-for-myself-but-now-my-bank-account-is-empty-and-none-of-my-jeans-fit. There is a desperate need for the healthy middle ground between the two – as in Please remember that you are your own best friend and that sometimes you just need a moment to yourself, while also remembering to limit yourself in an effort not to create weird things. need for constant instant gratification. Your mental health is of the utmost importance, especially in today’s day filled with terrifying storms around just about every corner.
There are a million small and big ways you can take care of yourself in your twenties when everything has made you so thin. Some small and big things, in no particular order, could be watching a movie on your own, eating your favorite foods after a bad day, going back to the gym and setting some goals, picking up a book you know nothing about, looking into a book therapist so you can finally talk about all those things you don’t feel like doing, and I have absolutely nothing against the latte. Grab the damn latte if that’s that quick pick-me-up that feels good.
The love life
Don’t puke yet! Or at least, don’t do it without me. I’ve come to realize that the dating scene in my twenties is really just a dumpster full of ghosts, moving in together, very late at night “are you awake?” Texts, “I love you”s, free drinks, broken hearts, and it all returns when that person you thought you’d never see again is back and better than ever. I think this is the darkest of all the gray areas of twentysomethings. Every time you take to social media you see someone else nearby, in a new relationship, getting engaged, getting married, having babies, everything. It can sometimes be a pain to go out and do the same thing, and it’s hardly ever easy once you do.
It’s very easy to feel like you’re drowning in other people’s life events and things coming together for them. Don’t let the dating apps and another photo of a happy couple get you down. Any time is the perfect time to make that change too — try going out on a few dates with new people, working on your current relationship, or getting out of that one that’s no longer right. These are the years to try everything, and the perfect time to find out what and who you like. But the main thing is the whole love life does not define you. You’ll be fine, I promise.
I am of course not an expert on anything mentioned above. I’m just a 24 year old trying to make ends meet in the same ways. Honestly I could go on about it forever since somehow aimlessly talking about it makes it all feel a little better, but I know everyone else is just trying to get by the same way too. It’s definitely a struggle, but it’s important to remember that this is all part of the process of growing you as a person. During these extremely transformative years, everyone goes at their own pace, and that definitely doesn’t mean anyone is doing better than you.
Despite the hype and popular belief, there is no set way or order you should go through, so whichever way your chips fall, it’s not a crime or appearing to be “behind” someone else. There are a million routes to take and yours will probably all make sense in the end. We’re all on it! It’s going to be hard and a breeze, ugly and beautiful, scary and exciting, annoying and your favorite thing. Go out, make money, meet new people, take care of yourself, love your friends, try new things, travel when you can, and just do the damn thing.