I don’t know about you, but I’m nearing the mid-twenties club, and I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. Should I feel like I have my life together? Should I feel accomplished? Should I have a house, kids, and a real job? Lets be real, I can relate to none of the above; hence, the sleepless nights and minor panic attacks. Facing the truth: I’m not ready to “adult.” Then again, who is?
How I actually feel, entering my mid-twenties:
1. Whether you have a full time job or you’re a full time student, the one big thing about entering your mid-twenties is that you have more responsibility now, than you’ve ever had before.
2. When you’re dating someone older that is actually accomplished and all you’ve accomplished is the highest score on Candy Crush. Does that account for anything?
3. The time of being on your parent’s insurance is slowly dwindling away. Only one more year to get sick before we’re pretty much toast. Better schedule all of those sinus infections for the next 365 days.
4. I’m confronted with a million and one options regarding what to do with my life, but none of them look particularly appealing.
5. This is basically my freshman year of adulthood, so, yea.
6. Anxiety. Lots of anxiety. Can anyone spare a Xanax?
7. One more year until I’m 25. A few more years until a third of my life is washed down the drain. A truly terrifying reality.
8. The gap between where society expects me to be and where I actually am only gets bigger and much scarier.
9. Bills, bills, bills.
10. I can’t eat that; too many carbs.
It feels like just yesterday, I was coming home from Kindergarten (when every day was a half day), plopping on the couch, eating a PB&J (no crust), and watching the afternoon soaps with my mom. Snapping back to reality, just yesterday, I was filling out job applications, organizing my portfolio, all while taking a break from looking at grad school programs. Where does the time go? Literally in the blink of an eye, 24 years have flashed by. After thought: why can’t adults have half days, every day?
24 things I’ve learned in the past 24 years:
1. Sleep is underrated. The older I get, the more sleep I need to function.
2. Take risks. Don’t look back in 20 years and think “what if.”
3. Coffee is everything. Coffee is gold. The end.
4. Spend as much time as you can with your parents. As you grow up, you realize your parents are actually kick-ass.
5. Pizza trumps all. Eat whatever you want, but pizza surpasses anything.
6. You’re always going to have questions, some may get answered and some may not. It’s ok to have lingering, unanswered questions.
7. You’re not always going to get your way.
8. It’s important to keep up with the news. Don’t live under a rock. Be aware of the world around you.
9. On that note, the world doesn’t revolve around you.
10. Don’t speak on a subject you know nothing about.
11. You’re not going to wake up one day and automatically feel like an adult. Although, it’s a nice thought.
12. Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one is perfect.
13. Don’t pass judgment. Again, no one is perfect.
14. Don’t make the same mistake twice; and if you do, learn from it.
15. Always be the bigger person.
16. Never stop learning. “If you’re not learning, you’re not living.”
17. Throw out that crop top.
18. Be careful with who you trust.
19. Good friends are hard to come by; if you find them, cherish them.
20. Be selfless.
21. In retrospect, be selfish.
22. Speak up for yourself.
24. Wine usually solves everything.
23. Have fun. You only live once.
Your twenties are your selfish years. Be yourself. Be open to change. Focus on what you want and who you want to be. Take risks and pursue anything that excites your soul. Don’t be afraid of the would haves and the could haves. Always remain honest with yourself. Believe that everything happens for a reason. Explore all of your options. Make these short-lived years about no one but you. Go after your dreams and conquer your goals. Dream: dream big. Strive for success. Never settle. Let nothing stand in your way. Grow into the person you’ve always hoped to be.
24 is a pivotal turning point in every mid-twenty-something’s life. It’s a confusing time, wedged between childhood and adulthood, yet it’s also a time full of so much excitement. Long gone are the days of skipping class and making excuses. This is the real world, and although it is slightly terrifying, it’s a thrilling place to be. Here’s to entering our mid-twenties, on the pursuit of happiness!