I remember being in high school and thinking ‘God, I can’t wait to be out of here. When I’m in my 20’s I can do what I want, I’ll be going where I want to go and doing something I love.’ Dear little Katie, unfortunately it’s not always that simple and to you I say HA. HA. HA.
Now don’t worry, this isn’t going to be some sad ramble about how my 20’s have been so hard, life is so difficult, poor me etc. Instead, I’m talking about the reality of the quarter life crisis and how much pressure people in their 20’s put on themselves, myself included, in all areas of their life. Now I can’t speak for everyone here but having been a person in their 20’s for nearly 5 years now and having been friends with many people in their 20’s, I know that an incredibly large number of them have felt lost, confused or lacking in direction many times throughout these pivotal years. So I’m here to break down some of the things your 15 year old self never knew about what it’s REALLY like being in your 20’s: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
You’re going to have a lot of fun
I thought we’d start this off on a positive note because lets face it; I’m not here to make you feel depressed. Your 20’s are THE years to be irresponsible, silly, let loose and as a result, make some mistakes along the way. In fact, you’re probably going to make A LOT of mistakes. My 20’s have brought me all the way around the world and I’ve been lucky enough to visit over 30 countries, I’ve had a lot of crazy nights out, made a slew of new friends and gotten completely out of my comfort zone. There’s no doubt about it, these have been the most memorable, hilarious years of my life.
You’re going to learn a lot of life’s toughest lessons
This is so cliche but seriously now, the amount of life lessons I’ve learned in the past year is getting a little ridiculous. Seriously Universe, you can stop now. OK, only kidding but in all honesty you’ll be surprised about how much you don’t know. In fact, every year I’m finding that I know less and less than I thought I knew the year before! You will learn things about yourself and your friends, you may experience love, loss and heartache, homesickness and not to mention how to figure out your taxes. It can be extremely overwhelming and confusing and there’s been a few moments where I have felt completely in over my head. Things don’t always work out the way you want them to but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in my 20’s it’s to just go with the flow (and life isn’t as easy as it was when you lived with your mum and dad).
You may not have it all together
We all hear stories of those mega successful 21 year olds who seem to have their whole life sorted. Well let me tell you something for nothing, that’s great for them (slightly annoying but great) but it’s totally ok to not have your life together at all. After I finished high school and took a few years out I went to University, got a degree only to start working and realise that it was definitely not what I wanted to be doing with my life. Cue freak out. After speaking to friends I realised that I was definitely not the only one feeling this way. We put so much pressure on ourselves to know exactly what we want to do and where we’re going that we forget that sometimes it’s ok, in fact more than ok, to not know. You may not be where you thought you’d be by 25 (especially if your 12 year old self presumed you’d be married with your third child on the way by now) but at least wherever you are, you’re definitely not alone.
We’re all just winging it
Literally everyone. And if you’re not, I take my hat off to you. So if you’re someone in your 20’s that can relate to this, because I know not everyone will, just breathe, enjoy yourself as much as you can and believe that things have a funny way of working themselves out.