When we’re young, we dream of being twenty-somethings and finally being “grown up.” When we’re out of our twenties, we want to go back to “being a kid.” I can’t speak for everyone when I say this but, in my opinion, being a twenty-something is one of the hardest periods of life to be stuck in. Here are five reasons why:
1. You have literally no idea what the future holds. No matter what fancy internship(s) you land or what degree(s) you earn, the future is simply too uncertain to think about. You can’t just not think about it, though, either. Seeing as every time you see your grandmother and every time your dad calls, you have to try and explain where you’re going with your life. Plus, when you’re in your twenties, the thought of celebrating your 40th birthday is so far off that it honestly seems impossible. A career? A family? Actual real-life obligations? Psh. You’ll postpone graduation, thanks.
2. You’re not going to stay in the same place for the rest of your life. Most likely, at least. And neither is anyone else you know. When you’re in your twenties, nothing is static. You take whatever job you can get after graduation, even if it’s halfway across the country. Your best friends and your significant other? Yeah, they probably do the same. You’ll get to know the city you go to undergrad or graduate school in. You’ll get to know the people and the bar scene and the best pizza place in the area. You’ll learn to network and you’ll make connections with your community. And then you’ll leave, and do it all again.
3. You’re inexplicably lonely. That being said, no matter how many friends you’re surrounded by, chances are you’re miles away from anything familiar, like your hometown and family. It’s even more likely that you’ll end up jumping from city to city, from job to job, until you find one that fits. Of course, that also means jumping from life to life, until you find the people and place that fit as well. But, no matter where you end up, you’ll always miss that pizza place you ordered from on lazy Friday nights and you’ll never forget the professors that believed in you, so there will probably always be a little corner of your heart that’s going to be lonely.
4. You’ll never really know what your relationship status is. Seriously. Are you an actual couple? Are you just hooking up? Are you allowed to see other people? Are you exclusive but not actually together? More importantly, how the hell are there so many possibilities and what happened to just being together or not being together?! By the time you get through your undergrad program, you’ll most likely have at least one relationship that has a “?” status. You might hold hands in the parking lot, but that doesn’t mean you’re in love – so watch out, because this isn’t easy anymore. Oh, and there’s no guide book, so prepare yourself.
5. You’re going to need to work at it. And by “it,” I mean everything. You’re going to need to work three jobs just to scrape by. You’re going to need to pay off the insurmountable debt that you somehow accrued during your college career. You’re going to need to try way harder than you ever used to to maintain friendships and relationships. You’re going to need to stop skipping classes and you’re going to need to wake up before noon on a Saturday. You’re going to need to work, every day, to get to where you want to be. And once you get there? It might not be worth it. You might realize that it isn’t even where you want to be. But the amazing part is that you’re in your twenties and there’s plenty of time to try again.