Turning a quarter-of-a-century doesn’t have to suck. It doesn’t.
I was worried about turning 25 the moment I turned 24. Up until 24, I didn’t think twice about age. It was great –another year passing. Birthdays meant more freedom, more money, more! I turned 20 and decided “man, I should really start thinking about what I want to do with my life.” I turned 21 and I had no idea what to do with my life and sat in a small condo playing scrabble with my friend drinking beer.
I turned 22 and somehow I was already engaged and working two jobs, and going to school full time.
23 was a pretty good age –you’re finally done with school and you’ve got your feet somewhat on the ground (if you start working a job right away). It’s a pretty freeing age, despite the fact that nobody loves you when you’re twenty-three.
And then you hit 24. The ripe old age of 24 and a few things hit you. A few things like:
1.The UN only considers you a Youth until you are 24.
2. Typical college age is 18–24.
3. The average person doesn’t enter the workforce until the age of 25.
These are just a few of the things that hit me hard when I turned 24. I realized that I couldn’t hide in my “early twenties” illusion forever. But I also realized a few other things. 25 other things for that matter. Up above are three of them –here’s the rest:
4. 25 isn’t that different than 18
Okay, you might be thinking “yes it is!” I can drink, drive a rental car, don’t wear skinny jeans anymore, hold down a job, have a significant relationship yadda yadda. And yeah, you’re right. You are a lot different. But 25 is just the land beyond that magical bridge that takes you somehow from ditching chemistry to working full time, paying rent and functioning like a normal human being. You’ve done the rest of your growing up, the really tough parts, but society doesn’t really expect much more of you now than it did then and you’re fooling yourself if you think it does. People go to war and die at 18. Is that less grown up than your 9–5 office job/construction job or whatever?
5. 25 is like 18 just more equipped for the world
I have as much energy as I did when I was 18. I still pretty much feel the same –only a lot smarter, a lot calmer, and a lot more equipped to deal with real life. It’s like at 25 you get to be all the things you couldn’t be at 18 but really wanted to be.
6. Your Brain Really Does Develop
It’s weird. There’s a lot of things that I just get now that I didn’t used to get. Writing a song is a lot easier. Writing a book is a lot easier. Finishing a project is a lot easier. I’m not sure if that’s because of my brain developing or because I’ve just had to do a lot of things that required more commitment than my teenage self ever had to do.
7. You’re joking me –your best years are behind you?
Really? Your best years? So being told what to do by everyone and their brother when I was a teenager was my best years? Being told not to do drugs, not to get pregnant, not to flunk out of school, apply myself to get a job, or living in dorms that smell like my neighbor’s left out soccer socks –that’s the epitome of living? No. It’s not. It’s really not.
8. You Know Yourself
You get hints about yourself when you are younger. But a lot of it is just teenage rebellion and then collegiate self discovery. By 25, I’ve finally started to get to know myself, what works for me, what doesn’t, what I’m good at, and what I’m not. It’s a comforting feeling, and learning this stuff makes you a whole lot more productive.
9. Traveling gets more fun
Sure, I miss my parents taking me on all expense paid trips. But you know what’s better than traveling with your parents? Traveling without them (no offense mom and dad –you guys are great). Plus I get to meet up with my old friends from childhood and college in different cities across the US. It’s great.
10. Responsibilities Get Ordinary
The responsibilities of early adulthood aren’t that bad. It’s pretty much the same as college. Except you don’t have some arbitrary administration holding your future (your degree) in their hands making you jump through hoops until they give it to you. That’s basically college in a nutshell.
11. Friendships Get More Real
In college, I was friends with people I thought were like me. But they weren’t always that much like me. They were just like who I thought I was during a turbulent time of life. My friends now are people who are actually like me –some friends from college, some friends from high school or younger, some new friends from early adulthood — and we all share a commonality, a similar view of life. Friendships get better.
12. Relationships Get More Serious
Okay, being young (and I mean REALLY young) is fun but grown up relationships are good, too. You may miss the flirty less serious playground relationships of your youth, but just embrace adulthood romance. It has its charms.
13. Life Gets Less Serious
It might be I’m just saying that because life hasn’t gotten more serious yet. But I just remember in college it felt like everyone took themselves super seriously. There was all this pressure back then to get a good degree in a marketable profession and then get a good job. Then you graduate and you realize that jobs are pretty much everywhere (thanks to the economy being what it is) and that if you don’t do well at one job you can get another one. It’s not the end of the world.
14. Bills are the worst
There’s no getting around this one. I used to think monopoly was fun. Life is pretty much monopoly. It’s fun when you pass go. It sucks when it’s time to pay up.
15. Getting Good at Something is Worth It
It doesn’t matter what it is –but it never runs out of fashion to be really good at what you love.
16. Learning a New Skill Is Cool
I taught myself to fish this year and caught stuff. That was great. Learning things when you are an adult is just as much fun as it was when you were a kid. Go and learn how to do more stuff.
17. Picking Up an Old Skill is Cool, Too
I used to love playing guitar and stopped because I got all caught up with college and work and stuff. But going back over to my guitar and strumming out a song just ‘cause is a great feeling.
18. Job offers aren’t all that great
When I was in college I dreamed about job offers. Now I’m dubious of them. Sometimes its better not to dream about the grass being greener and just like the grass you’re on.
19. Tomorrow doesn’t exist
Okay, it does. But putting things off doesn’t help. When you’re young you think that somehow in the future you’ll magically do all the things you want and have the things you want. You can only get where you want to go if you start today. The relationship you want, the job you want, the hobbies you want to pursue, they all begin and are built on the actions of the day, not on tomorrow.
20. You aren’t too old
That’s a ridiculous notion. 25 is just an acceptable age. Nothing old about it.
21. You aren’t too young.
There’s not a lot you are “Too young” for anymore. Sure, you may be too early in your career for certain jobs and you can’t be President, but barring those things, do what you want to do! Read that book, sit in that chair, talk about them dumb kids with their trendy fashion and slangs. It’s all good. You’re old enough now to do that.
22. Commitments Aren’t To Be Avoided
I have a lot of twenty-something friends (no offense guys) who don’t like commitments. Get over it. They’re a part of life.
23. Change is Good
It means you are alive and you are growing.
24. Time Doesn’t Slow Down.
25. You Have Time
To write. To Dream. To fail. To learn. To read. To listen. And most of all, to live.
Hope that helps. Turning 25 isn’t that bad. Let’s make it a good year!
Learn more about me on my website.