Your 20s are definitely a super interesting time. You're finally on your own after high school and college. You're truly figuring out who you are and learning more about yourself on a daily basis. You don't have to deal with your parents telling you what to do all the time (well, hopefully, at least) and you can really do what you want (well, to a certain point). But the problem with this decade? It's a whole lot more confusing and difficult than you probably thought it would be. After the tough and awkward time that is high school, you probably thought that your 20s would be a breeze. Ha. Not quite. You're laughing at your younger self right now.
Your 20s are a lot different than you thought they would be, for better or for worse. Mostly for worse. Here are 15 things you wish people warned you about your 20s.
15 Your Emotions Are Always Changing
Sometimes you are convinced that this is the best time of your life... and other times, you want to cry pretty much all day long. You can't believe that you are dealing with so many emotions on a regular basis. What is this, another kind of puberty? It might as well be. Between trying to be an adult, learning how to deal with the workforce, and juggling everything from cooking to seeing your friends to dating or being in a serious relationship, it is enough to make any girl go pretty crazy. One minute you are up, the next you are down, and sometimes you are happy and upset at the exact same time. No one warned you that your 20s would be just as emotional as your teenage years... if not more. Yeah, definitely more. You definitely weren't expecting that and sometimes it feels like you can't control how you feel.
14 You Still Need Your Mom
You figured that as soon as you went off to college, you wouldn't need to call your mom all the time about every little thing. You thought you would feel old enough to be able to make decisions on your own, whether it was about what to make for dinner or what kind of career to go after. But you were surprised to find that as soon as you made it to your 20s, you still needed your mom. And you still need her to this day. You just don't know how to navigate your life without getting her constant advice. It turns out that she's right about pretty much everything and while you may not have always agreed with her perspective in the past, today you're older and wiser and you definitely don't take her advice for granted. You wish someone had warned you that no matter how old you get, you still need your mom.
13 You Don't Feel Like A Grown-Up
You thought that being in your 20s would mean that you felt like a grown-up. As if, as the lovely Cher would say in Clueless. You wish someone had warned you that you won't feel like a grown-up in your 20s. You just won't. You keep looking around wondering where the adults are and then you realize with a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that, oh yeah, it's you. This can get you into some pretty confusing situations since you're expected to make a whole bunch of adult decisions on a daily basis. You have to pay your rent and bills and figure out how to feed yourself and balance your money and go to work and talk to people who are older than you. You can't look like a young loser who doesn't get the real world, so you have to work extra hard to seem wise and mature. It's pretty exhausting, that's for sure.
12 You're Always Tired
Yup. This is a sad fact about adult life that you really wish someone had told you about beforehand. But this was just something fun that you had to figure out on your own. It's pretty hilarious really since older people love to tell you that you're so young and you must have so much youthful energy. You pretty much want to laugh in their faces and ask why they think that you're so awake all the time, you're jumping out of bed in the morning? You're always tired and that's just something that never seems to go away in your 20s. You're tired from working hard and worrying about your job and friendships and relationship or if you're single, figuring out how to date and find a decent person in the sea of single guys. You're always wondering when this so-called burst of youthful energy is going to kick in but so far it hasn't happened.
11 You Have To Fake It
You've probably heard that you have to fake it till you make it in life. And that is definitely true when you're in your 20s. You just have no idea how to do anything. Yes, anything at all. Your life is pretty much one big game of pretend because you're always telling other people that yes, of course, you can absolutely do that for them (all while Googling how to do it). You know that life is about living and that sometimes you have to think that experience is the best teacher of all. You're used to this by now and you don't really expect to know how to do anything. You're okay with learning as you go along. But sometimes, you wonder why no one told you that you wouldn't magically know how to be a grown-up and how to exist in this world. You didn't think you would feel this clueless at this age, but hey, here you are.
10 You Will Feel Old
People are always saying that you're so young, but you don't feel that way. Not at all. You feel pretty old actually and you wish people would stop talking about your youth because that only makes it worse. Don't these older people realize that when you blink, you're 25, and when you blink again, you're 30? OMG, where do the years go?! Where do the days go? You can't believe how fast time goes when you're in your 20s. Your days are filled with work and friends and your boyfriend and texting and first dates and some Instagram stalking and Netflix watching thrown in there for good measure. You feel like you've always got new aches and pains and you didn't think that was supposed to happen for a few decades at least. You're always thinking about your age and whether or not you're at the place in life that you should be and whether you're living according to what society and your family expects of you.
9 You Hate Going Out
You loved Friday and Saturday nights when you were in high school. They were a chance for you to hang out with your best friends and go to movies or watch movies at each other's houses (and maybe go to the occasional party that you probably weren't supposed to go to). Then in college, you absolutely loved weekend evenings, and sometimes the weekend started on Thursday nights. You had so much fun drinking with your friends and flirting with boys and talking to more people than you seem to know these days. But today? In your 20s? You hate going out. Yes, you do. You can pretend all that you want but really, whenever you have a party or event or even just plans with a friend, you never want to go. You always want to stay home and get cozy on the couch with your latest binge-watch. Why didn't anyone tell you that you would become so anti-social? What is even happening to you?
8 You Feel Like A Failure
No matter how successful you are (and you definitely are), you always feel like a failure in your 20s. You really wish that someone had told you that this would happen to you because you never felt this way about yourself before. You were a perfectionist in high school and always wanted to succeed and do well in life. You studied hard, thought carefully about the kind of career path that you wanted, and did all that you could to make sure that you were going in the right direction. You didn't think that you would feel like you had failed already even though you're only in your 20s. The problem is that thanks to social media, it's super easy to feel like you're not good enough and like you're not doing enough with your life. You always compare your life to others and wonder if there's something else that you should be doing. That makes it easy to feel like you haven't done all that you should have in your time here.
7 You Worry 24/7
Your 20s turn you into a total worrywart. You didn't think that this would happen to you, and yet you can't ever seem to stop worrying. Even when your friends and parents tell you to stop worrying, it's like they haven't said anything at all to you because you can't ever stop. You're always thinking about something, from work to your love life to your friendships, and you're always wondering if you should make a change or do something different. It's hard to stop this train of thought once you get started because the thing is that all your friends are worrying a lot, too. When you get together for drinks, you all seem to talk about the stuff that you're concerned about, and between you and your best friends, well, it's a pretty long list. You definitely know that most of the time, you're worried for nothing but that doesn't stop you from thinking this way.
6 You Feel Lost
You know that life is never the way that you want it to be, and sometimes that's okay because the most magical of moments are the ones that you never expected to happen. But in your 20s, you feel lost. And not sometimes. Not every once in a while. But every single day. You don't know why this is since you thought that you would definitely have it all together by now. You don't, though, and you seem to feel more lost on a daily basis. The funny thing is that all your friends are feeling this way, too, so when you all get together for drinks and start chatting about your lives, no one can really give advice. At least not super good or helpful advice (which is the point of advice...). You're all in the same awkward and confusing boat and you can't really help each other through this. You just have to hope that things will get better eventually and that you'll start feeling like you're in more control of your life.
5 You Feel A Lot Of Pressure
You wish that someone had warned you about how much pressure you would feel in your 20s. You feel a whole lot. You feel pressure to get married and have kids and start a life... or at least have a serious boyfriend if you're still single and dating. You feel pressure to have a better job than the one that you have now or to start your own business already if you've been talking about that for a while or to find what truly makes you happy. Sure, you get that these things are important and that you should be happy. You just don't know why you feel so much pressure. It's not even always based on what your family tells you -- sometimes you put this pressure on yourself. It's like what other people tell you doesn't even matter because you're such a perfectionist and you just really want your life to work out a certain way.
4 You Still Have To Grow Up
You figured that by your 20s, you would feel grown-up and all your growing up would be over. That's totally not the case. You wish that people had told you that you still have to grow up because you still have so much to work on about yourself. If you haven't been able to really commit to anyone or find the right kind of people to date, then you have to figure that stuff out before wasting your own time or getting hurt and heartbroken once again. If you're not working a job that you love and have no clue what you want to do with your life, well, who cares if you're 25 or 28? You still need to figure that out and you still have to grow up. It doesn't matter what the candles on your birthday cake say: as long as you're not happy in one aspect of your life, you still have to work on yourself and grow up. That's okay. You just wish you had known.
3 You're Not Owed Anything
You're not owed a good job. Or even a decent one. A nice boyfriend. A close group of friends. A great apartment. Family that cares about you. The chance to travel. Sure, you wish for these things and everyone who is a good person definitely deserves them, But you're not owed any of these things. You learn this when you're in your 20s and you learn this lesson, even more, the older you get. It helps you learn to be humble and grateful and actually appreciate what you have. And it also forces you to be really good to the people in your life that you care about since you know that they don't have to stick around if you're being a jerk all the time. But still, no matter what a good lesson this is to learn, you wish that someone had warned you. So much of life is in your 20s is new and exciting but so much is hard and scary, too, and you just feel like you should have been more prepared.
2 You Have To Save Your Cash
Just because you're making money on a regular basis in your 20s doesn't mean that you can spend it on a regular basis. Funny how that works, right? There's such a thing as saving money and you absolutely have to do this. You also have to pay taxes and bills and make sure that you put money away in case you get fired unexpectedly or in case you need some emergency cash down the line. Yeah, none of that stuff is fun and it's even less fun when you realize how much of your income becomes taxes. Sigh. But you were never told about this. You were just told to find a good job so you could support yourself and maybe a family someday. You really had no clue about this whole saving money thing since in high school and college, you shopped a lot and you never really thought twice about it. Now you feel super unprepared for this whole saving money thing.
1 You Won't Have It All Figured Out
You thought, for some reason that seems super crazy to you now, that when you reached a certain age (maybe 25) you would have it all together. You would have your life totally and completely figured out. You could balance all the things and people in your life, from work to exercise to food to your hobbies and interests and friendships and family and relationship or dating life. You would be happy about all this stuff and wouldn't break a sweat when you had to add more responsibilities to your plate. It would all be good because this is adulthood and this is just what you do. But you wish that someone had wanted you that in your 20s, you won't have it all figured out. You just won't. It's not really a bad or a good thing, it's just life and it's just the way that it is. So give yourself a break and calm down a bit. You're still young, even if you feel old and tired sometimes, and yeah, even if you want to stay home on a Saturday night and watch TV. Hey, it's not your fault that there's so much good TV these days.