I turned 25 on the 1st of June this year. It was the first time in my life that I wasn’t excited about having my birthday or getting a year older. Having a quarter of a century under my belt and being half way through my 20s felt scary and intensely intimidating, like I had a lot to prove to the world, to show everyone that I had achieved something by now. I’ve had a month to reflect on officially being in my mid-twenties, and here it is…
Your twenties are a complete emotional rollercoaster. From turning 21 and feeling like you have finally made adulthood, to feeling almost “over-the-hill” in the space of 4 years is a lot for someone to go through. Each year of your twenties comes with its own set of emotions. At 20 you live the eternal frustration of feeling like an adult but not being seen as one. At 21 you are finally an adult who has possibly just graduated university with an exciting, unknown future full of possibilities ahead of them. At 22 those future possibilities have gotten a lot smaller, but you’re still young and are happy to roll with the punches. At 23 the thought of turning 25 finally dawns on you, but you feel like you have ample time to find your place in this world, get a great career and achieve anything you want to. At 24 you start doubting the choices you have made:
Should I have travelled more already? Should I be in a better position at work already? Shouldn’t I be in a stable relationship already?
And then finally, at 25, you see 30 on the horizon. You are expected to already be on your chosen career path- there are no more internships or graduate schemes for you to test the waters- friends have started getting engaged, married and are perhaps having babies already. Your body feels older, you start getting 2-day hangovers and a dinner party starts to look more appealing than an actual party.
But I decided to stop moping about being 25 (for a moment anyway), and look at some of the positives:
- I finally feel confident in myself, and have stopped worried about ‘fitting in’. I no longer worry about whether my outfit will fit in with a certain style or a certain group of friends. I just worry about if I like it (and what kind of shoes I can wear with it…)
- I’m old enough now to make wise decisions and know what is best for me, but still young enough to be silly and know when to let my hair down.
- My money is my own to do what I want with, thanks to not having those extra responsibilities just yet.
- I’ve been through real hardships and come out the other side. I feel at 25 you know how strong you can be, and have the life experience under your belt to deal with trials and tribulations.
- I can relate to my parents as human beings now and get on with them as friends. My 13 year old self would have been mortified to know about my movie nights in with Mum that I choose over going to a club.
- I can finally wear dangly earrings without feeling like I’ve raided Mum’s jewellery box.
I figure that I’m always going to be young to one person, and old to someone else. So I should just live in the present and remember that age is only a number.
“I grabbed a pile of dust, and holding it up, foolishly asked for as many birthdays as the grains of dust, I forgot to ask that they be years of youth. ”