Why we should stop looking at our 20s like it’s our golden years

January 27, 2017
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It’s no lie that being a twenty-something is pretty great. You’ve just transitioned from your embarrassing teen self into a slightly less embarrassing semi-adult and you’ve got minimal responsibilities. But our 20s are not the be all and end all when it comes to adult life and thinking this way can actually be pretty detrimental to your perception of getting older. That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to put together these five reasons why we should all stop looking at our 20s like they’re the golden years and start believing that adulthood isn’t as dreary as we thought. You’re welcome, friends.

It sets unreasonably high expectations for what your immediate future should look like

Our 20s has a kind of golden aura about it as we envision it as the time we shed our awkward shell and evolve into the super suave grown-up we were meant to be. But what nobody tells you is that there are no rights or wrongs when it comes to how your future should look. Maybe you’ll be awkward for the rest of your life and that’s OK, or maybe you’ll throw yourself into your nine to five job and become the best in your field. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having an immediate future that’s not totally Instagram worthy. If it makes you happy, that’s all that matters.

You don’t have to tick off certain life goals at certain ages

Buying a house or getting married might seem like a foreign concept if you’re new to this being 20 thing, but give it a few years and your Facebook feed will soon be flooded with wedding photos and baby selfies. Repeat after me: just because everybody in your social network seems to be turning into a “proper” adult, doesn’t mean you should feel bad if you aren’t ready to do the same yet. You don’t need to rush to tie yourself down with mortgages or being responsible for a tiny human. There’ll be plenty of time for that when you’re ready. You do you, friends, and take on life at your own pace.

Age really is just a number

Your 20s isn’t some magical time frame where you’ll have so much fun that it’ll sustain you for the rest of your boring adult life. Instead, this period of your life will be messy, you’ll make mistakes, but you’ll learn a lot – and you’ll keep on repeating this cycle until maybe you’re 80 and you become one of those old people who dispense random bouts of wisdom at the grocery store. Just because you’ll age past your 20s doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up the things that made you happy. You go, elderly Glen Coco.

Adulthood doesn’t have to equal all the bad stuff you think it does

A lot of us seem to have this image in our heads that being an adult is akin to transforming into a grandma. We tend to think less bar hopping and spontaneous road trips and more going to bed at 6.30. But this image just isn’t true. You can be whatever type of adult you want to be, and you can have as little or as many responsibilities as you want. Trust us, embracing this adulting thing won’t make you transform into your ‘rents if you don’t want to.

Thirty is not old

I probably sound like a hippy, but getting “old” is really all about your mindset. If you love life, enjoy learning new things (even if it’s not in a formal setting) and are open to new experiences, then chances are you’ll never get old. Reaching a certain age doesn’t mean you have to dull your natural wonder and drive. Remember to remind yourself that getting older will never be a barrier unless you let it be so. You don’t have to stress about trying to conquer the world by the time you hit 25, just let your life happen naturally.

Shannon Coward

Shannon Coward is a third year Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Queensland. She enjoys period dramas, doughnuts and a good nap.