Being in your 20s is the time when your college “fantasy” world and the real world, the stereotypical 9-5 job, coincide. In a bad way. It’s the time where living with your parents to “save money” (insert: rent, utilities, shampoo, a personal cook, free Bravo, etc.) is suddenly your go-to line to anyone and everyone who asks about your so-called “situation.” So you don’t have a job, so what? Because watching the newest episode of The Real Housewives of NJ and actually having cable and TiVo, obviously takes precedence over anything else.
Let’s be honest, being a 20-something-year-old is really figuring out who you are, who you want to be, and how exactly you’re going to afford those double vodka sodas 4-days a week. For now, I’ll give you some advice from a 20-something-year-old who’s still trying to figure it out.
Take time for others yourself:
Take it from me when I say “me time” is beyond necessary. Get in touch with your self and what you enjoy doing (no, this doesn’t include drinking). You’ll probably have a ton “me time” because most of your friends have either a) completely left town and/or have moved to a new town b) are pulling the Van Wilder and are still in their college town finishing their degree or adding a new one c) are hibernating in their parents house and haven’t been seen in weeks. “Me time” can be described as doing an activity that makes you feel some sort of happiness - ex: a newfound addiction to hot yoga classes, grabbing your laptop and heading to a local coffee shop to try every espresso drink on the menu or perusing a local book store and snagging a quick read or hell, even working out in the AM just because the waking up early aspect makes you feel like a badass. Whatever makes you happy.
Pay homage to your parents
You live under their roof, therefore, their rules apply. Sound familiar? Thought so. For me, the biggest game-changer is moving back home. Checking in with your parents is definitely a buzzkill. Sneaking back into your house at 2am is sounding a little like your high school days, however, free food, electricity and HBO somehow makes your “situation” a little better...or maybe the more you say it to others, the better you feel? Either way, make sure to make your rents feel like you’re extremely grateful they’re letting you camp out in their basement for a few months…or year. Try unloading the dishwasher, actually loading the dishwasher (with normal dishes not Solo cups) and maybe even volunteer to DD your parents - yes, I said it.
Everywhere you turn, or scroll, there’s a new insta pic of a girls fresh mani accompanied with a sparkler on her left hand. It’s the unspoken newly engaged protocol to post a picture of ones diamond ring and hashtag it with anything related to #IFeelSoSpecial, #LoveIt #OmgYayyy. If you can’t help but want to throw up in your mouth, you’re not the only one. Most of the time I can’t help, but think it seems so quick, so sudden - yes, there are those couples who are destined to end up together, hell they basically act like a married couple (ex: never seeing them in public since they started dating or their names end up turning into 1 combined name), but for the rest of the newly engaged, I must ask - why? Most of the time when my family asks why I’m not engaged or ready to settle down (mostly during the holidays) it’s usually a quick, “I mean what’s there to rush?” They laugh and move on to the next subject, that is, until the next holiday. I’m not saying that everyone is making a mistake, but for me and the rest of you 20-something-year-olds, I say flaunt your relationship status - travel, collect moments, date, don’t date, focus on your career, meet people you won’t forget, focus on your love for late night pizza or Nutella, your love for Girls, but most of all be selfish because now is your time.
Right now most of us don’t have plans - it’s scary because college has been 4 years of knowing (well at least for most of us) where we’re supposed to be, what classes we should be taking, what bars we’ll be at 4 days a week, but now we have no idea where we’ll end up in 10 years, much less tomorrow. We don’t know what our first job will be, or when we’ll get married or have kids. It’s scary, but it’s reality. Looking back at my planner in college my life was easy, but most of all my life was written out for me in black ink. Not knowing where we’ll be in the next few years is the norm for all of us, but we must appreciate the unknown and learn to accept that there shouldn’t be guidelines for how we live our lives. Embrace the spontaneity of life - take that last minute trip to visit your friends, don’t make plans on a Friday night, but most of all realize life isn’t meant to be planned or predicted. Make your own path - and if you must write it, write it with a pencil.
No New Friends
Maybe DJ Khaled knew that his “No New Friends” song would perfectly depict making/having friends post-graduation. I’d like to think so - props to you, DJ Khaled, props to you. The days of hitting the bars with friends after class (or during class) are over. Sigh. The most difficult part of post-college life is probably losing your friend base to new jobs, new cities, etc, etc, etc. When I’m with new friends I often find myself worried they won’t get my sense of humor, my lack of coordination, my goofy personality or my love for blasting music in my car with the windows down. I mean who doesn’t like blasting Iggy Azalea’s “Murda Bizness” and driving with the windows down in 40-degree weather while simultaneously laughing uncontrollably? Am I right or am I right? These weird tendencies we share with our closest friends are what I remember most about college. Tom Petty was right, we don’t remember the exams we crammed for or the late nights we stared blankly at our laptop screens for any kind of hope to finish a research paper, but we remember the moments we shared with friends. Making new friends post college is different - now we must keep our drinking to a minimum (a night of drunken fun is now referred to as “networking”) we must pretend to act professional in pencil skirts, lipstick, cashmere cardigans and engage in conversations that don’t give away that we still feel like we’re in college. To put it simply, networking has taken the place of our so-called college definition of making friends. Now we casually grab drinks with co-workers, mingle, exchange business cards and pretend we’re all adults, but deep down we’re all still college kids.