Your late 20’s are going to be a challenging time. Just like every stage of life, this period has its unique struggles and rewards. As someone living in his late 20’s, I’ve come to realize there are many struggles I didn’t anticipate. I’m still experiencing this time, but as I approach the end of it I’ve realized some harsh truths. These are the things I experience often by didn’t anticipate. Even if I was warned at one point, I didn’t take the warning seriously. So, here is my warning to you. Your 20’s are going to have some struggles and these are some of them.
1. Your life is going to become pure paperwork
It drives me nuts, but I can’t escape paperwork. Everything I do requires multiple pieces of paper to be signed. No, you’re not going to read every word, but you will be held accountable for every word.
2. Going out isn’t as fun as it used to be
Everyone is tired, some one is on a diet, everything costs money, and no one wants to feel like crap the next morning. Most of the time, when you think about going out, dread will overpower excitement.
3. Social media has more power than you think
You news feed will become a flood of pregnancies, engagements, and new houses. As much as you don’t want to admit it, this can impact your attitude.
4. You’ll realize how independent you aren’t
There’s a lot of simple tasks you should have accomplished by your late twenties. At some point you’ll find yourself asking questions to complete a relatively simple task. Maybe it’s booking an appointment, changing your windshield wipers, or writing a check. Regardless of the task, these little things make you question how you’ve survived this far.
5. People will take advantage of you
If you don’t stand up, you’ll get walked all over. People will choose to walk over you if you’re not advocating for yourself.
6. Imposter syndrome is real
Some people achieve success that doesn’t feel real. At some point you’ll find yourself with a “fake it ’til you make it” mentality. Even though you’re worthy of your successes, there’s a doubt that will prevent you from full experiencing it.
7. You’re body is never going to stop changing
Gray hairs, laugh lines, weight gains. They’re all real and going to happen. Other people might not notice the signs of your age, but you’re going to. It’s not going to be fun.
8. Your skin still sucks
While you start to show signs of aging, many people will still experience acne and blemishes. By this point you may have a skin care regimen that works for you. If you stop, you’ll experience the skin struggles of your teenage years.
9. The next generation will make you feel old
People ten years younger than you won’t get your references or jokes. You’ll find the things that are important to these kids mean nothing to you.
10. You will understand why people are so rude
You will have a reason to appreciate certain things such as a quiet night or being able to work uninterrupted. You will then understand why certain people are rude when your interrupt them or disrupt their silence.
11. You’ll find reasons not to take risks
Taking risks in life will become more difficult when you get older. It’s probably for good reason. Once you have something to lose, risks will be approached with hesitation. However, you need to shake these doubts and take risks.
12. Your life will be filled with empty advice
People will tell you “things will get better,” or “everything happens for a reason,” when something bad happens. Unless they can elaborate, they’re only saying this because they have nothing else to say.
13. You’ll still care about random people
You hope to keep certain people in the past. Maybe it’s an old friend or a high school rival. At some point you’ll cross paths again and you’ll realize you’re not 100% your past insecurities.
14. You never lean to break up with a friend
Significant others can terminate relationships and move on. It takes time, but it happens. On the other hand, you’ll let friendships drag on for years longer than you ought to. These relationships become an endless list of postponed coffee dates.
15. You will find real, sincere people
This sounds nice, right? Well, you will soon question the other relationships in your life.
16. Money will control you
The more you want to be independent, the more you will need to focus on money. Financial stability should be your goal but once this is achieved people will get greedy.
17. Time is another form of currency
Some day you’ll find yourself sitting in the car asking yourself how much of your life you’ve wasted in traffic. In this moment, you will realize we have limited time. Sometimes spending four hours to accomplish something just isn’t worth the time you’re giving up.
18. It’s alright to be wrong
Nobody expects you to be perfect. In fact, people will probably like you more if you show some faults. You might have a perfect excuse in mind, but owning your mistakes will make you a better person.
19. You may not realize you’re still young
Despite some of the signs of aging, you’re still younger than many people. You’ve still got time to make changes and try new things. Despite this, people tell themselves they’re old. This allows you to stand still and let time pass without making changes.
20. Every single dog alive when you were born has died
Nobody lives forever, especially dogs who don’t live very long. If you’ve hit 28 years old, all dogs on the planet are younger than you. There’s a cheerful dose of reality for day.
Getting older is inevitable, and changes come with age. As people get older their perspectives and outlooks on life are going to evolve. This is normal. As you approach 30 you will find your experiences are far different than when you were just 20.
Of course, not every entry in this list applies to every person. While a certain point may not apply to you, it likely applies to someone you know. Everyone will change with age. These are just twenty of the ways.
Originally published at www.michaelbeausoleil.com on September 21, 2018.