So, I’m not quite sure what happened, but one day I was a fresh and fun-loving 21-year-old college junior, and now I’m almost 25. Is it just me or is 25 one of those awkward ages where you have a full-time job and you live on your own, but most days you feel like you’re just a lost child pretending to be an adult? Often times you think, “Really? Who let me have responsibilities? I can’t even be trusted with my cell phone when I’m drinking.” You feel like you should have it all together, but you’re just not quite there yet. Have no fear, my fellow crisis companion, you are not alone. Here are 25 things you will learn by the time you turn 25:
1. You still call your parents for everything. And I mean e v e r y t h i n g, whether you need to cook rice, change your oil, or need advice on a person you’ve been seeing, they are on speed dial. The best part is, they love it. Except maybe when you drunk dial them at 3 AM. Sorry, Dad.
2. You’re not on the same page as all of your friends. Half of your friends will be engaged, the other half will be having babies, and you won’t be able to find a matching pair of socks. That’s okay though, you don’t need to be on the same page. It makes you appreciate the things you have, and strive for things you don’t.
3. You’ll still be just as close with your high school besties. Friends grow apart, I’m not saying completely, but you all find yourselves on different paths. People move away for work, love, or for adventure. And people stay for the same reasons. A big shout out to Apple, because thanks to FaceTime, it makes it easier for friends to physically be apart, but still stay up to date on your besties day-to-day even if they are across the country.
4. You’ll meet half of your new besties on Craigslist. Yup, that’s right people – despite the Lifetime Movie, The Craigslist Killer, you will indeed meet half of your new roommates on Craigslist. Believe it or not, they will become your best friends and strongest confidants. It’s like having siblings all over again, only this time you get to choose who they are.
5. You’ll meet the other half of your besties at work. You do spend 40+ hours a week with them. Your co-workers end up going from chats at the water cooler (yes, that is a real thing) to drinks after work, and weekend adventures.
6. You won’t marry the person you dated in high school. Unless you’re part of that small fraction of people who do – you can ignore this part. You probably won’t even talk to them any more. It seems like a sad realization, but it’s not. It’s actually glorious. There is more to life than that awkward sex you had through high school.
7. You’ll meet half the new people you date online. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, OK Cupid, the list goes on. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be all over every one of them. Believe it or not, getting married from Tinder is now a thing, so keep your hopes high, and go on as many dates as you can. Even if you don’t find “the one”, at least you’ll have some pretty funny stories for brunch with the girls on Sunday.
8. You have to find hobbies. No, blacking out with your besties on the weekend is no longer considered a socially acceptable hobby. Also not included: finishing bottles of wine to yourself every night after work, watching every season of a show on Netflix in one weekend, and having a cat. Apparently now you have to be into things like yoga, mountain biking, hiking, or something active of the sort.
9. You actually make the recipes you pin on Pinterest. This is life now; you literally swap recipes with your friends and co-workers. It’s kind of sad. Your life quickly goes from talking about that hottie you were making out with at the bar to “Yeah, last night, I made an AWESOME pot roast.” Because Pot Roast is SO much more exciting than making out with strangers.
10. The hangover is real. And I mean SO freaking real. Gone are the days of drinking tequila till the sunrises and waking up to PARTY at your favorite frat. In fact, kiss your entire Saturday goodbye, and yes that includes Saturday night. Hangovers are now like a full day debacle – usually consisting of you waking up groaning in pain, searching for water, Advil, and a bong rip, then back to bed you go for the whole 24 hours. Until you muster up the strength to order something from GrubHub.
11. Going to bed at 9 PM is a thing. And a very great thing at that, even on the weekends. You wake up to text messages in the morning, “Hey, what are you doing?” and instead of answering twenty hours later with something along the lines of, “Sorry! SO blacked out last night!” it’s, “Hey! Sorry – went to sleep SO early last night, it was awesome.”
12. You can’t sleep till noon. Not only is it no longer socially acceptable, you physically cannot sleep until noon. It’s crazy, your body just like wakes up at 7:30, even on the weekends. You then think back, how did I get ANYTHING done when I would sleep till noon?
13. You will not have your dream job. In fact, you may be starting to wonder if your dream job even exists. In college, you dream of graduating and landing the perfect job, reality check: you’re probably working in a call center of some sort or making copies and coffee for someone you think has your dream job. If you do have your dream job, know that I am seething with envy from behind my headset.
14. You don’t need to be proficient in Microsoft Office. It will say that in your job description. I know this because I’ve now had three “big kid jobs” – ask me how many times someone has asked me to do anything with Microsoft Office besides throwing a few words into a word doc, none.
15. Office Happy Hours are the highlight of your week. These are like the adult version of a frat party, except instead of drinking out of a nasty Keystone Light keg; you’re drinking premium liquor on the company dime. You have that hottie from accounting to hit on, you drink too much, and by the end of it almost everyone is making a fool of themselves on the dance floor.
16. You should not sh*t where you eat. Hooking up with a co-worker is NOT the same as hooking up with that guy from your English Lit lecture. The semester doesn’t end; you can’t hide behind your hoodie and sunglasses. In fact, you may even just share a cube wall with them – or even worse, they might be your boss. So take it from, well, not me…from a friend of mine, just don’t do it.
17. Sunday scaries don’t stop. No matter how old you get, if you black out that weekend, you’re going to wake up Sunday morning with a whole plate of regret. And possibly a stranger in your bed, which will just add to that plate of regret.
18. Dry spells can, and will most likely happen. Yes, I mean sometimes you will go days or weeks or months without sex. The weird part about this, is most often times, these dry spells are voluntary. It’s no longer cute to have, whatever their name was, creep out of your apartment the next morning. Although every once in a while, it will happen, you have to do things like think about getting married at some point.
19. You have to find your own doctor. This is a tough task, finding a doctor that accepts your insurance and not to mention you have to find one for like, everything. How did our parents do this for multiple people? And keeping up with the appointments another full-time job, you start to use the calendar in your iPhone for things other than keeping track of your last period.
20. Condoms are a must. And you start keeping them in your bed side table for that once in a while random hookup. Yeah, they still smell weird, and feel funky. However, you know what’s worse than a condom? An STD, or a baby with a stranger.
21. Owning a house seems like a distant dream. Even the word mortgage gives me the chills. If you’re anything like me, forget the white picket fence, you’ll be living in an apartment in the middle of the city with 3 roommates and still trying to balance your rent and your bar fund.
22. Making a budget is not as easy as your excel class taught you. You think you have it all figured out because, duh, they have an app for that. When in reality, you just link up all of your accounts and get a lot of alerts telling you that you spend too much money on food and alcohol. As if I needed an app to tell me that.
23. Student loan debt. It’s still there, and making the minimum payment is literally like spitting on a forest fire. How is it that you keep making payments on something that seems to be getting bigger?
24. Weddings are the new prom. That’s if you went to prom every weekend for 6 weeks straight. Wedding season now means something to you. They are expensive, but so worth it. You either have an excuse to dress up and take pictures with your significant other, or you get to hit on all the hotties at the singles table. Best part is, most of the time, they’re open bar. It’s a win-win really.
25. Don’t take a second for granted. The truth is, I don’t think anyone is ever quite ready to turn 25, and that’s okay. Life never turns out how you imagine it. So be free, choose adventure, and spontaneity. Never think twice about where you are compared to where you think you should be. Make mistakes and learn from them. Take all of the experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly with a grain of salt, and if they’re really bad, a shot of tequila. Because before you know it, you’ll be turning thirty.
All in all, realize that you’re only 25, you may feel old but you’re still young with a long way to go. You don’t have to have it all figured out by 25, which might just be the biggest challenge you’ll face. Live the life you want to live, but remember that you should never settle for content and complacent because life has so much more to offer than just that.