There’s no doubt about it, your twenties are a very special decade. It’s the only time in your life where you’re independent enough to not be a teenager, but also cool enough to not be an adult. Children under twelve will naturally call you, “mister,” or, “sir,” and you finally don’t have to shoulder tap for booze anymore.
I happen to be in my twenties, and some days I wake up and wish I could skip straight to being forty. Other days, I want be a twenty-something for the rest of my life, like some sort of hipster Peter Pan: “Oh maaaaan, I want to live in the most obscure tree for the rest of my life and listen to my vinyl collection.”
Being in this age bracket, I’ve definitely felt the negatives and the positives; as I’m sure most people in most age brackets feel... but since I’m not any of those other people, I’m going to list a few pros and cons about what its like to be in my age group.
PROS of being a 20-Something:
1. The energy to party until the wee hours in the morning, and still be at work at the butt crack of dawn.
There’s no doubt about it. It doesn’t take talent to burn the candle at both ends, it just takes age. As twenty-somethings, we have all sorts of energy coming from different places. Whether it be the group excitement we experience when with our friends, or just plain biological stuff like hormones; there’s absolutely no way I’ll be able to do this forever. Hell, I don’t even think I’ll want to do this forever.
2. An almost completely disposable income.
That’s right, ladies. I have almost no monthly bills. I have to worry about rent, utilities, and internet. That means I have all this extra money that goes toward nothing else but excess. It may not be alot of extra money, but I’ll spend it all on you anyway!
3. Living in perhaps the most sexually promiscuous stage of life.
I don’t mean to be inappropriate, but you know it’s true! People in their twenties like to get down. And often. Throw booze and recreational drug use into the combination, and you’ve got a deadly mixture. Not to mention that after high school, pretty much every social stigma on sex disappears and the idea of being a slut is nil. You are independent, you own your body, if you want to experiment, you do it. And god dammit, why the hell not?
4. Developing dreams and aspirations, finding out what you like.
Now is the time to fuck up. If you don’t like something, you can drop it like that and nobody is going to judge you. You start to find out what it is that makes you happy, and what you’re good at. This is probably the most creative point in your life, so now’s your chance to make it stick; because if you’re in your 30’s and you’re still trying to find “your thing,” chances are society’s deemed you a failure. You may not think you’re a failure, but society sure does.
5. Being able to “clock out.”
The older you get, the harder it will be to not think about work; because the older you are, the more you need money to get through every day life. You have more monthly payments, you have people depending on you to support them, you simply must commit a large part of yourself to your career to stay afloat. You’re always thinking about your next move, and being on call. In your twenties, the moment you clock out of work... it’s party time.
CONS of being a 20-something:
1. Being broke.
Yes, I did say that our income is disposable in our twenties. That our extra cash is for leisure and luxury. That being said, we also don’t make a whole lot of money. The only reason we have extra cash is that we rent apartments in shit neighborhoods, live with roommates, and eat top ramen twice daily. Oh, right, and we don’t know shit about budgeting because we live paycheck to paycheck with absolutely zero savings.
2. Having a “job,” and not a, “career.”
Lacking life experience means one thing: menial jobs that require no skillset. As twenty somethings, we get to work for retail, the restaurant industry, or whoever else might throw a little cash at us. It’s okay, though. Maybe we’ll get a “big-person job,” by the time we’re twenty-five. Maybe.
3. Having one foot trapped under your parents’ thumb.
Don’t get me wrong, twenty-somethings are essentially adults. Most of us don’t live with our parents, support ourselves for the most part, and aren’t told what to do. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still things expected of us. As twenty-somethings, it is our mission to constantly assert our independence to our parents; while they still try to parent us over the phone. It’s a co-dependence that begins to dissolve as time progresses.
4. Having, “responsibilities.”
All of a sudden, it’s your duty to take out the trash. Nobody is telling you to clean your room, so it just gets messier and messier. You’ve killed 12 different fish because you keep forgetting to feed them, and you flaked on your doctors appointment again because you forgot. How do you think your parents got to be so organized? Yeah, they were you once, too.
5. Feeling things drift.
Possibly the hardest thing about life in general is how much things change. Friends move away, people die, you start to lose interest in things you love. You start to realize that everything is fleeting, and how sad that truly is. On top of that all, pretty soon you’ll be very concerned about your mortality. Everything just gets more serious.
That being said, I don’t think that anything is ever completely positive or negative. Though every walk of life may have cons, at least there are pros as well. Life is full of love, happiness, beauty, tragedy, and despair; for every positive there is also a negative. We just have to embrace these things and enjoy the ride.