If you’re not 20 and you’re reading this, then you’re either reflecting back to the best/worst decade of your life desperately trying to feel young again or you’re anticipating all the fun/pain that awaits you in the not-too-distant future, while also desperately clinging to the feeling of being young.
Yep, in other words, we’re all fucked.
It’s a rollercoaster
Being in your 20s is like riding one decade-long rollercoaster. It has many highs, beginning with your 21st birthday, and many sudden lows, like graduating and being unemployed. This pattern tends to repeat itself in a painful loop with highs like experiencing your first real life relationship and moving into your first place submerged by lows like your first real world break up and the first time you eat Ramen noodles for an entire week just to afford rent (well, that may have happened in college but bare with me here).
Regardless of how hard you work to prevent this from happening, the fact remains that life doesn’t start flat lining until you get into your 30s and 40s so you’d best be advised to enjoy the ride no matter how turbulent it may get at times.
It’s not college
Although some of your 20s will be spent in college, and I’d suggest waiting as long as possible to graduate, life as a twenty-something doesn’t parallel the reckless behaviors you acquired and perfected as an undergraduate at college. The excessive drinking, the sleeping in past noon, and the experimenting with drugs all go out the window once the graduation bell rings and you slip into reality.
You’ll try to stretch out the glory days as long as possible — lord knows I’m still trying — but at the end of the day no matter how hard you try, you won’t be protected by that grand and magnificent veil we all call college.
Living at home is…
Acceptable, and not actually as bad as it sounds. OK, the last part was bullshit, but really living at home does have its perks if you’re in the early part of your 20s and just looking to save up money before you take the next step in life. Or, if you’re unemployed and don’t know what the hell it is you want to do with yourself. Regardless of circumstance, this is something most bros will have to go through at some point. I just hope that it doesn’t last too long because living at home can get old fast, trust me.
You’re still young
Speaking of getting old — with a checklist that includes graduating, finding a job, finding a place to live and settling down with a significant other, one would think being in your 20s is the most exhausting decade of human existence bogged with mind-numbing maturity and an over-zealousness toward settling down for the long haul.
On the contrary, this decade is your last to celebrate your youth and your freedom. Sure, there is plenty to gripe about (see: above and below No. 4 on this list); however, every bro should embrace this time and try to have as much fan as possible in their 20s because we’re not getting any younger and once the ball drops on 30, life gets even more shittier and more expensive. That reminds me…
Save as much as you can
For 19 years, saving money was probably not a priority for you and for good reason — when you got a buck, you spent it on something you thought you needed or simply just wanted. In your 20s, life doesn’t work that way. The things you need and want should be shelved or you’re screwed. If you think you can spend superfluously just because you’re earning a fairly decent wage out of college, then you are in for a rude awakening.
Treat your body, and your liver, with more care
I am surely not a role model in this regard. I exercise once or twice a week, while spending a majority of my free time on my couch watching TV and sports. With that admittance aside, it should be at the top of every bro’s list to stay in good shape in their 20s because it will dictate what shape you are in the rest of your life — I wish it weren’t true, but it is.
More importantly, take better care of your liver then you did in college. Chiefly, it’s not good for your health long-term to have 10 beam and cokes every Friday night. Secondly, you’re body doesn’t handle heavy drinking as good as it used to on a night-to-night basis in college. Benders — as much as we all love them — are harder and harder to pull off because the turnaround is that much more difficult.
You need a hobby
This is pretty self-explanatory but in case you’re a dunce, what I am trying to say is that every bro should acquire an activity to pass the free time when he’s not in the office and not trying to please the girlfriend. Yes, watching and playing sports is still acceptable, but something additional wouldn’t hurt like, say, reading a book.
Age range with women is…
The best it will ever be in all of your life, and now I am beginning to kick myself for not placing this higher because this is actually a positive tidbit that are few and far between in this article. Anyway, as a twenty-something male you have quite the wide range in women to choose from and I can assure you your net will never be wider. You can date pretty much any women in her 20s — 20 through 29 — without feeling awkward about age discrepancy or whatever other bullshit a guy uses to deter him from dating within a certain age group.
Also, there is a strong cougar possibility always lingering. If you’re 25, why the hell not go for a 35 year-old hottie if the opportunity arises? (Side note: It won’t look as cool when you’re 35 and trying to reach up for a 45 year-old.) Finally, as a twenty-something you can always dip lower and not look like a creep for being the 25 cradle rocker with a 19-year-old girl friend. Is this a sign you’re probably trying too hard to hold on to college? Yes, but who gives a shit — you’re still young!
Smaller party scene
Although it’s acceptable to date females ranging from age 18 to 39 when you’re in your 20s, this does not mean that raging like you did back in high school and college will be equally as acceptable. If you enter a party with people who are all younger or older than you, then you will stand out like a sore thumb and you will find out that the tolerance level toward party crashing has gone down significantly. The best way to avoid this is to select a social circle with people you like and make it your own. Bouncing around from group to group trying to be everyone’s best friend just isn’t as practical as it used to be, I hate to say it.
A good balance of responsibilities
As long as you’re not married with kids, being in your 20s will present a fair amount of responsibilities that will help prepare you for the rest of life. Does anyone really want more shit on their plate? Hell no, but the fact of life is that the older we get the more shit we have to juggle on a day-to-day basis and it will always be out of our control. One positive about your 20s is that you’re usually in control of your personal responsibilities and you can hand select which ones to take on and which ones to leave on the cutting board. Again, life won’t be this fair to you later on so enjoy it.
Let’s speed through these final 10 so you can get back to the job your procrastinating from doing
Less sleep, more work
Average wake up time for a twenty-something: 6:30 a.m. (if you’ve got a nice commute)
Average time a twenty-something falls asleep: 11:30 p.m.
Yep, things change radically.
Holidays are no longer holidays
You have to buy gifts for everyone. You have to work the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Your boss does not care for your New Years hangover.
There is no safety net
I should have probably gotten into greater detail on this point earlier, but oh well, for us normal folk who don’t live off mommy and daddy, being in your 20s symbolizes the end of the safety net. If you fail, you’re going to sink to the bottom and it’s you’re responsibility to swim up to the top to get air.
Expectations get higher and higher
Similarly to the no-longer-present safety net, the ceiling of expectations, which was always held at a moderate level during high school and college, is now rising exponentially at a rate that makes it hard to track. Speaking of those holidays, the conversation will go from what girls you are chasing around the campus green to which one you’re planning on marrying in five short years. Keep that bar where it is, damn it!
Nobody is on your side
I really don’t want this to sound pessimistic, but if you’re in your 20s just ask yourself, who’s truly on your side in life? Your bosses? Absolutely no chance. The government? Well, that was a good laugh at least. Your parents? They’re getting ready to take their yacht around the world and will write you every other month.
Good luck if you think you’re going to have allies in you is corner this decade, because you won’t.
Playing dress up
Shirt, tie, slacks, dress shoes and a jacket. Get used to it.
With age comes more respect
Well, I guess that’s one thing we’ve got going for us as we trek through this wasteland of outrageous college loans and astronomical rent prices — at least people will respect us soon!
Weekends can still be weekends
In the traditional sense, Saturday and Sunday will still serve the purpose they did throughout your childhood, adolescence and teen years — an escape from the oft-repetitive weekday schedule (as long as your not in a hellish job that makes you work on the weekend). With that said, after your 20s, the weekends will slowly devolve into something much more tragic — 48 hours to take care of things like trimming the hedges, cutting the lawn and scouring the house of dust.
Fuck, can’t we just age like Benjamin Button?
You’re being groomed to be in charge…
Your 20s is a decade-long rollercoaster just as much as it is a decade-long apprenticeship. All the entry-level training and grueling workweeks are building toward something both magnificent and worth it — power! It will be ours soon enough.
…but for now, you’re society’s bitch
Sorry bros, welcome to life in your 20s. No matter how much fun you’re having and no matter how much freedom you’ve obtained at this point, you are still somewhere between a cockroach and that white stuff that accumulates at the corner of your moth when you’re really thirsty.