20 Things No One Tells You About Your 20s

by Ashley Fern

The time you spend in your 20s is perhaps the most crucial to your development as a person. This is the first time you are living independently in a city away from your parents.

You are financially cut off from your family, for the most part, so you finally learn how to fend for yourself. The problem? There is no manual to help guide you through this tumultuous time.

Here are the 20 things no one tells you about your 20s…

1. You’ll be lonely

Chances are you just moved to a new city -- whether you are familiar with it or not, it will be full of people you don’t know. When you are surrounded by this many people, it's easy to feel lost and alone. It’s difficult to make new connections in a huge city. This adjustment period will hopefully be short lived.

2. You’ll be poor

Just because you got a job right out of college doesn’t mean you’re going to be rolling in the dough. Rent is f*cking expensive, so count on half or more of your paycheck being designated to your landlord. Put the thoughts of going out and partying every night out of your mind because your budget will not allow it. There are no meal plans in the real world, so get used to spending your hard earned money for necessities, such as food and toiletries.

3. You’ll be confused as f*ck

Your 20s are typically when you have your first real job and chances are you probably will hate it. You picked a major in college that you thought would prepare you for the job you thought you wanted, but after slaving away 9-5, you may come to the realization that this isn’t what you wanted. Now what? Don’t worry you’re most definitely not alone, as the majority of people in their 20s have no idea what career they want to pursue in life.

4. You’ll have your heart broken

Many people don’t realize what qualities they want in a partner at this age. They will use this time to try and figure out just who their ideal partner really is. As a result of this confusing time, the person you are currently in a relationship with may not be someone you want to pursue a future with. This is a difficult concept to grasp and can be heart-wrenching because as you realize what you want in life, you may have to let go of the person you thought you loved.

5. Your friends can change as you enter the real world

The time spent in your twenties can be the most influential in regards to your future. The people with whom you choose to surround yourself can, and often do, sway your behavior, sometimes preventing you from reaching your full potential. Trim the fat in your life and associate yourself with others who encourage you to succeed. Sometimes you just outgrow certain people. Don’t try to fix it, just accept it and move on.

6. The majority of the people you interact with are douchebags

Why is everyone so damn angry all the time? Maybe it’s the economy or maybe it's their personal lives, but chances are the majority of people you talk to on a daily basis are dicks. People push through you on the walk to work with no regard for anyone but themselves, they ash their cigarettes completely oblivious to the fact that you are walking behind them and don’t bother apologizing or saying sorry.

7. Your career path will most likely change

Where you thought you would end up is vastly different from where you did end up. Your first job will be an eye-opening experience that will really show you what you want to do for the rest of your life. In college, you always dreamed about having your first job, but when you finally get that job, it’s nothing like you imagined.

8. Making new friends is f*cking difficult

As you grow up, you tend to experience things on your own and so the interaction with other people diminishes. You don’t have the same opportunities that college gave you. You are much busier at this time in your life, so making new friends isn’t always going to be on the top of your to-do list. There are so many new concerns and responsibilities attached to living in the real world.

9. You’ll never know if you’re exclusive, hooking up or full-blown dating

Are you exclusive? Are you dating? Are you casually hooking up? Are you friends with benefits? WHAT THE F*CKING F*CK? Welcome to the post grad world where dating is as confusing as ever. You won't know where you stand with someone you are hooking up with 95% of the time. Good luck trying to define whatever “relationship” you are currently in.

10. You’ll realize money may actually buy happiness

This may sound cynical, but when all your friends are going out to dinners and to clubs and you're home because you’re broke, you sure as hell aren’t going to be happy. Not having to worry about money or a budget brings a sense of ease to a person’s life. Maybe it doesn’t necessarily bring you happiness, but it does surely prevent you from being miserable. If you want to move out of your parents' house and experience what freedom truly is, well you better believe that money is your ticket out of there.

11. You’re going to be in debt

Nothing comes cheap in the post grad world. You are going to be faced with expenses you didn’t even know existed. Guess who’s responsible for paying for these things? If you think it’s your parents, you guessed wrong, it’s you! Remember how badly you wanted to grow up? Well this is what you had to look forward to -- bills, bills and more bills.

12. You will lose some of your friends

One day, your best friends are by your side and the next instance, they are nowhere to be found. This is common as you go through life. People experience change at different rates and slowly the person you once knew becomes a notion of the past.

13. Your metabolism will slow down, rapidly

The days of carefree living where you could have a bagel for breakfast, pizza for lunch and a cheeseburger for dinner are long gone. This is the time where most people experience a change with their metabolisms. People warn you about the freshman 15, but they don’t warn you about the post grad pounds you’re about to put on. Now it’s time to eat less and to work out more. You need to get into a healthy exercise regime now before you become complacent.

14. It’s not too late to reinvent yourself

The years you spend in your twenties are the most crucial to your development since this is the time you start to mold your future. The person you were in college can be your past if you just change your behaviors. Who you were back then does not have to be who you are now. You are in a new city surrounded by new people, so take advantage of this!

15. Dry spells are ever present in the real world

In college, all you had to do was throw back a few shots and hit up a frat party or a local bar and your opportunities were endless. You may think now that you are in a huge city, you will have even more opportunities, but honestly that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s quite difficult to meet people in any city, especially those that you want to intimately pursue.

16. You have to put in effort, you can’t just get by

No more snoozing the alarm, no more skipping class and no more week-long benders. Welcome to the real world, people! You can’t just get by in the working world by resting on your laurels and putting the minimum effort in. In this economy, there will always be someone else equally as qualified as you for a position, so if you are slacking, your boss will not hesitate to fire you.

17. Blacking out cannot be a general state of mind

This was acceptable in college (not really, but everyone did it, so it was “okay”) but in the real world, it's not a good look to have to be carried home from the bar by your friend as your eyes are rolled in the back on your head. Not remembering the events from the previous night is a dangerous and terrible idea. You are in an unfamiliar city, not your college bubble, it’s a risky world out there.

18. Your degree means sh*t

The only thing your degree is useful for in the real world is as a conversation starter. Sure your degree may be relevant to your career choice, but that’s probably not what landed you the job in the first place. Your personality and past experience will hook the person interviewing you, not a piece of paper.

19. Hangovers aren’t a figment of your imagination

Hangovers in college vs. hangovers in the real world are two vastly different things. In college, you could wake up, hit a bowl and eat a breakfast sandwich and immediately feel relief. In the real world, your hangover is much more likely to last for a solid 24 hours. Good luck trying to function at work the next day if you go out during the week, as your pounding headache will only increase throughout the day.

20. Your parents won't always support your motives

The issue with a generation gap, especially in today’s times, is that your family may not always understand and support your dreams. Many people are realizing how miserable the typical 9-5 career can be and are leaving for the world of entrepreneurship. Hopefully your family knows you well enough to realize your potential is better suited elsewhere.