Proceed With Caution: 20 Signs You're Entering Your Late 20s

by Jen Ruiz
Castle Rock Entertainment

If you've recently fallen victim to the infamous quarter-life crisis, you're probably familiar with the panic that comes with realizing you've entered your late 20s. Suddenly, it's as if your youth has evaporated.

The good news is, you're not alone! All around the world, 20-somethings like you are going through the same process.

So, to help you identify whether or not you're going through this transformation, here are 20 signs you're entering your late 20s:

1. You no longer feel the need to stay out all night

Party animals can feel free to go hard until 3 am or later, but as a late 20-something, you can be found at home on a Friday night, having a hot date with Netflix and a bottle of wine.

Maybe, if you're rested, you'll go out and do something chill on Saturday.

2. You start to track how you're spending your money

Eating out is getting expensive, so you go grocery shopping on a regular basis.

You also realize you don't necessarily need the all-access cable package and cut back to basic cable, but only if you can manage to talk the cable company into throwing in some premium channels for an extra $5 month.

3. Being carded becomes a good thing

It used to be that getting carded was a dreaded moment. Now, we blush when we're carded. Oh, you need to see ID? No problem!

4. You begin to worry about your long-term health

All of those late-night trips to Taco Bell are starting to catch up with you and you can't bounce back from binge-eating like you were able to do in your college days.

Suddenly, you start trading in the ice cream for frozen yogurt and french fries for sweet potato fries.

You also start making regular appointments with — get this — a physician.

5. You attend weddings all of the time

As a result, you are a pro at wedding gifting; you are the life of any bachelor or bachelorette celebration, and you have essentially mastered every group dance there is, from the Macarena to the Cupid Shuffle.

6. You only date people who are worth your time

You've been through the dating mill a few times and are over it. At this point, you've stopped entertaining half-interested suitors and are able to discern those who are actually worth your time.

7. You wake up every morning to go to your grown-up job

Gone are the days when you could sleep in or skip classes. Now, you wake up every morning at the same time to go to your adult job. Welcome to your late 20s and pretty much the rest of your life until retirement. Hopefully, you will at least like what you do!

8. You watch the news

Remember when watching the news was boring or something only your parents did?

Somewhere along the way, you started watching it, too, or started wanting to keep up with current events in some way. It's nice to not live under a rock.

9. Your parents start to talk about kicking you off the family plan

You've been on the family phone plan for years now. You start to conveniently feign a lack of cell service every time your parents bring up the notion of you getting your own contract.

10. Health insurance costs how much?

Similarly, you were riding out the parental health insurance wave until those benefits ended at age 26.

Suddenly, you have to get your own health insurance or the government will fine you. You quickly realize that it doesn't come cheaply, or give you much bang for your meager bucks. Great!

11. Financial management professionals start approaching you

If you're suddenly getting messages from people who are offering their services to help you manage your funds, even if you didn't realize you had any funds of which to speak, it's a sure sign you're entering your late 20s.

12. Younger people don't know who you're referencing

You don't really start to feel old until you're around a group of younger people, who have no idea what you're talking about when you reference TV shows from the 1990s or celebrities that have since passed away. Talk about feeling ancient!

13. Your Facebook news feed is suddenly flooded with babies

You're not sure when it happened, but one day, you logged on and the updates went from parties and drinking to babies and breastfeeding.

You routinely recite the line, “Your baby is so cute!” and you do your best to do so as sincerely as possible, each and every time.

14. You start to purchase shoes based on their practicality

You still love your stiletto heels, don't get me wrong, but there's no way you're trekking in them for more than a few blocks.

If your day requires walking, you'll probably be prepared with sensible flats.

15. Hangovers are rough

You could do Jäger bombs left and right in college, so naturally, you assumed you'd be able to do the increasingly popular Fireball shots they're serving today, no problem.

But, you were wrong — you were so wrong.

16. You don't shop at certain stores anymore

Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe used to be your homes away from home. There wasn't a trip made to either store that wouldn't result in hours of perusing and multiple bags of merchandise.

Nowadays, you find yourself leaning more towards Anne Klein and Banana Republic. You need clothes that double for business and pleasure and that match your matured tastes.

17. You get annoyed if you don't have the proper glassware

Speaking of matured tastes, it used to be okay to serve guests in whatever cups or glassware you had laying around.

Now, if you don't have the proper glass for the beverage you're serving, you get annoyed and a little embarrassed.

18. Your wishlist changes

To avoid that awkward moment when you're serving someone red wine in a coffee mug, you have adapted your birthday, Christmas and general wishlists to include kitchenware, home decorations, appliances and gift cards to home improvement stores.

19. You start monitoring your credit

Credit card fraud used to be something about which you heard, but didn't really worry. After all, no one wants to steal a broke college student's identity.

Now, as you start to enter the professional world, you'll find yourself monitoring your credit to ensure that no one is using your identity and working to improve your score so you can qualify for car loans and mortgages.

20. You're desperately counting the years you have left in your 20s

You're not ready to be a grownup just yet, despite the clear signs you've entered that territory, so you make sure no one ages you more than necessary.

You still have (x) number of years till 30, so you make sure everyone knows it!