I'm 24 years old and I must say, I've been doing some major reflecting lately. As I observe my life through the lens of a 20-something, I'm beginning to see things with a bit more clarity.
When you're in your late teens and begin to transition into your early 20s, there's a stigma. This stigma follows you throughout your 20s, and will stay with you if you don't provoke personal changes and growth, accordingly.
I'm here to rid your mind of any perspective that may scare you. Stigmas will always be there, whether we like it or not. There's a whole lot of “you shouldn't do that," because the myth is that you're too old now.
Or, there's the “you SHOULD do that," because you'll never be this young again and we somehow convince ourselves we'll never get certain opportunities again. If you ask me, this is totally untrue.
Here are five myths that you should absolutely ignore about being in your 20s:
1. You Can't Go To Certain Bars Anymore Because You're Too Old
Um, excuse me? I'm too old to go out and continue celebrating my young life?
Let me just say this: I understand why maybe certain bars are questioned. I mean, let's face the facts here. You and your friends went to bars in college that you didn't necessarily have to be "of age" to get into. Also, you went to bars that were known for having a certain age range that you're not in anymore.
So yeah, I get it. Who wants to be older than the majority of the people they're surrounded by? There's definitely a difference in age, but not necessarily maturity level. Even so, a bar is a bar. If it's fun, there's NO reason you shouldn't go back.
You are whom you surround yourself with, and ultimately you define your own experience. Don't let this myth hold you back from a fun night out.
2. If You're Still Living With Your Parents At 25, You're a Loser
If this applies to you as it does to me, I assure you with every ounce of my being, you are NOT a loser. However, if you're the one calling somebody in their 20s a loser for still living with there parents, then you -- obviously -- are living in this world debt-free.
Also, you probably have never known financial issues or obligations, so that's awesome. Kudos to you. I'm happy that you have such a blessed life, but not all of us can be so damn lucky.
Costs for apartments, let alone houses, are sky high. We live in a society where it's abnormal to see someone move out so young, and it's much more common to see the youth of our nation save money until we can get on our feet.
I do, however, praise those who somehow found their true independence early and were able to move out by this age. That is an accomplishment that should not be belittled.
3. If You Don't Do It Now, You Never Will
I firmly believe your 20s present all sorts of opportunities. This is truly the age where you're mature but still young enough to get away with certain things.
It's the time to embrace your independence and “adult," yet one can still get away with experimentation. Let's face it: Your 20s really are just the beginning. We're still figuring it out, one paycheck to the next. However, we somehow convince ourselves that our twenties are the only time this will ever occur.
We have this mindset where this is the only time in our lives we can mess up, pick ourselves up and start over. Or, that this is the only time we can do that one thing we've always dreamed of. I say this is completely and utterly false, and I will say that loud and proud.
If we take a real, hard look at what this myth is actually saying, we would realize that this simply means, “You'll never be this age again.” I hate to break it to you, but newsflash: We're only any age once in our lives. If, and when, the timing is right, you do it -- not because your age says you should or shouldn't.
4. You Have To Be Engaged Before You're 30
I have to admit that I felt this way for a while. Although I was never the girl to plan out her wedding, I thought that I'd have to be engaged before I turned 30. Why, you ask? Because just as most girls feel about having children, I felt I needed to be physically prepared and that takes time.
So, I figured that finding my soulmate was half the battle, and once that was crossed off the list I would be able to focus on everything else falling into place.
Each and every person holds their own truth and their own story to reveal to the world. As the saying goes, “life happens when you're busy making other plans.”
The moral of the story is this: Stop making these ridiculous plans, and let life happen to you a little more. You'll be surprised what you might find out, and only then will everything truly fall into place.
5. You Should Sleep With As Many People As Possible
Unfortunately, we live in a society that prides itself on hook-up culture and having fun while sleeping around with as many people as possible. Intimate connection isn't something you should seek, but the physical stuff is.
We learn to hold low expectations for the people we meet, and understand that we'll probably get our hearts broken. Although this may not apply to everyone, I find the whole “you should have fun” thing to be generally untrue.
To be honest, I've always prioritized intimate, personal connection before anything physical manifested and I always thought there was something wrong with me. Again, I believe in dating as a way to find more out about yourself, but I don't believe in using anyone.
I think it's cool to put all your eggs in one basket and learn what it means to be loyal to someone you have feelings for. I also think it's cool to be monogamous with someone you're serious about.
If you haven't found a person that makes you want this, you just need to spend more time figuring out what makes you happy. Being alone is a gift and your own company is precious. Before you invite anyone into your personal space, make sure they're worthwhile.