Welcome to your mid 20s: home of the quarter-life crisis. You're getting older, you're supposed to be getting wiser and the pressure to grow into a responsible adult is in full swing.
However, there's no need to freak out about it all; you should be enjoying this time in your life. So grab a glass of wine, take a deep breath and remind yourself of the following 10 things over and over again.
Everything will (maybe) feel better afterward.
1. You’re not special.
After years of getting trophies just because your parents signed you up for dance class or the local soccer league, of course you feel like you should be recognized for every little thing you do. I mean, how could you not? There are entire ceremonies dedicated to the fact that YOU graduated from high school and college. Some people even have their own graduation parties where everyone celebrates the fact that they accomplished something most other people also accomplish.
After you’re done with school and you’ve entered the real world, things get real. No one wants to celebrate you, no one wants to compliment you and no one wants to give you a job. This might hurt, but once you realize that you’re not special, rejection will feel normal and will only make you feel stronger.
2. Everyone is not having more fun than you are just because it looks like it on Facebook and Instagram.
Most people can make their lives look interesting and awesome by uploading photos and using emojis. I’m sure you’ve made other people think you were having more fun than them on social media with your tagged photos from Saturday night. To you, those updates weren’t that special, but to the person on his or her couch, binge watching Netflix and feeling lonely, those updates make you look like a God.
Pictures might say 1,000 words, but your 1,000 Facebook friends probably don’t know what any of those words actually are.
3. You DO have friends.
After enduring years of forced social time (school), you might feel lonely when you graduate from college and that ends. You start working and since (most) jobs do not provide forced social time, you’ll feel as though you’re not socializing at all. But you are socializing — just not as much. You have people you can call to go shopping and get drinks and anything else you want to do. Just because this isn’t a weekly or daily occurrence doesn’t mean you don’t have friends.
You’re busy; they’re busy. That’s life. You might (and you probably do) have fewer friends than you did during and before college, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have friends.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Don’t feel bad because you don’t have “as good of a job as so-and-so.” Don’t beat yourself up because so-and-so (supposedly) makes way more money than you do (I mean, maybe he or she does, but people tend to lie about their salaries). Don’t feel like you have to enter a relationship, go out for a night on the town, or get engaged just because other people are doing it.
Do YOU. This isn’t a race; this is life. If you keep doing you, eventually, everything will fall into place. No two people are the same.
5. It’s okay to still be single.
When I was a child, I thought I would be married by age 26 and have kids by 28. I have no idea what I was thinking, but this will NOT be happening. Every year, the timeline I set for myself gets pushed back as I realize I am nowhere near ready to get married and have kids. Still, I fear that it’s getting too late to be single.
This is a ridiculous way to live life, though; people get married at all ages. Some people don’t get married at all and plenty get divorced. So, don’t worry if you’re not in a relationship right now and don’t worry about whether or not you’ll be single some day soon.
Whatever you are — or end up being — is fine.
6. Stop spending all of your money on alcohol and clothes.
Start saving. Sure, it might seem necessary to spend money as it enters your bank account every other week, but don’t spend it all. You might feel like you HAVE to go out to dinner or you HAVE to buy the organic chicken breasts over the regular ones or you HAVE to get a couple new shirts because… spring… but you DON’T. One time, I went three months without buying any new shirts.
Coming from a diagnosed shopaholic, IT IS POSSIBLE.
7. Juice cleanses and fad diets won't necessarily make you healthy.
Oh cool, you’re doing the paleo diet? Wow, you’re on a juice cleanse? OMG, you’re drinking that gross looking green smoothie? YOU MUST BE, LIKE, SO HEALTHY. Wait, no.
Talking about the fad diet you’re trying or posting about it online won’t automatically make you the healthiest and thinnest person on Earth. If you’re drinking green juice daily but still blacking out every weekend and occasionally “cheating” on your "diet," you’re probably not as healthy as you think you are.
This might be why you're not losing any weight. If you want change, change your lifestyle.
8. It’s okay to stay in sometimes.
...Not all of the time, but sometimes. The week is tiring for everyone. If you have enough energy to go out after a long day at the office, great! But, if you’re exhausted and need to take a night off, that’s cool, too. Occasionally staying in does not mean you’re losing friends. You’re probably not missing out on anything special, anyway; you basically do the same thing every weekend.
Lose your FOMO, put your ass on the couch, maybe have a glass of wine and Netflix the sh*t out of some random TV series. You can go back to being social tomorrow… or next weekend.
9. YOU’RE NOT OLD.
Stop constantly talking about how old you are. You’re not old. Yeah, “Mean Girls” debuted 10 years ago… and yeah, “Clueless” is almost 20… and yes, the kids from “Rugrats” would be in their mid 20s if they were real people… but you’re only 20-something.
You most likely don’t have kids, you most likely don’t pay a mortgage, I doubt you have wrinkles and you’re probably still on the family cell plan (I mean, who can afford a phone bill at this age?). You have a ways to go in life, tons to accomplish and tons to figure out.
You might not be a kid, but in the workplace, you are – so, at least there’s that.
10. Everything happens for a reason.
So, you didn’t get that job. WHATEVER! That just means it wasn’t meant to be.
You and your significant other are splitting up? No worries; you’re just one step closer to finding the person with whom you’re actually supposed to be.
I am a firm believer that everything — yes, EVERYTHING — happens for a reason, and if something is meant to be, it will be… no matter what. If you believe this, too, life will become a lot easier to handle.
Photo via We Heart It