13 Signs You've Somehow Reached The Awkward Mid-20s Phase

by Shannon Vize

An adult is defined as being fully developed and mature. In other words, grown-up.

By most standards, once you graduate from college and enter the workforce, you’re considered one, but Millennials in their mid-20s know this is anything but accurate.

Instead, you're stuck in this awkward phase where you're not a kid anymore, but you're not quite an adult either. (That Britney Spears song was ahead of its time.) So, congrats!

Here are 13 signs that you've reached the awkward, transitional phase that is your mid-20s:

1. You got your first “big kid” job, but you’re the youngest one in your office by at least five years.

The impossible has happened: you actually got a job with a real salary and everything.

Whether it's in the field of your major really doesn't matter; you just feel lucky to be employed.

But suddenly, you're aware of just how young you are when you realize the coworker who is closest in age to you is almost 30.

This results in awkward small talk, where coworkers bring up their husband or kids, and you attempt to bond by telling a joke about how bad your drunchies get when you go out.

Then, a dozen people ask you what "drunchies" even means...

2. Sleep and Netflix are you new (old) best friends.

Crawling into bed before 11 pm and curling up with your laptop to catch an episode or two of “Friends” before passing out is now the ideal end to every weeknight.

So long, Thirsty Thursdays. Hello, full sleep cycle.

3. All your friends are posting engagement announcements on Facebook while you’re just trying to find a decent match on Tinder who doesn't seem like a total freak.

You're torn between wanting to have a devoted, loving significant other and wanting to do what you want all the time.

Enjoy being single. Despite what you think, you're not that old and you really do have the rest of your life to settle down.

4. Your wardrobe consists of very few work-appropriate items.

Because college-aged you didn't realize buying 20 crop tops wasn't a sound investment for your future office-job attire.

5. Making friends is suddenly awkward and hard.

Friends were so abundant and plentiful in college that you probably thought it was hilarious to chant “no new friends!” and laugh because who wants new friends? Post-college you do, that's who.

Most of your friends are probably hundreds of miles away by now, which means you actually have to go out of your way to socialize and make friends where you're living, which is awkward and weird. But, hey, at least you're trying.

6. You get excited about splurging on home decor items.

Ikea is now the adult version of Disney World to you. You never knew there were so many cute bookshelves, storage units and random pieces of artwork with which you could decorate your first apartment.

Now, you save up to get that nightstand or mirror you eyed in the latest catalog instead of buying racks of beer every night.

The teenage you would be ashamed, but who cares? You want your new place to look nice and feel like home.

7. When your coworkers talk about their 401(k)s, you pretend you know what a 401(k) is.

You think you have one, too? Your best guess is that it's some sort of savings plan that eventually will reach $401,000? But, you're not really sure.

8. Looking at the total amount you owe in student loans makes you want to cry, but making the monthly payments on time feels good.

Nothing prepares you for the email that says it's time to start paying back your student loans.

If you're like me, seeing the total amount for the first time and how much interest you'll be paying will make you want to cry and curse younger you for picking such an expensive school.

But, when you finally do make your first payment, you'll realize how good it feels to watch those numbers diminish, even if it is by only a microscopic amount.

9. You have your very own kitchen, but only know how to cook pasta.

When did everyone else learn how to cook these magnificent meals?

The only things you have down are frozen pizza, pasta and the occasional scrambled eggs for breakfast, when you're feeling fancy.

10. You're being paid more money than ever before, but still have a savings account with a grand total of $0.

Budgeting is a hilarious concept you can't seem to master. Even though it feels like you're making incredible amounts of money at first, you'll realize how expensive being an adult really is.

Reality sucks, but nothing beats how it feels to be financially independent when so many of your friends still rely on Mommy and Daddy to pay their bills.

11. You miss college but refuse to frequent college bars or your old campus and be “that” person.

College was the sh*t. If you were lucky, you didn't have to worry about bills, rent, work or any real-life problems.

It's easy to feel nostalgic for the days you spent living next door to all your best friends and having a party to go to every night, but you know there are even better things ahead.

And, the last thing you want is to be “that” post-grad who still parties on campus every weekend trying to relive the glory days.

12. You're finally independent and living on your own, but still call your mom to ask how to get stains out of your clothes and various other pressing life questions.

Because let's face it: There's a bunch of stuff you still have no idea how to do and even though you now call yourself an adult, you know you'd be lost without your mom’s sage advice and guidance.

13. You suffer from daily panic attacks about everyone else having their sh*t together, but really no one actually does.

Seriously. No one knows what to do, where to go or how to get there. Everyone's just pretending. So, don't waste your time or energy comparing yourself to other people.

Instead, enjoy this awkward transitional phase, and revel in the fact that you haven't yet fully succumbed to adulthood.