Why It's Okay To Embrace Your Youth In Your 20s

by Samantha

Nobody likes you when you’re 23. Yikes. I’m not 23 yet, but Blink-182’s song still resonated with me when I listened to it for the first time in months the other day. Why does no one like us when we’re 23? Does this mean that people will like you when you’re 22 or 24? What is the big deal about this age that Blink had to write a whole song about it, and why have I never questioned this before?

I guess it made me realize that, even as a college student, I’m still a kid and not fully part of the real world. Sure, I can vote, I can work and pay taxes, and I can go to a real jail for doing stupid things. I can be held accountable for my actions. But, here’s the kicker: I can do those stupid things and a lot of people will say “she’s still learning” or my favorite line, “that’s what college is all about; it’s a learning experience.”

Why do people seem to look the other way when college students do dumb sh*t? Well, I don’t really have a good answer for that because I’m still in college, and I’m still learning. But I have to say that I think it’s great. This idea from society that college students are allowed to be complete assh*les is awesome. I fear the day I leave school and turn 23 and nobody thinks the ridiculous things I do are funny.

Mark Hoppus wrote some great lines that really depict the struggles of an immature 23-year-old. At 23, you’re still amused by television shows and prank phone calls, but according to Hoppus, that is frowned upon and is meant for your freshman year of college.

Why? Because it’s college and college students are still learning. He got it right at the end, though, when he said: “no one should take themselves so seriously with many years ahead to fall in line.” After college, you’re expected to behave and conduct yourself in a manner that is professional and respectable.

“What’s My Age Again” was released in 1999, and 14 years later, it still applies to adulthood. The young adults of that time have grown up and probably (hopefully) matured, but I bet they took their time after listening to this song. I’m not saying all of this to condone lazy behavior or reckless activities that put you or others in harm’s way; I just want the people of Gen-Y to understand that we tend to grow up pretty fast, and so we need to slow it down while we can and have some fun.

I’m a college student, and I’ve had jobs, internships and a lot of responsibility, and I can name thirty other people off the top of my head that are in the same boat as me, some with even more responsibility than I have. Sure, we’re not adolescents anymore, but we still have our youth. I mentioned earlier that I fear the day I leave school and any immature habits I have are no longer acceptable. That scares me, but I still want to graduate and get a job; I just don’t want to miss out on this time to make mistakes.

Don’t let growing up scare you, but do take your time. You have the rest of your life to act like an adult, so why start before you have to? It’s good to be proactive to get ahead so that you can get a good job, especially with today’s economy and job market (thanks Gen X and Baby Boomers).  But, what if you’ve been so focused on getting a good job immediately that you haven’t had the chance to find the right career?

Well, if you only want a job, then you need to have as much fun as possible in your youth because that job is going to be a source of misery in your life for a while. If you want a career, you still need to have a lot of fun and try all sorts of new and different things while you’re young so that you can figure out which profession will make you happy.

In “The Breakfast Club,” Allison says: “When you grow up, your heart dies.” Don’t worry, your heart doesn’t actually die, but you also definitely do not have the same time, energy and audacity to do certain things that you would if you weren’t an adult. Don’t be lazy, but don’t overwork yourself, either. Use your time, energy and audacity wisely to make the most of this period in your life.

Top Photo Courtesy: Tumblr