7 Unexpected Things That Can Happen In Your 20s That You Shouldn't Let Dictate Your Future

One lesson that I've learned time and time again in my 20s is this: You can't plan out your entire future. You can write down dreams and goals that you would like to manifest in the next few months, or even years. You can take all the necessary steps to make them happen, like moving to a city where there's more opportunity for you, going to grad school, or being more open-minded when it comes to your relationships. But, you can't expect things to go 100 percent according to plan. That's OK! In fact, the unexpected things that can happen in your 20s can be really beautiful and exciting in their own way.

They can bring new friends into your life who truly understand your deep love for strawberry ice cream and the Fabulous Five from Queer Eye. They can introduce you to new career paths, passions, and interests that you never thought of before — ones that set your soul on fire and give you thoughts like, "I'm really into fashion design! Who knew?" They can also lead you to more questions, answers, and cozy nights on the couch with your siblings. (Sweet!)

So, are you ready to hear me out on this one? I sure hope so. After all, your #bestlife is waiting for you on the other side of these seven unexpected things. Just promise me that you won't let them totally dictate your future, decisions, or dreams, OK? *Extends pinky finger through the screen.*

1. Time Starts Going By Fast

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I don't know why exactly, but in your 20s, time starts going by really fast. One day, you're hanging out in your college dorm room, complaining about the projects you have due that week. The next day, it's your 25th birthday and your friends are reminding you that you're a quarter-of-a-century years old.

Um, when did that happen? Your mind is blown, and you start feeling like you don't have time to live all your dreams. Spoiler alert: You do. You don't have to rush through the moments and memories you're experiencing right now, or reimagine your future. Everything is happening if and when it's supposed to.

2. Someone Close To You Really Disappoints You

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In your 20s, the people who are close to you start to show their true colors. They may prove that they're not very flexible and understanding when you have to cancel on a coffee date, because something came up at work. They also may not have your back or support you the way that you thought they would.

It's really disappointing, but it's also an opportunity for you to figure out what you need and want out of your friendships and relationships. It's a chance to specifically choose who you want to surround yourself with, and ditch what wastes your time and energy. Phew!

3. You Might Not See Or Talk To Your Siblings As Much

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As you get older, you may notice that you might not see or talk to your siblings as much. They're busy with assignments and fun extracurricular activities, or still living at home. And you're crushin' it at work and moving into an apartment on the West Coast. It's inevitable that you don't hang out on the reg.

That doesn't mean, though, that you're not all there for each other. In fact, you could call or text your younger sister at any time, and she'd have a heart-to-heart with you. She'd catch you up on the latest things going on in her life, and ask to borrow your trendy clothes. (You see, some things never change.)

4. You Becomes Less Spontaneous And Adventurous

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I never expected it to happen, but I think I've become less spontaneous and adventurous. Sure, I still love traveling and taking long flights to the other side of the world. But, I'm less keen on going without somewhat of a solid game plan. I like staying in on Saturday nights instead of going to the new bars, and planning relaxing and Instagram-worthy vacations instead of backpacking trips. One day, you might feel the same way.

That's so normal and OK. Just don't let this feeling keep you from trying new things once in a while, or enjoying how you choose to live your life. Got it? Good.

5. You Lose Touch With A Close Friend

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Back in kindergarten, you and your best friend swore that you'd be in each other's live for, well, forever. You sealed the deal with matching bracelets, and to this day, you're still super close. But down the road, when you're both following your individual dreams and goals, you may naturally lose touch. You may start scheduling weekly phone calls and lunch dates, and start canceling those, too.

It happens, and doesn't necessarily mean you won't find your way back to each other. It just means that, in that moment, you're making new friends who make you laugh and lift you up just the same.

6. You Can't Find A Job Opportunity In Your Field

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The semester I graduated college, I assumed that I would walk into a job in my field. I thought, "I almost have a degree! Someone's definitely going to hire me." But, the unexpected happened, and a few days after I tossed my cap, I went back to my retail position.

I didn't know that those opportunities that I dreamed about weren't guaranteed — at least, not right away. So, I'm here to give you the 411, so that you know how to handle your future.

I'm here to tell you that not getting your dream job gives you the opportunity to explore your industry and other career paths. It's OK to change your interests and passions, too.

7. Living Your Best Life Gets Expensive AF

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Last but not least, life can get expensive AF. Especially once you get into your 20s and are possibly living on your own, the bills can rack up fast. You start writing out checks for rent and wondering if you really need cable. (The money you would save would pay for that trip you want to go on. Ugh!)

It may be to let your finances dictate your future, but you shouldn't. Instead, you should find ways to be resourceful and smart with your paychecks, and still treat yourself to the little things you enjoy.

Put coins in a jar, take advantage of your credit card points, and invest in your career. Those actions and decisions will likely take you farther than you ever thought possible.