A wise friend of mine once told me that being in your twenty’s is like riding a seahorse on the merry-go-round – you have highs and lows but you always even out. As twentysomethings there’s lots to love about our lives: adventure, freedom and free food just to name a few. But there are also things we don’t love so much, like bills and student loan debt.
To help you feel not as alone in your 20-something journey, we’ve compiled a list of the top seven things we LOVE about being in our twenties and five things that are a part of our young lives that we could really do without.
7 Things we absolutely love about being in our 20’S:
7) Eating and drinking for free-Want to see a twentysomething smile from ear to ear? Give them free food and drinks. To a struggling twentysomething, especially one just out of college or in grad school, going out to an event that provides free food and drinks is like a kid in a candy store. Even if you have plenty of money to buy your own food there’s just something exhilarating about eating for free and having someone else do the dishes.
For some reason, when you’re in your twenties people love feeding you for free. It’s like an easy form of charity for a lot of people. And, as a twentysomething there’s no shame in accepting free food. In fact, we have a standing rule that we will never turn down free food. Ever.
A few great places to get free food include networking events, your parents house and art gallery openings.
6) Being entrepreneurs- Easy access to the web and global connection of people has allowed 20-somethings with great ideas to turn their visions into thriving businesses. It’s liberating being able to call yourself a boss all while having full control over the direction your business goes. What’s really great is that you don’t need much money to get your business idea up and running. Our generation has really taken hold of the idea of being entrepreneurs and there are more twenty-something innovators than ever before!
5) Getting to spend our money how we want- You’ve graduated college and gotten some sort of job. It may not be your dream job, but you have a little bit of extra cash now and then. It’s very exciting to get to spend this money whenever and however you want. Sometimes you just want a $5 scoop of gourmet ice cream and now you finally have the money to indulge yourself.
While our generation may not worship the all mighty dollar as much as previous generations, we do enjoy living comfortably and spending money as we see fit.
4) Volunteering- A good cause is worth fighting for and donating your time to your community can go a long way in making the world a better place, so why wouldn’t we volunteer? With so many great programs in place from state to state and no more long night writing term papers you’re finally in a position where you can spare a few hours every few months helping local kids. Heck, you can even take off for a whole year doing relief work with the likes of Americorps if you really want.
If you love the idea of volunteering, but haven’t found a project you’re passionate about go to Volunteer America at http://www.voa.org
3) Backpacking across Europe- It’s super cliche but for good reason. Culture, historical architecture, foreign languages, amazing food. What’s not to love? In addition to its historical relevance, Europe has a great international train line and is littered with hostels and is filled with more adventures than a twentysomething can handle. Even if you were born in Europe you could still visit 10 countries every year, for ten years before you where done. Go Europe!
2) Having a great story to tell-We all have crazy stories from our college days or from when we were younger and trying to figure it all out. Our stores may be funny, exciting, sad or a journey of triumph, but having a great story to tell and sharing it with others is part of why we love being twenty-somethings. You may end up sharing the same story over and over again for a whole year, but a great story from a telling experience or spontaneous trip can bring about new life, not only in others, but in yourself to keep doing amazing things.
1) Opening your mail box to no bills-Remember being 10 years old and being excited to get something in the mail? Yea, neither do we. The mailbox these days is forever filled with bills your forgot were coming, obnoxious insurance offers and weekly ads to stores you never shop. And that doesn’t even include the crap you get in your email. That’s why at any given time you walk past a smiling 20-something you can bet they started the day with an empty mailbox.
5 things we don’t like about being in our twenty’s:
5) Realizing we are turning into our parents-We can be different from our parents in 99 out of 100 ways, but it’s that one thing that we realize we do just like our parents that scares us. We feel like we’re losing a little bit of ourselves and picking up the habits of our parents…scary. Thankfully our generation has new ideas and we live our lives in a much different way than our parents. Besides, our music is waaayyyyyy better.
4) Missing out on new adventures- Between work, family and other daily responsibilities it can be tough getting to sneak in an adventure here or there. But when getting away from it all is the best cure, you must treat yourself. Start of with something small like going to the local lake for a few hours and work your way up to weekend getaways to the ski slopes. Before you know it you’ll be doing cool things like this.
3) Your roommate- At first your roommate was funny, clean and great to spend time with. Now your roommate smells gross, brings over weird people and has developed a weird love for watching Richard Simmons videos online. Good thing they pay rent on time or they’d have been kicked to the street corner long ago.
2) Student Loans– Student loans are like a party guest that doesn’t get the hint that they are staying over way to long. You got the education in four years but spend the next ten (or thirty) years paying it back. It’s a feeling that’s shared across the world, so you are not alone. We know where you are coming from and we even created a video about how we have overcome our loans in a way that lets us still have adventures. You can watch it here.
1) Going on crazy dates, with crazy people-This is literally the worst thing about being in your 20’s. Unlike when you were a teenager, going on awkward dates does not feel normal for your age. Between unwanted first date confessions and crazy exes, nothing is as unneeded as a crazy date with a crazy person. “You say you like to draw sketches of all of your dates and hang them together all on the same wall in your basement. Oh, and you’d like a loc of my hair before the night is up. Hmmm. CHECK PLEASE!” On the up side you will forever have a great story to tell.
Our list isn’t all encompassing of what we love and hate about being in our 20s, so we’d love to hear what makes your list. Comment below to share what you like and don’t like about being a twentysomething.