4 min read
The Appeal of The 20s

After turning 21 just recently, I am now in my early 20s and have been told to expect significant change and transition. I am beginning to experience these things in small doses. As I am about to finish university, I am faced with figuring out what comes next. It's been a time of uncertainty, but I've been choosing to be positive and see it as an opportunity; sadly, things are easier said than done.

Many people believe that a person's 20s are their best years. At this stage in life, between childhood and adulthood, anything is possible. You have unlimited energy, drive, and excitement, and the world is at your reach. They say your 20s are your golden years, your selfish years, your prime time, the time we should discover ourselves, it’s even now an aesthetic trending all over social media. It also seems to be feminine centered.

 I turned 21 recently, and I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it. I'm happy and appreciative and cautiously optimistic, but I have to admit that I'm also nervous and worried.

The independence that comes with becoming adulthood is a major attraction for many people. Since you are either about to or have recently graduated from university, you are no longer bound by the regulations imposed on you by your parents or your educational institution.You are free to act independently, take calculated chances, and pursue exciting opportunities that interest you.

Another appeal of this age is the social life that comes with it. People who are in their twenties and who share your interests are everywhere, making it easy to make friends and connections that will last a lifetime.

In your twenties, you have the freedom to try out new things, from hobbies to careers. If you are financially stable, you can finally take that trip, enrol in that university abroad, launch that business, or follow that lifelong dream of yours. Now is the time to try new things and make mistakes without suffering severe consequences.

Moreover, your 20s are a time when you are at your physical peak. You have more energy, stamina, and vitality than you will ever have in your life. You can indulge in physical activities such as sports, dancing, or clubbing without worrying about injuries or fatigue. This part I really can’t vouch for because sometimes I wake up with back pain, neck pain, and other body pains. I sometimes feel like my 90-year-old grandma, who I’m very sure is stronger than me. 

While the one's 20s are often considered the prime years of one's life, they are also a time of significant challenges and struggles. It is a time when everything seems possible but also overwhelming.

Everyone always  seems to talk about how your 20s is going to be the most amazing years of your life and I’m not doubting it, but for now I’m not exactly seeing it. Even when you type on Pinterest ‘early 20s aesthetic’ or ‘20s aesthetic’ it’s mostly girls in beautiful outfits, taking pictures, taking trips, living in luxury and I’m just like are we all experiencing the same 20s.

After asking around and just studying everything and everyone to be honest, here are a few things I can pinpoint as the challenges that comes with being in the 20s

Financial instability: Many people in their 20s are just starting out in their careers and may not have a stable income. I've been living my life through my parents sending me an allowance and any other small change I make. I’m honestly quite privileged, so I’ve never been in a situation where I lacked; however, I just always tend to think about how I can make money. Thoughts like this can be very annoying. Luckily, on this side of the world, 20-year-olds don’t have to have moved out of their parents house, so I’m still living with my parents, and they pay most of my bills. Sadly, I can’t stay with them forever, and all these thoughts just tend to lead to financial stress and anxiety.

Career uncertainty: One’s 20s are a time when many people are still figuring out what they want to do with their lives. They may be unsure of their career path or have difficulty finding a job that aligns with their interests and passions. I’m currently pursuing an economics degree, and I highly doubt my passion lies in it. Sure, I may use it for a bit, but any moment I get an opportunity not to use it, I’ll take it. I’ve never really known what I wanted to do; I’ve done research and just liked something because it seemed fun or it'd get me a huge payday, but I’ve never really had a certain career path, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Relationship struggles: The 20s can be a time of intense romantic relationships, but they can also be challenging. People may struggle to find the right partner or experience heartbreak and disappointment. The streets are messy, and getting to know people is very annoying sometimes. You don't want to navigate your twenties on your own, so if you're not good at romantic relationships, you're on your own. The feelings of having a partner and having friends are different, and one shouldn’t be substituted for the other. Some experiences will make you feel stupid, and you may have avoided them if you just stayed in your house or didn’t text that idiot.

Identity crisis: Your 20s are a time when many people are still figuring out who they are and what they want out of life. They may feel pressure to conform to societal norms or struggle with their identity and sense of self. I cannot count the number of times I have seen things on either Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube about rebranding yourself. I feel like everyone constantly has an identity crisis when something major goes down in their lives. Let’s take the pandemic as an example. A lot of people went through some emotions they'd never felt before, me included, and I just have a feeling that this isn’t going to stop. I think I have had an identity crisis at least twice every quarter of a year, and apparently word on the street says it doesn’t get any better.

Mental health issues: In recent times, people have become more aware of mental health issues and how it impact our day-to-day lives. Our 20s seem to be a time when many people experience mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress. I'm sure everyone at least knows one person who is going through any of these things. This can be due to the pressures of transitioning into adulthood, financial stress, relationship struggles, and other challenges. As much as I’m happy that people are now much more aware of their mental health, it also scares me that these feelings will continue to recur throughout our lives, especially at this point.

So what exactly brought about the glamorization of being 20 or something? After the extensive research I’ve done, it’s not looking as amazing as I thought. The 20s seem to be the year where you begin to question everything, from yourself down to the people around you and the things happening in your life; social media doesn’t make it any better. While our 20s can be an exciting time full of possibilities, they can also be challenging. I feel it is important to recognise these challenges and seek support when needed, whether it be from friends, family, or mental health professionals.

Another thing we should also put into consideration is if your 20s don’t work they’re still your 30s. Being 30 is in school isn’t the end of the world I mean my mom is about 50 and she still chasing her ambitions so want stops you at 30? Growing up I used to think that if you don’t have your life together at 30, you’re a failure and this is due to the kind of media I used to consume. Now I’m older and more intentional about what I put into my head I’ve seen that there are still people living your lives in your 30s and doing pretty well for themselves. One might say 20 to 30 is about a 10 year difference, you never know how short time is until you live it.

I strongly believe that with the right support and mindset, one can overcome these challenges and thrive in their 20s. I mean, some people seem to be enjoying this part of their lives, so you deserve to as well.