Inspired by the Freshly Pressed post: 10 Things Nobody Warned Me about my Twenties | Doctor Quack, I’ve decided to compile my own list of things nobody warned me about before I hit my twenties. As Doctor Quack said, I am “projecting my personal experiences onto my fellow twenty-something friends and colleagues who are themselves possibly struggling with the same things I struggle with.”
I was sort of planning a post along these lines anyway, so here goes…
My body hasn’t stopped changing: - When you hit your teens, there’s a whole league of people offering you advice on how to deal with the changes to your body. This is right and proper, as your teenage years are a time of major growth and change. However, the impression that I got from all these people when I was younger was that once you’d gone through puberty and all those hormonal teenage moods, your body would settle down a bit and further changes would be slow.
This may just have been a mis-comprehension my part, but I feel like my body hasn’t slowed down its rate of change that much. Ok, so I’m not getting any taller – but my body and the way I see it has changed a lot over the past 9 years. I’m older, thinner (well, a bit) and, despite the differences, more comfortable in my skin than before.
I can’t handle my alcohol:- I used to drink much more than I can these days. I just can’t do it now (trust me, I’ve tried). Not that I am tee-total by any means, it’s just that it now takes an entire day to recover, and that’s time I could be putting to better use. Which is a shame – I have far fewer entertaining drunken stories to tell.
My friendship group is more diverse: - When you’re at school, you mostly hang out with your school friends. When you’re at uni, you have home friends and uni friends. I used to have a few core groups of around the same age that I’d see regularly. These days I am lucky to say that I’ve got a lot of friends from many areas of life; work friends, old school friends, friends I’ve met through organising different stuff, friends of my husband and more. This is great, and as I said, I am lucky to have such lovely people in my life. The one drawback is this: it’s much harder to get together with friends – we’ve all got stuff going on, so pinning down dates to catch up with everyone can be very tricky. Especially considering my next point….
My friends have kids now: - Again, this is a lovely thing, but an odd one to get used to. A lot of my friends who are the same age as me have children now, so they have to do things like ‘take responsibility for them’ and ‘make sure they’re alright’… which means they don’t get to come out and play as often.
When I do get to spend time with them, it’s in a different way to when we were younger – we spend more time at people’s houses and in cafés, not pubs or clubs, and the conversations have changed too.
Time goes faster, and there seems to be less of it: - Even with long drawn-out days at work, the weeks just seem to whizz by. Time seems to be slipping away much too quickly for my liking, and it’s getting faster too! Suddenly, time management seems much more important.
You concentrate more on the important stuff: - These past few years I’ve really come to appreciate my family and friends more. They are what’s important, and I hope I manage to show them how much I care.
And things that used to bother me, like what other people think of me, or whether I ‘fit in’ doesn’t worry hardly at all – as long as I can make time for family, friends, pets, and music, I’m happy. That’s not to say that I don’t ever sweat the small stuff, but I know what’s important and when trival things are getting me down, that’s what I concentrate on.
They say that school days are the best of your life, but they’re wrong! Despite some of the negatives I’ve reflected upon in this post, my twenties have been great. And who knows, my thirties might turn out to be even better…