‘Congratulations on your engagement!’ ‘Wow, I can’t believe they’re pregnant. I’m so happy for them.’ ‘Wait what?! They got married?’ ‘When are you going to settle down?’ ‘When do you plan on moving out?’
This a representation of life in your mid-20’s. Society expects us to have our lives figured out. Everyone thinks we should have completed our education, be successfully working within our chosen careers, and be preparing for marriage. The truth is most of us still have no idea what we’re doing.
At what point did society decide it won’t judge us for being young parents, but instead we’ll be judged for not being in long-term relationships and for not working towards building a family? I can’t be the only one who is confused.
At what point did society decide that our degrees and education that it forced us to pursue would become meaningless and now it expects us to have an abundance of “experience” before we can attain a job of our choosing? Am I still the only one who is confused about when this happened?
At what point did society decide it is okay to judge individuals who live with their parents past the age of 25? Should I apologise that I can’t afford my own house or flat if I don’t earn more than the minimum wage, because I spent the last few years trying to become more educated, instead of working and gaining precious “experience”? (See how ridiculous that sounds.)
Is there is a set of rules and regulations I didn’t know about that dictate how to live in our 20’s? Are there laws and policies, in regard to when people should get married, want to be in a relationship, have children, stop pursuing education, start working a 9-5 job? If there are, someone obviously did not tell me about them.
At this point I think everyone entering their mid-20’s should be given a warning message along the lines of ‘Congratulations! You are officially entering the strangest phase of your life. You are free to do whatever you want, but as long as it fits within what the rest of society wants you to do.’ This is why, I like to call this stage in life ‘the mid-20’s crisis’.
It’s the time in your 20’s when you are trying to get your life together. You want to do things your own way and live for yourself, but you know that your family, friends and society all have a different agenda for you. Sometimes, you take their suggestions on board, but sometimes, you want to do things for yourself and by yourself. People close to you may try and tell you what they want you to do because they “care” or they “don’t want you to make the same mistakes” that they did. Guess what? If you never make any of your own mistakes or go through your own struggles, how will you truly learn the life lessons you need to keep moving forward and growing?
So, for the people who feel like they’re experiencing ‘the mid-20’s crisis’ or they’re about to, just know that you aren’t going through this phase alone. Please know that there are no rights or wrongs about the timings of which you choose to do things. At the end of the day, it is your life to live and no one else’s. It doesn’t matter if your path is different to someone else’s, because I guarantee that your destination is different to theirs. Life is too short to live to make others happy. Put yourself first and do what you feel you need to do.