My 20th birthday was one to remember. It was September of Junior year of college, the weather was still semi-nice, and we were of course in non-stop party mode. I was living in my first apartment (on campus) and all my friends were maybe a 2 or 3 minute walk away. The party I had that night was fun – from what I (don’t) remember – and many of the people there would soon become my closest friends. My life pretty much began that night. I left a world of immature-ness and began to grow up… Well, I guess if you call it growing up…
So although I’m ‘only’ 23, here are 20 things I’ve accomplished in my 20s… so far:
1. Experienced life as a single college student. I experienced my first ‘real’ break up when I was 19 and it certainly took me a while to get over the rejection. But when I did, it was smooth sailing into the world of singledom. I had recently lost weight and developed this attitude where I truly believed I was the hottest thing to walk the earth… Okay, not really… but what I did develop was confidence and this helped me to at least make out with every guy I thought was somewhat good looking (I was in college, sorry).
2. Got over someone. When you first break up with someone, you might start hooking up with other people, going on dates, and eventually stop talking about said ex… but you’re most likely still going to their Facebook profile once a day and still occasionally wondering about them. Although you would never admit this, you are most likely doing it regardless of if you want to or not. And just because you’re dating someone else, doesn’t mean you’re actually over someone else… but luckily, for me, I was able to actually get over my first real breakup and move on.
3. Moved across the country for a few months. Spring semester of Junior year I went ‘abroad’ to Los Angeles. LA is of course not actually abroad, but to an east coaster it is. I absolutely fell in love with my life out there. But from five months of living in a land of palm trees and sunshine, I learned a few things that I wanted to do the rest of my life… one of them being not live in LA permanently. Don’t get me wrong – I love sunshine and happiness. But as for the people and eventually raising a family there… not so much.
4. Figured out what I want to do after college. Thanks to a couple of amazing internships, a couple of not-so-great internships, and a class that changed my life forever (I’m exaggerating), I realized what I wanted to do after college: Write for television and/or work in entertainment news. Of course I soon realized that this couldn’t happen right after college… but for that moment (and now) both are still my goals…. with a newfound love of magazine writing thrown into the mix.
5. Fell in love. After dealing with a break up, hookups that never turned into anything, and men that I tried to be interested in but just couldn’t be – I thought I was screwed. I thought I would never find love. But then of course out of no where I met my match. He is my opposite. Like my legit opposite. I remember once when we started dating he told me he loved how I wasn’t high maintenance. If you know me, you are probably laughing because I am pretty much as high maintenance as they come… but anyway, we are somehow still together. And moving in with each other in just two months. Crazy.
6. Dealt with roommate issues. I mean, who hasn’t? When you live with other people there are bound to be issues. I’ve lived with people who hated alcohol and partying when I loved it. I’ve lived with people who started out as my friend and ended as my… well, let’s just say – not my friend. I’ve had friends who lived in packed triples with the most annoying, disrespectful people ever. And I’ve known people who lived with pigs. And yes – pigs. As in they definitely were an animal. That’s how gross the apartment was. But out of the many ‘problems’ I’ve experienced and my friends have experienced, the one where a girl decided to move out of my house out of no where and left my roommates and I to pay her rent was probably the worst. All these experiences make you a stronger person though. And it sure beats living alone… or does it?
7. Graduated college. Yes, this is an accomplishment. But since almost everyone I know also graduated from college, it doesn’t really make me feel special. Instead, it makes me upset to know that the best four years of my life are now over. Hence why I created this website. So I can whine and complain about how I am old as f*ck, have to work, and can’t black out on Wednesday anymore. I can’t believe it’s been over two years since I graduated.
8. Realized that I am not special. This obviously took me a while to come to terms with. After graduating, I thought I was going to get a job no problem. I thought I had the best cover letters and resume to ever grace any employer’s inbox. With all my ‘experience,’ I didn’t think I would have to deal with rejection… until I got rejected from about twenty jobs… and didn’t hear back from probably hundreds. I then learned that I am not special and that I was going to have to work my way up from the bottom… with a smile on my face.
9. Worked my first post-college job. After eight months, I was finally offered a real, full-time job with benefits. It was in no way what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but getting that job offer was an unreal moment. Actually knowing what interviewers will be like when they are truly interested in you – yes you – and no one else is a good thing to know. It took me a while to adjust to the ‘cube life,’ the large phone, the Outlook inbox, the ‘older’ people sitting around me, and the tiredness I would feel going into the weekend, but I did it.
10. Developed a decent savings account. I saved no money in college. It all went to cute dresses, a minimal amount of groceries (mostly hun-cal snack packs), and alcohol (captains to be exact). So when I graduated and failed to get a job, I was b-r-o-k-e. Eventually, though, after heading to the bank to open a savings account and starting a new job, I saved money. This was also due to the fact that I lived at home.
11. Lived at home. As said above, I lived at home after college. It was obviously not ideal after living ‘on my own’ for four years (let’s be serious – I didn’t have any responsibilities in college except to attend class and cheerleading practice… and I went home for months at a time), but it worked. I was back in a house with my three younger brothers, parents, and evil cat. I got used to going to the nearby gym, having people around at all times, having every single movie channel known to man, and homemade dinners not made by me. It would definitely be hard to leave.
12. Started a blog. For some reason, I’ve always wanted to start a blog, but like everything else I talk about doing, I never got around to it. Dealing with all the above ‘new things’ in my post-college life, I decided I was in the perfect position to start one. I had no idea what I wanted to talk about it, so I started off talking about my favorite songs, my ‘crazy’ nightlife, and my love of shopping. Eventually it turned into the online magazine it is today all about life after college and being in your twenties. I have multiple writers and many readers. This is probably my biggest accomplished. Definitely.
13. Was miserable at work. Most
twentysomethings people go through this. They either don’t like what they’re doing or don’t like the people you work with. Some people have horrible bosses (luckily that hasn’t happened to me) and others have mean and/or awkward co-workers. And as we all know, most people who are working their first job out of college are probably not going to enjoy what they’re doing (yet). It takes time to get what you want. And I’m happy I was miserable at my first job… because now I appreciate what I have more than ever.
14. Moved out. After a year and (almost) a half of living at home, I decided it would be a great idea to sign a lease with three other girls and move about 25 minutes down the road from my house. This was a great idea until I realized how much money I wouldn’t be saving. All ended well though because of the money I had saved while living at home and the awesome-ness of being able to have people over, go out and sleep in my bed (not someone else’s floor), and the easy access to work. Traffic sucks.
15. Payed for things. Things being rent, parking, the gym ($64 a month! way too much), gas, groceries, credit card bills, etc. I know I don’t have it as bad as other people, but having the responsibility of ‘paying for things’ is not fun… and it’s only going to get worse! Hopefully my ‘entry-level salary’ won’t be entry-level for much longer… one can dream.
16. Gave two weeks notice. After months of misery at my first post-college job, I was finally offered a new one. The position would be one I was much more interested in and I was excited for it. The only thing I wasn’t excited for was giving my two weeks. Telling a current employer that you’re leaving and that you got offered a new job is one of the hardest, most awkward things you will ever do. It’s basically you telling your job that you cheated on him/her… AKA you were looking for someone else – and found someone else – while still with that job. But now that I did it once, I could totally do it again. I just have no interest to right now. Which is good.
17. Worked a new job with a different/crazy schedule. Starting a new job was exciting, but also scary at the same time. I had to meet new people, learn new things, make new friends… It was like my first day at a new school. More like going from kindergarten to elementary school though. The hours were longer. I was expected to work after school was over. It was nuts. But I ended up getting used to it and now, I can tackle any job (not really, but you get the point).
18. Stopped drinking and going out as much. Around my 23rd birthday my friends and I stopped going out in gigantic pacts. I don’t know why, but it happened. Smaller groups going out on a much less regular basis became all the rage. And big bars downtown with dance floors and long lines became a thing of the past. Don’t get me wrong – I still go out. But my lack of money, ridiculous work schedule, and tired feeling I get every Friday night forces me to stay in like once a week… If I do go out both nights, the next weekend I have to take it easy. I’ve lost ability to drink a bottle of captain and wake up with no hangover. Those days are over.
19. Rid of stomach problems by going gluten free. This was one of the best choices I ever made. A few months ago, I became beyond sick of my stomach problems keeping me from going out, feeling okay at work, going to the gym, and drinking. I went to the doctors and found out that I was developing an allergy to gluten (which I think has already developed by now). As soon as I stopped eating gluten, all problems were thrown out the window. I feel 100 times better… and I can still eat bread. Turns out there are some really good gluten free products out there. Who knew?
20. Achieved happiness. Sure I have days where I just want to sleep, stay in, and not communicate with anyone… but in general, I’m happy. I have a job and even though I don’t make tons of money, I realize it’s a job and I’m lucky to have one. In addition to this, I have a lot of friends – from high school, college, work, and other places. I’m lucky to have so many friends and people to hang out with. I’m lucky to live near family and friends. I’m lucky to pay rent and save money at the same time. I get it. And I know there’s no reason to be totally and completely depressed right now. At all.