I, along with basically every one else, spent all of my time before turning 21 waiting to turn 21. I had a fall birthday and was one of the last of my friends to turn 21. I freaked out every time I had to use my fake ID, wishing for the day to come when I would be able to breeze by bouncers without being asked what my address is or what my hometown mascot was. And when my friends went to fun bars that we knew would NEVER accept fake IDs, I sulked at home by myself.
Before I knew it, I was finally 21 and months after that, I was graduating college. After graduation, I constantly sulked about how “old” I was. But wait. I had just spent YEARS waiting to become this age, so what was I complaining about it?!
Soon enough, I turned 24, which to me was old as F*CK. I claimed I was no longer in my “early 20s” and cringed at how old I was becoming.
Then let’s not forget what happened when I turned 25. TWENTY-FIVE. I AM SO OLD NOW, I thought to myself as I debated whether or not I even wanted to celebrate this milestone.
And then I became 26. And now all of my friends are turning 27, some even turning 28. That is the epitome of late 20s. When did we become elderly? I ask myself constantly.
Last weekend, I was out at a bar. Per usual, everyone around me was talking about how OLD we were and how everyone else at the bar was so YOUNG. Then, I go up to the bar to order a drink and I overheard some girl say to her friend “Everyone here is 21. We are so old.” I did a double take and thought to myself, “that girl looks 21.” But apparently she wasn’t. And then it hit me — we are so damn paranoid about how old we are compared to everyone else that EVERYONE (except for the recently turned 21 year olds, but they probably do too since their younger illegal years are over) thinks they are old.
And NEWSFLASH my friends — We are not old. At all. And even if we were (aka 70 year olds at the bar doing shots), WHO CARES?
Night life is not just for people who are between the ages of 21 and 25. Sure there are places that might have a “younger vibe,” but that doesn’t mean you are forbidden from going to those places if you are no longer in your early 20s.
You’re getting older. You’re not old.
Sure, you might not go out as much as you did when you were younger, but you don’t have to stop going out and socializing all together because you think “you’re old.” As I said above, you’re getting older. But that doesn’t make you old.
Stop worrying about how old everyone around you is at the bar, in the office, on blind dates, or at networking events! Forget about your age and do what you want to do. If you want to go out, go out. If you want to celebrate your birthday, celebrate your birthday. If you want to get turnt an EDM show, get turnt. If you want to go back to school, go back to school.
Think of it this way. Twenty-five is the BEGINNING of the quarter-life-crisis. After that, you have THREE QUARTERS left. This is just the beginning.
So stop rushing through life and wishing it away. Don’t spend your teenage years drinking and your college life dabbling in bars if you’re going to be SO TOTALLY OVER IT by the time you turn 21. Don’t spend your early 20s and mid 20s avoiding bars where “21 year olds might be.” Don’t spend your mid 20s and your late 20s freaking about finding “the one” and settling down because you’re almost 30. What’s the point of rushing it? Why not enjoy life and let it take it’s course?
You’re young until you decide you’re not. So stop wasting your time talking and thinking about how OLD you are. When you’re actually old, you’ll look back on this time laughing at yourself.
I don’t care if The Fresh Prince came out 25 years ago and if this year’s high school freshman class is going to graduate college in 2022. THAT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO STOP LIVING LIFE AND BECOME GRANDMA NETFLIX. Get over the fact that there are going to be younger people at the bar and in the office. To the near-retirees, you are young as f*ck too. Grab a glass of wine or a fancy craft beer and EMBRACE IT.
As Jay-Z and my website said, you’re forever young. Stop pretending you’re not.