As 20-somethings, we are expected to ‘grow up.’ We are expected to — in ten years — graduate college, start working, move out, buy a home, find a soul mate, start a family, and pay for everything.
Umm, bull shit.
If you want to accomplish all that by the time you’re thirty — and end up doing so — good for you. But for most people, that’s not the case.
Everyone is different. And we all want different things at different times. And on our journey to success (and everyone defines success differently), we should be able to do whatever we want without having to worry about being judged. Some people choose to get married after college is over, while others don’t want to even think about it until they’re in their thirties. Some people choose to live at home and save a lot of money after college, where others spend their money on rent. Some people continue partying through their twenties (and into their thirties… and forties), while others stop going out after (or during) college.
But does the person who settles down at a young age and stops partying have a better chance of becoming more successful than the person who still goes out on a regular basis and doesn’t want to think about marriage yet? Not necessarily. In fact, each of these people are really in the same boat. It’s not like everyone who partied in high school got into mediocre or easy colleges…. And it’s not like people who slept around in college got bad grades. Our actions outside the classroom — and now the workplace — do not have to affect our success. Some people can handle it, some people can’t. And part of growing up is realizing what you as a person can handle and learning how to balance it all.
Also part of growing up is realizing that life can change in an instant. Your party hard mentality can be destroyed by a possible pregnancy. Your plan to get married at a certain age can be thrown off by a break up. Your professional goals can change due to a lay off or even you realizing you want to do something different. You never know what curve balls life is going to throw your way. And in the end, the more well-rounded you are, the better suited you will be to deal with change.
But as I said before, we’re all different. Meaning not only do we want and enjoy different things, we all deal with things differently. So basically, there’s no reason to judge someone if they’re living their life differently than you are. Who cares if someone settles down at 25 and stops going out for good? Who cares if someone who is 30, single, and still going out every weekend? As long as said person is happy and is at a place they want to be in their life, that’s all that matters.
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Nice article Sam.. thanks for talking about some serious twenty-something shit, without coming off too heavy handed. Something I think about all the time, anyways. Would be cool and inspiring to see a series of all the different ways people can find success at 20+. Certainly interesting giving how the definition of “success” at our age is far more varied than just having a job and being married to someone you don’t hate, like it used to be.
Also, maybe under the radar, but The Wonder Years always have some legit commentary on the life of a twenty-something trying to figure out what the fuck to do with their life. Sweet tunes as well. Helps me through the bull shit anyways. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jutbr7gwtZQ