I'm Delighted to Inform You That These 25 Myths About Turning 25 Just Aren't True
What's with all the pressure around turning 25, anyways? I'm about to celebrate my 25th birthday, and I can't help but think (and laugh) about where I thought I'd be by this age. Married with kids? Yeah, right. When you're younger, 25 sounds so much older than what it actually is. Sure, I'm 25 — technically I can rent a car now, and supposedly my brain is fully developed — but I'm still allowed to be lost and make mistakes. No, I'm not in a serious relationship (sorry, Grandma), but I've been in enough to understand that you need to wholeheartedly love yourself first. I may not own a home or even rent an apartment that's picturesque, but I moved across the country for a cool job that I love. There's still a lot I have left to accomplish in my life, but for the 25 years I've had, I'd say I'm doing pretty well. Our world puts so much pressure on 25, and if I actually listened to it, I'd be a mess.
Truth is, I'm going into 25 with no regrets. I'll probably celebrate with one too many drinks, you know, for a 25-year-old. Maybe I'll even text my ex to throw off my mid-20s maturity. The point is that, yes, 25 is a meaningful age as with any year around the sun. It's important to have goals and be a reasonably responsible human being, but if you feel "off track," it's because you're human, and tracks aren't a real thing. Embrace who you are and how you're feeling, and if you want to accomplish a goal, go after it, but do it for you, not because you're 25 and feel like you should. We're all where we're supposed to be, and turning a year older doesn't change that. If you're with me, keep reading for all the myths about turning 25.
You Should Own a Home
Yes, there's definitely 25-year-olds that own homes, and I'm by no means shaming them. Owning a home is awesome, but there's no pressure to own one at 25. Homes are permanent, and if you're unsure of your future, why do it? And if you can't afford one at 25, you are absolutely not alone!
You Should Be in a Serious Relationship
Finding the love of your life is great, but 25 is young, and you've probably lost and found yourself a million times up until this point. Being single is OK. Being in a relationship is OK. The most important thing is to never settle for anything less than you deserve!
You're Too Old to Get Drunk
I think a pet peeve of mine is when 25-year-olds say they're too old for anything. Let's talk in 25 years when your back hurts for no reason and you have to wear reading glasses to see your phone. Twenty-five is not too old, and while no one at any age should drink irresponsibly, I promise there will be nights where you've had too much to drink. The world will not end because it happened, either.
You're Running Out of Time
No, you're not. You're three years out of college, and good things take time, no matter what it is.
You're Too Old to Mess Up
Ah, again with the "too old" remark. The truth is, you're going to make tons of mistakes in your life, and if you think they'll magically stop at 25, you have another thing coming.
You Should Have Your Dream Job
I hope you have a job that you love, but if you don't, there's no need to panic. There's plenty of time to find a career you enjoy, and it doesn't even have to be in your 20s.
You Should Be Well Traveled
This is definitely a goal of mine, as I think it's important for everyone to explore and see the world. However, unless you studied abroad in college, took a gap year, joined the Peace Corps, or were lucky enough to grow up in a well-traveled family, it's OK to not have visited every continent under the sun. There's plenty of time.
You Should Act Like an Adult
I'm sorry, but what does this even mean? Yes, you should be mature, respectful, and responsible, but there are plenty of adults who act young, and I like them even more for it.
You Should Be a Morning Person
Don't be fooled: morning people make up for about 2 percent of anyone I've ever met. It's not that you're ever a "real" morning person, you just learn to act like one to be a part of the working world. The key is to sleep in on the weekends, or at least, that's how I get by.
You Should Be Financially Stable
This is nearly impossible when you're only a few years into your career and have four years of college debt to pay off. It's definitely a goal to work towards, don't get me wrong, but if you're not there, that's totally OK.
You Should Eat a Balanced Diet
Again, this is one of those things where I think "shouldn't everyone be doing this?" Either way, yes, you should eat a balanced diet, but it's also understandable if you get takeout one too many times a week — we're busy!
You Should Have It All Figured Out
Sorry to my 10-year-old self that thought this, but no one has it "all figured out." Even when we reach our goals, we tack more on. It's a way of life. What's important is to always appreciate where you're at — there's beauty in everything, even the hardest times.
You Should Have Your Own Phone Plan
No. Nope. Not a chance. Not happening. I support myself in every other way, so maybe at 26, I'll cut the cord.
You Should Know Your Cocktails
I know what a vodka soda is . . . does that count?
You Should Get 8 Hours of Sleep Every Night
I can definitely confirm that this is important, and when I do sleep eight hours, I feel amazing. But a full night's rest isn't attainable for everyone, especially if you're working eight hours a day, exercising, and Zooming all your friends for happy hour.
You Should Have a College Degree
Many people don't take the college route, and there is nothing wrong with that! I used to believe if I didn't go to school, I'd never get a good-paying job, and that's just not the case.
You Should Be Debt-Free
This is laughable, but I genuinely used to think I'd be debt-free by 25. I was very wrong. If there's any solace to this, it's that most people have some sort of debt, so if you're like me and do, you're not alone.
You Should Be Fearless
Some things are just plain scary, like making doctors appointments or traveling by yourself, but that's just a part of it. It's OK to be uncomfortable and to be afraid, because that's when we learn the most.
You Should Be Level-Headed
Levelheaded to one is not levelheaded to another. Yes, you should think through decisions, but it's OK to consciously make illogical ones, too — even at 25. Sometimes irrational choices are the most fun (and make the best memories).
You Should Know If You Want Kids
Sometimes you know, sometimes you have no freaking clue. Kids are cute, but freedom tastes sweet. When the time is right, your gut will tell you what's best for you. Until then, don't sweat it.
You Should Love the Way You Look
This is a benchmark I definitely struggle with. I'm all about body confidence and loving the skin you're in, but I'd be lying if I said there weren't days I felt just plain ick. It doesn't mean something is wrong with me, but let's humanize the fact that confidence is not an everyday thing; it's more like a most-of-the-time kinda thing, you know? You have to work at it, but it's worth it because you deserve it. There's only one you!
You Should Be Wise
The definition of wise is "having or showing experience, knowledge, and good judgment," which is sort of hard to do with only seven years of experience as a legal adult.
You Should Have a 5-Year Plan
No matter how carefully you plan, the future most likely won't turn out exactly how you thought it would. Setting goals is healthy, but too many unexpected things can happen (like a pandemic) that'll throw you off course. It's best to take the days as they come, as the only guaranteed time you have is the present.
You Should Have a Chunk of Savings
It'd be silly of me to sit here and tell you not to have a savings. If you can, go for it! But the reality is that most Americans live paycheck to paycheck, so if your savings isn't huge, you're not alone. And no, 25 isn't "too old" to start.
You Should Be Fulfilled
At 25 years old, contrary to what a younger version of myself may have thought, it's human to not be fulfilled with where you're at in life. Maybe your job's not up to par, or you wish you had a partner. That's all normal. The good news is that those small things can (and will) change. Don't blame it on your age. Instead, identify what's missing, and go after it!