Things no one tells you about your early 20's!

So here’s a little confession for you all, being 23 isn't what I expected – and in all honesty it kind of sucks! I felt this niggling feeling in my stomach last year when I turned 22 and I attributed it to exam stress and uni work, but around mid-December 2014 the feeling began to return. It was only 4 weeks till my birthday, and as much as I wanted to be excited, there were just a few things I couldn't get out of my head. I've compiled a list below, so any of you in your early 20's please tell me you feel the same(!) and those of you who are still enjoying being 21 this is my way of forewarning you of things I wish others had told me about.

1. Time flies - so I know as you grow older your concept of time develops, and you can actually work out how many days are left of your 6 week summer break as opposed to when you were 8 and it felt like the new school year was months away! But nobody told me how fast it really flies. My year as a post-grad went by so quick and I blamed it on all the work and deadlines, but I've been an ex-student and full time worker for nearly 7 months now and it does not feel that long. There's never enough time at the weekend to do your errands, socialize, blog and relax - the former three normally come at the expense of the latter. And then when you do return to work on Monday, you’re wishing the days away until it’s the weekend again - please tell me there’s more to life!

2. You're an adult - well duh! I hear you say, yes I know this one is pretty obvious, but no body warned me off what this entails - and let me tell you it’s nothing like I imagined when I was 15. There are bills to pay - and lots of them (but somehow you can still justify needing unlimited minutes and the new iPhone!). You're expected to behave responsibly, and the excuse of "I didn't know any better" just doesn’t wash with anyone anymore, you no longer get Id’d in shops and if you go the Indian market you have to refer to the stall holder as “brother” rather than “uncle” or risk him being extremely offended.

3. You thought you had life all figured out and then bam! – I’ve wanted to be a lawyer ever since I was 7 – so much so that I’ve spent thousands of pounds on tuition fees and endless nights revising away (well technically it was days because I don’t work well during the night, but for some reason “nights” sounds like I was more committed!). And don’t get me wrong, I genuinely enjoy my job and aside from the early mornings and the occasional over demanding client (and maybe a pay rise) there’s not much I’d change about it. But I just have some days where I think, “what the heck am I doing?”, days where I wish I’d pursued a different career path (wedding planner maybe?), or done a different degree (history anyone? maybe I could relive my Tudor obsession!) 

4. The word lie-in is exactly that, a lie! The only time you will sleep past 10 is when you're ill or you were up all night blogging/stressing/finishing jobs that should of have been done during the day but took you way longer than you anticipated! Long gone are those care free times when your day would start at noon - you need to be up bright and early for work, and on the days you are off you want to make the most of your precious time.

5. You lose friends – sometimes this is a gradual thing because you’re both so busy and you see each other less and less, and sometimes it’s an overnight thing, you just wake up one day to find out that you’re no longer a convenience for somebody (or vice versa!). And it is sad, because losing friends is never good (unless they were crap friends to begin with) – but if you tried to keep everyone you’ve ever cared for in your life you’d have no time for anything else (and we’ve already discussed what a valuable commodity that is!).

6. You realize your parents were right about pretty much everything – (and you also realize they’re human beings with feelings and emotions). You finally see that they would do anything for you and have only ever wanted the best for you – the same people you would moan about to your friends, and be embarrassed to be seen with in public suddenly become amazing again (like when you were 5!). But the reason this sucks is because a) you know that pretty soon you will be leaving them if you haven’t already and b) it’s too late to take back all the horrible things you said to them and all the needless worrying you put them through (and you know as per the rules of karma, your kids will pretty much do the same things to you one day!)

7. Your money is always just enough – so if you were wise enough to not go to uni and get yourself into mountains of debt then you might be okay. But for the rest of us suckers, it’s a huge reality check when a large proportion of your monthly wage disappears before it even hits your bank account (Tax, NI, Student Finance – and bloody pension payments?!) and you suddenly realize the difference between annual salary and take home pay!  And once you’ve covered your monthly commuting costs, rent, bills, weekly shops and a few dinner nights – you realize there isn’t much left to spend on your wish list. And the elaborate plans you had of splurging on designer bags and saving a deposit for your own place once you have a steady income, remain just that – elaborate plans!

8. You feel broody – some days, especially when I see my cousins with their bubbas, it makes me want a mini me so badly. It’s only natural as my body is at its most fertile stage, and it can quite hard to convince myself what a HUGE responsibility is. And although it might be fun to have a little person who I can shower with love and attention, and dress up in cute little outfits I have to remind myself that my mum still makes my lunch and washes my clothes for me! *confession time – I do not know how to use a washing machine! :-/

9. You can't cry - this point in itself makes me want to cry! I'm a habitual crier, it’s my way of dealing with things – I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad and I cry when I’m angry (and I hate that I do that!) I even cried whilst watching Monsters Inc for crying out loud! But in the adult world, this is just not acceptable. Crying does you no favours – it won’t make you look more sorry, it won’t make people sympathise with you and it definitely won’t get you out of trouble. You  have no choice but to just man the eff up!

10. There’s no one to make things better - your parents can’t always fix things, you teachers are no longer around and there’s no one to kiss the pain away! You learn that you can’t make things better and you’re only option is to roll out the prayer mat, whisper a few prayers and grit your teeth and bare it until it all gets better – hopefully that time will be sooner than your 30th birthday!

I guess life’s not all that bad, I am the youngest in my office and I still haven’t let go off my dreams yet – but I guess that’s what else being in your 20’s does to you – it turns you into a right old moaner!

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