Your Twenties: Terrific, But Terrifying

I have very mixed feelings about being twenty, and I have for a long time. When I turned ten, the whole “new decade” thing didn’t really phase me (because you know, I was ten). Ten was just a number, but twenty, twenty feels like much more than a number.

All of a sudden, I’m a twenty-something. A plethora of Buzzfeed articles now speak to me in a way they never did before. I’ve entered the same decade of my life in which my mother got married and had me, and all at once I’m thinking about graduating college, starting my career, getting married, having children, getting botox, and, eventually, retiring. Primarily, I’m thinking about college ending and my career beginning, although botox does keep coming up.

I don’t know why I’m so scared of being twenty, and I have been for a while. There’s something too “adult” about twenty, about the fact that I’m no longer a teenager. I feel like people expect more from a twenty-year-old than a teenager, even if the difference is just a few days. I feel like my childhood has officially ended and it isn’t something that comes back.

Despite being terrified of twenty, I’ve been trying to think of my entry into my twenties as something positive or at the very least neutral, the way I felt when I was ten.

I think people take twenty more seriously than nineteen. Sure, your twenties might be excessively hyped up, but there’s a reason for that: a lot of great things happen in your twenties. They’re the “roaring twenties” for good reason.

You can drink in your twenties. You can travel, you can live in fun cities, you can explore different careers. You can live paycheck by paycheck, because the only person you really have to worry about is you.

You can also become a “real” adult in your twenties. You can get your own apartment, your own insurance. You can pay your own bills. You’re no longer a kid, you’re a career person. People buy homes in their twenties. Some people get married and even have children in their twenties.

So, as scary as twenty maybe, I suppose there is something exhilarating about twenty. Beyond my wrinkle concerns, there are countless things to look forward to about being a twenty-something. College is great, but there is a chance my mother was right: your twenties are better. You’ll never have the freedom to be both a child and an adult the way you do in your twenties, and there is something incredible about that.

 

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