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The age of 20 is the exciting beginning of a new decade in life, and yet turning 20 it comes with its burdens. It is quite literally the heart of young-adulthood, it’s the scary but enthralling younger sister of 21 and she deserves some recognition about the lessons she comes with. Here are some thoughts about turning 20.

It Feels like You’re Turning 17 AGAIN!

At 20, you are old enough to drive, vote, get married, join the military, buy a house (if you can afford it), and do all other adult things except for drinking and or smoking. In America, we place so much value on turning 21 and when you’re exactly one year away from that age, you feel so left out. Some of your friends can get into the clubs and some of your friends may still be in high school. Turning 20 seems to have the same anticlimactic-energy as a 17 year old waiting to finally turn 18.

The Responsibilities

You may not want more responsibilities, but still may want to be taken seriously. As some of the youngest adults, 20 year olds are often doubted for their skills, wisdom, and experience, leaving many feeling like they have to prove themselves. However, society seems to measure real adulthood by career, establishing a family, paying bills, and by being financially independent. While these things sure do indicate a sense of responsibility, using them as a measure of “adulting” discounts what some younger adults have to offer. Especially since many 20 year olds are not in a position to take on more responsibility because of school or work. Some may not even want more responsibility. They may just want to enjoy their time being young and relatively carefree. But that’s no reason to underestimate, disqualify, and exclude 20 year olds from being taken seriously.

You Have Your Whole Life Ahead of You

20 seems so young when you consider that the average human lifespan has increased by roughly 30 years since the 1950s. You quite literally have your whole life ahead of you. We often hear that your 20s are the decade of exploration and self discovery. And yet, we want to avoid making any mistakes or having any setbacks. Everyone is different and does things at different times. Life is complicated enough and extra pressure makes it worse. It is important at any age, to not it define you. You may (only) be 20, but your are also everything and anything else you want to be.

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