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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.

I’m a 20-something teenage girl. You’re probably thinking, that’s not possible. Well, I’m turning 22 next month and to be honest, I still feel like I’m 19. I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe it’s because I was in quarantine from ages 18-20 during the Covid-19 pandemic, so I felt like I was not aging as I was not gaining typical teenage girl experiences. Another reason may be that most people in my college year group are 19 or 20 so by association, I start acting like them because of the large amount of time we spend together. 

Or, maybe I just do not think of myself as an adult. When I was younger, I thought anyone over the age of twenty was “so old”. Like I assumed, twenty-year-olds had their own houses, jobs, paid all their bills, rarely needed their parents’ help, and knew everything about the world. If these were the expectations for a modern twenty-year-old girl, I’d be failing. While I have grown much more independent over the years, I still feel like I’m not as mature as a 21-year-old should be. I still can’t cook very well, I don’t have a job, I still look up “what colors can I put together in the wash”, and I have no idea what career I want to pursue. I can’t even drive well.

These realizations have been daunting as some days I think I should be doing more but the truth is: the world is changing and a 20-year-old in 2000 is very different from a 20-year-old in 2024. Your 20’s are your first opportunity to be an adult so basically at twenty, you’re a one-year-old adult and it is expected that you will make mistakes. You aren’t supposed to automatically know how to file your taxes, sign your apartment lease, have the perfect credit score, cook every meal, and know the exact career you want to get into. 

Your 20’s are for trying different things to see what you like. It’s for trying different hobbies, making new friends, traveling, even dying your hair. This is the most temporary time of your life because everyone is trying to constantly rediscover who they are. Your 20’s are about making mistakes. It’s okay if you fail an exam, go through friendship and relationship breakups, or even feel like “starting over”. In fact, it’s the perfect time for these things because this decade of your life is about finding yourself and learning lessons that will only make you the best version of yourself. There is virtually no such thing as a “wrong” decision as any choice teaches you something valuable and I like to think you’ll still end up where you’re meant to be. 

For example, if you’re halfway through your degree in college and you realize you don’t like it anymore and you do not want a full-time career in this, well, good job! You have discovered something you dislike and now you are one step closer to finding the right career for yourself. At least you realized this in your twenties and you don’t have to spend the majority of your adult life doing a job you hate.

I like to live by the mantra “everything happens for a reason”. Whether it’s true or not, it helps my anxious brain from spiraling when something doesn’t go as planned or I make a “wrong” decision. So, if you’re currently in your early or late twenties and you feel like you don’t have everything figured out like an adult, trust me, no one has anything figured out. As long as you’re doing your best and trying to find your place in the world, you are not behind. There is no such thing as being behind. You’re doing just fine.

Hi! My name is Hayley and I'm currently studying computer science. I love Taylor Swift, iced matcha and writing articles:)