The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Olivia Rodrigo said it best, “If someone tells me one more time, ‘Enjoy Your youth,’ I’m gonna cry”.
I’m turning 20 this year, and this has been met with responses such as, “enjoy your youth” or, “gosh, you’re getting so old”. Honestly, 20 isn’t even that old, but it starts a very influential part of life that society puts too much value into.
Getting older and living through your twenties is a huge part of everyone’s life. What they aren’t telling you is that, no, this is not the only time we’ll have to be young. So much value, time, and energy goes into enjoying your twenties that the older we get, the more it is looked down upon to show age. The idea of looking young and timeless into your thirties, forties, and fifties is something that society enforces heavily. Society pushes this linear time aspect for women, that to live a fruitful life you have to get a job, get married, and have kids before 35. This is the farthest thing from the truth, and though we can admit this, there hasn’t been much change in how this is presented.
Picking one part of time to deem your “best years” is crazy in its own right. What about the rest of your life? I don’t want to look back in 50 years and feel that I didn’t truly live out my 20’s, but I also don’t want to miss the rest of my life. So many people are just starting their careers and becoming adults while others are still in school and continuing to prepare for their careers. So much of our lives are spent working to make money to then cut back with friends that we don’t take time for ourselves anymore. We do this for so long that by the time it’s time to retire we’re watching our friends pass away right in front of our eyes. Even though death is a part of life, when did we take the step back to enjoy it? Finding what makes you happy and fulfills you, is much more enjoyable than doing something because of money or because it’s expected.
When you truly start to think about life and how long yet short it is, it becomes so important to want to enjoy everyday and not just sections of life. Life is too short to care about other people’s opinions and too long to live in other people’s opinions. Choosing the path for you and what YOU want out of life is something that I have had to learn. Knowing that not wanting kids or not wanting to get married is normal and shouldn’t in turn be seen as abnormal. Everyone wants something different out of life because we are all individuals chasing our own goals and dreams. Those goals and dreams deserved to be heard and seen.
So no, I don’t think the 20’s are going to be the best years of my life, every year is going to matter and be influential to some part of my life. I am going to choose my goals and dreams because they are what I want, not what others want.