The Reality Of Your Twenties


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So no one told you life was gonna be this way…

When I was a teenager, the ~twenties~ seemed like the epitome of adulthood. Turns out, your twenties are a lot less having your shit together, and a lot more winging it than I anticipated.

If you’re anything like me, here are the 20 most unrealistic things you probably thought your twenties would be like.


Feeling like an adult.

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A huge part of being in your twenties is realising that no one really has a clue what they’re doing. In fact, the older I get, the less I feel qualified to be an adult. If Googling how to do things on a daily basis and begging your parents to make your doctor’s appointments is what it takes to be an adult, then I’ve absolutely nailed it.


Knowing exactly what you want to do careerwise.


For a lot of us, there wasn’t a dramatic light bulb moment where we suddenly knew what career path to go down. Instead, graduate life consisted of dipping in and out of different industries until we finally figured out what to do next. It may have been a painful process but it was character building at the very least.


And getting the dream job straight out of university.


Instead of waltzing into the perfect job (when we finally figured out what it was), most of us spent God knows how long trying to simply get a foot in the door. Life post-uni was a vicious cycle of sending job applications, receiving rejection letters, and doing unfulfilling jobs to make ends meet. I am convinced that there is truly nothing more humbling than job hunting. 


Earning a decent wage from the get-go.

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I genuinely thought I’d be rolling in it by my mid-20s, and boy was I wrong. Graduate jobs are definitely not the highest paying and after rent, bills, taxes, and a healthy dose of retail therapy, you’re sadly not left with all that much to work with. 


And having a hefty savings account.

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Deciding whether to treat yourself or save for the future is the real Sophie’s choice. As wonderful as it would be to have heaps of money reserved for a rainy day, saving takes a lot of restraint and unfortunately, that is not my strong suit. 


Having an endless supply of energy.


You know you’re well into your twenties when ‘tired’ is no longer just an adjective but a significant part of your personality. We really had to learn the hard way that it is, in fact, possible to be tired all the damn time. 


Feeling ready to get married and have kids


I’m sure this is a reality for many people in their twenties, however, I simply cannot relate. I really thought I’d have popped out at least one kid by now but let’s be honest, I still feel like a child myself. And after years of battling through the minefield of dating apps and matching with ineligible bachelors, it doesn’t look like I’ll be sending out a save the date anytime soon. 


Living in amazing apartments


You probably lived with your parents far longer than planned and then most likely moved into a box room that proceeded to drain you of all of your money. I genuinely thought an apartment like Monica and Rachel’s on Friends would be attainable for a hard-working woman in her twenties, but I could not have been more wrong. 


Being able to get eight hours sleep, exercise daily, and stay on top of chores.


There’s just no way… 


Hanging out with friends 24/7.


You know you’re in your twenties when you need an actual spreadsheet to keep track of your friends’ schedules and even then, finding a day when everyone’s free is a tall order. At this point, planning meetups months in advance is absolutely necessary.


Travelling the world with your besties.

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It’s kind of difficult to plan a world tour with your nearest and dearest when you can’t even successfully plan a brunch. 


Being cool, calm, and collected at all times.

Warner Bros. Pictures

Some of us need to meditate, journal, and/or say daily affirmations to keep it together. And some of us have meltdowns every other week, because life isn’t quite going according to plan. It’s me, I am some of us.


Thinking that getting a promotion would solve all your problems.


Now we all love a raise, but sometimes the heavier workload and inevitable stress that comes with it doesn’t always feel worth it.


Acne being a thing of the past.

TNC Africa

Acne is very much a thing of the present – and probably the future at this rate. I was promised radiant skin in my twenties and I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed. 


Having the perfect wardrobe.


We all thought adulting would involve walking into work every day like Andy in the Devil Wears Prada. In reality, you probably have a few mediocre outfits on rotation and a half-assed makeup routine that you commit to solely because you don’t want to be asked if you’re tired all day. 


Putting down a deposit for a house.


This one is actually laughable. There will most definitely be no deposits or mortgages in the near future (or distant future at this rate).


Living your best life every weekend.

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There’s a very real possibility that your weekends are now reserved for cleaning, batch cooking, laundry, and some much-needed r&r. I love a night out as much as the next person, but after a hectic workweek, nothing seems more appealing than a lie-in and getting through some long overdue life admin. 


Loving the freedom to do whatever you want.


I thought being an adult and having complete freedom to do whatever you please would be liberating, and it can be, but it can also be very overwhelming. Deciding what job to do, where to live, who to live with, who to date – it’s a lot to deal with. Apparently, there’s such a thing as too much choice and unfortunately, it can come with a side serving of anxiety.


Developing a genuine love for cooking.


I really have to decide what to eat, buy groceries, and then cook for myself every single day for the rest of my life?! I refuse. I’m in an entanglement with Deliveroo and I’m totally okay with that. 


Having your whole life planned out.


It’s safe to say, I have no plans. Where will the future take me? Your guess is as good as mine. 

What was the most unrealistic thing you thought would happen in your twenties? Tell us in the comments!

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