Your 20s Are the Best Decade of Your Life
Don't worry about getting your shit together. You can do it later.
Photo by Anissa Amalia
This article was inspired by a great piece titled "Being in Your 20s Is Great" Jamie Clifton wrote for VICE UK back in 2012. Thanks for the inspiration Jamie.
When I was younger, I didn't think I would make it to 20. A bit dramatic, I know. Now, I'm glad I got to celebrate my 21st birthday in June, and I'm much happier with everything in my life right now than when I was an angsty teenager. Maybe I'm speaking too soon, but I think your 20s are probably the best decade of your life. Sure, when I get older I'll probably have the money to travel or spend on makeup without having to resort to eating Indomie for a couple of days. But even that isn't really all that bad.
I think people who say being older has given them more fulfillment are just bitter they can't turn back time. Being in my early 20s sure has it's challenges, but so far, it's going pretty great. Here are the reasons why.
This is your last chance to eat anything and get away with it
A month ago, I signed my dad up for a diet program because he has high blood pressure and gout. Eating out is a big deal in my family, but the only things he can order are a sorry-looking plate of salad and a glass of water. Although I feel sorry for him, I simply CAN NOT RELATE. Never in my life have I felt like I needed to watch what I eat. In fact, just yesterday a friend and I were planning a quick dinner, and despite her cravings for a salad, we ended up going to a Korean place because she told me, "I had never seen you eat a leaf."
It's widely known that my political view leans towards "Eat Junk Food While You Still Can," because I just can't understand the logic of eating clean when you're still young. Let me get this straight: You don't eat deep fried food right now so that when you're old, you eat even less deep fried food? What?
I eat garbage everyday and I never work out, but still am the healthiest person I know (I have great skin too, mostly because all the budget goes to skincare products instead of healthy food). I know this will have to end soon, because once I turn 30 all these disgusting things—probably high blood pressure and gout since they're hereditary—will start to happen to me. I'll think about dieting once my 20s are over, but hey, that means I still have almost a full decade left to keep ordering post-coital McDonald's at 1 am.
High school days are long gone
If you're one of those people who have fond memories about high school, I'm automatically assuming that you were either popular or a straight-up bully. High school was the worst time of my life, period. It's this weird time where you're basically grown, but you have a fucking curfew. You're beginning to figure out your interests, but you can't really follow through on them because, you know, you're still just a kid.
And sometimes, you have to bring your textbook to your older friends' gigs because you have a history test the next morning (was this just me or did other people do this too?) Sure, some high school students have their own thing going on, but it's probably because they have super-supportive parents.
The moment you're out of high school is the moment you start your real life. I'm not saying your parents stop trying to control you, but they have less of a say about what you do. Plus, if you go to university, you're going to meet so many new people, which is be a refreshing break from the same 50 faces you've been starting at since you were, like, 6.
You're having the best sex of your life
Half the reason this is true is because you've (hopefully) moved out of your parents' house by now and you're living in a kost. Not having to text your lover that your parents aren't home is, in itself, a turn-on. The other half this is true is that you're (hopefully) beginning to figure stuff out. Maybe you're also meeting weird people off dating apps who would introduce you to new kinks you never thought you had.
Because you're meeting so many new people, you get exposed to all kinds of personalities you never thought you would encounter. I guess you can call it stereotyping, but as you familiarize yourself with the types of people you're sleeping with, it's becoming easier to tell which ones to ghost and which ones to text "WYD" at 1 am.
You're starting to make your own money
Landing their first real job and getting their first paycheck are probably most people's favorite milestones, and both usually happen to them when they're still in their early-to-mid 20s. When you're single with a healthy family and no kids, you can spend your hard-earned money any damn way you like. That means you don't have to feel bad about allocating more money on alcohol and action figures than diapers.
You still have time to fuck up
Given that you're from the middle class or have a safety net, it's fine if you don't see yourself still doing what you're doing right now in three years, because you probably won't be. You can still hop from job to job, figuring out what you like and where your interests actually lay in.
In your early 20s, you can easily dodge questions like "When are you getting married?" since both you and the person asking know you've still got plenty of time to start a family. The question just doesn't have any real sense of urgency yet.
Also, people are more likely to tolerate your mistakes. This probably means that they think you're stupid, but, whatever, it's an easy exit. It doesn't take much to impress people, or at least get them to appreciate what you're doing, because you're still young and they don't expect much. But that has an expiration date. When you're older, you'd have to go big or literally go home, because otherwise nobody's gonna talk about your achievements.
So go ahead and do whatever you want and don't let anyone shame you for being you, like buying coffee instead of saving for retirement, because you can never go back to your 20s.