A few years ago, “25 Things To Do Before You’re 25” lists were really popular. And that’s great and all, but those lists included a lot of useless things. Let me tell you just 3 things to know about your mid-twenties.
1. You will not have your shit together.
When you’re 18, society tells you to go to college and choose a major that will determine the rest of your life. The moment you realize how false that is, you extend that timeline to “I’m sure by the time I start working I’ll know exactly what I want to do with the rest of my life.” Lies. All lies.
The reality is, most people won’t have that “aha” moment for finding their dream job or “calling.” If you’re one of the lucky ones who do, congratulations. But for the rest of us, life is about exploring your interests. Every job will reveal your strengths and weaknesses. And the twenties are all about exploring what you really want in a career and how you can fit into that role. As you learn more about yourself, your views about your “dream job” will also change. Embrace that change. Your future you will thank you for it.
2. Everyone’s getting married, quitting their jobs, and having babies. WTF?!
Being a woman in the twenty-first century with a masters, many interests and hobbies, and several life goals that have yet to be met, I always found myself looking out for number one. When I was 20, I thought my female friends all felt the same way: We’re going to accomplish amazing shit with our lives, maybe save the world, and men can follow if they can keep up, but I’m not slowing down for anyone.
Six years later, I find 40% of my female friends flirting with the idea of being a housewife and throwing their college degrees aside. Wait, what..? Am I in a scene from Mona Lisa Smile or something? My initial response was to go all feminist on their asses and be crazy judgmental about their decisions to conform to stereotypical gender roles, but my 26-year-old self put the brakes on and I realized that giving them crap about their decision makes me a conservative feminist. I realized that being a 26-year-old woman in the twenty-first century actually means allowing all women to choose what ever role they wish to pursue. If that makes them happy, why should I stop them?
3. Read some real news.
Get off Buzzfeed and Twitter. Get on NPR, Forbes, The Economist, or The Wall Street Journal. There’s a lot of stuff happening in this world other than celeb gossip. Stuff that actually matters, that affects you, and affects millions of lives around the world. Educate yourself. Knowledge is power and there’s something about our generation that exudes entitlement with no substance. We’re the most technologically advanced generation in history, but we lack perseverance and commitment, which makes us appear arrogant.
CBS released an article back in December 2014 called “Are millennials too spoiled for the workplace?” that detailed the findings of a survey, which concluded CFOs basically don’t give a shit about us because we have an “attitude of entitlement” and we require “intense management.” Let’s prove them wrong. Let’s show them we’re not lazy and spoiled. That millennials can be creative and witty but also know a thing or two about genocide and fracking.
Yes, the job market sucks, yes we’re getting paid less than previous generations, but let’s prove them wrong. Why? Because it’s not really about them, it’s about us. Let’s be people who can make a difference in our life time instead of a meaningless speck in the early 2000s that future generations will glance over in their history books because they’re embarrassed by what little we accomplished since we had our heads up our asses for the majority of the early century.