The Boring Twenties (Or, “I’m out of college, so now what?”)

No one prepared me for real life.

No one prepared me for cubicles and overtime and moving back into my childhood bedroom.  No one prepared me for hangovers and yuppie bars and bridal showers and babies.  I just woke up one day, and there I was: 24 years old, sitting in an 8-by-8 cubicle with a terrible hangover, looking forward to Deep South Ghost Hunters on Saturday night.  Seriously?  How does this happen?

I don’t really know how people judge the success of a 24-year-old these days, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the barometer.  Watching Jeopardy on a Friday night with a wheel of Brie in your parents’ living room doesn’t exactly scream “success.”  When the highlight of your weekend is curling up in a Snuggie to catch up on three hours of Dance Moms re-runs, then it’s obvious that your life is not exactly on the up and up.

This isn’t how I expected to spend my twenties, either – watching Law & Order: SVU marathons with a quarter-pound veggie burger in my greedy paws.  No way!  I was eager for my twenties – eager for what everyone promised would be the best, most exciting years of my life.

Back in college, I pictured myself living in Europe or road-tripping across the U.S. or joining the Peace Corps.  I thought I’d be making bank and bar-hopping every weekend and considered cool.  In reality, I live at home, I eat cheese on Friday nights, my younger cousins think I’m old, and more than three drinks in one evening will put me on the bathroom floor with my phone in the toilet.

I feel like life is trying to catapult me from 22 to 45 years old in the blink of an eye.  What happened to the years I was promised – those free-wheeling, crazy days of gluttonous fun and Roaring Twenties-esque frivolity?  These awkward, transitional years feel nothing like that.  Now I find myself wondering what LMFAO is talking about in their latest song and when I’ll stop feeling so confused all the time.

The best part about growing up is not doing it, and most weekends, I’m still ready to party like it’s 1999.    But is this now, for some absurd and unfounded reason, considered “wild” or “immature?  What if life as a 24-year-old is supposed to be startlingly similar to life at 45?  What if this is it?  Do I have to spend the rest of my years getting excited about wooden cutting boards and gift cards to Crate & Barrel?

Maybe, at some point, I’m just supposed to accept life as a 24-year-old 45-year-old.  I’ve heard that some twenty-somethings do this.  And for those people, I have a few important questions.

What is a Lazy Susan really, and what do you use it for?  Are couples required to take engagement photos in a public park?  Why do wedding invitations come in 15 envelopes, and why do babies look like aliens?  If I post about my workouts on Facebook, will they become less hateful?  And if I post pictures of the food I make, will it become less like a frozen pizza?

Is IKEA a fun place to go on a Saturday night?  Can one actually call ones significant other “hubby” without vomiting?  Have cardigans become acceptable club-wear?  And, most importantly, can we have alcohol at your baby shower?

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9 thoughts on “The Boring Twenties (Or, “I’m out of college, so now what?”)

  1. I remember watching all the “grown ups” getting all decked out to head out on New Years Eve when I was a tike and thinking that would be the ultimate. Then when I was the “grown up” and I got decked out and I headed out on NYE – I was left wondering what all the fuss was about – it was just like any other night – only more crowded. I remember feeling letdown – almost scammed – but mostly I felt like – “This isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” So as they say – reality is a b—-. But I must say – when I look at your life at 24 and compare it to mine at 24 ( or even now at – – – ) you’ve had plenty of experiences that most “young adults” (ugh) of your age have yet to experience. You HAVE lived and worked in Europe for nearly a year, you studied abroad for another stint, you’ve traveled to more countries than US states that I’ve visited, and you have another trip abroad on the horizon. After having done all that by the ripe old age of 24 – no wonder you are a bit let down and bored now!!! But – hey – I hear 35 is the new 25 – so don’t give up hope – you’ll get there. Now – would you pass the brie – Jeopardy’s coming on.

    • LOL New Years Eve is definitely the ultimate let down. I hate spending a whole lot of money, wearing heels that give me blisters, and fighting throngs of drunk people just to have a night very similar to any other weekend night. Doesn’t make sense. THAT’S the night to sit at home and eat Brie while watching Jeopardy! And, yes, I have heard that 35 is the new 25…even that 70 is the new 30, so the next few decades better watch out, because I’m NEVER growing up now!!!

  2. Even though I’m a thirty something, not a twenty something, I would like to answer some of these pressing questions. I use a lazy Susan to play scrabble, so you can turn the board easily….I have no idea of another use for the thing. I plan on having a kegger baby shower. I see no reason why everyone should be in misery just because I am! Oh, and there is no way I would refer to my significant other as my hubby. I hate that I just wrote that word. However, I love jeopardy, frozen pizza, and cardigans. If you figure out how to stop feeling confused about all this, please let me know….

    • First, and most importantly, let me thank you for filling me in on what is probably the best known use for a lazy Susan. As I said before, I’m sure someone will insist on giving me one as a wedding present if I ever get married, so it’s good to know I can put it to use for something. Unfortunately, I don’t see an end to the confusion anytime soon, but it’s nice to know that I may have answers to some of the pressing questions by the time I’m a thirty something!! And finally – can I come to your baby shower??

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