“All my friends are getting married and having babies.”
It’s true, there’s a point in your 20s when all of a sudden all the people who were just years ago puking in bar bathrooms and having random sex are getting married and producing offspring. Depending on your feelings about marriage and kids this can make you feel behind in the “race,” annoyed, or just very old.
Perspective: Your friends’ milestones are still new beginnings. One day your friends’ milestones will be things like retirement, divorce and having a heart attack.
“Kids are so much younger than me!”
It seems like just yesterday you were a senior in high school. Now you see kids at that age and they’re just so much younger than you were then. You certainly were never that immature or tiny!
Perspective: Imagine how your parents feel! You were once a little 8oz buddy that was small enough to live inside your mom for 9 months. Now you’re like, a fully grown human. That must make them feel really old. Much older than you. You’ve got loads of time.
“The Full House cast just had a 25th anniversary reunion party.”
If I was alive when Full House was on, that means I am definitely over 25! I’m too young to remember things that have been gone for more than 25 years!
Perspective: Full House was a kid’s show, you watched when you were a kid. Adding 25 years to being a kid does not make you old.
“I can’t believe I think staying home on a Friday night is fun now!”
Yes, college you would have been so disappointed in current you. The second you got a 9-5 job you started RSVP-ing NO to Friday nights. Bars be damned, you’d rather have a date with a bottle of wine, a pizza and Netflix.
Perspective: Let’s be honest, you still go out Saturday.
“I guess Snapchat is ‘the new thing’ but I am out of the loop.”
Your 10 year old nephew has Snapchat and averages at least 30 more likes per Instagram picture than you. He probably also has new apps that you’ve never even heard of and thinks you’re “way old” for using Facebook.
Perspective: For the rest of your life there will be trendy new apps. You won’t be on top of what’s coming down the pipe, and that’s okay. The reason your 10 year old nephew knows and you don’t is because that’s a priority in his life. You’re an adult and you have more interesting things to think about than impressing your peers. Aren’t you glad that insecure, hyper-image focused time of your life is over with now?
“I care about such boring stuff!”
You used to mock your parents for checking the weather report every time you had an outdoor family activity. Now you do the same.
Perspective: You work hard to afford your fancy shoes! Get yours.
“I can’t drink like I used to.”
You used to drink an insane amount, like sharing a litre of vodka you bought from an upperclassman with your best friend and finishing it by the morning. Now, you have a few drinks while you’re out on Saturday and it’s Hangover Central, USA.
Perspective: You don’t need to get drunk to have social skills anymore, so cutting back on alcohol really isn’t a big deal.
“Waiters don’t even ask for my ID.”
Yes, this can make you feel old because at one point being able to be served—and handing over your very legal ID—was the biggest novelty in the world. I remember being carded once when I was 24 and at a business meeting with a group of 40something board members. I mocked feeling embarrassment but in reality I felt smug about how much younger than them I was.
Perspective: Likely, it’s not the way you look or the sudden (imagined) appearance of crow’s feet—it’s the fact that your energy has calmed down and you talk like a regular person now. Besides, now you don’t have to worry about forgetting your ID and not being able to enjoy a nice beer or glass of wine with dinner.
“I’m too old to be a professional athlete now.”
When you’re young, the world is completely open to possibilities. You could be a math prodigy or grow up to be president! Every option is open to you until life goes on and they gradually close. Oh, you didn’t get into an Ivy? Probably won’t be president. You were never a very fast runner? Probably not going to the Olympics.
Perspective: Being a professional athlete or becoming president are child dreams—they are one size fits all. When you grow, you get to have your own dreams that are tailored to your unique interests and abilities. You know what? You’ll be happier being a human resources worker than trying to get into politics your whole life just because you were obsessed with reruns of Family Ties when you were a kid.
“There are people who were born in the 90s that are of legal age to drink now.”
The weird thing about being able to drink, and what a big milestone it is at that time in your life, is that the second you can drink, everyone else who gets to drink is younger than you.
Perspective: But do all those kids that are 10 years younger than you have the perspective and experience you have? Being young is fun, but it comes at the price of so much stress about who you are, what you will do, and figuring out how to do every adult task for the first time. I for one, cannot wait for my 30s.