Thought Catalog

Why Being In Your 20s Sucks

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1. You have no idea where your life is heading. You feel as though everyone around you has some sort of direction. Some of your friends might be married, engaged, pregnant, or expecting. You? You’re just sailing through life working a minimum waged job that you swore your college degree would get you out of. Or even worse, you don’t have a job at all. Your life revolves around your friends’ work schedules. You have exhausted every TV series your Netflix has to offer, and there are only so many Fraggle Rock episodes you can watch in one day. You have probably become the sad barfly at your favorite dive and people probably guess you have no idea where you’re going in life. Guess what? They’re right.

2. Being in your twenties is like New Years Eve everyday — such a disappointment. Sure, you have a number of emo songs on your iPod that make you question why you are still alive, but you hope your friends just graze over them while going through your playlists. You hope that your friends think about death as much as you do and come up with horrible thoughts like “Every time someone close to you dies, it’s one less person in the world who loves you.” Oh, just you? Awesome. If you were to listen to Carrie Bradshaw, she says “Your 30’s are to learn the life lessons and the 40’s are to pay for the drinks.” Does it really not get any better? Probably, if Carrie Bradshaw is your go-to for life advice.

3. You seem to have the “You are not a girl, not yet a woman” mentality. You cringe when people at Target call you ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ and you hate being mistaken for a ‘Mrs’ when it is clearly obvious no one put a ring on it yet. Hell, you don’t even have a sexting buddy. You long for lavish themed cocktail parties, fancy dresses and suits, and you can’t wait until you can afford the name-brand vodka. You dream of the day when you can just pick up and leave, runaway to some amazing place like New York, Chicago, or Seattle. Sadly, in your twenties you would totally settle for a weekend road trip and pray you had enough money for gas and food. Being in your twenties is like being in limbo; you are simply waiting to be told what to do, where to go, and how to get there.

4. You feel pressure from everyone and their mother, literally, to be in some sort of relationship. You always need to be dating someone, loving someone, and planning your future together using the creepy-morphing-baby-website. You can’t tell those people who pressure you to leave you alone because you know that they know, deep down, it’s really what you want too…maybe? Another downfall of being in your twenties: each sex feels superior to the other. Girls hate boys, boys hate girls. It’s like elementary school again except this time cooties are real and they are called STDs. You can’t count how many times you hear girls say “Guys are such assholes” and guys respond with “Girls are such bitches”. Yes, you know you aren’t perfect, but someone should be able to accept your type of assholery, yes? Isn’t that what love is? Tolerating someone’s bitchy-ness and assholery long enough to say ‘I Do’ and make a baby? Maybe you have been watching too much Mad Men lately or maybe it’s the truth. Which leads you right to your number five reason.

5. You begin to finally learn the truth. Your parents, who you thought had a great relationship, are actually falling apart at the seams. Your mom, your dad, your uncle, or whoever it is has caught the infamous “cancer of the _____________” and you have to realize at some point that cancer is real. It happens to people you know. It could happen to you. You begin to take off your rose-colored glasses and see the world for what it really is…reality. The reality that you have been eating the same package of Ramen for the second day in a row because you don’t have the money for groceries. Maybe in your twenties you realize that the people who were assholes to you in high school are still assholes now. That’s just who they are, and it’s not the ‘phase’ your mom promised you it was as you cried yourself to sleep every night sophomore year. You begin to realize that people die. You wear your basic black dress for a different reason on that day and mourn the loss of someone you loved. But don’t you do that every day? You lose people all the time in your twenties and they are not always in the ‘lost and found’ bin or in a coffin.

You do your best to remember why being a 20-something really is the best time in your life and why you should strive to be more fabulous every day, even if it is just to show your haters how to hate. TC mark

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Read more books in 2018…

Cut yourself some slack. One of the biggest regrets most people have about their 20s is that they didn’t enjoy them more. And I’m not talking about “buy more expensive dinners, take another trip to Thailand” type of enjoyment. I mean having the ability to take a deep breath and sip coffee in the morning knowing that you have done, and are doing, your best.

“These essays are slowly changing my life, as the title promises. As my friends’ birthday come along, they will all be receiving a copy of this wonderful book.” – Janie

Amazon: 4.8/5 stars
Goodreads: 4.29/5 stars

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More From Thought Catalog

  • Daily TC Reader

    This was actually quite good. It brought more to the table than just a superficial list. Me gusta.

  • i'm24

    being in your 20’s is great. people need to stop complaining. 

  • fanforlife

    “Strive to be more fabulous every day”……LOVE IT.  

  • Meghan

    “Girls hate boys, boys hate girls. It’s like elementary school again except this time cooties are real and they are called STDs.”this actually made me laugh out loud.

  • melancholik

    I can’t stop laughing ’cause most of it are actually true. This is real good.

  • http://baileypowell.com/ Bailey

    This was clever and interesting until the end, when it got a bit disorganized,vulnerable, and weird.

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    Pfft.  This is so geared to those in their early-20s, not those of us in our late twenties.  I saw my future and it aint pretty.   

  • Sam Russell

    Wow I hope nobody actually thinks this is even remotely true. I don’t know what kind of life the writer of this article has or if it was written as a complete joke but damn I hope nobody actually feels like this is even slightly accurate. My advice, stop bitching and get your shit together. Done and done. 

  • Skyyy

    Well said every single thing. This is too good

  • Anonymous

    Love it.  

  • Megan

    I actually preferred the final point (being a mid-twentier) 

  • Anonymous

    Ugh, #5. So, so true.

  • Sophia

    Wow, this was bleak. I feel bad for you and your life, except not. Stop complaining and enjoy the amazing gifts you have.

  • Its Linds

    Weirdest eassy ever.

  • Liss

    True and sad story
    #1 is my life right now

  • http://twitter.com/ginger_m_face Erin Lenahan

    This is like a journal entry you write 3 days after your college graduation when you are heavily intoxicated and weeping onto the page.
    For the most part, your twenties will be the least burdensome years of your life. Young, healthy, often single and child free. The world is your oyster. Without many major responsibilities, you’re free to do just about anything. Just because you aren’t a kid anymore doesn’t mean you need to put the final nail in the coffin of youth. Happiness doesn’t end just because you cease to be an undergrad.

    • Raeannashay

      HA! “Without many major responsibilities, you’re free to do just about anything.” I was wondering why so many people were so negative in the comment section about this article and it is because they weren’t POOR in their 20’s because of financial hardship, addictions, health issues, supporting family members/children, etc. (which you would then have the mentioned ‘major responsibilities’ that you believe ‘no one’ has). We are depressed because we’re not ‘kids’ anymore! I stopped being a ‘kid’ at 11 when we were so broke; my mom was working so many hours to get by that I became a full time mother, taking care of my 4 year old sister (on buses, to and from her daycare, where I was also employed under the table, and back home everyday), a student in Options for Youth, and holding down a job! THESE MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES I have had to face since then have lessened significantly (thank YOU) but I deal with OTHER major responsibilities every day. We lead different lives, and this article is made for those with my type of problems not cinnamon buns and lollipops. 

    • Lia

       i don’t know – i feel like there are more responsibilities in your 20s now…car payments, auto insurance, health insurance, rent, food, not to mention hefty student loans – how do you pay for all this crap with an entry-level position that you need to keep for a while to gain experience so some legit company will hire you? you can’t really do everything you want because you probably have no money and it takes cash to go places and do things.

  • Anonymous

    I thought it was very good. #1 is very true for me at the moment. And to all those people who’re saying the 20’s are the best period of your life: I’m guessing either you’re in denial or nothing bad has ever happened in your life so you don’t know what it’s like to be in a bit of a shitty time of your life.

  • kgb

    Why being in your 30’s sucks:

    Still don’t have that great paying job.
    Never found that perfect relationship, got married, or lived happily ever after.
    Still don’t have any money.
    Netflix is your weekend entertainment.
    You still can’t afford to go out & everyone else is married so there’s no one to go out with.
    Your kids are becoming teenagers, so you get to fight with them regularly.
    You still have no idea where your life is going.

  • Anonymous

    This was great. Everyone who is saying “stop complaining” should probably stop reading Thought Catalog, because obviously your lives are peachy and you can’t relate to the majority of writers on here anyway. Go insult someone’s outlook elsewhere.

  • Feedbag

    Um… Did you not learn any of that stuff as a teen? Aside from maybe #1?
    You’ve led a sheltered life…

  • Anonymous

    Why, you ask? …Because being in your 30’s is better.

  • Anonymous

    “Stop complaining!” is the new “Get a real job!” So chic, oh la la.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYDVROKY4PUBOKUHB3QF42FH2Y Paul S

    They were 10 years ago (I’m almost 40 *gasp*), but my 20s were great! As, were my 30s… Basically, if you’re a sad, miserable person, you’ll be a sad, miserable person during most of your decades, regardless of life-situations.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYDVROKY4PUBOKUHB3QF42FH2Y Paul S

    As for your last paragraph; it’s bullshit.  There was a study amongst people late in their life (70s/80s) and they all agreed that their favorite decade of their lives, where they had the best time, was their 40s.  They also agreed that their 20s kinda sucked.

  • Andy Suri

    oh lawddd lol 1-5 is legit me rn, my exact thoughts.. Thank you Kelsey for writing this article. Does put my life in perspective. Yeah tryin to stay positive above all..going to turn 22 this year. Hoping things will change for the better

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