Why Being In Your 20s Is Awesome

I know I talk crap on being a twentysomething but I’m only half-kidding. In actuality, there’s no age I’d rather be. (Besides maybe seven years old because they don’t do anything besides eat ice cream and poop themselves. That sounds like an ideal life to be completely honest.)

Being in your twenties is all about discovering which things hurt you and what makes you feel good. You go in blindly, practically pricking yourself with a dull blade, and then you walk out with tougher skin. One day you’ll stop pricking yourself altogether. Maybe. I don’t know. How would I? I’m just a twentysomething, remember?

This is what your twenties are for — to feel and see as much as you can, to take advantage of not being tied down to anything and anyone and to go balls to the wall with everything that you do. You’re a raw nerve. You hate getting upset over little things, about being constantly unraveled by ignored text messages, parents, grades, and friends, but you have to remember something: you don’t know yourself entirely yet. Before the age of 20, you were mostly under your parents care, a reflection of what was going on around you. You didn’t have the option to make your own choices. You were merely living the life someone set out for you.  Being in your twenties allows you to start carving out the life you want for yourself. Everything is on your terms now which seems daunting but is actually liberating. For the first time in your life you’re the boss.

It’s important to talk about why your twenties are great because it seems like we spend so much of our time wanting to be somewhere else other than where we are. Think about it. Why the hell are we in such a hurry to live some boring grown up adult life that we saw at a Crate & Barrel? Because once we do get there, we’re stuck for a long time. The novelty’s going to wear off, we’re going to get married and have babies, and everything will be amazing but don’t think for a second that you won’t be nostalgic for this time. Don’t think for a second that you’re not going to miss those nights you spent putting on your make up, changing five million times, drinking wine, smoking cigarettes out your apartment window, and going to some silly party, a party that feels like all the others you’ve been to but still has the right to feel special. You will miss all of this. This is a luxury. It’s going to leave us eventually so you better freaking enjoy it. You better enjoy every lame ass party, every awkward kiss, every 5 AM hangover, every drug experience, every crappy apartment, because one day it will all be gone and you’ll just be left with the pictures and the bruises and nothing else. Youth is fu**ing magic. Don’t you get it? Look at your skin! Touch it. Look at your smooth legs and stomach. Grab it. When you’re older, you’ll want all of this again so bad. You’ll possibly spend so much money to get some semblance of it back. Now it’s yours for free.

We’re not stuck. Even if it feels like we are, it’s not true. We’re the opposite of stuck. As twentysomethings, we’re constantly moving — apartments, relationship, cities, jobs. Anything is possible. People are ready for you. They want to hear what you have to say. They look at you and are curious about what words are going to come out of your mouth. You’re the new generation. What do you have to say? Don’t bite your tongue. One day you’ll be pushed aside for a younger “fresher” perspective so you better get it out now. Make a mark. Make a stain. Make something.

I want to remember the fear, I want to remember the promise, I want to remember the nights I wanted to curl up in a ball, I want to remember the people I’m not supposed to remember, I want to remember not knowing myself, I want to remember the moment I started to feel safe and like this life I’m leading is really mine. I’m going to be scared, I’m going to bruise my knees and not know how they got there, I’m going to try to fruitlessly forge a connection with someone who won’t ever get it, I’m going to lose the person that means the most to me and find my way back to them. I’m going to be a twentysomething because that’s what I am and all I know how to be.  And you should too. You should love every single moment of this hot mess of a decade. Chances are you’ll miss it before you even get to say “I’m 30.” TC mark

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Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Isabelle A Ferreira

    You speak pure truth.

    • AJD

      a message was there but it was confused within the terrible writing and schizophrenic shifting between the third, first and second person plural. Decide on whether you are talking in the ‘You’, the ‘I’ or the ‘we’ and then write it again. If you’re shifting between them, make it a conscious choice rather than a mish-mash of randomness. Other than this, the core message was good.

    • Alesha

      I loved this article! It felt like a sermon for twentysomethings and I wanted to shout “Yeah” and “Preach preacher!” at every valid point you made. lol Great job

  • Cestlavieceekay

    Earnest, yet refreshing. 
    As much as a mess my life can be at times, just like anybody else’s 
    I sure do enjoy my twentysomething-life and look forward to what else it’ll bring me.
    Here’s to the twentysomethings! 

  • http://www.insteadofanelephant.blogspot.com/ Katie

    this is fantastic. putting on makeup because i want to, not cause i’m an old hag


  • Heathem89

    I hope I remember everything you mentioned in the last paragraph when I’m done with being a twentysomehing

  • Kayla

    This was so refreshing after “Why being in your 20s sucks”
    Thank you!

  • Veronica


  • Pablo

    So glad I’m turning 20 this year.

  • alyssafirth

    That last paragraph was fantastic. 

  • Ola

    did you really still poop yourself when you were 7? besides that weird fact, this is beautiful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josephbrillantes Joseph Brillantes

    turning 20 this year. yay

    • Sam

      This is a pre welcome to the roller coaster. It’s a hell of a rough ride!

  • http://twitter.com/xsssy xsssy

    This was SO great!

  • Elissa Miller

    So true. What a great article. 

  • Anonymous

    Really needed to hear this right now. Thank you!

  • Thomas

    The best years of your life, simply because you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.

    • Fidel22

       LOL! The truth. I have no idea what the hell I’m doing, but if someone asks, yeah I do.

  • BJ

    Made me feel alot better about being 24 thank you!

  • Guest


  • Alice C

    Thank you.

    I’m starting my own business. I feel equally overwhelmed and excited as I do about my business and my 20’s. 

    Thank you for reminding me to appreciate this time. 

  • Aj



    This makes me feel like my 20s have been wasted. Fuck.

  • Janicebelarmino

    Thanks. I’m currently suffering through grad school/internship and really needed this reminder.

  • Laura

    I was absolutely shocked when I saw an article about being in your 20s that wasn’t written by Ryan.. shoulda known he would almost immediately write a response to it

  • Dana

    “Youth is fu**ing magic!”
    It really is, thank you for this article. 

  • http://twitter.com/tannnyaya Tanya Salyers


  • Babielove27

    Can so relate!!

  • http://twitter.com/camsydt Camille Tacastacas

    Ryan, why are you so awesome? Teach me your ways, master.

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