Back in the day we were bombarded with info about puberty being a pain in the ass.
“Your body is going to CHANGE”, “Your hormones will make you KERAZY” “Something will happen that means you will bleed for at least 4 days every month for the next 40ish years”.
We were prepared. We knew what to expect…there were weird picture books to tell you what was gonna happen.
Therefore I found this time of my life an absolute walk in the park…. a walk in the park with ice cream, on a super sunny day, with all my best mates and there’s an impromptu festival happening with all your favourite bands and you and your mates spend the whole night partying away creating the most amazing memories ever.
Yeah, that was puberty for me. A total dream.
Especially compared to my mid twenties.
Ahhh me aged 21 with my lego hair and skiiiiiiiiiiiny arms – where did they go? My skinny arms that is, not the lego hair.
I moved to London aged 21 (after a hiatus living in Dubai *brushes shoulders*) and shit fell apart. I wasn’t prepared for this part of my life. No-one told me anything about living past puberty, past college & uni, past being a bit of a party girl. Suddenly I had to make decisions that meant something. What
job career do you want, when will you buy a house, what sort of pension should you put in to, what do you think about current affairs, who will you be voting for, will your company pay for maternity cover if you ever decide to have a baby? TAXES. Fucking Taxes…whhhhhy does no-one ever tell you about paying taxes????!!!!
Being told about this stuff is JUST as important as the being told that the first time you get your boobs measured at M&S it will be by a woman called Sylvia with insanely cold hands and a bad case of halitosis or that there may be a time you bleed through your pants and jeans, onto the seat of your boyfriends car and want to die of embarrassment right there in the passenger seat.
At least if you didn’t have a heads up on either of those two things it won’t ruin your life. Sadly not knowing about paying taxes or national insurance just might. But STILL NO-ONE tells you about them. And I think the reason being is because no-one told ‘them’ – it’s the last generations trick on the next generation…shhh don’t tell them life in your twenties is so bloody hard because no-one told us. Feckers.
So instead of y’all learning the hard way…I’m speaking up and letting you in on all the other stuff about your twenties they’re keep schtumn on…
1. Crop Tops are no longer for you.
Topshop’s rails are filled with the bastard things yet somehow every time you try one on it looks nothing like you expected. As does much of the ‘trend’ section. You are now shopping for classic shapes and lines. The perfect white shirt, that investment trench coat. You’re Jennifer fricken Anniston getting your vests and t-shirts tailor made because simple is your best look.
Or you’re like me and buying up every pair of Nike Air Max trainers you find, in a bid to still look young and trendy whilst wishing yourself to be 20 again and with washboard abs that would totally go with the tropical print crop top.
2. Your Uni course has almost NOTHING to do with the job you’ll end up doing.
I’m not really the gospel on this as I dropped out of uni after just 3 months (Harriet Killen: making Mum and Dad proud since 1988) BUT I’m pretty sure a good handful of my friends are working in jobs that are vaguely/not at all related to the course they studied.
However having a degree is better than not in my opinion…yes you do end up in loads of debt (that you don’t reeeeeaaally ever have to pay back) but you get the experience of uni (£1 shots!) and a lot of employers look for candidates with a degree in any field just to show you’ve got the ability to see something through.
The only other way round that is to work your butt off doing work experience and interning for free which is okay but being paid is so much better.
3. Dropping out of Uni won’t ruin your life.
Hey look at me, with a job and a roof over my head, clothes on my back, a boyfriend, friends, an super successful, funny and amazing blog read by
millions my Mum (sometimes) and Dad (all the time, only to tell it’s full of bad grammar and spelling mistakes).
Who’d have thunk it from a uni-school drop out!
Sometimes changing your mind is good. Just because you thought you were meant to do something doesn’t mean you should. Some people are lucky and have a dream from childhood which they make a reality through hard work and determination. And some people (like me) don’t have a scooby-doo what they want to do so they try things out like, going to uni and shortly after realise they hate it so they change their minds, do something else, hate that even more and the process starts all over again.
If you do decide to do something and then realise it’s not for you then don’t beat yourself up about quitting…just go with your gut, do something else and work out what it is you actually want to do. And keep this line from Baz Lhurmans Sunscreen in mind –
“Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they
wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year
olds I know still don’t.”
4. Seeing all the people you really like gets harder.
Back to the puberty thing…during this ‘super difficult transition period’ (pardon the pun) you were surrounded by ALL your best mates, 5 days a week, for 8 hours a day. If you were feeling a bit crappy then Amie bringing a GIANT book into silent reading time would be all it took to cheer you up.
However in your twenties you’ve all moved miles away to CONQUER THE WORLD so seeing your favourite people becomes harder and harder. Even if you’ve all moved to the same place you’re probably still a good half an hour tube ride away from each other and meeting in town means spending that hard-earned dosh when really you need it for rent. So when you’re sad a Whatsapp group message with the rest of your BITCHES will have to do.
That said make sure you do plan and put time into actually seeing the people who matter to you. Even if it seems like a lot of effort and costs more than your degree (God bless the privatisation of National Rail!) it really is the best thing you could spend your money on, because sitting in with Netflix every evening and weekend really isn’t the same. No really…it’s not. I promise you, real life friends are better than Netflix.
5. FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
Please someone punch me in the face for having just used a horrible abbreviation akin to LOL – but sadly, for me anyway, FOMO (fear of missing out) was a real thing not so long again.
Aged 15 FOMO didn’t really exist because everything interesting happened at school where you spent most of your time anyway…and all that was happening was so-and-so had dumped so-and-so to go out with so-and-so and so on and so forth.
Nowadays, thanks to social media and only seeing other people for real life conversations twice a month (see point 4) it seems like everyone is having the best life ever – travelling, partying, festival-ing etc etc. Meanwhile you’re being crushed by a cloud of misery at the realisation that you have to spend the money you saved for a holiday on car insurance /council tax /your monthly railcard / all of the above.
In addition you’re also inundated with Facebook event notifications for a SUPER COOL UNDERGROUND HOUSE PARTY which you can’t go to for either work or money related reasons. THEN on your newsfeed up pops pictures of your friend who’s off to a festival in an abandoned peanut factory on the North Pole or trekking to the outer Hebrides with Ghandi himself and you’re just sitting on the sofa watching Celeb BB and cutting off HUGE chunks of cathedral city cheddar, squirting them with salad cream and dumping it all in your mouth. Which leaves you thinking WHAT AM I DOING? I’M MISSING OUT ON SO MUCH FUN!!!
Well don’t think that…s’long as you’re happy don’t succumb to feeling like you’re missing out just from other people’s social media lives (*SPOILER: They’re only sharing the best bits*) because in reality you’re probably not and sometimes it’s actually so much more fun to stay in and eat cheese.
6. Spots aren’t limited to Puberty.
Those breakouts you thought would be long gone by the time you were 23…well they’re not. It’s just now you know it’s white bread and cheese (your favourite food in the world) that cause them. A
nd while we’re on the subject of looks, remember when you thought you were fat in 2007, well you really weren’t. Past the age of 25 you wish more than anything you still weighed eight and half stone. God help you when your boobs start to drop and those crows feet start making indents in your face.
7. Everyone is secretly saving.
A plus point to the full-time employment you’ve been forced to enter in to after college or university, is that you have des monies. Yes, you have some green in the bank and can therefore afford to do, y’know, like, really cool stuff. Such as booking a last minute holiday to Ibiza or eating in Pizza Express (hello £10 menu!) three times a week.
You can go out boooozing and actually buy drinks rather having to adopt that slutty and approachable look so idiots will buy them for you. Those pleather trousers from Zara…YOURS. That reward manicure for working so goddam hard, GET IT. But while you’re spending your wages on whatever tickles your fancy…because you have a job that pays okay and that will never not be the case right? Recessions over isn’t it?
So yeah, while you’re spending willy nilly, EVERYONE else is saving. SECRETLY SAVING. No-one tells you they’re saving but suddenly they all own houses, have something called an ISA, put into a pension and can somehow afford to have a baby (Do you KNOW how expensive babies are?!).
On finding this out you panic for maybe five whole minutes before remembering that, that Ebay auction for the Vintage Chanel 2.55 is about to end, so you raise your bid and forget all about saving for a rainy day. Who cares about rainy days anyway when you’ve got a Chanel 2.55 – I am riiiiiiight? (only kidding, I have an ISA now too.)
So yeah, your mid-twenties are a right old laugh a minute! Seriously though, don’t panic…in between this list of obstacles you’ll hopefully meet the love of your life, go on some really good holidays that don’t involve an area called the Strip or 10 x cocktails for 2 euros and realise how amazingly lucky you are to have such a brilliant mum and dad and equally wonderful brother and sister. Plus you’ll work out what kind of person you want to be and hopefully that person is someone you like, very much indeed.
Good luck, ya filthy animals.
Thanks for reading! 🙂