Post # 17
good point. moving into my own apartment was a huge maturity factor too. before that, i had only lived with my mom and then a boyfriend. i was 25 when i lived on my own lol took me a while but i was so proud of my little place and felt like that was also a huge step forward for me in growing up:)
Post # 18
I am SO different now (30) than I was in my early twenties. I sometimes can’t even believe that was me! I was very immature and emotionally unstable. I had a lot of family/emotional issues that I had no idea how to handle. I took them out on myself and those around me. I burned a lot of bridges and did my best to hurt myself.
I was also always so worried about what other people thought of me…of what I should be doing instead of what I wanted to do. I spent a lot of time in nightclubs, a lot of time drinking. I was very insecure and a very unformed person.
As I grew older I spent a lot of time working out my issues. I feel like now I am a person that I love and respect. I am more defined and know what is important in my life. I work at relationships because I value them. I worry about what I am giving back to my friends/family/community. I am better able to see and appreciate the actions of family members/friends and am way less judgmental that I used to be. And best of all – I no longer care what other people think of me. As long as I am ok with myself and my actions, I couldn’t give a hoot!
Sometimes I wish I could go back and give my younger self a big hug…and then a big slap in the face for being so stupid!!
@ Jennibridge – I went through the same thing! I called it my quarter life crisis. I used to work for an organization that studied youth/brain development and the chemistry of your brain actually changes from 22-26, and you lose that feeling of immortality. You’re not abnormal!
Post # 19
@HisMissus0908: This is a really great and smart question.
It’s hard for me to put my finger on it. I think I was a pretty mature college student – I formed a great group of really tight friends, with whom I’m still close more than 10 years later. I was never into wild partying, I never had over-dramatic fights with friends, I didn’t sleep around. But when I was 20, I broke up with my high school boyfriend of 5 (!!) years, because I realized that I needed to live life on my own for awhile before I could make the sacrifices necessary to be in a permanent relationship with him.
This was a huge change for me, and ultimately a really good one. It was wonderful to travel; I lived abroad for six months when I was 21 and got to have the experience of building a life for myself there, completely from scratch. That was probably the most profound experience – starting over in a place where nobody knows you really gives you the opportunity to define yourself without others’ expectations constraining you. It gave me so much more confidence in my resourcefulness and my identity overall.
Even so, I think my mid-twenties were a period of insecurity. I worried a lot about whether I was having the kind of experiences that I “should” be having as an urban twentysomething. Turning 30, contrary to all the pop culture portrayals, felt immensely liberating to me. I’m so much more confident in myself and my life choices, even as I feel the finite nature of life more acutely. I do worry more than I did when I was younger, because my Fiance and I are in a scary place professionally and financially, and neither of us thought this is where we’d be in our early 30s. But that in itself has been a learning and growing experience.
Basically, the only way I know how to explain it is that I feel like a real adult. In my early and even mid-twenties, it was like I was “playing” adult, not that I actually was one. I teach college students now, and I see both the ways in which they’re mature and insightful and the ways in which they still have a lot of growing to do.
Post # 20
Had I met my partner when I was 20 it wouldn’t have worked At All. I really believe it needs to be the right time in both people’s lives. But having been together for as long as we have, and having figured out how to work as well together as we do, I can say that if you grow and change in the same direction it works great. However, we both had really solid concepts of our identity as individuals. I think that the biggest change for a lot of people from early twenties to mid/late twenties is that you have a more solid concept of your identity as an individual.I’m not sure that it is always easy to come up with that individual identity if you are in a relationship during that time.
Everyone’s life is different though: I behaved like I was in my early twenties starting when I was 17 and continuing until about 22. I lived alone, partied a lot, took crazy road trips across the country with girlfriends, flew across the country for boys, moved to NYC alone, studied in Jamaica, etc. during that time, and really developed a solid understanding of what was important to me and who I wanted to be.
Post # 21
I think the biggest change for me was figuring out what I needed to be content and learning not to be afraid of failure, ‘failure’ is sometimes what’s best.
Luckily I got to get paid for going to grad school so I saved up for lots of cheap vacations and worked crazy hours to be able to take trips, but I think they helped me grow and figure out what I liked and didn’t like about the world.
Jobwise I went from student to teacher.
Relationshipwise I realized that not feeling ‘settled’ maybe wasn’t just a personality flaw on my part, where relationships are work and you put the time in to be with a great guy. Yeah relationships are work but sometimes that great guy just isn’t the right guy – I felt like a huge failure for breaking up a good relationship but it was the right decision.
Post # 22
I think the biggest thing for me was figuring out I wasn’t going to be young forever, and that the things you do (stupidly and foolishly) can and will come back to haunt you later. I looked for validation in the wrong places. I made big deals out of things that just don’t matter (and they never did). In a way, I kind of miss the girl I used to be. Much more carefree. Now I’m pretty by the books. Save money, live right.
Post # 23
no actually the reality of my mortality hit me recently as well. im glad you brought that up 🙂
Post # 24
At age 21 I was a freakin party animal. I had a different boyfriend every week, I was always bar hopping or at a house party and had a crazy social life.
By 24 I was married with an infant. How things change!
Post # 25
All of your replies have been extremely insightful and helpful. I really appreciate everyone putting thought and effort into their responses. I really think FH and I are on the right path, and I also think I’m going to love Weddingbee.
Thanks sooo much all
Post # 26
I used to not care much about finding a serious relationship or getting married in my early 20’s, I was pretty focused on going to school and finding a decent job then. I used to stay up late almost every night and drink a lot more. I was more focused on my life and myself. When I met my Fiance, my priorities in life did shift. Marriage became important to me and I knew he was the one I wanted to grow old with. These days, I’m usually in bed by 12 or 1 and I don’t drink nearly as often.
Post # 27
I was very selfish in my early 20’s, and I didn’t even realize it. You begin to realize that the way you treat others will affect your future, and your actions and words really can hurt people.
I also have found that all those “friends” you have when you’re younger are more like “buddies.” You think these people will be in your lives forever, but in reality, only a couple of them are in it for the long haul. Family becomes way more important.
Post # 28
Wow what a great question. I am a completely different person than I was at 20, let alone 25 even. The last few years (I am 28) have really been much more even keel. From age 16 to age 22 I was in 3 different long term relationships, so once I was single, I had to learn a lot about myself. At first I was very insecure. I spent a lot of time trying to impress people and make them like me, which at the time I never would have admitted to or even realized. I had went to college and was working full time. I went back to school for another degree at 24 and bought my own house and really spent a lot of time ALONE. That was great for really learning about me and who I was and not who I thought my friends or a guy wanted me to be. Then honestly for me – surviving a really bad car accident was a catalyst for realizing what I really wanted and needed out of life, out of a man and out of myself and for myself. I actually knew my fiance at age 17, but it was clearly not the right time for us. I spent many years even pining after a High School boyfriend that I thought I was destined to be with. I laugh at the possibility of even trying to compare him to my fiance. I think some people truly are too young to get married, but it has nothing to do with actual age – it has to do with their place in life, their mental and emotional situation. If someone is secure in themselves, loves themselves and knows what they want and deserve – I think they are capable of making an informed choice. Sometimes though that true knowledge and the informed part DOES come with age and mistakes. ANy advice to someone getting married “young” would simply be to pick a partner you will work hard as anything else in your life to grow WITH. Because he is going to change over time too. Even after 28, 30, 40… we are all still learning and growing.
Post # 29
I never loved my family the way I do now. Yes, I always loved them. But as soon as I entered my late 20’s I was like wow, I love my dad, and my siblings, and my friends, etc. Its like I really started to appreciate everything my dad did for me as I was growing up, and everything important I had in my life. Losing my mom had a lot to do with that too, but getting older definetely opened up my heart.
Post # 30
Yep! exactly! You said it better!!!!
Post # 31
yeah, when I was 19 I was just entering college and I grew up a lot in those years, mainly from learning how to live on my own and pay my own bills. after I graduated (at 24), I moved across the country with no job and no apartment waiting for me. that was quite an experience! I felt more “world weary” after that. when I got my first few professional jobs, I treated them so casually. the way I behaved at those places was pretty bad. I was fired twice in a row and there were a lot of hardhips over the next few years. I feel like I didn’t learn to behave professionally and like an adult until 29!
many of my friends have more or less the same story. also, most of them did not get married or start having kids until the 30-35 age range. I’d say that most of us felt too young to start a family before 30!