21 Secrets for your 20s

Posted on January 2nd, 2014

Welcome to AllGroanUp.com  by Paul Angone — a place for twentysomethings asking “what now?” Snag my debut book “101 Secrets for your Twenties” or grab FREE chapters from my book here.


1.  Never looking at your budget and never making a budget is the exact same thing.

2.  The possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same space. If you’re not willing to be embarrassed, you’re probably not willing to be great.

3.  Feel no shame in seeking help from a counselor or therapist. We all have crap we try to wrap and hide under the Christmas tree. Get rid of it before it smells up your entire holiday.

4.  All job listings on Craigslist lead you to a warehouse in downtown LA “wearing something nice with shoes you can walk in”.

5.  Don’t ever, ever check Facebook when you’re:

A. Depressed21-Secrets-for-your-20s

B.  Drinking.

C.  Depressed and Drinking.

D.  Unemployed.

E.  Anytime after 9:17 pm.

F.  Struggling with being blessed with singleness while all your friends seem to be blessed with 2.4 kids and that blazing white-picket-fence shining with the glory of Jesus Christ himself.

6.  All those amazing college friends you swore you’d never lose contact with after college yeah, well, you might lose contact. Moving all over the country, getting married, having kids, all make that forty-five minute conversation with your sophomore roommate a little more complicated than it used to be over a game of Mario Kart. Making and keeping friends in our twenties takes intentionality.

7.  Your twenties will produce more failures than you’ll choose to remember. The key is when you fail, don’t begin calling yourself a failure.

8.  Every break up has two break ups. I’m no physicist, but this is a law of physics, of this I am certain. Yes you’ll have the first tearful “It’s over” sitting in the front seat of your Honda or on a park swing. Then 1-2 months later after there’s “been talk”, you’ll have the “real breakup” because she forgets to call like she used to or he checks out the waitress like he’s a judge for Miss USA. And gird those loins because in the second break up there will be a lot more breaking.

9.  The Freshman-Fifteen is nothing compared to the Cubicle-Cincuenta. Don’t sit at your computer perched like a Roman gargoyle. Don’t let office birthday cake be forced on you like a cigarette behind your middle school. Bust out before your butt does.

10.  And yes, cubicles don’t make sense to anybody other than upper-management. I would be willing to bet that only 3% of all “Cubicle Americans” actually have a positive outlook on life. And half of that 3% is stealing from their company.

11.  If at some point between 22 – 27 you feel like you’re six years old again, lost and alone at the San Diego Zoo (it’s a big-frickin-zoo), frantically searching for a familiar face – hold tight, you’re experiencing a bit of a Quarter-Life Crisis. Stay put. Pray a lot. And in no time someone will call your name across the loud speaker to tell you where you can be found.

12.  Reckless drinking and reckless flirting have a direct correlation. Friends don’t let friends drive, or flirt, drunk.

13.  If you grew up going to church, at some point in your 20′s you’ll probably stop going to church. If you grew up with faith as a central part of your life, at some point in your twenties faith might move to the outskirts of town next to the trailer park and three-legged squirrel refuge. Your twenties are a process of making faith your own apart from your parents and childhood. Sometimes that means staggering away so you know what you’re coming back to.

14.  Don’t ever begin dating someone you first met whilst in swimsuits. Doubly-don’t if you’re both in swimsuits whilst holding an alcoholic beverage.

15.  Obsessive Comparision Disorder is the smallpox of our generation. 9 out of 10 doctor’s agree this disorder is the leading cause to eating a whole sleeve of Oreo’s while watching Real Housewives of OC. Say no to obsessive comparison disorder before it starts. Remember everyone’s too busy putting a PR spin on their Facebook profile to care much about yours.

16.  Life will never feel like it’s “supposed to”. Being twentysomething can feel like death by unmet expectations. However, let me be so brash to say that you are right now, at this moment, exactly where you need to be. But you’ll only be able to see that five years and thirty-eight days from today.

17.  You might have your first kid and realize what it’s like to be young, a parent, and have no freaking clue what you’re doing. And for the first time in your life, you also might actually understand your parents for the first time.

18. Marriage WILL NOT fix any of your problems. No, instead marriage will put a magnifying glass on how many problems you really have. We grow up carrying bags with our insecurities, fears, bad relationships, problems with our parents — you name it. Begin to ditch these bags now. Newly married and living in a small apartment is no place to store a luggage set full of shiz.

19.  An assortment of crappy jobs are a twentysomething rite of passage. Figure out what you need to learn there and learn it. If you don’t, an assortment of crappy jobs might be your thirty, forty and fiftysomething rite of passage as well.

20.  Great ideas alone mean nothing. Your ability to persevere through 16 major setbacks, a lack of passion, forgetting why you started this great idea in the first place, and all the people who allude that your great idea is actually quite terrible — well, that means everything.

21.  The grass is always greener on the other side, until you get there and realize it’s because of all the manure.

Bonus 22: Snag 80 more secrets for your twenties in my debut book 101 Secrets for your Twenties (Moody Publishers). You’ll like it. I promise. But don’t take my word for it, I’m biased. Check out what readers are saying about the book on Amazon.

Snag FREE chapters from my book 101 Secrets for your Twenties

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  1. Every line of #9 is gold hahah. Thanks.

    • Thanks Gio!

    • Number 9 is no joke! (Especially if you work in an office/cubicle) hahaha

  2. My 30th birthday is exactly 5 years and 38 days away. That is creepy. I also expect to full understand my life on that day.

    • Ha. I hear ya, and I’m 335 days away from mine

  3. Hahaha, these WERE terrific!! I’m WAaaaaaaay past my 20′s…closer to my 70′s, to be honest; but, I would’ve sworn that my 20+ year old daughter would’ve contributed to these…

    • Thanks Paul. Glad you could relate!

  4. An absolutely dead on and EXCELLENT list of tips! Thank you for sharing such golden nuggets of truth.:)

    • Thanks Sariah. Golden nuggets of truth and wisdom-stuffed pearls of wisdom, are my favorite.

  5. Love these tips, but PLEASE change “loose” to “lose” in number 6.

    • Well since you asked so nicely :) . Done and done. Thanks Brigid for the heads up and comment.

      • Brigit’s comment of 7/23 and your response, same date; the second line/phrase of #6, “…you might LOOSE contact” (should read- you might LOSE contact..)

  6. This is amazing! I’m 22 and just started a graduate program. It’s nice to get news like this from the other side, haha.

    • Thanks Will

  7. God bless you. I just turned 20 but i’ll be graduating college spring 2013 and Lord knows I’m already feeling helpless. haha :) i’ll probably print this out and put it on my refrigerator.

    • Thanks Kamaren! There is hope for sure

  8. This was awesome pretty much everything im going thourgh right now and im 26. # 10 is my favorite :)

  9. Im pushing 40 but read this with the familiar pangs of being in my twenties. Its all the truth. My 20′s were a nightmare but everything I took from them made my 30′s phenomenal…it all works out if we don’t give up. Thanks for posting.

    • Thanks Melanie. Words of wisdom right there. Not sure we realize the amount of training that takes place in your 20′s. Preparation so that you’re ready for your dreams, not so you can start living them right away.

      • Definitely what I needed to read today! Thanks for your wisdom: especially #7, #11, #19. We WILL make it thru :)

  10. HAHA! I think this is one of my favorite posts. :) Actually I found Marcus a really great job in lending on Craigslist- it was like the diamond in the rough,.. he does have to carry brass knuckles sometimes but I think he likes that part.

  11. This is perhaps the best blog post I have read so far. I am almost 24 years old, and almost every single bit of this I read is my life right now.

    • Wow. Thanks Holly for the compliment

  12. Love this! Made me laugh but also great words of wisdom! Thanks for starting my hump day off with a laugh!

    • Thanks LeeAnn for starting my hump day with your comment! You’re awesome.

  13. This is SO BEYOND AMAZING and SO TRUE. Thank you for posting this. xx Laura aka Greenwich Girl

    • Awesome. Thanks Laura

  14. I really needed to read this! I’m living #15, obviously suffering from obsessive comparison disorder haha. I’m 24 with a job I love and a great relationship, but still living at home, paying off debt, and I just started my master’s degree…sitting here seeing (what seems like) everyone else I know get married, buy a house, have kids, do all the things I want to do (#16- “death by unmet expectations”). This reminded me that…there is still so much time ahead of me and I will do those things, all in good time!

    • Well said Anna. Sounds like you’re living proof of being exactly where you need to be.

  15. This actually made me a little depressed

  16. This is totally awesome!!! We all needed to hear this :)

  17. Number 13 really spoke to me. I turned 21 at the beginning of the year and my faith/religion has not been like it used to be and I’m starting to develop my own faith and beliefs

    • Thanks Kidada. Definitely wrote that one from my own personal experience. I went through a season of asking myself, God, and church some hard questions. I needed to understand what my faith was even about if I was going to honestly say I believed it.

  18. Oh how I wish I had read and believed this in my twenties.i am 37 and sadly spent my twenties living a life of sadness because it was not where it was supposed to be. Then got trapped into buying a house be cause all of our friends were and that was a financial disaster.

    • Thank you for sharing this perspective and compliments. Definitely a great reminder that the lies of “supposed to” are powerful.

  19. With my 27th birthday rapidly approaching… in two days to be exact, this may have been just what I needed to counteract my mid “mid-life” crisis! LOL! Great Job!

    • Awesome. Thanks adnama. Oh, and happy birthday!

  20. Clicked here from Pinterest thinking I would find at least one thing that was incredibly moving and exactly what I needed to hear/read. . .

    well I found 3 and one of them that brought me to tears (#20 and happy tears).

    So- thanks for sharing this comforting wisdom. . . though I still dread 30 =P

    • Wow. Awesome Meagan. Thank you. Your comment made my day.

  21. I’m a recent college grad and dealing with the woes of adulthood that have just been thrown upon me. This list is amazing, and definitely something I enjoyed reading. It’s nice to know that even though my life isn’t were I thought it was “supposed to be” at this time that I’m exactly where I should be. And I can agree, never date someone you met while in a swimsuit and holding an alcoholic drink!

    • Thanks Madison for the stellar comment. Well said.

  22. Thank you for this.I too came from Pinterest and it alleviated my usual morning misery and probably will from now on until I hit 30.

    • Thanks Brandi!

  23. Just turned 25 two days ago and am experiencing my quarter life crisis. I thought I was the only one! Thanks for the awesome list!

    • Thanks Jennifer! You’re definitely not alone

  24. Being married at 23 and owning a home before your 25th (and most recent) birthday makes it hard for people to treat you like you’re not older than you are. I forget sometimes that I’m not 40, and the incredible amount of turmoil is actually pretty natural. Thanks for that.

  25. Great post! So true… and things we all need to be reminded of from time to time!

  26. Haha I had to laugh when reading this. I can definitely relate! Married, three kids, feel like a five year old most of my life, and I definitely don’t know what I’m doing!!!

    • Ha. Thanks Julianne! I officially deem you a member of the Groan Up Alliance

  27. I’m 22 just turned 22 in June..and I have to agree with these!

  28. Almost 27 and wish I had such a list years ago. So far, my 20s are giving me time to learn through courageous trials and epic, humiliating errors. Your phenomenal reflections incorporating just the right touch of self-depreciating humor are totally relatable and appreciated.

    • “Courageous trials and epic, humiliating errors”

      That could be the official twentysomething slogan. Love it. Thanks Andrea

  29. I am 26 years old and just teared up/cried the whole way through it. I just thought I was a mess without hope…relieving to know I’m not alone. Thanks for the words of wisdom :0)

    • Lucretia – I knew that feeling all too well at 26. It gets better. I promise. Keep listening for your name across the loud speaker. It will be called soon.

  30. Loved every bit of this list. The wonders of Pinterest, you never know where you will end up haha.
    And thanks for taking the time and care to post it for those feeling somewhat lost without direction, it’s really appreciated! It’s a rariety in our day.
    Sometimes the hardest thing to do is realise we’re not bullet proof and leave everything in God’s perfect and capable hands.

    • Thanks Abigail. You’re right on all accounts.

  31. You have no idea how much I needed to read this. I just graduated college and moved two states away from anyone I know to start a job. I definitely feel lost and a little afraid. And several of my friends are getting married and they all seem to be living the dream…thank you for pointing out the fact that everyone tailors their FB profile to have this affect on insecure nomads like me. And about the faith thing: you are spot on. I just came back to mine and now it is truly mine; not my parents’. I’m still waiting for that intercom announcement however; hopefully I can figure out who ‘I’ am before the whole world swallows me up! Thanks for the advice…it is seriously the divine intervention that I was praying for.

    • Heather – Kudos to you for exploring the unknowns of your 20′s apart from the comfort and safety of what is familiar. That’s not easy, but gosh are you going to learn so much about who you are and what you’re capable of.

  32. This is really great. I’m nearing the end of my twenties and this definitely sums up the craziness of changing jobs, changing homes, changing friends, changing relationships, changing yourself, everything. I will say, though, that #14 made me laugh. I met my fiance at a beach party and we’ve been together for 7 years haha!

    • Kristin – Well said. Change is a twentysomethings only constant.

      And hats off to you for skirting #14. Well played. Beach wedding? Swimsuits optional?

  33. Just ran across this blog for the first time, definitely forwarding this article to all my 20-something friends. Also, number 1 couldn’t be more true: and having Mint on your iPhone doesn’t count as having a budget…. unfortunately. Watching your money dwindle=not budgeting. Believe me, I know that one too well!

  34. Wow I loved this so much haha. Looks like the next few years are going to be bucket loads of fun.

  35. I am 32 and honestly 30 isn’t that scary. Don’t get me wrong when I turned 30 I was like well crap my 20′s are over, but my 30′s is when all the pieces of my life started to come together. Everything I learned in my 20′s prepared me for the changes I needed to make in my 30′s. So don’t fear your 30′s embrace it. You might end up starting an adventure you would have never thought of in your 20′s.

    • Yes! Do not fear the 30s! I’ve found 30s are when you finally learn to understand, accept, and capitalize on who you are. This leads to having the courage to try new things and step out of comfort zones, and embracing and enjoying your own personal quirkiness. :)

  36. Love this Paul!

    Lots of things to think about as I enter into the last few years of my twenties and this article adds some direction. Thanks for the great words

  37. Definitely appreciate this being a 26 yr old working with a bunch of 21-22 yr olds…currently having my self evaluating quarter life crisis…

  38. Number 14 made me giggle because that is how I met 3 of the last 5 men I have dated.

  39. Sarah — Thank you for the kind words and for sharing.

    “Watching your money dwindle=not budgeting” Too funny and well said!

  40. Thanks Alissa and Andrew for the 30′s votes of confidence! Yeah, I’m actually pretty excited about 30 too. (amidst slight panic attacks)

  41. This is absolutely wonderful. Number 11 is a gem. So glad I’m not alone!

  42. #12, I whole-heartedly disagree with, I’m sorry. But your 20s are for making mistakes, and what is wrong with making a fun mistake every now and then? :) As for #19, I’ve just realized this one myself. To not get depressed over the crappy dead end job and just take from it what I can so I can get something better next :)

  43. Definitely a wonderful article! I jut hit 25 not to long ago and its been a very bumpy ride through my 20′s with getting married, buying a house and suddenly not having steady work. #16 has definitely spoken true to me for my 20′s! Also living in the tiny one bedroom apartment is definitely a test to any relationship (but somehow we survived it!)

  44. I about died when I read these! #9 is fantastic and I feel #11 & #16 far more frequently than I would like to. I am glad I am not the only one who has felt or feels these different instances. No one ever warns you about what an emotional disaster your 20′s can be! 4 years, 10 months and 4 days until my 30th birthday! Cant wait to look at my 20′s through the rear-view mirror in my executive car! (I am hoping to at least! Hahaha)

    • Ha! Thanks Alicia. Glad these resonated.

      “No one ever warns you about what an emotional disaster your 20′s can be!”

      Well said. And all too true.

  45. This was honestly the first time I have been able to TRULY laugh about this ‘shiz’ storm called my 20′s. Hysterically laughing in my office (not cubicle) because everyone says this is the best time ever! Lies- this is hard, I mean, who wanted to grow up anyway? I have obsessive comparison disorder because of ‘death by unmet expectations’. WOW thanks for this. It made my day. Sharing with my compadres who can relate…

  46. This was like the best thing I’ve read in a while. These were SO ME.

  47. Seriously laughed out loud several times reading this. thanks for the laughs. and truths. sometimes reality is funny. ;)

  48. This is actually very useful and so applicable to me. Thank you for writing it.

  49. I’m sooooo loving these. I have just under a year left of my 20′s but still feel like I haven’t grown up!! hahaha

  50. Well I’m glad I’m not alone. lol – great read, thanks!

  51. So good. I’m about to turn 39, and went through exactly what you’ve written so well. I wish I had this list when I was in my 20′s, talking to therapists who NEVER said this was totally normal to feel. No one tells you the horrendous failure you’re going to feel like and the comparison disorder, cubicle depression etc. I hope more people in their 20′s, feeling all alone can read this.

  52. Great thoughts man.

    I was on fb last night and a little after 9:17 I realized, ‘why the heck am I on facebook right now?’ Yep – signed off. ha

  53. I’m only 21, but 5f is the story of my life. It makes me laugh every single time I read it, though!

    • Ha. Thanks Allyson.

  54. Thanks for this! I’m a recent college grad and I think I really am experiencing a quarter life crisis.

  55. i am living number 19..ugh lol i needed to see these, you have no idea. now i don’t feel so bad about being lost

    • Thanks Elizabeth. Lost is just another word for exploring without a flashlight. Or something wittier than that :)

  56. Wow, the 20′s are certainly crazy with not much direction out there. Thank you so much for this list and website. Can’t wait for the book! Especially if it’s as funny as this list.:)

  57. Ok totally loved this like everything on this pretty much had my name on it lol! I’m 22, married, no kids (which we definitely want but so thankful we don’t have them yet!) we bought a house, then lo an behold my husband lost his job so we moved down to where our family is and hopefully better job opportunities, so it’s felt like we been hanging on by our fingernails trying to keep up with our bills with very little income (while we find jobs!) And then the not getting on Facebook advice, yeah definitely a good idea because according to all my friends they have it all under control with nice houses, cars, jobs and kids lol I’m happy for them, it’s just depressing like you said :) ) Thanks for this, it was spot on! And it’s good to know every normal person in their 20′s feels this way at some point!

    • “it’s good to know every normal person in their 20′s feels this way at some point!”

      Well said RayAnne. Thanks for the great comment and sharing your experience

  58. I can’t thank you enough for this post! I’m 27 and knee deep in affliction from not being “where I wanted to be” at almost 30. I laughed with my heart and shared it with everyone I care about. Thank you for making a difference.

    • Wow, thank you Ana for these kind words. Much appreciated

  59. Here I am at the ripe ole age of 23. I thought for about 4 months after finishing college that I had it figured out. Making great money, apartment, independent life in the big city… “I’ve got a career!” The past 5-6 months, however, have been garbage. I know, statistically, that I’m going to have 4 different jobs in my life…. but I’m fighting #19, tooth an nail. ARGH!!!

  60. I absolutely love 5,7, 11 & 18. Especially 11 and 5. Going on FB when your depressed only makes you MORE depressed, this I know from experience. I’m 24 and went to school later than my peers due to a family crisis so now that they’re all going on to their graduate schools or buying houses and having kiddos with their spouses. I feel LOUSY about my life, despite that I have a blessed life anyway and I’m blessed enough to have married my HS sweetheart 2yrs ago and we have a very stable and wonderful marriage w/o kids (thankfully!). And I see so many getting married w/ already rocky relationships and I just wish they would recognize #18, much like kids marriage doesn’t fix a relationship.

  61. i especially love all the egg illustrations =)

    oh, and the words of wisdom are good too!

  62. Thanks for posting this!! I’m 28, have one child- age seven and I’ve been in a relationship with a man since I was 20. I’ve had several jobs, gotten two degrees that have absolutely NOTHING to do with one another and I’m unemployed at the moment. My sister is 25 with a three year old child, has no college degree as of yet and has been waitressing the past three years. My other sister is 20 with a two year old and has changed her major in college more times than I change my underwear in a year! You could see how, at times, we feel like failures. It’s nice to know that we are all three exactly where we need to be and doing exactly what we need to do. Our twenties are here for us so that we can make mistakes, kind of our “trial and error” years. Thanks for the encouragement!!

    • Definitely Sarah! Thank you for sharing your story. I thought my 20′s would be riddled in success, instead of so much “what the heck?!”

  63. I was literally reduced to tears laughing — and crying a bit — as I read this list. All I can say is thank you for this. Thank you …

    • Thank you Erika for the extremely kind comment. Much appreciated. Hope to see you around All Groan Up again soon

  64. Oh how I wish I’da had this list in my 20′s…
    some are funny but ALL are true!

    • Thanks Jyll! I wish it didn’t take nine years of learning to come up with this list

  65. I turn 20 in a week. I’m so glad I found this! I was seriously dreading my birthday this year because I feel like it’s all downhill once you hit the big 2-0. This gives me hope and I’m definitely printing it out so next time I feel that way I’ll have a reference of greater things to come. (:

  66. This is great! Both my husband and I are in our early twenties and expecting our first in a couple of months. He has a steady job and I’m just a homemaker and we are pretty financially secure and definitely secure in our faith in God but life is still a whirlwind. What a great article.

    • Thanks Elizabeth. Our 20′s as one giant whirlwind is a great way to explain it.

  67. Every word of number 16 made perfect sense. That thought has been swirling around my head for ages and you perfectly put it in to words. Thank you. You made my year.

    • Thanks Dina. It took me years of frustration and disappointment to learn #16. Once I did, I felt such a sense of relief. Life does not feel like it’s supposed and that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be

  68. This is great. I’m glad you didn’t put cheesy shit like follow your dreams, or only do the things you love… I’m 21, and about to graduate so I’m scared as shit.

    BTW… I read this EXACTLY at 9:17 pm… I will therefore NOT go on FB now.

  69. I just turned 22 and have already begun to experience a lot of these. Loved it all! Thank you!

    • Awesome. Thanks Michelle. Glad you could relate to these “secrets”

  70. I was getting tired of Brooklyn hipsters telling me how I should be spending my 20s, but this is one of the few lists that actually make sense. I don’t agree with you much on all the God stuff, but thanks for writing this and sharing everything you’ve learned. :)

    • Awesome Lauren. Thank you. Glad I could rise above the ranks of Brooklyn hipsters. That’s tough to do

  71. Love this. Distributed it to a few friends and they love it too. I was beginning to feel comfortable with what I was doing with my life career wise, now I get the ‘when are you getting married’ questions. 20′s are a painful at times but one hell of a ride.

    Thanks for making me feel normal. Shout of from South Africa.

  72. Number 19 is me. I’m Nona have a bunch of crappy jobs all through my life. I’m 30 now.

  73. I’m in my early 30s, already divorced and after a string of bad jobs. No travel to exotic places, no amazing stories to tell. I look at this list and think this must be great for kids who get out of college, have marketable skills, and get the chance to “find themselves.” I find life to be a series of dismal disappointments despite all my hard work and efforts. I frankly don’t see much point to it.
    For all of you who are able to relate to this list and have a chance to enjoy life, do so. You could be doing so much worse and be much more pathetic, just like me.

  74. It’s been a few years since I was in my 20′s OK, It’s been a LONG time. Gotta tell you how much I loved this post. Very funny, very true.

    • Thanks Rob! Honored.

  75. This is a great post… !!!!!. I’m 26 going through a lot… It was difficult for me to understand what was happening….. Lost faith in god after a massive SECOND break up and a whole of what not…. This post atleast gave me some relief….

    • Thanks Deepa! Glad 21 Secrets could help

  76. This article made me feel SO much better. thank you!

    • Awesome! Thanks JayJay

  77. Found this on Pinterest… Im 27 and Im starting to see that so much of this is true!

  78. Found this on Pinterest and absolutely loved it! Especially number 11! I’m having trouble trying to “find” myself. These are definitely words of wisdom! Thanks :)

    • Thanks Laura!

  79. Went through number 11 recently , ur advise is on point. Thank you!

  80. Awesome list… wish I had read that piece more than a few years ago.

  81. My name is Tiffany and I am 23. I share a tiny apartment with my boyfriend and my daughter who turns one this weekend. It’s really odd to me that I stumbled across this article today because numbers 16-19 really spoke to my heart and reminded me that it’s okay if my life isn’t perfect now. Anyway, I really needed that exactly when I found it so thanks.

    • Awesome Tiffany! Pumped to hear

  82. Currently going through 11 and 15 right now. To work through them I am acting on #3. At 25 it has been helping tremendously. Thank you for this post!

  83. Printed this and glued on my 2013 vision board. Thank you

    • Thanks Jae J! Making it on a vision board is pretty dang cool

  84. Just celebrated my birthday – Early 20s
    but gosh that’s my life in a nutshell
    Some hit home
    Fun read. :)

  85. Well, I’m less than 24 hours from 30 now. I wish I’d read this much earlier in my 20s. Most of these are pretty true to my experienct, but #16 in particular resonated with me. The good side of that is, once you let go of those unmet expectations, you find that what you have might even be better!

  86. Gosh this page made me feel better… im about 4 months away from 23. I know i’m not old, but I’m on my way. Nice to see other people relating.

  87. Found this on pinterest….SO glad I did, I feel a lot better now! I’m 23 and I’ve been freaking out a lot lately!

  88. 27 and shiz just got real lol Thanks!

  89. 20 going on 21, I’m glad I read this at the time that I did.

    Thank You brah.

  90. I read aquote the other day that I fell in love with that works well with the last one. “The grass is greener where you water it.” I think a lot of people are always hoping for the next best thing that’s right around the corner. They don’t realize that maybe if you put some time and effort into something, it might already be there waiting for you.

  91. Omg Being 26 and just finishing up my Bachelor I feel late in this game of life. I totally relate to the FB part, I decided to erase my FB and honestly it feels so good. I just hope I get a sence of what to do with my life now that I finally graduated college. I recently started blogging :) beautybeforefashion.blogspot.com

    • Awesome. Thanks Angie

  92. This is a God-send. I’m 24 and I’m back at my parents house after a recent unsuccessful move to a big city. This is especially painful considering I planned it for so long and even quit my job to move. I have NO IDEA what I’m going to do now because I’d pinned a lot of hopes and dreams in that city. Add on the fact that I know a lot of 20-somethings who have moved to whole new countries and are living the life and getting married and all that shiz and I feel like I’m going backwards compared to them. But thank you for writing this! It’s good to know that failing at stuff in your 20s is normal. Hopefully by the time I’m 30 I can look back on this and have that ‘I was where I needed to be’ feeling you talk about <3

    • Well said Mel! Thanks. I felt very much the same way in my mid-twenties. You’re definitely not alone

  93. Hello from asia! In my twenties now, all mixed up and confused about where my life is heading. Finding this on pinterest tonight was like someone having an honest conversation with me when I was down. Thanks for this and have an awesome weekend ahead (:

  94. I’m 19 turning 20 in a few weeks and I find this VERY informative on what my twenties would be like in the near future. I see my 20th birthday as a very serious thing. I feel like I was floating by throughout my 10s, not really caring about some things that I care about now. I regret not getting very serious at 15. Now I’m entering REAL young adulthood (20 – 39), on time crunches. I’m worried that I won’t have accomplishments in my career by the time a reach a certain kind of age, that some of my peers have ALREADY made. Some are a few years younger than me.

  95. Ahhhhhhmazing! Period. I also loved your vimeo video intro! I’m excited to have found this page! Keep up the good work!

    • Awesome! Thank you Katie for the kind words. “With the plant, without the plant…” :)

  96. Glad I can always re-read this when the going gets tough! (days like today) Thanks a lot Paul, keep doing what you do!

  97. I can’t even tell you how much frustration in my life can be sourced back to #12. Trying to date someone you met while drinking and/or wearing a bikini just NEVER works out.

  98. You may have a lot of experiences in your life that actually I can relate with mine especially #16,17,18. I am so grateful I found you here.

  99. Hi Paul,
    I have referenced your work in my article “Quarter-Life Crisis” (located at http://polaroidsuitcase.wordpress.com/2013/07/16/quarter-life-crisis/) as you have been a bit of a saving grace!
    Thank you kindly!

  100. I finally have hope :) I’m almost 21 and I’ve been tweaking out since my 20th b-day about the direction of my life but I just got inspired to do what I need to do thanks to you! Nice chunk of valuable information you’ve got here.

  101. This made me both laugh and cry. And when I went to type in my email address, I accidentally typed in my email address I used in high school. Quarter Life Crisis?I think so. :(

  102. Thank you so much for this Paul. Ever since I turned 22 and that was last year Dec, my life’s just been on a downward spiral and today is one of those days where am just too depressed to do anything. Seeing this article just lifts my spirits and I can’t thank you enough for posting it. I relate to so many things in here that I thought I was just reading a chapter of my life. At least I now know am where am supposed to be and I’ll try not to compare myself to others as I’ve been doing so much of that lately. plus am constantly feeling like a failure especially since my friends will be graduating ahead of me all because am having a few issues with my units and thesis. I’ve gotten to the point where I am even afraid of completing it because I feel like it will never be good enough. couple that with pressure from my family to grad, get a job and move out, and I’m left feeling like a huge mess. I constantly question my faith and I’ve already lost touch with almost all my friends.
    sorry I didn’t mean to make this so long. I just needed to vent. Thanks anyway at least I know am not alone. This coming from a girl all the way from Africa.

    • Thank you Edith for sharing these honest thoughts that I know many of us have also struggled with. You can vent here anytime!

  103. OOOOOHHHHHH my goodness!!!

    It is so refreshing to read this post!

    I am 26, and I have gone through a few of these things that you have mentioned here…I LOVE your openness and honesty about these “life things” in your 20s.

    I have just recently gone through a time of feeling lost, feeling like a loser and calling myself a loser more than once, being depressed, caring too much what other people thought about me and so on.
    I am feeling better now and working on yet again getting all my little piggies back together.

    Thank you for the reality on how alot of 20 somethings are feeling…..it does help to know i am not alone in this whirlwind of madness. ;-)

    • Thanks Candace for the honesty and awesomeness of this comment. Much, much appreciated! If you like this post, you’ll love the full book 101 Secrets for your Twenties http://bit.ly/101-Secrets

  104. Thanks for sharing … number 16 was a nice reminder!

    I really appreciate number 15 as well…whats to say if facebook was never invented? Would we feel differently about ourselves?

    • Thanks Allison!

  105. I’d like to disagree with #14, I met my husband through friends at a pool! If they like you for who you are in a swimsuit (hair in a messy bun, no makeup, and remnants of the freshman 15) then they are a keeper!

    • Ha. Point taken Abigail.

  106. I’m 26- and wish- REALLY WISH, my friends would put into action #12. Someone has GOT to start saving me from my reckless flirting, clearly I’m not up for the task… >_<

  107. Paul, just snooping around your website. Awesome work! Really like number 7. Can’t even begin to count how many times I failed and many times I just plainly blew it in my 20′s. Failing school, getting fired from my job, and just all the drama that I caused for myself and family. Your advice is well take, doesn’t mean that we are failure. Got to learn and keep moving ahead. Best wishes on all that your doing!!

    • Thanks Pedro! Great hearing from you and thank you for sharing your story. Yeah I think many twentysomethings feel like they have a terminal case of failure. I know I did as well. Hope to see you around All Groan Up again!

  108. I’ve just stumbled upon your website and I love this post! Especially 11, 15 & 16. I’m 22 and can definitely relate to all these! It’s so nice being able to hear that I’m not the only one that’s feeling a little lost! I’ve just started my own blog (www.smart-twenties.com) & your honesty and openness has really inspired me – keep up the great work!

  109. I just turned 30 last month, and wish I could say I learned a whole lot from my 20s (my 20s were lackluster to say the least) but honestly, I’m still molding the person I’d like to be, and not at all sure how to get to that place.

  110. Wow! This is a great article. Inspiring. Everything is for real and every twentysomething should read this. This stage of life is a bumpy wild ride. I’m experiencing this right now and somehow I’m losing hope, but you’re right I need to HOLD TIGHT. I will bring these lessons with me as we’re about to enter another year. :)

    I can’t find your book (101 secrets for you 20s) here in the philippines. I’ve been looking for it for months now. :(

  111. Im not even in my 20s yet but this article is soooo great! Kudos to you for writing this article :)

  112. Great article. I’ve definitely come to the realisation, things are not as intended in your twenties… Click on the link to debunk 5 mythical goals of your 20s

  113. Love this. Thank you!

  114. Wow funny article tried so much different crap in my twenties feel more the better for it, but non the less more confused. All for trying different paths in the darkness, but all be thirty in a month you’ll be catching ass it is difficult to realize your not better than you are but all the better when you just embrace it your actual ego no your fantasy of your future and your life in high school ha hah!

  115. I was crying this morning cos I moved to the coast when I got pregnant last year away from everything and everyone… I miss them… I feel so lost!!! Yes I am waiting for my name and I also understand my mother a lot better with me being a mommy myself… Tv makes “grown up life” seem awesome, sometimes I just wonder where the feck did I go wrong??? :’(

  116. “You are exactly where you need to be!” – so true. I used to feel in such a rush to get “there” – as if the train would leave the station without me. But who would build a station and a track just to service one train EVER. The next is on it’s way…

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