Welcome to AllGroanUp.com by Paul Angone – a community for those in their 20s and 30s.
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:
C. Depressed and Drinking.
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, and 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 20s takes intentionality.
7. Your 20s 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. You need to own, hone, refine, and define what I call your Signature Sauce so that you can say goodbye to your cubicle, and hello to a purposeful and profitable life.
11. If at some point from 21 years old to 29 years old, 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. While going through a quarter life crisis will make you feel crazy and slightly petrified– a quarter life crisis still might be the best thing to ever happen to you.
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 20s 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 20s faith might move to the outskirts of town next to the trailer park and three-legged squirrel refuge. Your 20s 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. Success in your 20s is more about setting the table than enjoying the feast. Success is your 20s is about owning, honing, refining, and defining what I call your Signature Sauce — the unique flavor you bring to the world where your passion, purpose, and career collide.
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.
Every line of #9 is gold hahah. Thanks.
Number 9 is no joke! (Especially if you work in an office/cubicle) hahaha
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
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!
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.
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..)
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.
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
This was awesome pretty much everything im going thourgh right now and im 26. # 10 is my favorite 🙂
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 🙂
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.
Kerry – Ha! Nice. You have the magic touch.
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
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.
This is SO BEYOND AMAZING and SO TRUE. Thank you for posting this. xx Laura aka Greenwich Girl
Awesome. Thanks Laura
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.
This actually made me a little depressed
This is totally awesome!!! We all needed to hear this 🙂
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Great post! So true… and things we all need to be reminded of from time to time!
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
I’m 22 just turned 22 in June..and I have to agree with these!
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
Wow I loved this so much haha. Looks like the next few years are going to be bucket loads of fun.
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. 🙂
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
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…
Number 14 made me giggle because that is how I met 3 of the last 5 men I have dated.
Sarah — Thank you for the kind words and for sharing.
“Watching your money dwindle=not budgeting” Too funny and well said!
Thanks Alissa and Andrew for the 30’s votes of confidence! Yeah, I’m actually pretty excited about 30 too. (amidst slight panic attacks)
This is absolutely wonderful. Number 11 is a gem. So glad I’m not alone!
#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 🙂
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!)
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.
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…
This was like the best thing I’ve read in a while. These were SO ME.
Seriously laughed out loud several times reading this. thanks for the laughs. and truths. sometimes reality is funny. 😉
This is actually very useful and so applicable to me. Thank you for writing it.
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
Well I’m glad I’m not alone. lol – great read, thanks!
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.
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
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.
Thanks for this! I’m a recent college grad and I think I really am experiencing a quarter life crisis.
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 🙂
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.:)
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
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
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!!!
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.
i especially love all the egg illustrations =)
oh, and the words of wisdom are good too!
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?!”
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
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
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. (:
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.
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
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.
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”
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
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.
Number 19 is me. I’m Nona have a bunch of crappy jobs all through my life. I’m 30 now.
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.
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.
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
This article made me feel SO much better. thank you!
Awesome! Thanks JayJay
Found this on Pinterest… Im 27 and Im starting to see that so much of this is true!
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 🙂
Went through number 11 recently , ur advise is on point. Thank you!
Awesome list… wish I had read that piece more than a few years ago.
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
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!
I was going to say I’m in the same boat but realised you posted this 3 years ago! I very much hope you are ok.
Printed this and glued on my 2013 vision board. Thank you
Thanks Jae J! Making it on a vision board is pretty dang cool
Just celebrated my birthday – Early 20s
but gosh that’s my life in a nutshell
Some hit home
Fun read. 🙂
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!
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.
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!
27 and shiz just got real lol Thanks!
20 going on 21, I’m glad I read this at the time that I did.
Thank You brah.
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.
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
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
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 (:
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.
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…” 🙂
Glad I can always re-read this when the going gets tough! (days like today) Thanks a lot Paul, keep doing what you do!
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.
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.
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!
Thanks Alexandra! Hope you snag the full 101 Secrets for your Twenties book as well. It’s even better.
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.
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. 🙁
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!
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
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?
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.
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… >_<
Ha. Thanks Celia for stopping by and leaving a comment.
Make sure to snag the 21 Secrets for your 20s ebook if you haven’t already: https://allgroanup.com/adult/21-secrets-for-your-20s-ebook/
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!
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!
Awesome Samantha! Thank you. Pumped you started your own site.
Thanks Paul! 🙂
Love your blog Samantha, so glad im not the only one going through the blurr we call the 20s. Are you people on facebook? I would love to follow the lives of other people around my age, im almost 24, and hopefully see everyone progress! 🙂
Hi Reza, thanks for stopping by allgroanup.com and sharing your story. You can connect more with the community at the All Groan Up Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AllGroanUp/
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.
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. 🙁
Im not even in my 20s yet but this article is soooo great! Kudos to you for writing this article 🙂
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
Love this. Thank you!
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!
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??? :'(
Thanks Sash for sharing your story. Yes adult life isn’t quite as sitcom as we once thought. I can definitely relate to that feeling.
Sounds like you’ve gone through some major life transitions, so it’s more than normal to feel lost. But as I often say, being lost is the first step to exploring. What new amazing things will you discover?
“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…
“who would build a station and a track just to service one train EVER.” Ha! Well said Catherine.
I loved the article! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I’m 25. I have my degree in Chemistry, I have a small business and a successful relationship yet I’ve had a slew of crappy jobs! I wonder what I’m doing with my life, but, thanks to your article, I realize that things aren’t so badly magnifying.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story Jamie.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story Jamie.
I’m 22 and I do have to admit. I’m completely lost. I don’t feel I’m passionate, ambitious or dynamic as older people usually say people in my age are supposed to be. I feel like an old tired lady.
I can definitely relate Juliana. Some weeks I feel unstoppable. Other weeks, months, and years I’ve felt stuck, un-inspired, and unsure. I think the times I feel most alive though are when I’m pursuing a specific goal with purpose. When I’m not, I feel like I’m just floating in deep water waiting for something to grab me from below.
I feel the same way when I don’t have a clear goal or objective… Don’t you find that’s often the battle though, Paul? Trying to find some sort of direction – which way you want to turn, or which rabbit hole to head down?
I feel exactly the same way. I just turned 21 and I feel like I’m bringing the world on my back. Responsibilities here and there. Right now, I don’t even know the right words to say as I read all your comments. I miss the days when I was a kid, no anything. No care about the world. I am insecure and I compare myself a lot, I’d like to pursue my dreams yet don’t know how to. Have a lot on my mind yet do not know how to execute. I didn’t know adulthood would be this hard when I was a kid, I am rushing to be an adult. When I’ve grown up, I wish I could be a kid once again. I just wanna take a break and forget about everything.
Haha, 25 here, it feels as if I just turned 18. I haven’t gotten too far in life,and it makes me feel like a loser that I don’t have things figured out in the slightest(I don’t even know what I wanna do) I guess the reality is we all feel this way to a certain extent. My big issue is constantly comparing myself to others
YES. I’m reading this because I turn 25 in three months and I Googled ‘can you have a life crisis’. Trust me, that you are so not alone. I have a good job and haven’t lived at home in 7 years, but I never went to college, and you have no idea how easy it is to feel like you failed right there. Plus some days I hate my job, and even though I’m wildly stubborn and independent, I haven’t done even 20% of the stuff I desperately want to. I knew this was normal… but I’m so, so grateful to see that others feel that way too. Hang in there… if I can, you can.
This is exactly the same scenario for me. 25, not living at home for 8 years, never went to college, good job but scared as hell that if I lose it I’ll never find another that will pay me what this one is.
Haha, I think they call it an ‘early life crisis’. And I think more of us are experiencing than we realise… Its easy to feel like you’re the only one ‘failing’!
I can relate to you Philip! I always compare myself to others as well.. I am 24 with a degree in English but I feel completely lost. None of the dreams I had (seemed to be realistic long before) became real-now I only feel like I will have to follow the very basic and conventional life choices after all
It was definitely a light bulb moment for me when I defined Obsessive Comparison Disorder and realized how much it crushes my creativity, heightens my anxiety, and basically motivates me to do nothing else but eat raw cookie dough (even against all warning that it might kill me). It’s a sneaky, destructive force that we have to stop.
your not alone im 26 and feel lost
I want to know if anyone have gotten “over” feeling lost? And how?
OH MY GOD, this made me feel so much better. I’m 24. I won’t be 25 for another 5 months, and yet I woke up this morning crying to the point of exhaustion about it. I always feel like I’m running out of time, and for some reason 25 just sounds like IT. I don’t even drink, and I was crying about how it’s looked down upon to get drunk after a certain age. Yes, I’m losing it because I can’t even not get drunk anymore. Ironically, 26 doesn’t sound daunting whatsoever. I see the youth in 26, but 25 is killing me for some reason. I’m not as independent as I’d like to be. I haven’t been able to find a job in the past year (overqualified, under experienced -_-), so I’m still living at home. I’ve never had a boyfriend or even a date, because I look YOUNG. Like, I got carded for a pg-13 movie last week. It freaks guys my age out, and employers never take me seriously. I was an honors college grad, top 10% of my class, and my brain is like, “How did you fall off this badly?! You have no excuse as to why this happened!” *sigh*
Thanks for sharing your story Ki! Sounds like your smack dab in the middle of wrestling with “supposed to”. I’ve been there many times as well. Tell your brain this is a short season, with it’s pros and cons. Then soon it will be over. And you’ll be in a new place. With it’s own pros and cons.
Wow, similar scenarios ! I see looking younger as an advantage for us, providing we act on it.
WOAH! This is similar to me, with the exception of I’m a boy, 26 & don’t exactly look younger then my age. I’m over qualified & under experienced. It’s a catch 22 for us when looking for a job – employers what someone whose young & has the necessary & or more qualification but won’t hire you if you don’t have any experience.
I still live at home, I’m not independent, I don’t have a job anymore as I quite last year (2014) when my mum passed away, I worked for a retail company for 9 years since highschool. Though as soon as I started uni in 2010 my hours working there dropped to only 6 hours a week (manager hated me), but I liked it because of having more time to study / do the things I wanted to do, but at the same time hated it because I needed more cash. I’d always complain to them but never got anymore hours. I guess I was very comfortable.
I finished uni at the end of 2012 and have yet to get a job in my profession. But that’s on purpose, why? Well because 6 months before I graduated I realised I don’t have any desire/passion for my degree (Film degree by the way) and figured I’d complete it instead of going back to the start for another course.
I have no idea what it is I want to do at all. I have little savings, never had a girlfriend, so naturally I’m still a virgin…. at 26.
All I do is spend time on the Internet reading about articles like these so I can make sense of my shitty life & staring at the ceiling (as I’m always lying in bed) as my mind it always thinking, and lastly, I go to the gym 4-5 days a week, but I’m not even good looking or have ANY abs / 6-pack at all, just do it because.
I don’t drink (never been drunk), never had sex, never been kissed, don’t have abs, have no money, don’t have a job, still live at home, doesn’t have many friends, not smart or creative, not liked by many many people, not good-looking at all, suffer from psoriasis, mother tied of breast cancer, have never travelled anywhere, have no idea why my life purpose is & I’m always tired no matter how much sleep I get, yes I know I have depression so that could most likely be why. And next year is my 10 year highschool reunion….. Life is great HA! Not…….
Damn man, sounds rough when you put it that way. But I mean, getting a date, a kiss, abs, or anything of that nature requires an INTENSE amount of belief and dedication. Not saying you aren’t, but what I am saying is that confidence is built up from past achievements, and confidence and belief in yourself goes a long way. I’ve seen the worst looking guys get girls and pretty much because they’ve accepted themselves and others admire that kind of inner strength.
Don’t count your years as a waste of time, realistically, 26 means you’ve had a decade since 16 to make critical decisions.
Look on the brightside, you live a healthy(ish) life by working out and staying clean of alcohol, you’ve finished your schooling which shows a lot of heart, AND you’re still a virgin. Everyone says that like its a bad thing, but truth is, a girl would appreciate that you’re not a dirt bag. It’s hard to really help you out on such a small forum, so ill leave you with this.
->No one will tell you your life purpose, life purpose comes from an inner burning desire for something, anything, to change or become.
–>Good looking isn’t something you have, it’s something you believe in. ( I am 5’5, have been ridiculed by most groups for being short, sounding or doing awkward things, having a uni-brow, which i maintain nowadays) Despite the haters, i told myself i was good looking and acted the part, even though i acted like a douche at times. Point is, realistically, I only had me in my corner. It was lonely, but I’m a lone wolf kinda guy, it made me stronger.
—> You were born unique, take pride in who you are and what you’ve become. even though it doesn’t seem like much to you, finishing school, getting a job, and staying clean are huge.
we’re still very young (I’m 27) and nows the time to realize what we DON’T want for the rest of our lives and act so that we get what we DO want. Best of luck to you, faith and prosperity brother.
Thanks for sharing these wonderful and honest thoughts Ki. Our twenties are definitely more process than surprise party. It’s not easy, but keep intentionally fighting to live intentionally.
If you’re looking for some helpful questions to as yourself to find clarity and direction, this post at All Groan Up might help: 11 Questions Every Twentysomething Needs to Ask: https://allgroanup.com/adult/11-questions-every-twenty-something-needs-to-ask/
had to reach out directly to you about this as it’s 110% of what I’m going through right now. how are you fairing now? disques doesn’t have dming, but you’re more than welcome to shoot me an email at [email protected] or freind request on fb. facebook.com/jclips. would love to talk more on this matter
Wow this is amazing and made me feel so much better about everything. It’s so true that we are at the best stage in our life, yet still so insecure about so much. Number 8 and number 16 really stuck with me the most. I feel like because of so many people around us (parents, teachers, friends) insinuating what we are supposed to be doing all the time, we go insane. We aren’t “Supposed” to be doing anything except figuring out our adult selves and what makes us happy. We can’t be expected to follow this path that every person in their 20’s is “supposed” to follow because everyone is different and will create their own.
Yep, well said! You have to find your personal “supposed to” in the details of every day. Start stringing together what you know you’re are “supposed to” do, and that’s when you start creating something beautiful.
I just turned 20 a few months ago, and was hit with the uneasy feeling of not knowing what to do at all. Its an over powering feeling of fear, confusion, being lost. It’s so suffocating. Then I look at my friends, and all of them are married already and they seem like everything is already together for them. Seeing it all just makes me feel worse, but after reading this article and also reading these comments; I feel like have some new found breathing room. I also don’t feel alone, that there are people out there feeling the same way I do. Thank you for your advice. Its very refreshing. I look forward to reading your book.
Thanks Lea! Well put. You have a wide open field full of awesome waiting in front of you. Keep walking forward. Being lost is the first step to exploring.
Im 24, my girlfriend(?) is 26. I have been in a relationship for 2 years and we moved in together a year ago. Everything was peachy when we were both looking for jobs and as we were working part time and living off money we had saved up… then the real 9-5 job started 7 months ago for me and 3 months ago for her. Our careers are FINALLY taking off but the relationship has completely fizzled. I realize how inexperienced and just generally naive I am when it comes to relationships. I may have more skilled and practiced before work started but wow I am just such a NOOB… Oh and we met in swimsuits with drinks in hand. Any advice on bouncing back?
great article. i just turned 26 and feel like I’ve been going through a mid life crisis for the past 2 years…when i was a little girl i dreamt of having my dream job by now, travel the world, own a house, be married (not kids just yet), successful..happy… Well…that didn’t work out….Although I graduated university with a joint honors I’ve been stuck in a dead end job that i feel i will never get out of due to the economic situation and lack of job opportunities. I end up having to scrape through the month to survive. nothing is ever left on the side for a holiday abroad. i just got out of a shitty abusive relationship that has drained the life out of me, its been a miserable couple of years… making me feel like i’m an old resentful hag…please tell me these are just little experiences and the best is yet to come… definitely feel lost. how did everything go the opposite to what i wanted … this is definitely not what i pictured my life to be in my 20’s.
Just found this and so glad I’m not alone going through this. I got two degrees and entered my field with passion, only to realize that I actually hate my field. I went through 4 jobs in a year and quit the last one after being yelled at on my 4th day by a delusional paranoid old boss. I sit at home surfing the internet and telling my parents I’m making good use of my time by studying for my licensing exams, which happens once a week. Thankfully I convinced a successful 22 year old to marry me and now he works a 9-5 supporting me and I feel like a terrible person. I used to believe housewives were lazy thieves and even if I decided to be a housewife I don’t have kids so I really am a lazy thief. I always bragged to everyone that I was a career woman and now I’m just a lost bum. I agree with Juliana that I’ve lost all passion and ambition, and that I feel like I’m 55. A goal would be nice.
Just reading this… bout to turn 20 in 9 days so might as well. There were some lightly meh points but I just wanted to say that I did grow up in church and I had problems with my faith. All of a sudden right now it is the contrary of me not even going to church. I am actually going to church on my own and I enjoy it. Still this is a huge new place for me and I am kind of scared but want to make the best of it as an adult.
Thats exactly how i feel right now. 23, in college, have no passion for what im studying anymore, cannot get out of bed in the mornings, so i stay up studying at nights, and sleeping during the day. Other days, spent partying and drinking away. The worst of it all is – i feel so lost. I WANT to do something, i WANT that “epiphany moment” , but i just dont know how to find it, and where to even begin to look for. It may or may not be depression. Im afraid to get psychological help, as i may get diagnosed with something which could possibly make me feel even worse. I like to believe i dont have depression, and just going through a phase, but it just so hard. Im afraid to drop out of college, but i also, do not know if i can finish it. I have 0 interest in it, and 0 motivation. Im considering giving hypnotherapy a chance, also wanting to try yoga and mediation…I heard some people swear by Reiki.. I’m not sure. God only knows how long i will feel so stuck and lost in life. I just know i gotta to do something, take a risk, try something new and beneficial in life,,, Act on that great idea you wrote about…
Reading the article and everyones comments, made me realize how many more people are in the same exact situation as myself… I guess, writing yet, another personal story in a comment just allows myself, and others get it off our shoulders, which is somewhat of a relief. I can see why you resumed to writing, it may be that “road” to that epiphany for everyone that is lost and needs.
I just turned 26! quit a job that I did for three years after University grad, for a company I was not very into. Decided to go back to school, only to realize how much I miss my freedom. After about 10 rejections from my dream jobs. I have decided to start fresh. Not to mention I have been “dating a guy” whom is more like a friend for the last 2.5 years and have not been able to effectively breakup with him. Now that I have quit my job i can’t get the car or the condo I had my eyes on. Help! I have no idea how to be 26 and single! ek
Such an excellent guide, I love that saying about the grass, you have to sift through a lot of manure to get to the good part!
Reading this made me feel so relieved knowing I’m not alone feeling this way. I just turned 24 about a month ago and I already feel like time is running out; like I haven’t done enough with my life yet. I finished university two years ago and for about 6 months I’ve felt lost and stuck, as though I’m just treading water and soon I’m going to drown from the overwhelming pressure I feel to succeed and be happy. For so long finishing school and obtaining my dream job were my goals. Now I feel as though I’ve lost all my drive and ambition that I had in high school and university. It’s been a very depressing time in my life that I never dreamed I would experience, but knowing I’m not the only one makes me hopeful for the future.
we are in the same boat, you are not alone
Gosh i can so relate to this, the 20s are such a depressing and confusing time, im almost 24 and i feel more lost than ever, at a dead end job and a series of unsuccessful relationships… Lets hope things will get better soon!
This was a great article, made me smile and rethnik some issues at the same time. Yeah, you do kinda really feel lonely and insecure when you’re in your twenties. After I graduated I really didn’t have idea what I’m going to do. It feels really pointless. Being also single at the same time is not helpful. Though, I find your point no. 2 really fantastic. It is true, you should never back off because of fear of embarrassement. When I took the courage to look for it, I was lucky enough to find a lot of internship/graduates opportunities, which was really a relief. It helps a lot if you can engage in some projects with other young people, or if you can travel/change the place of residence. (I found most opportunities here http://www.heysuccess.com/ if there are people out there interested) Actually this blog really reminded me of HS blog, but these advices give some really reassuring insights. It was definitely helpful to put my situation in perspective.
its soo good reading this article, I feel a billion times better about my situation! I have for some reason hit this wall lately where I feel stuck in life, one crappy job to another full of people that make you feel as smart as a bag of beans. Im one week shy of turning 23, and yet i feel like im turning 10. I just feel like people assume that cause im young and starting out in life that im a clueless twat. this is definately a difficult time in life. Soo many choices and opportunities. So many expectations and sooo much pressure to suceed. Its like every time i see someone like family or friends all they do is poke and prod dumping judgement and their opinions on how to soo called better my chances! Like seriously people! Im dealing with that every damn day!!
I just turned 25 a few days ago and I feel EXACTLY the same way. I felt like by now I should have had it all figured out. Amazing job, amazing home and amazing relationships. I just feel like it’s more to life. I want to travel, see the world and yes go on a road trip. It just sucks having all this debt from school loans. It literally can leave you trapped. I think all the responsibility is what freaks me out and not being able to walk away at the drop of a dime. I see other 25 year Olds and say hey I’m behind what am I doing wrong. I think about the young celebrities who are my age and are famous and think hey what did I do wrong why am I not as successful as them. I remember being the youngest in a group now I’m not. I’m literally watching myself age and it freaks me out. I remember 23 being a tough. 24 was great it seemed so young but now 25 it seems so old. I’m not sure but I can say it’s great to have people that feel the same way as I Do. I never post on a site but I just had to this time.
This article and also your whole website has helped me so much over the past few days. It’s such a relief to know that others feel lost and that life hasn’t been feeling like “its supposed to”. Thank you for your articles and also for the humor you tie in as well!
I have to say, I found comfort in this. I’m nearly 26, in a job that I hate, within an industy I’ve hated since I was a little boy. I’m considering moving and changing jobs but as much as I hate it here, it’s comfortable. There’s a definite pay-cheque that pays rent and bills and life can just plod along. But every night I go to bed so disappointed with myself for not honouring the promises I made to myself. I always lived by that John Lennon quote that states all he wanted be when he grows up is happy. That’s all I promised myself. And I have failed that very basic promise.
I’m kind and kind of not where I should be as a 20-something… I am in college, studying animation, I get good grades, I love making animations, I love video games sometimes. But sadly I am dealing with many bad things which make my 20’s less enjoyable; I have no real friends, the “friends” I do have always avoid me, they make excuses whenever I want to hang out, if I say hi to them on facebook, they just “see” the message but never reply but I see them make many posts.
My relatives all hate me, since childhood, my cousins always hated me and left me out and never invited me to their birthdays but they came to mine. They all ignore my friend requests and messages. Proving they are still crappy people after all these years.
I had neglectful parents as a child, and sadly I live with my mom who is very bi polar and can say very cruel things, and she is very controlling and often threatens suicide.
And worst of all I have bad social anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and Depression. I can’t find a good therapist. I can’t find a friend to talk to, I have no one I can talk to at all, and this page is probably the worst place to post this, but I just need to get this off my chest, not really looking for answers, just want someone to talk to is all, someone who isn’t fake and bad like all the rest. Yes I know I won’t find that here or anywhere but at least I got that off my chest. Phew.
I wouldnt mind being your friend!
Sam I’m not…I know it’s been a year, but you sound exactly how my 20y/o son feels.
I just want you to know I read every word and life has dealt you some bad hands. People will fail you that is for sure. The good news is they don’t define you. I hope you have found at least a little something to be hopeful for since you wrote your feelings here. Just know there is a mother out there who can relate through her own son.
I bet once you find yourself you are going to meet a pretty great person.
Found this site while I was googling on mid 20s crisis… Today has been such a day… making myself feeling worst as it already have.
25… 6 months after quitting my job last year… helping mum with her business on the mean time…
lost… most of the time… reach the time that I just cant seem to figure out what is my true passion…
looking friends updates in FB about most of them are happily married totally not helping with my 25-single-mid20crisis me…
I’m just glad that I came across this site. To read that there are people that having the same issues like me… kinda lift up my spirit a bit. thanks 🙂
its the worst when on top of everything.. i think, what’s the fucking point.
Sometimes its just best to live and forget about your age. Let you heart guide your life not your age. Just focus on how you feel right now, and go from there. 🙂
The last one is GOLD!
Im Turning 24 soon and I feel like im 16 and still can be grounded yet I live on my own, putting myself thru college to open my own business by 26-27years. At the same time i feel old because i never go out, been working since 14 and literally have had more than one job at a time…just work work work. Now Work and school and more school but 20’s are awkward because your trying to figure out yourself and The right path to take. Im watching all my friends from high school either marry or have kids if their not on their second or third kid by now and its like we graduated high school 6 years ago. I remember it like it was yesterday, they didnt experience life yet.
Hi I’m Ferdi. I am 26 yo and my life has never been this hard since the beginning of my 20’s. My study, my job, my love were so much easier. I graduated as top 10%, accepted in a good company, got promoted, and everything I achieved easily, until currently I am feeling the world is just “freezed”. I never get any promotion, all the efforts done more intense than what I did before but the result was demotivating. I have been in the point where I am thinking that do I really want to keep doing with what I am doing right now or start changing the directions.
Sorry if my english is confusing because I am not a native speaker 🙂
Thanks for the article! It made me feel a bit relieved.
I found this website a couple of weeks after I turned 20 and found myself crying out of nowhere when I was alone because I wasn’t where I thought I would or should be. I thought I would be going to a university in a dorm with a job, maybe a boyfriend, and a couple of people I hang out with often that I can be real with. I go to a community college (Its not bad, I just need to transfer), I still live with my mom, no job, and I feel alone most of the time. Reading these articles help me a lot, I just need to get up and do it instead of pushing it to the back of my minds me forgetting about it.
Ashnacole, the more eyes-wide-open and intentional you are about your twenties, the more fulfilled you will find yourself down the road. Friending is difficult during these years, some days the last thing you want to spend energy doing is building a new friendship (and Facebook doesn’t count:). It is worth reaching out, inviting people out to coffee or over for dinner is a step in the right direction. Get plugged into your local church young adult group or an activity that you enjoy (a free one is even better). It gets better, I promise, but keep showing up, keep reaching outward. Also, check out my article on the 7 pitfalls to avoid in your twenties. If you can get these down, you will be better off than most! https://allgroanup.com/twentysomething-life-2/7-gigantic-pitfalls-to-avoid-in-your-20s/
Awesome post Paul. LOVE #2
So I everything was going exactly how I planned until I had no choice but to drop my nursing classes because of my GPA. I just worked for a year, was really depressed..still am. I’m living under my parents I was really close to having it all together. I feel so alone. My friends from school all post pictures about how great clinical are..and I just get so jealous. I literally worked my butt off in school. But just to not have it pay off really made me so unstable, insecure and broken. Now I don’t feel like I have the same drive anymore. My parents are just so nice and willing to do everything for me. But I feel so dependent and like a child. I was always so independent, knew what I wanted. I just don’t know how to redirect myself.
Im 24 and i felt like life sucks as we get older. :p id really thought that when i went 21 and be independent, life would become easier because there’s no longer parents who would stop you from doing what you want.. But im wrong. 🙁 being kind of independent and 24 feels so pressuring that my thoughts of being 24 wasnt the one i expected when i was 19, thinking of what i would be like 5 years from now. Whatever.
You loose faith because you want too. I’m not giving up on Jesus cause my life is crap right now. But other than that, it kinda makes sense.
okay i have to have this book! im completly lost, im 23 and and a fairly new (7,5 month and counting) believer and i need advise perspective. this gave me some encouragement already and you are hilarious, haha, i must have this book.
Thanks Sarah! Have you been able to grab 101 Secrets For Your Twenties? Would love to hear what you thought. Hope your week is being filled with amazing.
Im 21 and completely lost in terms of a career. 🙁 But University isnt an option for me..
I can relate to every single point of your list, frankly 15. and 16. are hammering me right now.
Everything felt in place back in 2014., don’t be mislead I really worked hard for it . First I broke up with my boyfriend, that relationship was so wrecked from the start I was young needy hormonal imbalanced teen in his final “teen race” looking for “fun” . He was more mature and caring person, I must point that out. Obviously we never learned how to love each other due to our different perspectives. After that shit-heart storm, I will illustrate it as a mixed bowl of resentment, regret and relics of love (accompanied with a lot of Rhye’s, King Krule’s songs potentially leading to frigidity), I thought the world was mine back again. Must be!
After that I tried to fix my puzzled young life as I found it to be.
I worked out approximately 5 out of 7 days a week, I changed my diet (moved to veggie neighborhood where cooking is less complicated) finished my uni assignments from 2013. and focused on my present well being. I quit social smoking, social drinking, student crappy job I h-a-t-e-d. I managed to sleep like a real person, you know, with no recollection of dreams, faces from past, wrinkly- post war blankets and sheets under my A*s. I was like ‘ Wooooow, look at me being energized! I can climb a mountain!’ …..and so I did. Every Sunday.
Everything was easy after I’ve built self-discipline and changed the way I think, or so I thought. I even left my flatmate, apartment were all my memories of messy lifestyle remain.
So here I am, alone in my new apartment, rambling about past instead of I don’t know, putting some make up and being young and free and all that modern embracing-womanhood-booty here-down and -all over the -place crap, hunting some werewolf men out there on a Halloween night. Just for tonight.
Truth is I want to learn how to be free and spontaneous again, to say FUCK it and BE twenty ( as I am according to Planet) but life is much more complicated than just realizing and doing it.
I completely appreciate this post. I’m working as a staff accountant right now for a large, publicly traded firm and I just feel like I’m in this rut. I know this isn’t what I want out of life–a corporate job with tight wads. I’ve all but decided that my true calling in life is helping people, and thats through nursing. I just have to get my bearings together so that I can get back in school for it. I was a CNA before I graduated high school and I loved helping people and being in the medical field. I love the fast paced nature. I’m hoping once I get back and get interested in something in my life I can start to feel on track again. I just want to love my life and be excited about everything going on in it.
Thanks Cody! Really appreciate the great comment. Sounds like you’re finding one of the hardest, yet most important, things you can find in your 20s — clarity. Awesome! Keep intentionally fighting to live intentionally.
Very inspiring article. I gotta say, my life isn’t better than any of the stories other people here posted. I’m almost 25, I finished my multimedia design and communication AP degree in 2015, I haven’t worked since 2014 and now we’re in 2016. I came back from denmark to live with my parents cause I have no money saved. I have my friends which are more like acquaintances and nothing more and even though I don’t have any problems interacting with strangers and people I know, it’s like something is holding me back from not wanting to go out. My sleeping hours are kind of chaotic since sometimes I go to bed at 11pm and other times at 3am and sleep so many hours to the extent that I feel ashamed of waking at hours like 10am-12pm. Often times, I spend more than 7 hours almost straight in front of my laptop searching and researching ways of how to make money online or read and watch conspiracy news.
I have this strange feeling in my guts that even though I plan for and desire success badly, the thought of knowing that this world is coming to an end soon according to the bible prophecies being fulfilled by current world events, I still fail in pursuing my dreams and passion such as online entrepreneurship. It’s like my mind keeps telling me over and over again everytime I want to do something for myself and my future family: “Let it go, Levi. What’s the point of working towards success if you won’t get the chance to see it?”
Oh, and did I mention the fact that I don’t have a car though my car license is almost 6 years old? I have very good sex appeal and skills with girls but…It makes me wanna punch in my own balls when I realize I have no place of my own, no position, no money, no empire, no life experiences as traveling for the sake of traveling, no car and no nothing, only my skills which still help me keep a steady confident state of mind. But it feels horribly frustrating when you know 25 is jumping on you like a lion. How do I tame this lion that overwhelms me?
And yes. I have a girlfriend which still has a train to catch to get to station #18, which is a whole’nother story.
Any of you who feels like this world is going to hell literally, your years of pension are close, you feel like you wanna become a person of success, but still wonders….why bother? (I need some help to figure out how to make the idea of ‘why bother’ disappear out of my head)
thank you!!! honestly i put on this whole i have my shit together mask and sometimes i break down, I need reminders like this to remind I’m human not super human.
I think personally that happiness/fulfillment = Expectations – Reality. Long story short, you set objectives for yourself, and when life disappoints, you get miserable. Why are many Buddhists happy? Because they give up on alot of the goals Westerners set for themselves. We are in a society where we want success, power, status, etc…And when we fail to get it, we feel like failures.
All I can say, is that to me part of the solution is setting realistic goals, and working towards them. This sounds easy but isnt. You gotta visualize and define exactly what you want, otherwise life will keep hitting you in the face and give you something else than “what you ordered”.
Another thing is action action action. Getting stuck is a choice. No matter what you do, do something. Life will go by anyway.
Source = 27 years old who had serious crisis at 23-25
I love this post, had me laughing about how accurate it was on some points.
Makes me feel a little better about being 20.
Very mixed bag here
thanks for the sharing))
Thanks for the tips. I have one more thing to add – don’t be afraid! Life is great and don’t be afraid of trying smthng new and crazy – lose all your money at little online unknown online casino like norske-casino.eu or win a lot, move to another city or country, learn another languages, travel a lot! Your life has a lot of great possibilities, use them!
I’m 25, and I feel lost and alone. Everyday I feel like I wanna quit my job, but i dont feel confident enough if I could get another one though. I feel stuck, and unmotivated. I dont wanna go out with my friends (friends I used to hang out with) anymore on weekend. I just wanna eat, eat, eat, eat and eat and then feel bad with my body later on. I unfollow lots of my college& highschool friends who keep posting their fancy vacation trips, fancy foods, fancy wedding etc. Everyday I feel like Im a big failure with lots of debts and unpaid bills.
Thanks for sharing your story Rain! I know many of us can relate. Keep warring for hope. You’re not alone in this twentysomething struggle.
Here are some more articles at All Groan Up that I think will help speak into your situation and encourage you.
Failing at your 20s? You are in Famous Company — https://allgroanup.com/careerish/twenties-famous-company/
9 Signs Your 20s Are Not Going as Planned (and why that’s a good thing) — https://allgroanup.com/featured/9-signs-your-20s-are-not-going-as-planned-and-why-thats-a-good-thing/
Why your Quarter Life Crisis is the best thing that could have happened to you – https://allgroanup.com/adult/quarter-life-crisis-benefits/
28 and somehow still alive, checking in. After graduating amid the ‘Great Recession’, I resorted to delivering Pizzas for a year. I’ve had a couple of failed internships. I have been laid off and fired from a few different ‘grown-up’ jobs. I’ve moved out and moved home 3 times, and moved way more than that due to roommate and landlord issues. NYC chewed me up and spit me out. I have been depressed and at times pretty dependent on certain substances, both pharmaceutical and illicit to get by–and have gotten sober a few times–now currently at 10 months no drink or drug. I have had 4 or 5 therapists and way too many confidantes. I have been in one relationship, and that was more than four years ago, and currently have no prospects and little motivation to try. I have lost more friends than I can count–some of them who I thought would never leave, but they did. I have deleted my Facebook account, twice. I stopped talking to my father, who is too toxic for me. I destroyed and then completely rebuilt other family relationships. I made friends with people I’d never expect to make friends with. I volunteered on a suicide hotline. I made a fuck ton of mistakes. I checked some items off my bucket list and somehow managed to travel. I attended retreats hellbent on healing myself from the past. At this point I am beyond tired. My twenties were exhausting–expectations were violated every possible way. My saving grace is having no debt, and yet I feel like I paid for my mistakes at a premium. I pray now that my resolve will replenish and I can one day move on from the fiery wreckage of a life I have created. Who knows, maybe by that time it will be too late. Some days I don’t even know who I am or what I want anymore.
I don’t think this list or this site will necessarily help you so much as providing relief in the moment. Many of us are hardwired from childhood to fail and hate ourselves for it. And the people we counted on will leave us to silence, they will avail us to the scourge of our critical inner voices to tear ourselves apart. I can’t say I expect much from life anymore.
I am 32 and just had two break ups do to my first horrible relationships. I missed out a lot of my 20s, but feel 40 and having a adult crisis instead of a midlife crisis. I feel lost not knowing if I will ever meet mr right? I have my career and still thinking lots our my carrer. Thats not the only thing in life and not wanting to be alone with just work and money with no compaion to go along with that.
Where are you from Cristina?
Ok People, I need some advice. My daughter 24 has decided that weed and Adderall is the answer to all. I give my input, because I care. She moved out, has not job and has no money. This guys she is dating has a job (server) 28 years old, a degree but is lazy and has no car. Yes she drives him everywhere. She absolutely hates it if I say anything. I understand that she is a adult. I just want to help her to the road of success. What am I suppose to do? You guys would be the best to ask, being in her age group. I might add that she can live at home rent free, I have given her money, and all I want is a happy healthy relationship with her. But if I even ask one question she becomes defensive and moody. She has changed over the years, she is my youngest daughter. I am full of worry on the path that she is taking. Any advice guys? Thanks
Hi Worried Mom! I can definitely feel your pain and I’m sorry to hear that things have been less than ideal with your daughter. It’s a tough situation to be in for sure. I’d suggest two things:
– Ask her what’s the best way you can support her
– Send her links, resources to articles that you think might help — example might be articles here on AllGroanUp.com that you think would speak to her. That way the advice itself is not coming directly from you. I’ve had lots of parents reach out to me that my book 101 Secrets For Your Twenties has helped their children.
Things will get better, I promise
I agree with most except 13, I think getting plugged into a community that is relevant to your age is MUCH BETTER than leaving church. My young adults community kept me in faith and accountable and with 200 of us, there were plenty of birthday suppers, hangouts, pool parties and in a safe environment that wouldn’t pressure you to do things against your convictions. Plus, we would see each other on campus so it was an encouragement we weren’t alone and we had a great young adults pastor who would help us explore those difficult questions.
I’m 23 and look 15 and feel it idc
I feel exactly the same waaay. I just turned 21, I finished college a year ago and started working thereafter. It’s all fun and games until I realized I’m carrying the world on my back. Responsibilities here and there. My parents are growing old and I have to provide for them. Some days I just wanna stay at home and be a couch potato but I know had to work my ass off because I have to pursue my dreams. Haaay, I do not know. I’ve also been comparing myself a lot, those people my age who’s doing better in life. I mean, do you feel that? Those older ones whom I idolize because they are earning a lot and could buy all their wants and needs. “Living the life” as they say. I wanna be like them and at the same time want to stay at home and rest the entire day. I have a lot on my mind and yet I do not know how to execute them properly. Sometimes, I just think of getting married so I can make an escape but I know that is not too smart to do. Feels?
Holy shit thank you for this. Every fricken word healed my shattered perception-piece by piece.
Thanks Kat! Glad this article could help bring some glue 🙂 If this article helped, then you definitely need to check out the book “101 Secrets For Your Twenties.” http://bit.ly/101-Secrets
Thanks for this article Paul! Just turned 26 😀 Happy birthday to meeee 😛
Your blog saved my life. Thank you. I had no idea what the eff I was going through – now I realise it must be a “quarter life crisis”. I literally thought I was the only one. Everyone seems to have it all together, but that’s obviously not the case. So thank you again. But I have to ask, how can one overcome these feelings? What can we do to feel..”unlost”? And regain a sense of happiness and purpose?