You will notice that half your friends are getting engaged while the other half are still getting drunk.
I’m not going to lie; this can be a weird divide. Some of your friends will be out every night, pounding back drinks within the comfort of a dark club throbbing. There will be loud house music and impending regrets while the other half might be starting to plan bridal showers.
Your news feed may start to feature more engagements, wedding photos and pregnancy announcements. This will happen while the rest of us are still living our lives like Amy Schumer, but also feel kind of conflicted as to whether we should be settling down, because well, some of our friends are, right? Although on saying that, even the people who aren’t yet ready to settle down are probably already thinking about the time when they will be engaged. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them had already decided to check out these white gold diamond engagement rings so they can get a bit of inspiration before they meet their dream partner. I mean we’ve all done it right? Regardless of where we are in life, it’s something that all women have done at some point.
It’s okay. There is no set time frame everyone needs to follow in regards to their adult life; take it as it comes.
You will trade in weekly bar meetings fueled by vodka for daily office meetings fueled by coffee.
The 9 to 5 grind, or whatever time period you work for that matter, changes a lot of the weekly habits you may have developed in college.
As a die-hard nighthawk, I never used to bat an eyelash at the concept of going out on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Especially not with my good friend vodka in tow and I could still make it to class the next morning.
But as my University career started to come to a close and my 9-5 professional career took precedent, I realised one sad reality. I am not physically or mentally capable of dancing with the devil (vodka) during the workweek.
Instead, I embrace my adult-born appreciation for regular sleeping patterns. I go to bed before 12 am and drink my body weight in coffee throughout the day, no hangover included.
I swear, this does not make you boring. It makes you functional and most importantly, employed. After all, you can re-friend vodka on Friday.
You will start to notice which friends are in it for the long-haul, and those who were temporary.
There is a significant shift in the nature of friendships between your childhood and adulthood. As we get older, the friendships we keep are no longer simply a matter of convenience. A lot of the time, our adult lives don’t operate on convenience.
The people we share our lives with are those we make a conscious effort to keep in our lives, despite distance, jobs or developing families. As time goes on, we become privy to which of our friends are in it for the long haul and those who may be temporary.
You will recognise the friends who are your soul mates. This mean that you will also recognise those who are just around for an occasional good time. This may be hard to accept at first, as certain friendships may change or drift apart, but the friendships you keep will be the one’s that truly can transcend time and change, and will mean all that more to you as a result.
You develop a more appreciative and far less teenage angst-ridden relationship with your parents.
I like to think my childhood was a walk in the park in regards to parental duties, but I know it wasn’t. I was stubborn, argumentative, lacking in fashion sense and just as moody and confused as any other teenager struggling to develop a sense of who they are.
Not to say I totally put my parents through the ringer, but it is safe to say that, as you become an adult you develop a greater appreciation for your relationship with your parents.
Suddenly, home seems far more appealing and all that advice your parents have relentlessly provided you throughout the years, whether you took it or not, might start to make a lot of sense. Oh, and mum’s home-cooking… that will always be un-paralleled.
You might have a quarter-life crisis, or two.
A few weeks ago, while considering my recent graduation from college and the shift to my full-time job, I had a slightly irrational breakdown. This may seem ridiculous, but a crisis isn’t always reserved for the mid-life time frame.
Upon the realization that many of my closest friends were taking off to the other side of the world while I started a career, I found myself coming undone to my best friend (who is soon to leave for Thailand) about how I will be stuck alone in the city while everyone important to me scatters to different sides of the globe.
The fact is, we are all in very different places, both psychologically and physically, throughout our young adult lives. We are all at turning points, of some sort. Some of us will take the time to explore the world or continue education. Some of us may take an early step into reality with a full-time gig. This can be scary to those of us who may still want to travel, don’t have a full-time job yet or just aren’t ready to have it all figured out.
But, the key here is not to panic. If there is one thing most of us can agree about our twenties, it is that nothing is set in stone. I repeat, nothing is set in stone.
Whether you are working or traveling, or saving those things until later, don’t let yourself fall apart over the notion that ‘this is it’ because trust me, it isn’t. You have plenty of time to explore your options, make a change or settle down.
You get your sh*t together, I mean really together.
Suddenly, you seem to recognise those minor routine things like scheduling doctor’s appointments and eating food that doesn?t come from a box, can or drive-thru, can actually be kind of important. As is saving money, paying bills and even not clicking ‘remind me later’ when your computer prompts you for a security update.
You’ll also likely be broke from the build-up of student loans and more than a few wild nights at the bar in college, so budgeting quickly becomes a way of survival until you get back on your feet financially.
You’ll probably even trade up your weekly reading of TMZ, Perez Hilton and US Weekly for the New York Times, Huffington Post and some staple guilty pleasures like yours truly, Taylor Magazine. Sure, you still enjoy catching updates on how much hotter Jennifer Aniston is at 45 than most of us will ever be and you may be no Frank Underwood in regards to an understanding of political game, but somewhere along the road to adulthood, you become genuinely invested in staying up to date and informed.
No more endless bouts of Netflix streaming (except on weekends, of course). No more leaving the house every day with wet hair and clad in sweatpants, or spending hours on end on Tinder (hopefully). Sure, there is always a time and a place, but you’ve now figured out how to make time for what really matters.
Welcome to the precipice of “adulthood,” my friends and may the odds be ever in your favor.