The Great Expectations of Turning 20

A few favorite memories from my 19th year…

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Laying in bed with a seaweed sheet mask on my face, easing the pain of my sunburn, I ring in my 20th birthday. I can’t help but think, is this what 20 years old feels like? I also can’t help but wonder, is this birthday post going to be nearly as inspirational as Carrie Bradshaw’s 30th birthday post? After all, most of us aspire to be the Carrie Bradshaw of the modern-day.

Your 20s are the decade where you become legally able to drink, move out on your own, obtain your first real job, maybe meet the man of your dreams, and, for some, have a baby. How can all of these important life events be squeezed into only 10 years? While you are a teenager you only go through three major life events; puberty, graduating high school, and attending college. It just doesn’t seem right that we are expected to accomplish so much in our 20s and know exactly where we are heading in life.

Just two years ago I was still living in my parents’  house and now I am expected to pay my own bills and create my own family? What happened to a transition period? While moving in with your parents after college is becoming more and more common, how are we supposed to accomplish the things that are expected of us while under the roof of those who have nurtured us all of our lives? Our parents aren’t going to just stop caring for us once we graduate, pushing back the time we will be able to have sustainable things of our own and a meaningful relationship. In a way, this prevents us from growing up.

After graduating college my goal is to pack up my life and move to New York City where I will pay for my apartment entirely on my own, without the help of my parents. I believe this is necessary in order to truly grow and reach the milestones expected of us in our 20s. Our 20s are the years of our independence. This is why it is so essential to step out of your comfort zone, do things you never would have done before, and make your dreams happen.

This year, and the next 10 years, I want to push myself to limits that I thought were never even possible. I want to grow this blog into a work of art I am proud of. I want to intern at Google, making a difference in the world of technology. I want to travel Europe and experience all the different cultures the world has to offer. I want to make a difference in the lives of others who are not as lucky as I am. I want to read as many books as possible, learning about all different subjects. I want to find new ways to meet new people, expanding my social circle. I want to truly grow myself as a person.

I am promising to myself right now, and I want you to also promise to yourself, that I will push my limits and make my 20s the years of accomplishment and growth. Everyone says these are the best years of our lives, so lets truly make it the best years we can. Accomplish what you’ve always dreamed of accomplishing. Meet the person you’ve always dreamed about. Make things HAPPEN.

UPDATE: As I am writing this, discussing these same ideas with my cousin who is next to me in a small coffee shop, a 24 year old woman comments on what I am saying. It is absolutely crazy to have your life together by the time you turn 30, but it is necessary to throw yourself out into the world in order to even have a chance. She told me that there’s nothing to worry about and you learn to accept that nobody really knows what they are doing in their 20s. As long as you are trying, you’re doing something right and heading in the right direction. I couldn’t agree with her more.



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