I clicked a link through to the CLEO Australia webpage today to read an article title Is Being Twenty-Something Overrated. I read it and HAD to comment here, of course, it was too long for a comment comment. Firstly, why the Australian CLEO has an article referencing 401k plans and American bloggers when there are sure to be Australian examples they could use for the Australian CLEO is beyond me. Hello. I could do it. Pick me.

Then second, I thought, 20 year olds are smug, that’s their problem. Mostly. Generally speaking. It’s why we love them. Some of those smug bastards basically invented the interwebs and other brilliant things. There’s a lot to be said for twenty-somethings. I remain one by the skin of my teeth, so I know. But they can also be jerks. Let me tell you about the old me. The me that got me to now on the door step of my thirtieth birthday.

I was barely into my twenties and I had it all. I’d landed myself a husband to be, I had a house and another on the way, I signed off the ownership paper on a cafe before I turned 21 and I drove a speedy little red convertible. Let’s just say, as far as being in my twenties go, I peaked too soon. This picture perfect early twenties wasn’t to be. Life got hard. Fast.

By the time I got married I had dragged myself through the sort of depression only someone with everything to lose can experience. I reached my mid-twenties and I was a little less smug. Life had beaten it out of me. Then came the past 4 years of trying for a baby and well, I don’t have an ounce of smug left. Smug is one of those charming personality traits that it takes something to break out of.

So when I read the CLEO article I wondered really if life is any harder for twenty-something now, or is it just the way it rolls with the have it all myth well and truly installed? Maybe being able to have it all is a bit too much to swallow. Maybe it’s the cause behind so many of my peers being trapped in the quicksand of nothingness of no job, no house, no light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe we’re spoilt.

Maybe when houses were cheaper to buy {were they really though? Relatively speaking?} and life ambitions were simpler people just got our lives together sooner? Lived shorted lives and all that so got down to business. Settled down, had some kids, paid off a house, hoped for the best. Perhaps it’s the curse of wanting it all, or wanting the best that is haunting us. Why can’t we live in that one bedroom hell hole to get our foot in the door? Run for coffee to get that job down the track?

It’s a whopping great generalisation to say that ALL twenty somethings are built the same, because they aren’t. And I don’t know, I’ve never been a twenty-something in a past or future generation. I never will be. All I know is that my twenties were awesome and not all at once. I tried hard, failed a lot and succeeded plenty too. I loved and lost and shared and grew and challenged myself. Were they overrated? Maybe just a little. A teeny tiny bit. But that could have been me.

What say you, were your twenties overrated? Or everything you had ever hoped they’d be? 

  • Emma Hinchliff

    I’m 26 and I look back and think I could have done things a little differently if I had been given the chance over again (and I still have 4 more years of 20’s to go) I would change my travel situation. I would have saved all of the money I blew on alcohol and useless shopping sprees and taken myself and my fiance to Europe and USA and just enjoyed some more culture. I would have saved up and probably be married and be able to afford a home by now. But in saying that we have had fun so far, we have holidayed in the Whitsundays, bought our very first brand new car, moved to the Gold Coast and started our careers. Things take time and we are finally on a path that will make us prosperous in our 30’s I think.
    What does Carrie say in the SATC movie? Enjoy yourself!! That’s what your twenties are for. Your thirties are to
    learn the lessons. Your forties are to pay for the drinks!!

    Emma xxoo

    • I know that’s something I wish I’d done more of in my twenties. Absolutely. These days all Hubby and I do is dream of far off places and running away from home. Maybe we’re having a later twenties crisis? Maybe it’s time for us to shake it up a little. Who knows. But I’m going to make it happen.

      I love that line. Remind me to find someone in their forties to buy me a drink! Haha.

  • Hmm to answer this I have to ask if you are asking if I think being in your 20’s, as a whole, is something that is overrated and for me that’s a yes.
    You see I never had those wild nights at 21. I had a baby before I hit 20, and I was done having kids by the age of 22. So I’ve had, in a sense, that settled down life being poor because only one of us works and we have a family of 4 to support on a single income, and we need to be responsible and always think how our actions affect our children, not just now but in the years to come.
    It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve been able to reclaim that little more of me and go out and actually find me. Make a few relatively harmless mistakes, be a little more selfish, and it’s kinda nice to do that with a little bit more wisdom behind me because I feel like I’m really taking it in when I screw up. But I also have to face the fact that we weren’t able to buy a home in our early to mid 20’s like most. That I don’t have a built up career behind me, and the one I had started out in I probably won’t go back to. That our friendship circle is very very tiny because you just don’t keep friends when you fall pregnant so young.
    I’m not sure that my 30’s will be my decade. I think my late 20’s, now, this is going to be my time. I’m going to make some great discoveries and they may not cure cancer but they’re gonna rock my world. I’m going to tell them to.
    I really wish that CLEO would have interviewed you for this article. There are a lot of wonderful Australian bloggers they should have turned to. A lot more relevent and interesting to read in my opinion.

    • I think both. The twenties as a concept and the twenties for you. I think we have a tendency to build up what life is going to look like when we walk out of high school and well, life never goes the way you plan it for long. Haha.

      You will rock whatever age. I know you’ve been struggling of late and if my twenties were anything to go by, that’s par for the course. I look forward to the rocking of the world coming up next. I bet it will be ahhhmazing.

      I wish CLEO had asked me too. Remind me to email someone about this travesty. 😉

  • Amy Wells

    My 20’s have been conflicted, to say the least. I had the time of my life living overseas for a year, and doing the obligatory ‘ Saturday night dance and drink ‘ thing with friends, met the love of my life and have had 2 children…. But I think the depression I’ve had on and off and the way I’ve muddled through that bleakness is what has really defined me. I turn 30 next January so I have one more year of being 20-something, and I predict a year of hard work and sacrifice, punctuated with plenty of belly laughs , cuddles and kisses galore!

    • I was never really into that scene myself. I’ve had plenty of big nights but they were usually over dinners, or at home with friends and family. Depression certainly changes how you go about things. I’ll lt you know how 30 goes when I get there later this week. Haha.

  • Faith

    I was definitely not a smug 20 something! I turned 30 last year (31tomorrow yikes!). After doing the uni partying thing, I spent the whole of my mid and late 20’s in a state of pure fear that I would never amount to anything and rushing to get it all in place. By my 31 birthday I will have a husband, a career, a baby and 2 older children. ( I adopted my husband’s teenage daughters and they came to live with us from Kenya last week!). We don’t own our own house but we are very happy with our long term rental. Houses are totally unaffordable for us right now. I’m not sure what the property market is like in Australia at the minute but here banks are looking for 30% deposit and will only lend 3 x your salary and we would need around 5 x our salary for a property the size we need. I just wish I had taken things slower and not freaked out so much, travelled more, bought more clothes and kissed a few more boys! I had fertility issues too and had several miscarriages.. Every month I was on a total mission to get pregnant and I never really took the time to recover from the lost pregnancies. I was utterly blessed beyond measure by my son but there was a huge amount if anxiety there that impacted on my mental health during and after pregnancy that was not fun. So, I was a scared 20 something and an exhausted but happy 30 something!

    • Oh Faith I love this, thanks for sharing. Exhausted but happy 30, sounds perfect. xo

  • Patrick weseman

    Overrated. The older I get (I am 44), the more life becomes interesting. I am learning about new things and places. Not worried what anybody thinks.

  • sheribombblog

    The first couple of years of my twenties were pretty shite but I’m not quite halfway through and already I couldn’t possibly want more out of my already amazing life. I am not rich. I am not famous. I don’t have a ‘glamourous’ job and yes, I am in debt but I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I have no husband in my future, no house. But I (almost) own my car, I’m taking a dream holiday and I have a job that I LOVE and is just starting to present some amazing opportunities. I think twenty something’s expect too much of life and of themselves. I know I used to. They want it all and they want it right now. But it doesn’t work that way. It’s not supposed to. Thats the scary, challenging, joy and pride of the twenties. That by the time you hit your thirties, you have a hard fought appreciation for everything you have, everything you want and what it takes to get it. The wanting is what spurs you on, motivates you to work hard, set goals and try to achieve wonderful things. It shouldn’t depress you. On the odd occasion that I feel negatively about things, I try to think of it in terms of how it will sound as a story to someone else and usually you can turn it into one of those ‘not funny at the time but funny now’ stories, that helps you to see the funny now. Like looking back and saying ‘remember that time I was so poor I lived on 2 minute noodles for 3 months?’ while you’re sucking down escargot in Paris thinking ‘oh youth!’. Or something like that.

    Sorry for the epic comment 😛

    • LOVE the epic comment. And adore this comment. You’re such a wise head, it always amazes me you’re such a baby really. Haha.

      • sheribombblog

        Hehe baby wise head 😛 I dunno why my brain works this way but it does. And I like it. That being said, I still have much to learn, espeically when it comes to taking my own advice 😛 hah

        • You and me both lady, you and me both. Enjoy your last day of work before your holiday! I can’t wait to see all your pics and read of all your adventures!!!

  • Mel

    I am 24 in July and due to give birth to my first baby in about 3 weeks. I was married by age 22 and I never really did the whole clubbing scene thing. The only thing I wish I had done was travel before having this baby. I never wanted to before but having all this time to think about my future I wish I had waited. One day, I will travel around Australia and I will visit Italy, I have this passion for food and I believe that in Italy I will experience it on a whole new level. 🙂 no my twenties aren’t overrated 😛 definitely a learning curve though.

    • I can imagine! 20’s do wonders for learning curve’s, I think. Haha. All the very best to you with your bub. I hope it’s everything you wanted and more. xo