7 Important Reasons Why It's OK To Not Have Your Life Together In Your 20s

Photo: Thomas Young on Unsplash
It's OK to not where I want to be at 25 not successful in your 20s

Adulthood. A word I looked forward to all too much and was met with far too quickly.

No one teaches you how to be an adult. The American education system is all about drilling into you the Pythagorean Theorem as though it’ll someday help with your taxes, but when you finally come to, being an adult isn't really what you always imagined. Some things get thrown out the window while others get thrown right in your face.

Upon graduating university this past May, I’ve been in a reflective state. I’m constantly weaving in and out of existential crisis mode.

At 22, I have friends who have full time jobs - with entry salaries that’ll make your jaw drop. I also have friends who are married and having kids or going back to graduate school.

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There’s this universal pressure that as soon as we reach a certain threshold in our early 20's, we’re supposed to have a 401K ready for retirement and think about how to be successful in life and in our careers. However, I, among many others, don’t have a plan. I don’t know what I want to have for dinner, let alone what I want for the rest of my life.

All too often we forget that it’s okay to be exactly where you are in life, especially during your 20's.

Here are 7 reasons why you don’t need to have everything in your life together in your early 20's.

1. There isn’t a formula for the perfect life. 

No one has the power to write your own story other than yourself. Similar to many authors, there will be mistakes made in the drafts. All you can do is learn from those mistakes and grow. The exciting, and even at times most nerve wracking part of this life, is the unknown. You can’t follow a predestined path for your life, because you’re the one making it now. 

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2. Don't feel like you're ready to be an adult? Blame your education.

Hear me out: your primary education didn’t teach you the fundamentals to being an adult. I know a few elements on the Periodic Table. I vaguely remember trigonometric functions from my math class. I know why the caged bird sings!

However, I know I was never taught how to do taxes, fill out W-9 work forms, or make a simple dinner that didn’t consist of a microwave. 

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3. Success doesn’t happen overnight.

Success isn’t a given, nor is it granted to you. Unless you happen to be one of the lucky few who have been afforded opportunities most don't get, life is work. Life is hard work. You need to give yourself grace that you haven’t had enough time to flourish.

Also, Oprah was fired from her Baltimore news station, now she has her OWN network - literally. 

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4. Everyone has their own struggles.

We only see the surface level into everyone’s daily lives. Instagram only shows our best moments. Facebook tells us our best stories. What we don’t see are the posts where we live paycheck to paycheck. We might not 'gram' the leftovers we’ve had for a third night in a row, because the cost of food is much too high. There are life struggles we don’t see, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. 

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5.  Who cares if your life isn't perfect in your 20's?

Whether it be from your family or peers, the pressure is on. The trick though is to realize that the only opinion that matters most is your own. If you’re not happy with your life then take action. Don’t get a job because it’ll make your parents happy. Don’t date someone because all your friends are. Do you. Do what makes you the best version of yourself.

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6. You’re “young, dumb and broke” and that’s okay. 

Following the wise words of singer, songwriter Khalid, your 20's are the time to make mistakes. In order to be old and wise, you have to be young and dumb. Lessons have to be learned in order to grow and gain wisdom. The money moves also have to be made, but don’t get too lost in the hustle that you forget it’s okay to not be okay. 

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7. You live your life for one person.

Your family and friends all walk a path different from your own. You’re the only person who can change your own future. You shape and craft it like the artist you are. Someone else’s masterpiece simply cannot compare to your own. The questions and fears will always resurface and manifest in new ways. But I promise, the answers and hope for the the future are far brighter than anyone can imagine. 

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Isabella Ong is a writer who covers pop culture, astrology and trending topics.