Why Knowing Exactly What You Want In Life Isn't A Bad Thing

Knowing what you want at twenty is nothing to be ashamed about.

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By MaryKate Lambier

I am a twenty-something woman — slender, outgoing, and in her second to last year of college. I enjoy listening to music, binge-watching Netflix, bubble baths, and big glasses of wine after a tough day.

But something abnormal about me is that I know what I want.

Now, this might come off as cocky but knowing what I want really just scares the s*** out of me. It is something I keep inside and don’t share with others. I am twenty-one and I have a five-year plan, with back-ups.


Why is knowing what I want such a fear, you might ask? Well, it starts with our beloved social media.

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All around me I see television shows, magazine articles encouraging twenty-something women to explore life at this age. Apparently, I should be sleeping with different men, majoring in philosophy, and finding myself.

But what if I know who I am? What if I know what I want?

I no longer party because I am past the emptiness that someone as neurotic as me can experience while attending party after party. I don’t sleep with different men because I have found one that makes me happy.


I definitely don’t major in philosophy because, let’s be real, who can afford to do that in this economy? When keeping all that in mind, the inevitable question is: does this make me boring or responsible?

I look at social media, articles on being twenty, pictures of my friends getting bottle service at the hottest new bar, and I think to myself, am I missing out? This is my fear.

Article after article states that staying safe and making long-term plans at such a young age can lead to resentment and midlife crises later on in life.

As I look at my classmates in their drunken photos I think, will I miss this? Will I resent my boyfriend twenty years from now because we decided to stay in instead of going to that party? I don’t miss it now, but will I miss it one day?


There is constant pressure to experiment, to be free, and to make mistakes. But what the articles don’t know is, that’s just not me, and there are plenty of others that don’t fit into this experimental niche.

I am determined, ambitious, and I know what I want, and that is not a crime.

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This article is for women who know what they want. Who fear that they are going to miss out because they aren’t like the carefree women shown all over social media.

I hear you, and I am with you.

For those adventurous, successful women who have it all, we all wish we could be you. However, knowing what you want at twenty is nothing to be ashamed about.


Whether you know your career path, or you want a marriage and children, never be scared to admit you have a plan for your future.

In this day and age, knowing what you want sets you apart and makes you stronger. You have worked that much harder and will take those steps to get you the job, or the man, or both.

Don’t mind the articles stressing the importance of experimenting in your twenties; your life is long and it is all your own.


Experiment when you want and when the time is right, even if it doesn’t fit into your five-year plan.

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MaryKate Lambier is an English student and writer for Unwritten. Her work focuses on topics of relationships, pop culture, and lifestyle.