Old Enough But Young Enough – The Truth About Your Mid Twenties

October 25, 2015 9:41 pm

The mid twenties: one of life’s most intriguing stepping-stones. Old enough to take out a mortgage, young enough to still reside in your mum’s house. Old enough to make an informed vote in the election, young enough to ponder over what David Cameron does all day. Old enough to enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner, young enough to take down a line of shots at the bar.

Welcome to the heavily divided world of the average mid twenty year old; read on for an insight into some of the most common complications this generation experiences.


Work Attire

Ah, the work wardrobe. An age-old dilemma for the fresh graduate who has settled themselves into an office job in an attempt to dig their way out of that black hole commonly referred to as an ‘overdraft’. Making that transition from pizza stained tracksuit bottoms to posh white shirts and stiff blazers is a tricky one to master.

Should we immediately drain our bank accounts on navy pencil skirts and beige tights in John Lewis to gain acceptance from our peers, or will we come across as a child who has raided their mother’s wardrobe? The predicament then escalates when the issue of shoes is thrown into the mix. The amount of women who succeed in wearing stilettos for the entirety of the day are quite possibly superhuman.

Being stationary in the killer heels can be agonizing in itself, let alone having to put one foot in front of the other and actually take on the act of walking. Don’t even get me started on heels and stairs. Would your faded Primark trainers really be that inappropriate..?


Social Habits

Life’s scales are thrown completely off-balance when you wake up one day and discover you’re this mid-twenties prisoner. When Saturday night creeps up on you, one part of you still yearns to slap on the fake tan and false eyelashes and head out to the clubs. The other side firmly believes it is the perfect opportunity to slip on your dressing gown and settle down with a cup of tea and some Saturday night telly, especially as this type of activity won’t leave you with a thumping headache and blistered feet in the morning.

This problem is ever-present, leaving you paranoid and anxiously questioning yourself about whether you really are old before your time, or if the clubbing scene has simply come to its natural sticky-floored end.


Moving Out

Those who still reside in their family home will at some point (every other day) be subjected to the chorus of “so when are you thinking about flying the nest?” This is loosely translated to “you need to move out because I want to turn your bedroom into a guest room. Also you’re 25 years old and I still tell you off for leaving your three day old tea on the side.”

The truth is, home is the inexpensive option. Even if you’re paying rent, it isn’t usually an extortionate amount in contrast to the expense of living alone with numerous bills and council tax and God knows what else to figure out. Moving out involves real, grown-up actions like savings, a job that pays you enough to support yourself, numerous trips to IKEA, more savings, redirecting your post, and the low down on just how exactly a washing machine functions. Challenging tasks.

Additionally, the threat of moving out is increased by the fear of that age-old ‘career security’ topic. At this crossroad in your life, you may also be acutely aware that you are not currently in that “dream job role” as of yet, therefore if you fly the nest, that current job will be an awkward one to escape from when you have bills to pay and a fridge to fill. Once more – tricky stuff.


Relationship Woes

This next problem is one that you’ll typically be subjected to during family gatherings, reunions with old friends and visits to elderly grandparents. After polite introductions and the terribly British “how are you, yes I’m fine, and you, oh fine thanks” routine, the conversations usually edge their way towards the subject of your romantic situation. I say ‘edge’, some tend to burst in with a jovial “so tell me about the new (insert boyfriend/girlfriend joke here)!”

Later on it is usually discovered that your Mum “quietly” updated your Aunt about someone who you went on a couple of somewhat awkward tinder dates with. Once you squash said rumours, this frequently leads into a discussion about your cousin who is getting married, or your sisters new baby, or how your best friend and her boyfriend have just bought their first apartment together and wouldn’t it be nice to do that?

You can’t help but think to yourself that what would be nice right about now is a bag of Doritos and a Friends box set. With every passing comment you can feel yourself morphing into Bridget Jones right in front of their very eyes (regrettably without the Colin Firth finale).


Keeping Up Appearances

It seems to be an unspoken rule that when you enter adulthood, a number of things happen in your life – you stop liking sweets, reality TV becomes a bore, and the idea of a child becomes appealing rather than terrifying. Within this transition period, there is also the undoubtedly important question of clothing. I mean, can you honestly still acceptably wear a backpack to work when you’re twenty-five? Are slogan sweatshirts acceptable or a no go zone? Do hair scrunchies look juvenile rather than retro? And of course, let’s not forget the cropped t-shirts. Don’t even go there.

The complications become seemingly boundless. What to wear to social events with work is another one for the problems list; band t-shirts instantly scream wannabe teenager, but who wants to wear boot-cut jeans and waterfall cardigans for the rest of eternity?

Whilst on the topic of your appearance, is winged eyeliner grown up enough for a meal out with friends or should you learn the art of contouring? Then comes the removal of said makeup – can you carry on just (sometimes drunkenly) taking the worst off with a makeup wipe, or should you start keeping an eye out for those ‘fine lines’ (as your mother kindly reminds you) by starting a strict cleansing, toning and moisturising routine? It’s just too much for your mid-twenties brain to process along with everything else going on in your terribly distressing life.


Now that your mind has been opened, or possibly just reminded, of the dilemmas within one of life’s most complex periods, I’ll leave the great Charles Dickens himself to round this up.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”.

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