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When you were a teenager you couldn’t wait to grow up. I always remember dreaming about turning 18. I thought being an adult would unlock the keys to the world. I also thought that I could move out and get away from my mothers nagging. At 22 I still live at home and my mum still complains because I don’t make my bed in the morning. What freedoms do I really have? My job allows me to buy pretty things and I spend my weekends procrastinating about a novel that I desperately want to write. Welcome to the life of a 20 something graduate.

As a child we are consumed by dreams that get shattered throughout our teenage years. University restores your belief in dreams, only for you to enter the real world and have them destroyed again. I am am a positive person but can’t ignore the reality that is all around me. Unemployment, the rising cost of living and the media who is constantly telling us that money and body transformation are the only ways to happiness. This is suppose to be the best time of our lives but sometimes it’s a struggle to enjoy it. Your 20’s are the hardest decade of your life because….

The Constant Identity Crisis

Who can honestly say they know who they are? I can’t. Your life is constantly changing and the only thing you can be certain of is the person you are today. Most of us are trying to create the perfect image. We spend thousand of pounds changing our wardrobe, bleaching our teeth and buying weave (ladies of course). What about those of us who are chasing one degree after another? Do you feel that education is a defining part of our identity? I don’t think so. The people who are happy and successful usually have outstanding social skills and are happy with themselves . But can you be happy with yourself when you don’t know who you are? I think it’s important to accept yourself right now. Who knows who you might be tomorrow?

Friends Disappear

As we go through the different stages of our lives friends come and go. I think there is something special about the 20’s decade because more friends seem to leave. The transition from university to work is difficult and some friendships don’t survive. Our lives change and your priorities aren’t drinking and spending hours on the phone. Working has made me more responsible and I can’t live as recklessly as before because I care about the consequences. I still have friends who want to go out all the time, when all I want to do is relax at home. Losing friends is another cruel part of life but you must look on the bright side. If your friendship doesn’t survive that it’s run it’s course. You are left with great memories but you have to move forward.

Relationship Envy

This is what you get if your single and all your friends are committed. I am in a relationship but I see what my single friends have to go through. Whether your straight or best of both, decent relationships are hard to find. This is the time your suppose to meet your life partner and settle down. If you want to be married by 25 you need to meet that person now. I see how important this is to my African friends (culture can be a stressful thing). We only have to look at the media or our own Facebook timeline for idolized images of relationships. No one shows you the tears and near break ups. If you are in a relationship then you are worrying about the future. There is no time to waste on an unsuitable partner. I don’t think we should waste time worrying about relationships. Whether your single or taken, you can’t predict the future. Just enjoy the now.

Career Uncertainty

Did you know that we will probably change career three times within our life? This isn’t that surprising considering that most of us are working in professions that might not exist in the future. Most of us are working in jobs that we don’t like or that don’t require our skills. I am lucky enough to be at the beginning of a career that I love. It didn’t begin as my dream job as I wasn’t at home writing a novel in my comfortable office (the ultimate dream). Dreams change and you should make the best of the opportunities you are given. This doesn’t mean that you can’t explore other options. Sometimes you need to take a risk. My only advice is don’t leave a job before you find another one. I don’t worry about tomorrow because that stops me from enjoying today.

This blog idea began on a crowded train. I was wondering why I had to work so hard and why I didn’t have the answers to all the questions that I asked on a daily basis. The only answer is life is a journey. It’s not always going to be pleasant and sometimes their will be delays. The most important thing is to have fun along the way and spend each day doing something you love. You might not be there yet but it will happen. I believe now is the time to create the life you want. It won’t be easy but I’m sure you know that.

*What is the hardest thing about  being a in your 20’s?