Dear Teens, Here's What Happens When You Turn Into a 20-Something
You'll Depend on Others More Than You Think!
Think twice before applying to colleges away from home. Dorm life might seem desirable, like it is the only way you'll get some independence, but make sure you are ready for that step. Leaving home is much more than moving into a dorm. You take on all the responsibilities of cooking, laundry, cleaning and paying for your own necessities and nights out. I'm not saying if you live at home, you won't have any responsibilities; I'm just saying it will be a bit easier with help around you, whether that be your parents, family members, friends and even your advisor. You'll look to them one way or another no matter how much you want to believe that being 20-something means you'll be ready for the world. The invincible feeling of being a teenager will fade.
Connor Franta touches on this subject in his book A Work In Progress. Fear of missing out is exactly what it sounds like. Even though social media is most definitely impacting the teenage years, it actually makes your 20s difficult. At this point, everybody you went to high school with is off doing something completely different, and of course, they are going to share every moment and every accomplishment. When someone posts that Instagram pic at a bar getting "turnt up," or another posts the tweet of whatever cool adventure she's on, the jealous monster comes out inside of you. We all want to make it appear that we've got the most exciting life after our awkward teens. It takes away from enjoying yourself, your life and your unique journey. As Connor says, "Everyone is constantly posting little updates in real time for everyone else to see, so you know what you're missing at every waking moment. It's terrible. No place online is safe."
Birthdays Aren't That Special
You'll wish you were younger when you got toys and cake on your birthday. The birthday cards start to become empty, the heartfelt messages turn into erasable texts, and without Facebook, nobody would even remember your birthday. You'll suddenly remember how annoying your parents were snapping pictures at all your parties and all the friends you once had to celebrate with at Chuck-E-Cheese. Climbing up the 20 ladder just means there's less time to figure out what you want to do with your life.
Everybody starts to come into their own, including yourself. Those people you once thought were your one and only friends might be on a different path than you. But remember this: Those people who are meant to be in your life will stay. Change is OK. There might be a time when you don't have friends, and that is just fine. Use the time to focus on yourself, and eventually you'll come across others who will complete you.
You'll Do Many Things for the First Time
Your 20s are off limits. They're the 10 years that appear to matter the most in the movies and TV. I can't say that's wrong. This may not go for every day but for the majority, you'll experience your first drink, heartbreak, love, big travel, job, college graduation...the list continues. The most important thing to remember while experiencing the firsts is to stay true to yourself and remember that you are here for a reason. Soak up every moment of life. It's only appropriate to say YOLO.