How should we spend our twenties?

Your 20’s are a very confusing time for most of us. Some of us are at uni, some are at work, some are saving for a house, someone are travelling, and some are having babies. But is there a right way to live your life? Why are people told they’ve not lived if they have kids at this age? When’s the right time to end the party? What’s so wrong with living with your parents? How should we spend our twenties?

Education:

Throughout secondary school you’re told the ideal way to succeed in life is to get your A-Levels and then head off to University. If university isn’t for you then getting an apprenticeship is supposedly the next best thing.

Undoubtedly having a degree can open many doors for you, for some careers require a degree whereas for some it’s just preferable. If you have the option to go to Uni, and you feel it’s what’s best for you then I advise you do it! But if it’s not really your cup of tea is it really worth it? Racking up a substantial debt for a course that perhaps you didn’t need, for example someone studying medicine or law has to go to Uni, there’s no two ways about it. But if you’re going to study something like childhood & youth studies or engineering, I don’t see this as a good use of your time. You’re getting a huge debt against yourself to learn things you could learn via an apprenticeship which you’d be paid for. There’s also the option to study at home using resources such as The Open University which would mean you still got your degree but could work and earn alongside your studies.

Education can be a very good use of your twenties and it can lead to a lifelong career but, if studying doesn’t suit then there’s nothing wrong with not continuing your education. There are many careers that don’t require education past your GCSE’s including labour jobs (such as gardening and decorating) or customer service jobs. All are perfectly viable options.

Partying:

Some people will live for the “sesh” throughout their twenties. This isn’t one I personally relate to but it’s one that many people enjoy. They work hard and play harder! If you’re going to look back in your 80’s and be pleased with the fun you’ve had then why the f**k not?! However, it’s important to know when the party stops, or at least slows down. There comes a point when skanking out at Factory on a Friday and Saturday becomes a tad embarrassing for your age. Is there a set age? I suppose not but at some point the party has to slow down a little before you hit 30.

Saving:

Saving your money is a great idea, regardless of what you’re saving for. Some people will save for their first car, others will save for clothes or nice things. Some may even start saving for their first home which is a great idea for a generation of people whom are struggling to afford to buy houses anymore.

Travelling:

Travelling is one of my personal favourites! Not only will you have a lifetime of memories you will get to appreciate the world for all it’s beauty. But is your twenties really the best time to travel? Well I think that depends on your personality, if you’re a party animal and go abroad to party some more then perhaps not. I’m not saying this is the case for everyone because if that’s what brings you happiness then you should do that, but I believe that at some point when the partying stops you’ll be able to appreciate a holiday more. Some people are already at that point, or perhaps you can balance the two. There is no right age to travel but the right time to travel is when you can go and appreciate the views, the culture, and the attractions.

Having Children:

Now this is the most controversial and I have no doubt that some people disagree with this especially the older generation. People LOVE to judge young families. They assume that because you’re young you’re not as capable, you’re not ready, and you should wait until later in your 20’s or your early 30’s.

Personally I think everyone is different, and there are some (not all) people in their twenties shouldn’t be having children, but they’re a select few. I think for the rest of us it’s very much up to you if you’re ready and capable. Nobody should have their parenting prejudged based on their age because the fact of the matter is, some people are naturally mature, some people have had a lot of life experience even at 20, and some learn very quick. If a person is there for their child financially and emotionally, and is able to raise the child in a healthy and nurturing environment then what has age got to do with it?

What’s important is that you are fully aware of all of the responsibilities you will have. During your twenties it’s very easy to get wrapped up in the baby fever as everyone around you becomes parents and you see the good side of things. You cannot decide that now is the time for you to become a parent/family if you haven’t considered the sleepless nights, the changes to your body, the ‘poonamis’, the baby groups, the appointments, and all the rest of it. All of it is so worthwhile but too many times young people forget all this and focus on the sleeping baby they saw for a mere hour of the Mother’s Day.

“It’s time to live your own life without worrying about the expectation of others”

At the end of the day there is no right way to spend your twenties as long as you are happy. People will always judge you based on their own expectations but there is no one life path that suits us all. Find your own happiness whether that be in your career, your family, travelling, just have fun and have your best life!

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