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15 Unrealistic Expectations We Have for Our Twenties


The glorification of our twenties in movies, television, advertisements and social media led us twenty-somethings to believe that there are various stepping stones in life we should have accomplished once we reach a certain age, and if we have yet to accomplish those goals, we are failing as functional human beings. In reality, your twenties are a time to explore, to learn, make mistakes and fail forward -- but instead, we make these unrealistic expectations for ourselves.

1. Having a dream job right out of college

Remember when you thought you were going to have a salaried job straight out of school instead of putting “hire me” on your grad cap?

2. Knowing who you are as a person

Your personality changes at every stage of your life. You do not need to know 100 percent who you are at 20 years old… or even 22… or even 28.

3. Knowing what you want to do... for the rest of your life

With the world changing so rapidly… there's a good chance your future occupation is something that doesn’t even exist right now.

4. Having the same body as you did in high school

Stop being upset with yourself for not being as skinny as you were in high school. You’re not in high school, you’re an adult with an adult body.

5. Finding “the one” and getting married

The "one” is probably telling his current girlfriend they’re going to be together forever…Funny, right?

6. The “white picket fence” dream

America has evolved so much since the traditional “two kids, one dog and a white picket fence” was a normative and desirable goal.

7. Jetsetting the world on your twenties budget

It might seem like everyone is living a luxurious life in lavish hotels around the world… Just know there’s more to the picture than you see on Instagram.

8 Outgrowing food like tater tots and mac and cheese

Kraft for *life*

9. Not needing your parents for *almost* everything

You might think that you don’t need them anymore… but wait until you have to get the air pressure checked on your tires or interpret an I-9 form. They’ll be the first ones you call.  

10. Outgrowing stores like Forever 21 and H&M

You thought you were over it… but you keep coming back, don’t you?

11. Having a wardrobe like Carrie’s in SATC

Monolos on a 20-something budget?

12. Never being lonely

Before your twenties you assumed that when you got older you’d be in a stable relationship with tons of friends there for you all day, everyday. The truth is, your twenties can feel like a lonely time, but it's the time to find out who is really in your life for the right reasons, and who was never really there for you.

13. Keeping all the same friends as you did in high school and college

You get older. You realize more about each other and yourself, and that’s okay.

14. The expectation that putting yourself over everyone else is selfish

When you’re in your twenties, it's you > everyone... and there’s nothing wrong with that.

15. Thinking you’re too old to make mistakes

You will make mistakes at every stage in your life, and you’ll learn from them. Fail forward.

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