The Quarter Century Club: Why Turning 25 Scares Me
June is a scary month this year.
In a matter of weeks I'll be turning 25, and that scares the living shit out of me. Not because I'm getting "old" or turning "grey" but because being 25 in this day and age is not like being 25 when my parents experienced it.
When my parents were 25 they were married, owned a house, my dad owned his own business and they already had a kid (my big brother) and another on the way (me).
This is not my scenario and it is not the scenario for a lot of my friends.
I'm sitting here writing this blog post in my rental apartment, barely living paycheck to paycheck. I'm not married, I have a College diploma that I'm not currently utilizing, I work full-time as a Bartender and I'm definitely (I'm 1000% sure) not pregnant.
Basically, I'm the complete opposite of my parents at 25.
I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm okay with my situation (kind of) at the current moment in time, but I'm worried about the future for my generation. With this housing market it's almost impossible to buy a house unless:
A) You've been saving since you were a kid
B) Your parents help you out
C) You marry someone who makes $$BANK$$
D) Somehow your rich uncle's cousin twice-removed's son dies and leaves you a lump sum of exactly $1,000,000
So like myself, the majority of my friends either rent a crappy to somewhat decent apartment or still live at home. A lot of us are struggling to pay off student and credit card debt we've accumulated over the past few adolescent years and only a select few of us are actually using our educations in our current jobs. My friends who have kids or are having kids are not married (with one exception) and only one or two of my friends are engaged or married. Being a Bartender or Sever at my age is also not uncommon whatsoever. I actually have friends dying to be a Server because the money is better than anything they will earn in an entry-level position.
When I was a kid I never, EVER, thought that at this age I wouldn't be married with kids and own a house and have a *kIcKaSs* job. 25 seemed like such a "grown up" age and now that I'm here I realize how young and inexperienced I still really am.
It's funny that my parents say "oh you're still young, you've got time" but at the same time, they were in such a different position than me at this age. They were young and they had plenty of time, yet they were so much further ahead in life than me. Maybe the times really have changed, or maybe things haven't changed and we're just more reckless than the generation before us.
I think it should be looked at on a case-by-case basis, but for me I know that I've always worked hard and wanted to better my life and things just seem to happen. Life gets in the way of life itself, and it makes it next to impossible to get ahead. I've made some stupid decisions in my life I'll admit, and I'll confess that I've been irresponsible with my money at times but I've always at least tried. I've never been out of work and I've always looked for ways to better my situation. Sometimes they're irrational decisions and they don't always work out, but a lot of the time you don't know until you try it.
I'm learning that I can't compare my life to everyone else because things aren't always as they seem at face-value. It may look like someone has everything or they're living the dream, but there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes that we don't always know about. So with that being said, we have to just carry on and try not to get caught up in the numbers surrounding our age.
All I know is that I'm going to really soak up these next few weeks of being 24 before I dive head-first into the Quarter Century Club. It's scary, but I know that things will happen as they are supposed to.
"Don't measure your life's accomplishments by someone else's ruler"