Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Evolution in Your 20's

I am 28 years old.  I have noticed that as I progress through my 20's (ahem... get older), there is an evolution.  This has become more apparent as I am associating with people both older than me (the dreaded 30's) and people younger than me (under 25... some just graduating college).  Here is my take on the 20's Evolution for young professionals.

Early 20's (22-24)

In your early twenties, you are thankful to not be living under your parents wing.  You have a job, but it probably doesn't pay you a whole lot.  If you have an apartment and a car, then you are living paycheck to paycheck.  You are probably living with other people, crammed into an apartment that is too small. In college, you thought that Miller Lite was the "nice" beer and would only drink it on special occassions.  Today, you will regularly drink Miller Lite (but you always ask your friends to chip in for a case).  You probably think you know a lot more than you do.  True, you are smart, motivated, and eager to learn, but this does not always make you the best decision maker.  You are probably frustrated at work from the "dinosaurs" who tend to linger around and, in your opinion, don't do a whole lot to enhance productivity.  You still think you're invincible and will run the world someday, all while going out several nights a week.  When you do go out, you think that you need to be the center of attention.  I've witnessed too many 24 year olds who aren't confident and come off like bambi's when they are around guys at a bar.  To these ladies, just wait a few years and you too will roll your eyes at the bambi's (wide-eyed, eager, and think a guys attention is the only thing that matters).  The guys spend more time on their hair than is humanly possible.  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe they are preserving it for when they don't have any... this is a mystery I do not yet understand.  For now, you are just trying to figure yourselves out.  Did I forget to mention the marriages... yes, all of your friends who were college sweethearts are getting married.  Trust me when I say a handful will already be divorced by the time you're in your late 20's.

Mid 20's (24-26)

In your mid-20's you begin to make more money.  You have some disposable income.  You are not living paycheck to paycheck to pay your bills.  Now you regularly drink Miller Lite, but you don't ask your friends to chip in for the case of beer.  Sometimes, on special occassions, you'll splurge on good beer (think microbrews or imports).  By now you've learned that there is something to be said for experience.  You appreciate more people professionally and hopefully you aren't as arrogant.  You finally realize that book smarts aren't the most important commodity but book smarts plus the ability to understand people is the most important.  By now, you may be bored in your first job and searching for something more.  You are likely plotting a way to go to graduate school or to switch jobs into a more high-powered career.  You still go out, but you begin to roll your eyes at the "young kids, just out of undergrad".  You no longer think paying $12 for 4 beers at a bar is expensive (yes... there was a point in time where I was flaberghasted that I paid $12 for 4 beers... now... I think that would be an amazing deal).  Now you finally have an idea of what you want your career to be, you begin to understand the steps in life you should take to get what you want out of it.  This is truely the wedding season.  You probably have 6-8 weddings a year and it is putting a damper in your budget and you just hope that you get married soon so that all of your friends now have to give you gifts.  Now is the shocking thing about your mid-20's... your friends are starting to have babies. People take this one of two ways... they find it exciting because they can't wait until they have their first child or they are completely freaked out and don't understand why somone would want to have a kid at this age.

Late 20's (27-30)

You are settled in your job.  You have disposable income.  You have purchased or are thinking about purchasing your first home.  You finally know what you are doing in your career.  You have more authority at work.  You no longer have to hide your age.  It doesn't feel like you're working for your parents anymore... now you're working with your peers.  You know think that Miller Lite is a cheap beer and only drink it during sporting events.  You may be becoming a foodie and trying the newest places to eat around town (that is unless you have children, in which case, you're spending all of your time and income on your kids).  Your friends are getting divorced.  You find that it is normal to date someone who is divorced.  You become really annoyed with the bambi's (both male and female) and want to date someone at least your age or older.  You begin to dream about vacations, not vacations to someone's lake house where you might be guarenteed a spot on the floor, but a vacation to somewhere fun and exotic (where you can stay in a hotel!!!).  I'm not going to lie, so far, the late 20's are my favorite.  I can't wait until I see what is next (unless that involves me having lots of babies... I don't know if I can handle that).

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