Whomever said your 20s are easy should be shot.
If you've struggled through this decade of transition, uncertainty and unending questions, you're not alone.
Being a 20-something today brings with it a collection of unique problems that I promise ring all too true for many of us.
How many of these 20-something problems can you relate to?
And don't worry, amidst the problems below there are some 20-something answers sprinkled in-between.
26 Twenty-Something Problems
1. You can't complain to anyone older about your problems because they'll just say, "You're in your 20s, what kind of problems can you have?"
2. Due to years of neglect and abuse, your metabolism begins its official, in-your-face mutiny. And it tries to convince your knees, lower back, and thyroid to join in the fight.
3. You have your bachelors degree, yet are barely able to afford the college loan payments with your job that you're pretty sure you could've done with your high school diploma. So now you've began taking out loans for your masters...
It just makes sense.
Photo by Paul Angone
4. You still feel the pressure to make the absolute most of a Friday and Saturday night, when all your body and soul wants to do is curl up on the couch with your cat. So you end up begrudgingly going out for a few hours. And once you've taken the pictures you feel are "social media worthy," you rush home to your real plans.
5. The fact that all our 1,343 photos on our phone are now filtered through the mental lens of "Is this social media worthy?"
6. You're not where you want to be, but you're not quite sure where you want to go.
7. You used to hate coffee, but now you drink it when you're:
C. Hungry, but trying to fight against Metabolism and its latest attack.
D. Drained by six hours of doing very little at your desk so you chug coffee to remind yourself that you're still alive.
E. You're craving something sweet at 2 p.m. and use coffee as a cover to pretty much drink a cup of Crème Brule creamer. If your sweet tooth was in a pinch, you'd probably drink creamer straight if it was socially acceptable.
8. Spending a little too much extra-curricular hours with co-workers. Unwinding with co-workers is one thing. Really unwinding with co-workers is another.
The office is the bizarro Vegas. Whatever happens outside of the office, WILL NOT stay outside of the office.
9. Wanting a Whole Foods diet on a Burger King budget. Whole Foods is not a store, it's a lifestyle. And I personally am not sure I have the wallet, walk, or haircut to pull it off.
10. Losing touch with all the friends you swore you'd never lose touch with.
11. Being stuck in between growing and grown, not yet sure if you're a kid or an adult.
12. Being stuck in the gap of a big dream and your current not-so-big job. Feeling stuck between the pull of the future and the nostalgia of the past.
It took me a while to learn that the life of a successful 20-something is not about choosing between chasing your dreams and sacrificing them to pay the bills. It's about doing both at the same time. Chasing your dreams in the fringes of your day while you do your best in the job you are in. If you are diligent in both, at some point your job and dreams will shake hands.
Photo by Paul Angone
13. Sharing one fridge with four roommates.
14. Sharing one spacious fridge with only two other people. Your parents. Again. And having them give you chores. Again.
15. Figuring out how to answer, "so...what do you do" for the 1,346th time, when "what you do" is so...not that spectacular.
Why is it that stereotyping certain topics is completely taboo, yet stereotyping an entire generation is all the rage? Stereotype based on race, gender, religion, and sex, and you're getting hate mail. Stereotype based on age and you're getting the front page of Time magazine.
17. Having the privilege of spending another $350 to be a bridesmaid or groomsman.
18. Starting a blog in hopes it will help you clarify some of your problems, not really caring if anyone reads it. Then kind of hoping someone will read it. Then checking your blog stats once a day. Then once an hour. Then refreshing your screen every 15 minutes hoping someone will leave just one comment. I mean ONE COMMENT, how hard could it be?!...Seriously, my friends suck, no one cares what I have to say, gosh I hate blogging...
19. Desperately searching for the answers, without knowing the right questions.
Quarter-Life Crisis (def): Ample anxiety/fear/confusion over the direction and quality of one's life that makes you feel like you're getting the insides ripped out of you like crab legs at a Las Vegas buffet.
Wondering if you're having one? Here's 25 signs you're having a quarter-life crisis.
21. Getting wrapped up in a get-rich-quick scheme, then realizing that get-rich-quick takes about 10 years of hard work to make happen.
22. Traveling to find the answers, then coming home and realizing you have more questions than when you began.
Photo by Paul Angone
23. Netflix. It's hard chasing your dreams if you're busy streaming someone else's.
24. Oh and just the small pressure of figuring out your career, where you're going to live, marriage, faith, identity, etc. - and feeling like you have to have it wrapped up neatly in a red little bow before you exit the decade.
25. The overwhelming feeling that the best plan you can make in your twenties is to plan to keep making new plans.
But isn't being lost and exploring pretty much the same thing? The main difference is that explorers get lost on purpose, with purpose. They have a plan and people alongside them when the obstacles become too great.
In your 20s don't be afraid to get lost on purpose, with purpose.
This post originally appeared at AllGroanUp.com