WHAT NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT BEING IN YOUR LATE TWENTIES


Being 26 means I'm officially in my late twenties - YIKES. While there are not many years that separate you from your early twenties and late twenties, the differences going on in your life between the two are extensive. I'm breaking down all the REAL differences that no talks about.



  • Not being in school anymore is freakin' awesome. No tests, no studying, and no homework is a magical freedom you're not used to having. I once used to dread the 'real world'; thinking work would be so hard and depressing but honestly, it's not too bad. You'll go to work, get s@%$ done, and once 5 o'clock rolls around, that's it for the day. You'll (usually) be able to turn your work brain off and enjoy the rest of your day. This was a crazy (and  amazing) realization, since this was never a thing during college. In college, you'd be stressed for days at a time, spend 24 hours in the library at a time, get no sleep, and continually be worrying right up until you take that test or complete that assignment. While I definitely miss college, I love being able to have a regular sleep schedule.
  • Your definition of "fun" will change. 'Fun' in your early 20's meant going out more days than not, drinking jungle juice in a crowded frat basement filled with unfamiliar faces, staying up until 4am, or going to clubs with deafening music, dark lights, and an over capacity of bodies. 'Fun' in your early 20's sounds a lot more like a scary hell for you today. Fun in your late 20's may consist of a Saturday bottomless mimosa brunch (so you can be in bed by a reasonable hour), trying a new trendy place for dinner, wine nights, or a trip to Home Goods. It's so funny how life flips on you out of nowhere. I used to beg for a later curfew and now I am so happy and content coming home at a reasonable time. Life, man.
  • There's no "template" to follow. In college, all your peers seemed to be doing pretty much the same things as you. Going to class, maybe having a part time job, being involved in some way or another on campus, etc. Everyone moves at a different pace in your late 20's. Some may be getting engaged or married, buying a house, traveling the world, starting their own business, on their 2nd kid, etc. It can be a little overwhelming and scary that we're all going in different directions in life. It's easy to compare yourself to your peers and think you're not succeeding just because you're on your own path. Everyone moves at their own paces and it's OK - there's no template in life you're supposed to be following.
  • Hangovers that were once non-existent now last several days. It makes me shudder to think of the types of alcohol we'd drink in our early 20's. College consisted of $12 handles of vodka, $1 Long Island Iced Tea, and the cheapest beer you can get your hands on (I think I feel a hangover approaching from just writing this). Point being, we would put large quantities of this toxic garbage in our bodies and be good to go the next day. No really... one time I ran a 5k after an all day and night Saturday Tailgate. Ok, I walked.. not ran... but still. The farthest you'll find me walking on any given Sunday these days is from my bed to my couch. And that's after drinking some decent wine or a few (or 7) White Claws. 
  • You will start replacing as many carbs as you can with cauliflower substitutes and it's really not that bad.... but definitely not as good as a big a$$ bowl of spaghetti. Your metabolism has finally caught up with you and you can no longer live off of Easy Mac and 2am pizza & pokey sticks. Luckily, you'll probably kind of enjoy grocery shopping and cooking.... like I get sooo hyped walking into Trader Joe's. I make a trip at least once a week. Life hack: TJ's Cauliflower Gnocchi is 320 calories for the whole bag and tastes like real carb-y goodness. Also, thank god for Pinterest. It's so easy searching new and easy recipes to go along with any diet restrictions you're following. As conscious as you may be about the things you're putting in your body, don't forget to treat yourself every now and again. Oh, and always drink water. LOTS of it.
  • You like, really need to start investing in a good skincare routine. There was one day I looked in the mirror and I'm like where the F&$% did these wrinkles come from? There's no beating around the bush: getting old sucks and you need to do everything in your power to preserve that ~youthful~ skin. Your $10 drug store moisturizer that you would use only when you *remember* will no longer cut it. My biggest tips are to drink TONS of water (seriously, the cure-all), ALWAYS remember to remove your makeup every night, ditch the tanning beds and avoid the sun (spray tans and self tanner are life), and find the skincare products that work best for you.  My skincare holy grail is the entire line of Drunk Elephant products. They are extremely pricey but so worth it for me. If you told 'college me' that I would replace my $10 Aveeno moisturizer with a line of products that will cost me about $200 I would never believe you, yet here we are.... And if you're still not happy, there's always Botox 👌
  • You appreciate time with family much more than you ever did before. Not to say that you didn't before, but it's definitely different once you go away to college and/or move out of your parents house. You once used to think your parents were so uncool and embarrassing and you used to ignore most of their calls... and then one day that will all change. You'll realize that your parents are kind of... cool... and funny... and fun to be around. Crazy, right?! You'll also realize just how good you had it at home with home cooked meals every night, your mom doing your laundry, and just being able to see them every day.  I only get to see my parents a couple of times a year and I'd be lying if I said I don't tearing up a little when they leave after a weekend visit. It's funny to think of how desperately you wanted to have all the freedoms of being an adult and move out of the house but now you're like... ok, I didn't have it so bad and adulting is hard.
  • Dating is a B*%#&. You'll have this illusion that once you're out of college and living in the ~big city~ the world (and men) will be at your fingertips but in reality, day to day life is no rom com. It's hard to meet people. You don't want to succumb to another dating app but it seems like the only other option in meeting someone is when you're out drunk at a bar, and that hasn't seemingly worked out in the past. It will also seem like everyone around you is in a relationship, especially once summer comes to an end and 'boyfriend season' approaches. Couples will start to only want to hang out with other couples - I'm guilty of this, too. Make your friends in relationships set you up with your boyfriends friends and go on double dates! Even if it doesn't work out, group dates/activities put much less pressure on the two being set up on the date. 
  • People are not as happy as they portray themselves to be on social media. This is a pretty obvious one, but I think we all need a reminder every once in a while. It's so easy to get caught up in social media and start comparing yourself to COMPLETE STRANGERS on the internet. We've all scrolled through our news feed and wished we were as happy, stylish, organized, or as pretty as someone you follow or were envious of someone who seems like they're always traveling, shopping, going to fancy events, etc. In reality, you don't really know what's going on behind those pictures. A smile in a picture doesn't make a happy person. After all, Instagram is everyone's 'highlight reel'. No one is posting the nitty gritty every day life stuff. Do yourself a favor and disconnect every now and then. Social media detoxes are good for the soul. 
  • It's not cool to blackout. Not saying that it ever was, but it was definitely more acceptable in college because..well.. everyone was doing it. We are too damn old to be falling over ourselves, losing our phones, leaving our credit cards at the bar and remembering 0% of it the next day. It's really not a cute look. Not to mention, you're no longer in the 'safe bubble' that was your college town. The real world can be a scary and dangerous place and you should always be aware of your surroundings (I think all my true crime podcasts have made me extremely cynical and mistrusting). Avoid shots, stick to the buddy system, carry pepper spray, and don't be afraid to be rude. Not a drunk rude, but a 'don't talk to me, you seem creepy' rude. I sound like a mom, ok I'm done now.
  • Some of your friendships will fail. Friendships in college were so easy and effortless. You share the same classes with these people, live in the same apartment building, are in the same social groups - you see these people almost every day. Basically, you really don't have to do anything to maintain these friendships. Everything slowly changes after college. You lose touch with people; you slowly drift apart. There were some friends I thought would be bridesmaids in my wedding that I no longer have any relationship with. There was a point in time where this would be very upsetting to me but it's important to remember that friendship is a two way street. I also found that I was spreading myself too thin trying to try and stay connected to too many different friend groups. I felt that if I missed even one social gathering I would be forgotten and on the outs.  It took me a few years but I finally have it figured out: I don't give a f^%&. That's not how friendships work. You'll start to be able to distinguish the difference between party friends and real friends. We're not the same people we were in college so it only makes sense that you will outgrow some people. Trim the fat in your life and associate yourself with those that support you, encourage you, and help you be the best person you can be.

  • It's never too late.  Right out of high school, at the mere and immature age of 18, we're expected to go to college and narrow down to a major field of study that will impact and structure the rest of our life. How are we supposed to know what we want to do with the rest of our lives at age 18? I'm 26 years old and I still don't know what I want to do with my life.... but I could recite you the Pythagorean Theorem and tell you that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Messed up, isn't it? Anyways, it's ok if one day you realize you're no longer on the path you should be on. Maybe you will discover that the 9-5 office job isn't for you. Maybe you want to pursue nursing, law school, start your own business, etc. The possibilities are endless. It's never too late to pursue your passion.
  • You'll become really excited over the most unexpected things.  What excited you in your early 20's? Dollar you call it night, cancelled classes, parking in a no-park area without getting a ticket, a new going out outfit, a sale on Smirnoff vodka. What once bored you to your core will oddly bring you pleasure. HGTV, new tea towels, trips to Home Goods, crockpot recipes, houseplants, kitchen appliances, etc. The list goes on. I even find myself enjoying cleaning my apartment when cleaning was once a chore that I would get grounded for not doing when I was younger 😅 This is all the EPITOME of knowing you're getting old and I'm so ok with it.
  • You gain a new sense of confidence. There's no denying that your early 20's were kind of an awkward and uncomfortable time in your life. You're trying to fit into a certain mold of who you think you should be, what you should look like, what you should wear, who you should hang out with, etc. Reflecting back on my early years of college, I was awkward, insecure, and often times uncomfortable in my own skin. While I'm still kind of awkward and of course still have insecurities (just like anyone), I practice confidence and self love and have started to love the person I am, and I'm continually on a journey to better myself. In your late 20's, you will learn to not give a f&$^ about people think in the best way possible. You will learn to be 'you' - unapologetically. You will learn it's ok to say 'no'. You will realize you matter. You will be able to distinguish what (and who) is good for your soul.
  • You'll have more money and it's awesome. It's not like I'm rolling in the dough at age 26 but I live pretty comfortably. I live in a beautiful apartment, bought myself a car, go on nice vacations, buy myself nice things (probably too often than I should), pay my own bills, among many other things. I'm able to pick up the tab for my parents every now and then, buy my friends flowers, and donate to my favorite charity. I'm (almost) completely financially dependent from my parents (I'm still on the family phone plan, lay off me). This all didn't come over night and it's definitely SO different than what my finances were like in my early 20's. I worked hard in college, got a pretty good job in an entry level position and slowly worked my way up over the last 4 years. With time and experience comes bigger paychecks. That being said, it's important to learn financial responsibility. Just because you can afford something doesn't mean you NEED it. Figure out areas where you're willing to spend more and areas you're ok with cutting out of your budget. For example, I cut out the daily trips to Starbucks and I invest a little more each year in my 401k but I still splurge on a new purse or a shopping spree every now and then. 


What do you think is the biggest difference between your early 20's vs. late 20's?

xo, allie 

82 comments

  1. Great article, I'm in my early 20s and already awakening to all points that you have mentioned. It's true that life is not a piece of cake.
    Newly posted: 15 Best Drugstore Toners for Acne Prone Skin in India

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  2. Yes exactly!! Thanks so much for reading ❤️

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  3. That is right! I have changed a lot since then but living is a learning curve I am happier now than I was in my 20s. xoxo Cris

    https://photosbycris.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-beach-look-from-heaven.html

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  4. I love that you're being real with adulthood. "Fun" is something we all define differently. I know for sure, what I found "fun" at 18 is totally different six years later. YES on the fact that there's no template to follow. Life is different for everyone and we all progress differently. I am big on low carbs. Cauliflower rice all day, every day! Don't even ask me how much I spend on my skincare routine, hehe.

    These are amazing facts you bring up. Thanks for sharing!!!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. YES! You pretty much summed it all up! THanks so much for reading nancy xx

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  5. You hit the nail in all these points! Not going to school is awesome indeed so is having an income!! :)


    http://www.desiringsme.com/3-things-stop-doing

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  6. And it keeps getting better and better the older we get. We get to choose our own paths and explore the world as we like!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  7. This is such a great post,I really enjoyed reading it! Life is always changing, and your tastes and style will change with it too! I am 50 and have just started a blog not than long ago, which I am really enjoying. Enjoy all stages of your life lovely xx

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  8. Oh my gosh no way, you look fabulous! So cool that you just started a blog ❤️ Thanks so much for reading!

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  9. This is all so true - especially not having a 'template' to follow! Suddenly you have to start carving your own path, which is actually super exciting :)

    Ashleigh x
    www.ashleighdmello.com

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    1. It's a little bit of a scary realization at first but now it is pretty exciting!

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  10. This is super on point dear! "Fun" for me is really different now. ha! And yes, social media is sooo different from real life. Many people fail to realize that. Anyway, thanks for the fun read!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  11. I love this article because I'm 25 now.Almost getting to the late twenties because I am right in the middle.
    www.sophieatieno.com

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  12. I agree with every point here - and believe me its even better than you are 30 :-)

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    1. I can only imagine! Thanks for reading :) !

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  13. These are all really true!! I can totally relate.

    Have a blessed week ahead.
    http://www.glitsxgrace.com/2018/10/28/wardrobe-essentials-for-the-corporate-girl/

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  14. Such a great post!!!
    xx- Nina

    http://www.stylingwithnina.com/2018/10/checked-blazer.html

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  15. haha I just turned 30 this year and I fully hear you there. Gone are the days of partying and not getting a hangover. However, I still eat the big A$$ bowl of Spaghetti haha.

    -Didier
    www.didieryhc.com

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    1. RIght?! I'll be hungover after a glass of wine sometimes! LOL thanks for reading!

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  16. Great post, thanks for sharing! So wise and amusing - I loved reading this!


    Camille xo


    www.cococami.blogspot.com

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  17. You are gorgeous, hun! This is such a good post, thanks for sharing! Happy Monday!
    XOXO,
    Vanessa
    www.WhatWouldVWear.com

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  18. Oh...to be young again!
    Great post. I wish I could remember what is was like to be that young. Hahaha
    http://style4lessvegas.com

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  19. What a stunning look babe. Great styling as always!
    Have a great week!
    Much love, Len
    www.lenparent.com

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  20. not being in school is awesome................
    new:
    https://www.melodyjacob.com/2018/10/black-heavily-embroidered-vintage-midi.html

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  21. Such a great post and very eloquently put too!!

    Rebecca | www.peppermintdolly.com

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  22. Oh my gosh, GIRL - love this so, so much! Thanks for sharing!

    -Emily | www.TheEmilyEdition.com

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  23. These are all so true. I wish I realized all of this when I was in my twenties, especially the skin care regimen! Great post!

    xx, Elise
    www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Elise!! Yes, definitely wish I started that sooner!

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  24. You are looking amazing in the outfit. Great post, hunny!
    Amazon.com Coupons

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  25. These difference are all correct. not much changes in the early 30s except you have less money if you end up with home or car loans. God I miss my late 20's, mostly just miss having life without kids!! X

    Deneale | Goldfields Girl
    www.goldfieldsgirl.com

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    1. lol I'll enjoy the extra income while I can!! ;) Thanks for reading Deneale!

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  26. Yes to all of these! Especially my definition of "fun" haha. I HAVE to be in bed at a reasonable hour now.

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  27. hahaha I'm in my late 20's as well and got to say the parties are more and more awesome especially when you have a really good group of friends.

    www.fashionradi.com

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  28. I love this post! Even though I'm only eightteen I find myself in a lot of the "late 20s" things:D

    Kisses from Germany!
    xxMaj-Britt


    https://majstatement.com/

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  29. This is so true. I agree with you about everything.

    Nina's Style Blog

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  30. There's definitely a huge shift that happens in your late twenties- it can be super surreal, but in the end, you're growing up and you end up finding yourself more and more. (Plus having your own money is so. damn. gratifying!)

    Great post, girlfriend!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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    Replies
    1. It definitely was a weird transition period but you're totally right!

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  31. The more money thing I love, now that I've hit 30, but I never really was a party animal or anything. I've found my confidence levels and happiness within myself have grown dramatically!
    Raindrops of Sapphire

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    1. I feel the confidence and happiness growing each day - truly! thanks for reading :)

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  32. This is so on point! Things definitely shift as we get older and are in different stages of our lives!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

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    1. Definitely! Bittersweet, but I wouldn't have it any other way:)

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  33. lots of great points but I have to say that I've always had an equally bad hungover whether I was 20 or 30! xx

    Much Love
    Elegant Duchess xx
    https://www.elegantduchess.com/

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  34. Girl this post is so on point.
    I can not agree more on everything.
    Bookmarked so I can remind myself about these things.
    Thank you for sharing.
    xx
    https://theonethattravels.wordpress.com/

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  35. Amazing post 💜

    https://bellacomocamella.blogspot.com/2018/11/maquillaje-halloween.html?m=1

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  36. So many points I agree with on this list - you wrote very well! Even though I'm 30 and passed the 20s, definitely be safe when drinking and drink lots of water always and remember not to compare ourselves to others! Such important life lessons :)


    Hope that you are had a lovely weekend :) We took advantage of the warmth and sunshine by going to the park yesterday :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, Mica! <3 Sounds like you had a great and relaxing weekend!

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  37. Hahaha....so true!! I've definitely experienced all of these and still experiencing.

    http://missymayification.co.uk

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  38. Such a great and honest post and one I can certainly relate to! The difference between your early and late twenties is crazy :')

    //teandtwosugars.blogspot.com xx

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  39. These are all so true especially the hangover XD

    xx Alyssa | STYLE VANITY

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