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For those of you lucky folk who have not been within a five mile radius of me and therefore haven’t heard me whinge all week; yesterday was my 20th birthday (although by the time you’ll be reading this, I’ll have been 20 for a couple of weeks – presents are still accepted). I know this is probably no reason to complain, especially for any older readers who will despise me for bitching about turning twenty. But despite previous excitement associated with this date, it has unfortunately changed from a cause for celebration to an annual reminder of my mother’s taunts regarding my biological clock and the reality that “it all goes down-hill from here”. So prior to the big day of entering adulthood, I embraced the angsty, reckless teen regime; arguing with my parents, sitting in a park circulating the WKD, and even experimenting with blue hair dye. Needless to say, it hasn’t been my proudest of weeks and to quote Lethal Weapon, “I’m getting too old for this s***”.
This quarter life crisis has become a common inclination amongst unaccustomed twenty somethings. Drinking is no longer a fun past time with your friends but a necessity to get through a night out. The clubs you used to reign are now filled with the younglings you recognise from school who look at you with a degree of repugnance that only reflects reactions to Miley Cyrus’ infamous VMA performance.
Then there’s the looming trepidation for your future, as the life planning and eminent decisions can no longer be disregarded. A primary worry being the career crisis; you realise you’re possibly wasting copious amounts of money and time drudging towards a goal you might not achieve and you’re not even sure you want anymore. Graduation becomes a mere mirage amongst the demanding desert of exams, coursework and deadlines. Additionally, the prospect of budgeting is also finally taken seriously as you’re a bill payer now. Bread becomes the priority above vodka on the weekly shop and despite your little money, you’ll invest ridiculous amounts of money in a gym membership (that will never see the light of day) as you’ll start becoming health conscious and develop a metabolism more sluggish than your work drive.
In your teens you unearth the shocking discovery that your parents are not the heroes and heroines of our modern age but are in fact average muddles who are not invincible. However as a twenty year old, this view becomes completely overturned. Through repeating the mundane daily chores of food shopping, washing up, going to work and cleaning, you develop recuperate a sincere sense of respect for your elders. How they even did it all is beyond you and they reclaim their status as a 21st century Florence Nightingale. You also ominously start to adopt their traits, such as falling asleep half way through a film at nine o’ clock or becoming a technophobe towards yet another new iPhone model.
Finally, as a twenty year old, you will realise that you have no free time whatsoever. Weekends become some sort of miraculous gift and you even get excited about cancelled plans or the prospect of an early night. The hangovers which never fazed you as a teen will start to feel like a brick to the head and the most thrilling part of your day is the afternoon nap, which will become compulsory despite your preposterous work load. However despite the deadlines, the crippling hangovers and the recurrent urge for a siesta, remember all you wanted to do throughout your precious childhood was grow out of the flannel pyjamas, trowel on your mother’s make up, ditch the crayons and grow up.