…your early 20’s…always poor, don’t know what the future holds, alone most of the time trying to figure out who you are, praying all the time and never getting awarded (for me at least),watching your friends go off and get girlfriends and married…seriously f all of it.
You have a lot of leisure time. It’s a wonderful time to read and educate yourself and develop yourself.
Believe it or not, poor as you are, you have more disposable income than people with families with twice the income. If you got married and had a baby right now, you’d immediately find yourself poorer than you are today, unless your wife had a good income and baby went straight to daycare.
You have more energy.
This is probably the healthiest you’re ever going to be (barring unusual circumstances).
You can probably sleep as much as you like on your days off.
You have the opportunity for platonic friendships with the opposite sex that won’t exist in the same way once you are married. There’s also more time for friendship in general.
You can be more mobile and adventurous.
Enjoy this time to the best of your abilities and then when you do have a wife and a kid or two, enjoy that state of life to the best of your abilities.
I returned to the Church in my 30s, after marrying and having children. Wow! If I had my 20s to do over again, I would join the Legion of Mary and evangelize and go on trips with them!
Among other things…
Dude, I’m 20 and this is exactly how I feel right now. I really want to move out of home but both my parents married very old and are now quite frail. A lot of heavy jobs depend on my young body. So I’d feel horrible just abandoning them to indulge in my ‘roaring 20s’ years. I see friends travelling to exotic parts of the world, having fun with the girlfriends/boyfriends, getting promising jobs. What of me? just doin the old household chores, sleeping in and bumming around the nieghbourhood with my buddies. Nobody wants to hire me but I’m working on a farm in January. So I’ve go that going. Studies-wise? I don’t know where Im heading. I love Linguistics but I always hear it leads nowhere. Girls? The only girl I love moved out of town to bigger and better things. I message her long messages about life and stuff but I sometimes feel as though she’s forgotten about me. I still love her deeply (I’d marry nobody else) but I sometimes feel stupid that I do.
But I hope and I pray. Indeed it does feel like a limbo of some sorts. But then I read the comments of people above- people who finished their 20s- and they’re right. Perhaps there is something precious about this whole limbo thing. I cannot deny that sometimes these feeling get to you. They get to me. Maybe its normal. Jesus only started ‘doing stuff’ 30 maybe he was just stuck in a limbo of sorts too. Perhaps this whole idea of ‘seizing your youth’ in the outlandish sense is just a manifestation of our fear of death- especially so if you don’t believe in an afterlife as a lot of secular people do. It’s understandable- if you ‘only live once’ and your 20s is your ‘prime’ its only logical to ‘live it up’ and not waste it.
But in another sense its also all that potential- all that energy wanting to do something and realising that you can’t do it- you can’t to anything. No sir, you’re just as helpless as the day you were born. Yes there is free will. But the circumstances you face- you will have no control over. Diseases, family, economic situation- no control. And it can be disheartening. But I’ve come to realise that it is life, this limbo we’re in- who’s to say that it started in your 20s. This feeling was always there and always will be. It will just shift into something else. It existed before our 20s when we were children and longed to be adults- not realising that the things of childhood were precious in hindsight. I absolutely adore spending time with my buddies- sure they’re 20 year old bums like me that just swim, go driving, camping and go fishing and play the xbox. We all want to do something ‘meaningful’ but just don’t know… But this whole bumming around its precious in its own way- like childhood. I still feel disdainful a lot of times- I can get overhwhelmed. But I make sure to savour the pointless moments and be cheerful if not for me at least for the sake of my friends- after all I’m a part of their youth as much as they are mine. We’ll probably realise up the track.
Perhaps youth is wasted on the young regardless- you can either waste it doing nothing, waste it doing everything or waste it by doing a bit of both.
People that waste youth doing everything; They will say 'Why did I do everything and leave time for nothing?"
People that waste youth doing nothing; they will say “Why did I do nothing and leave time for everything?”
People that do both will say; "Why didn’t I do more of everything or do more of nothing; truly I wasted my youth"
Who wasted the most?
People say trust the Lord and all will be okay. And I’m sure it will. But most of the time you doubt. I doubt all the time and its silly but its what humans do. Sometimes you cannot help doubting.The best you can do is pray. Even a token prayer at the height of doubt means everything in its offering-offer the doubt. Most of my prayers are tokenistic on the surface but I’ve resolved to say them regardless. In essence they mean everything- for you’ll never be defeated. I have only just started to say a Morning Offering Prayer- where you offer everything you do in the day to God. I read a quote recently by St John Vianney* “A day not offered to God is a day wasted”* and in a way it made perfect sense. Because if youth is ‘wasted’ on the young, then at least it can be offered to God to glorify him in someway- who made youth. Even if I seem to have done nothing meaningful and feel as though I’ve just bummed around- I’m sure at least offering it gives it all the meaning needed. After all, what is meaningful in the eyes of man is different to what is meaningful to the eyes of God. After all, Christs death was in the eyes of man a meaningless endeavour, but look how that turned out. I’m not saying be lazy. No. Offer it all up. The bad days especially. So if anything, even if the days are going bad they will mean something- maybe even everything. In a sense every day means everything because it has taken you all the days of your life to live until now- not one less of you’d be dead.
**will pray for you man. please pray for me.
Wow, you probably just made half the people here green with envy, myself included, LOL. If ONLY I could go back to my 20’s!
If you don’t have a spiritual director, I recommend getting one. Make sure early on that your spiritual director is in line with your faith tradition. (I specifically went to a “Catholic” one for two years, then one day she told me she didn’t believe in hell…)
Now is the time for you to make the choices that affect the rest of your life. Your life is yours to shape, make good decisions. The best advice I would give anyone in their 20’s is to start good lifelong habits (spiritual and physical) and root out any bad ones NOW.
Most important of all, place yourself and your future into Jesus’ hands on a daily basis. Say “Jesus, I trust in You” often. Good luck to you, you’re in my prayers.
Depending on your field of study, travel may be possible for conferences or some other academic thing. Some departments have travel funds available to graduate students. There are also sometimes summer seminars offered where expenses are covered.
Dude I’m 22 and I basically agree with you man. No current educational or employment prospects but maybe in the future who knows. I’ve basically been a bum for the past half year but I’m trying to find something to do. Still yeah, life seems pretty meaningless and overall just horrible.
My early twenties sucked but that is because I wasted them. I was into drinking and drugs, lived a criminal lifestyle and got into a lot of trouble with the law. I was always broke too and I never had a girlfriend until I was 29. I am 30 now.
If I could go back to my early 20s I would tell myself to quickly cease my destructive lifestyle (at least you do not have that going on) and to work hard (school and or work) and not to worry because the good times, girls and spending money will be there in the late 20’s. Don’t stress about it so hard. Not everyone is born with money to play around with. And now that I have a good career and have a decent amount of money, I don’t even know how to spend it sometimes so it all goes into my savings. I can get a huge paycheck for working a 60 hour week sometimes and be sitting at home the next day on a Saturday night bored out of my mind. Money does not buy happiness. And it took being in my late 20s to learn to talk to women and it took a lot of rejections just to get one girlfriend and my only relationship only lasted 4 months. I am optimistic I can get another girlfriend though. And dating, while trying to find the right woman, is fun. I never got to experience that in my early 20s. Don’t worry man. Time flys by so quickly. You will be 30 before you know it. Start asking women out. If you cant find women, use a dating site. Don’t despair now. Lots of people are broke in the early 20s and I personally know beautiful women who have been single most of their 20s. They are going to make great wives in the future though.
My 20s, especially late 20s were the best years of my life. Mid-thirties, well that’s another story.
Being single, you can sleep in on Saturday. You don’t have to have a lot of money to have fun. You can go hiking, go to community events that are low or no cost. Some people don’t find their spouse until later in life. Right now you can make decisions without having to consider another person like you would if you were married.
Your life is what you make of it. If you sit around having a pity party for yourself, don’t expect others to join you. You can look at the things you listed as negatives or positives. If you focus on negative, that’s what you will get. Focus on the positive.
Grad school is a CHOICE you made. If you aren’t happy with your situation, reevaluate it and change it.
Many people work and go back to graduate school later when they can afford it or they find other ways to pay for it such as through tuition reimbursement from their company.
I would love to have the knees that I had when I was in my 20s. I spent my entire Christmas season in pain, and I am fearful that by next Christmas, I’ll be in even more pain unless I have knee replacement surgery soon, and then there’s the foot, which the doctor says is beyond surgery. (I’m 57.)
If nothing else, OP, use these years to become physically-fit and establish good eating, drinking, and exercise habits that will continue to help you throughout your entire life.
At this point, any food or drink addictions that you have can be broken with a minimum of psychological and physical suffering. If you are an alcoholic, get yourself into a program that works for you.
I spent my 20s eating way too much, developing a soda habit, and talking about exercising more than actually doing it. I thought I would be young and strong forever. If only I had known. At this point in my life, giving up soda doesn’t mean giving up sugar and carbonation–it means giving up puppies and that’s just not something I’m willing to do. (You’re too young to remember that Pepsi commercial, but all the people my age will know what I’m talking about.)
Well, now you’re warned. It doesn’t cost you any money to make wise choices about food and drink, and it doesn’t cost you any money to get in shape by walking, running, stretching, breathing, and doing chores that involve lifting.
And you’ll feel better about yourself! Exercise causes the body to release various “happy” hormones!
Some advice for the young men in this thread from someone past his own 20’s:
lose the “one-itis” for that girl. you must understand and internalize that that she has long since sailed. If you work on improving your own lives, there will be other women in your path somewhere down the road.
develop some healthy habits. the future of health care in this country won’t be pretty. I hear and see a lot of sad stories of bad habits biting back as soon as middle age (e.g., obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular issues, etc.).
don’t be afraid to try different things with respect to your career path, your early to mid-20’s are the best time to do this. corollary: don’t be afraid to work hard at whatever you try. also don’t be afraid to admit failure. above all, don’t be a slacker, you’ll pay dearly for that in your old age.
look for ways to have fun without spending too much money. snowboarding may not be affordable, try bicycles, for instance.
turn your worries over to the Lord and remember that the race is not always to the swift.
I was a careless eater in my 20s and early 30s especially in grad school and with two little kids at home) and really packed it on. I think I gained 15 pounds every year in grad school–thank goodness I bailed out with an MA, rather than going all the way to a doctorate.
30-something you will be thankful to 20-something you if you take good care of yourself now.
I suppose some of these ideas are good. Living a healthy lifestyle both physically and spiritually is a habit I definitely need to work on so that I have it for the rest of my life.
Still, it feels like I’m not where I imagined myself being 4 years ago (age 18) and then 4 years ago I wasn’t where I wanted to be 4 years before that (age 14). It seems like much of life is not really about my choices and that my choices do not necessarily align with the results.