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25 Things I Realized When I Turned 25

Until the fateful day beginning your 25th year, aging doesn’t seem like an issue. You’re still young with the whole world at your feet, and the liver of a champ. And then you wake up on the morning of your 25th birthday — or another age and similar stage — and suddenly you realize you’re getting older. Everything you think you know about your life has changed. It’s an emotional whirlwind you don’t see coming.

Here are some truths that may rock you (and me) to your core.

1. You’re actually an adult.

You’re far removed from your teenage years, and don’t even have the grace of undergraduates to make you feel younger.

2. You’re halfway to 50.

There’s no sugar-coating it. You’re a quarter of a century old, and you’re only getting older. Death is more than just a myth — it’s a guarantee.

3. You actually need to be a responsible person.

It’s sobering to accept you have no choice but to be responsible now. You can’t be nonchalant about paying your bills, or monitoring your credit score anymore.

4. You can’t use “young and dumb” as an excuse.

At 25, you feel the full weight of shame after making bad decisions. You can’t shrug it off and say you’ve got to make some mistakes to learn once you’ve reached your mid-twenties. At this point, you should start learning from mistakes.

5. It’s no longer strange to consider buying a house.

House hunting and mortgages sound like such a big, scary adult thing — until you turn 25. Because now it’s not totally crazy to want to settle down in a place you own.

6. You’re a reasonable age to get married.

Oh wait, you aren’t too young to be engaged, throw a wedding, and commit to one person for the rest of your life. Holy moly.

7. You’re not too young to become a parent either.

Before 25, you can’t imagine having a child, because you feel like a child yourself. When you turn 25 though, you realize that you actually aren’t a child, and could be a parent without anyone else batting an eye. In fact, it’s expected.

8. Cheaper insurance really isn’t that exciting.

You hear this over and over before your 25th birthday, but you know what? That’s not really what you want for your birthday. You want your 16-year-old metabolism and a vacation from work.

9. Birthdays are no longer that exciting.

You have no birthdays to look forward to now; they’re just a sad reminder that you’ll never be 21 again.

10. You need to take romantic interests seriously.

Bringing home randos just for fun may start to feel different.

11. You can’t drink like you used to.

Slamming back tequila shots is just a distant, fond memory now.

12. Your body’s metabolism is starting to slow down.

And the waistband of your jeans is feeling it. Salads and daily exercise are the only thing that will save you from the body you’ve always dreaded.

13. Tired is just a normal, daily feeling.

At 25, you give up the hope you’ll wake up well-rested one day.

14. Wine is preferable to shots.

Something about turning 25 makes you want to savor the alcohol you consume rather than use it just to black out. The burn is too satisfying to waste.

15. You can’t ask your parents to handle everything anymore.

Yes, you have to call the doctor yourself when you’re an adult. No, it doesn’t become any less terrifying.

16. Your parents were right.

At 25, you have to admit you should’ve been listening to them all these years. It would have saved you a lot of headache.

17. You need to save more for retirement.

The golden years don’t seem so distant when you’re a quarter of a century old. So now the pressure’s on to save as much as possible.

18. Acne is still a problem.

Unfortunately, this is the one adolescent thing you’re allowed to keep as you get older. Waking up on your 25th birthday to find a pimple smack-dab in the center of your chin is frankly the most depressing realization of all.

19. The bar isn’t as fun as your couch.

Meet at the bar at 11 p.m.? Yeah, you’re not down for that anymore. More like a good documentary, glass of wine, and bed by 10.

20. Those wrinkles aren’t going anywhere.

So you might as well start naming them because they’re in it for the long haul.

21. You actually will grow old.

May your youth rest in peace.

22. Empty liquor bottles are no longer cool decor options.

For some reason, you don’t want to boast about how often you drink once you turn 25. Probably because it would scare your mom.

23. Buying furniture is so much fun.

Couch shopping? Yeah, that’s your new version of Sunday Funday.

24. The time to achieve your dreams is now.

It’s kind of depressing to realize you’ve turned 25 and still haven’t achieved most of your dreams. Like your retirement fund, you know time is running out to get ish done.

25. You still have a long ways to go.

Even though you’re 25 years old and feel ancient, you also know that you’re nowhere near where you want to be. You still don’t know anything.

Terra is an Arkansas-based writer who spends her free time obsessing over her planner, debating between working out or eating, and singing to her dog, Gatsby, even though he hates it. She also writes for Earn, Spend, Live blogs here.

Image via Unsplash

  • Lauren K

    I’m turning 25 next week and I feel you on a lot of this… the need to have a good job, savings, “have your life together” – I was really dreading being 25 before I changed jobs in October because I felt like I was in a dead end job, not making enough money, and not saving enough. It’s crazy how different a 10% raise can make you feel in control of your spending habits. However, I think a lot of this is exagerrated for 25… I don’t worry about wrinkles (acne hell yeah tho) and I don’t worry about being old. I figure 5 years is a long enough time to really enjoy your youth and not worry about kids, marriage, etc. So it makes me sad how pessimistic this is about that and I hope 18-20 year old are reading this thinking that when you turn 25 you’re somehow no longer fun. It’s actually an amazing time if you are lucky to have disposable income and good friends. I still feel the same way that I did at 22. I just have more money and a little more experience.

  • Bee

    Funny, I turn 25 in a few months and I don’t really relate to much of this! It’s always interesting to hear other perspectives, though.

  • Anon

    I mostly find the tone of this silly but am trying to be sympathetic to the idea that your mid-twenties can be overwhelming because you’re still getting a handle on being an adult. Thirties, however, are awesome because you’ve largely figured out the stupid stuff and are distant enough from your teens that you don’t really care about competing physically with a teenager. Also, I feel like fashion and self-presentation makes much more sense in your 30s because you don’t have to worry too much about giving the impression that you’re playing dress up, if that makes sense. And, for what it’s worth, I can’t say I noticed any shift in metabolism since college.

    • Summer

      Cosigned; I’m so much more comfortable in my 30s than I was in my 20s. I guess it makes sense that with life experience (be it good or bad), you gain a natural confidence and self-assurance even if you aren’t necessary where you ~thought~ you’d be financially or otherwise. (Also, yeah, post reads like an article in a teenage girl’s magazine, but at least it wasn’t organic TFD material.)

  • Lela Dixon

    1/2 of this is bullshit. WRINKLES!? Really? I’m 26 and barely any of this applies to me. God this was just depressing. This person is 25 going on 75 if you ask me.

    • Wolf

      Same for “13. Tired is just a normal, daily feeling. At 25, you give up the hope you’ll wake up well-rested one day.”
      That’s complete bullshit. If you’re leading a life that doesn’t include taking proper care of yourself – decent nutrition, enough sleep, some fresh air etc – you can’t blame that on being 25.

  • Andrea

    25 is still so young, in my opinion. Maybe it depends on where you live, but if I got married or had a kid at 25, I would be very out of place among my peers. In my experience, 25 is more when people start moving in with SO’s. I’m 2 years away from 25, and I hope I still have fun and can enjoy my youth!

  • Lava Yuki

    Married? The average age of marriage where I live is 31-32 these days. Although I graduated at 24 with 25 beinh the turning point of my life: first job, emigrating to a new country, first time having to worry tax forms and the like. But in terms of my body and face, I look and feel as young as I was when I was 20 in that I can still eat carbs and stay up late without much bother