If you’re reading this, it probably means that you’re almost 21. Congrats! You’ve made it this far and you’re probably wondering, what’s next? Don’t worry, I’ve come up with a list of possibilities you may encounter as you step into your 21st year and hopefully by the time you’re done reading you’ll have less anxiety.
- You start getting asked “adult” questions.
Are you married? Do you have kids? You might take offense to these questions at first, but don’t worry, it’s only because you’re at an age where people are starting to do those things–not because you look old.
- You may start to feel like people are surpassing you.
At 21, most people are just graduating college and starting their careers. Just because someone “looks” like they have it all together doesn’t means that you don’t. You are progressing at your own rate.
- Imposter syndrome.
This is common for a 21 y/o. Especially someone who’s just entering the workforce. You may feel like you aren’t competent enough to take on certain jobs or maybe even start a business of your own. It’s important to know that everyone was a beginner at one point, and if you weren’t capable of doing something, the opportunity would have never presented itself!
- You will start to care more about finances.
Once you turn 21 and get a taste of the real world, you’ll probably start to see how quick bills can add up. Learning how to budget and save will become your first priority.
- You figure out that other people are on the same page as you.
There’s a quote by Ricky Gervais that says, “The best advice I’ve ever received is, ‘No one else knows what they’re doing either.’” This goes hand-in-hand with the concept of imposter syndrome. We think others know more than we know, but in reality, they are just going through the motions of life just like us.
- You’ll start to live life with more intention.
If you hadn’t already learned this before, the older you get the more you become aware of how fragile life is. You will question and evaluate your relationships, your career aspirations, and what you can do currently to create the life you want for yourself. You will be more intentional about what you invite into your life.
- You wait for any chance to get carded.
Just because you’re legal, you can’t wait to show your ID.
- You may not get carded at all.
You waited all this time to turn 21, and some bars might not card you at all. Bittersweet.
- You’ll start to understand the adults in your life more.
Adulting does not come with a rule book. If there’s an adult in your life that has disappointed you or has not met the expectations of an adult in your mind, you might start to see things from their point of view as you gain more life experience.
- You’re restless thinking about ways to make money.
Along with debt you’ve accumulated throughout the years and your basic necessities, you’re also going to want extra money to spend on yourself. There’s going to be trips you want to take and things you want to buy. Whether it’s a 9 to 5 or a side hustle, you’re going to start looking for ways to make more money.
- You have a more realistic view of when you want to get married and have kids.
As a child, it’s so easy to say, “I want to be married and have kids by 25 when I’m older,” but 21 is really the age where you’ll be able to properly map that out. Of course, you can’t predict the future, but you can predict your readiness.
- You’ll want to go to all of the places you couldn’t go to before you were legal.
All of the places that denied you or the places you and your friends didn’t even try going to because you were underage are now accessible, and you’ll want to go to all of them.
- You might start to feel old.
You’re no longer a teenager and you’re about to graduate. This can be scary, but just remember that you’re closer to 19 than you are to 30. You still have time. Don’t waste your youth worrying about that.
- You might want to move out.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with living in your parents home in your twenties. If your parents don’t mind, then save your money and live with them. However, it may come at a cost. Personal space in everything as a 21- year-old and sometimes your parents have no concept of that. If you are financially ready, moving out may be an option.
- Drama becomes less entertaining.
The older you get, drama becomes less entertaining and more of a burden. Some might say that being an adult involved in drama is a sign of misery. Don’t be that person! Adulting can already be stressful. Don’t add to your stress by being problematic.
- Always bring an extra pair of shoes.
Heels are cute for photos, but you will soon realize (if you haven’t already) they aren’t the most durable–especially after a night of drinking. Always keep an extra pair of comfy shoes in the car in your bag. You’ll thank me later!
- You might find “The One.”
Not everyone’s twentysomethings are the most meaningful when it comes to dating. Some date for fun while others are dating to get married. I personally think everyone should make that decision before dating someone. Are you in it for fun or are you in it for the long-run? This way, you can be clear with the person you are dating on what it is that you want.
- You might want to relocate.
You might travel to another state or maybe even another country and fall in love with it. This may spark an interest in relocating. There are several things to take into account before doing this. Ask yourself: Can I afford living here? Is it safe here? Do I see a future here? Assess your situation before making a hasty decision.
- It’ll probably be the last time you get to live next to all of your closest friends.
In college, it’s common for friends to live with and near each other whether it’s in a dorm or off-campus housing. The past four years of my life were filled with so much fun and many amazing memories that I forgot we were just in college. When I left my apartment I realized that I may never get that opportunity again. If you’re in this position please make memories with your friends while you can!
- You and your friends will find a bar to frequent.
There’s nothing wrong with trying new places, but it’s always nice to have a go-to spot. In college, me and my friends had a place we would go to weekly and it came with benefits. The more we went the more the owner and employees got familiar with us. They would give us free drinks and food, let us control the music, and most importantly–they looked out for us.
- There’s your plan and there’s God’s plan.
Planning is essential in some cases, but when it comes to life, you just have to go with the flow. I remember just a year ago I had so many plans for when I turned 21 and now that we’re in a pandemic, some of those plans have been put on hold or called-off indefinitely. At the time, I thought this would hinder me, but now that I look back, I’m exactly where I need to be. Just trust the process and believe that you will grow into your purpose eventually. It may not happen when you want in, but your blessing will come right on time!
By Kayla Crittle, University of Kentucky Alumni