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Why It's OK If You Don't Have It Together In Your 20s
The Debrief: Amy Schumer in Trainwreck is a million miles away from having it all together. But does it really matter? Nah.
I finished my 20s this year, and no-one is more surprised than me that I actually survived them. Shortly before my 27th birthday I woke up in a hospital bed, having got drunk the night before and fallen off Nelson’s Column and onto my own head. During the decade I had one boring boyfriend, one evil one, and more bad, bewildering sex than you’d find in a dirty book (although, disappointingly, no-one ever tried to put ginger up my bum.) I got fired from my first ever grown up job. At one point during my second ever grown up job, I had to climb into a bin to retrieve a picture of Ashley Cole in his dirty pants. I lived in a flatshare which was sometimes on fire because of the candles we had to light when we ran out of cash for the electricity meter. I was so poor that I tried to save money by only washing my hair if found a street promoter giving out free shampoo samples. I hid all my bank statements in a drawer and had my debit card declined so many times that, to this day, I have a phobia of cash points.
However, following my 30th birthday I have not fallen off any memorials. I live in a nice flat with a nice man who I am marrying in the Autumn. I have a savings account with money in it. My wine comes in flavours other than ‘house’. I’m not sure if I actually got my shit together or if the universe just conspired to present me with a celestial filing system that forced me to work it out. I’m not saying this to be smug - but to show that your twenties can feel like the biggest catastrophe ever, and against all odds, it will work out. Here’s why you shouldn’t be worried during your Disaster Decade.
Adolescence actually ends at 25
Last year research psychologists found that we’re developing, changing and learning until well up until the middle of our twenties - so if you still feel like a teenager, that’s totally OK. Puberty might feel like it was a long time ago, but it takes your body and mind a long time to adjust to all the change and upheaval. If you can put a bra on and you know what to do during your period, you’re doing great.
You’re still finding out who you are
In your twenties, you start experiencing real, adult freedoms for the very first time - so how on earth can you know what’s right for you unless you get a few things wrong first? We’ve all had a bad boyfriend like Steven from Trainwreck - but in the movie, Amy can only work out what she wants from a relationship by dating someone who doesn’t make her happy. It’s better to spend your twenties trying and failing, even if it just means that by the time you hit your 30s, you know yourself a bit better.
It’s a great time to be selfish
Amy is our spirit animal because she does exactly what she likes and focuses on fun. Most of us will have fewer serious commitments in our twenties than at any other time. Don’t freak out because you haven’t bought a house yet - revel in the fact that you can choose to go to a last minute festival because you don’t have a mortgage to pay! Instead of being scared that you’ll never meet anyone to have kids with, embrace the solo sleepy Sundays sponsored by Netflix and biscuits.
You’re creating ace memories
If you’ve ever spent a sad Facebook session torturing yourself with engagement pics, rest assured that your ‘together’ friends are wildly jealous of your party albums, beach shots, silly joke statuses and pub photos. If your twenties are too organised, you’ll only end up with serious FOMO and go wild in your 30s. One day you’ll look back and be smug that you once spent three days on a coach to Berlin, drank bright green cocktails and snogged a bouncer.
Life is never boring
In the movie, Amy’s single girl status is what gives her the chance to go out, meet new people and explore the world. Routine is overrated - the best thing about having a messy time in your twenties is that no two weekends are the same.
Trainwreck is in cinemas August 14
Why it’s OK not to have your shit together in your 20s
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