The late 20s are to the early 20s what the early 20s are to the teens: a time when you wonder what you were thinking most of the time and why you ever wore those jeans. Once your age starts to creep up past the 25 mark, you’ll start to see the slow, subtle decline of giving a crap about anything and the slow, less subtle increase in embracing your inner weirdo. Here are 20 thoughts you might be having if you’ve recently joined the club of late-20-somethings.
1. Is Netflix getting rid of one of my shows??!!
Doesn’t Netflix realize that you’re emotionally invested in this show? What does it expect you to do, buy DVDs? What will you watch before you go to bed every night? Your whole world has been turned upside down.
2. I don’t want to look at my 401(k).
How’s it doing? Is it getting bigger? Smaller? If it’s actually growing, is it growing fast enough or will you end up living in a cardboard box under a bridge during your retirement?
3. What? A set of OXO pop storage containers for only $39.99? Sign me up!
The level of excitement induced by a good deal on high-quality storage containers is almost unseemly when most of your kitchen supplies have either been scavenged from your parents’ house or bought at Walmart.
4. Oh God, is that someone I went to high school with?
Running into people from high school is no longer commonplace now that you’re not in college and constantly coming back home for holiday and summer breaks. Now you either live and work in the same area you grew up in — in which case you’re desperate to avoid people you went to school with so they won’t know you still live in the same area you grew up in — or you live farther away and only come back about once a year, in which case you’re desperate to avoid awkward eye contact with someone you’re not sure that you actually recognize, who may or may not actually recognize you.
5. Oh hey, I have a credit score.
Not only do you know what that score is, you also realize that you’re going to need it someday if you ever want to do anything like buy a house.
6. What will happen to my brain when I stop getting carded?
Will all your confidence whoosh out of you like a deflating balloon? Will it be oddly gratifying that the person not carding you can see that you’re a mature adult and not a teenager? Will you actually care, or will it not be a big deal until you realize your mid-life crisis is only about 10 years away?
7. I wonder what technology will be like in the future.
Seeing children with iPhones makes you realize that they are the future, and their technology will not be the same as the technology you use now. Phones are already getting weirdly big; soon they could be flexible. There are probably at least 50 apps out there that you’ve never heard of, and some of the ones you have heard of are apps that you could never fathom using, like Lyft. Seriously, riding in a car with a stranger? What has society come to? This makes you wonder what other weird crap the future will come up with and what kinds of technology will exist that you won’t understand when you’re 50.
8. There’s some kind of conspiracy going on here.
No one told you about all the things you’d have to deal with in your 20s. You had no idea things would be this expensive and that you’d have to constantly part with your precious money just to pay for things you don’t actually want, like health insurance and car maintenance. You also didn’t know you could be this age and still have no idea what you’re doing or what you want to do with your future. Why didn’t anyone tell you that people don’t magically have things figured out after age 25?
9. I wish I didn’t know how bad for me these ingredients are.
When you were a fresh, dewy-eyed, naïve 20-year-old, you had no problem eating microwave cake. Even though it made you feel like death afterward, it tasted good! (Well, it tasted OK.) Now you look at the list of ingredients and feel like death without even eating the cake.
10. If I don’t make it to the grocery store before the rush hour rush, I will murder everyone in the store.
You need some goddamn sweet potatoes and some goddamn lentils, and if anyone gets in your way or makes you to wait in line for more than 10 minutes, you will not hesitate to do terrible things. Terrible, terrible things.
11. Gaahhhh they don’t make [insert object here] anymore!
You always knew this day would come. Whether it’s a favorite beverage, a model of smartphone, a style of sneakers or some other random thing, that thing you love is now a thing of the past. You are now one of those people who will constantly say, “Hey, remember when they used to make that thing? That was so much better than the junk they have now.”
12. I totally missed that trend, and I don’t care.
What once would have sent you into spasms of agony now barely gets a “meh.”
13. I’m either smarter or dumber than I was in college, but I can’t tell which.
You feel like if you were in college now, you’d totally ace all those classes you didn’t ace the first time around, either because you’d apply yourself more or because you’ve finally reached a new level of understanding in which your thoughts all cohere and you have a more multi-faceted, mature perspective of the world. Then you look at one of your old math exams and it looks like it’s actually in another language.
14. I haven’t heard this song before and I don’t know who the singer is.
The awesome thing about this is that just like the trends that seem to be coming and going faster and faster, you don’t care.
15. I don’t want to do fun things if it involves going outside when it’s cold… or when it’s hot.
You’ve searched your soul and discovered that you’re actually fine with not doing things if it means that you can sit inside in your pajama pants and eat/watch TV instead of bundling up and packing your pockets with two boxes of tissues for a ski trip or slathering yourself in sunscreen and bug spray that you will immediately sweat off during a summer hike.
16. For some reason, my hair looks good in all styles.
It never did this before. Have you hit some miraculous age plateau where your hair has finally decided to cooperate and look normal at all times and in all positions? Has your face changed shape? Does your hair have a new, sleek, late 20s texture? Or this yet another example of you caring less and less about things and just not flipping out about how your hair looks all the time?
17. I could still be an astronaut if I really put my nose to the grindstone.
Everyone contemplates the mid-career change before they’ve even really had a career, and everyone flails around trying to fulfill their childhood dreams in totally unrealistic ways for a little while. Or at least they daydream about it.
18. This would look great in my future house.
You constantly have your future house in the back of your mind, even if you’ve still barely moved into your first adult apartment. Maybe you’ve even contemplated what kind of fruit trees you’re going to have in the backyard and how many solar panels you’ll install. Everyone on your future street will be jealous of how eco-friendly and technology-forward you are.
19. Maybe I should look into one of those standing desk things.
In your late 20s, you’ve probably finally started to realize just how much sitting you’re going to do as an adult. Your ass cheeks will be crying out for less chair time, and you’ll give it serious consideration.
20. I hate people, but in a less bitter way.
Your teens and early 20s were probably all about angsty hatred masked with sarcasm. Your late 20s, you have come to realize, are about collectively hating humanity for horrible things like war, sexual assault, starvation, pollution and global warming, but individually liking a lot of people.