Sun. May 26th, 2024

Two weeks ago today, April 8, the universe cemented me here to be a part of this thing called life. Turning 21 signifies the true start of graduating from adolescence and becoming a somewhat full-fledged adult. Being in your 20s, but more so stuck in it, can be a different experience for us who are going through these years. These years, friendships, careers, relationships and more aren’t really something you should play with. We’ve been reminded all of our lives until this point: when you hit 21, that’ll be the true start of the role you’ll begin to play in this world. 

When you read statistics like these from, you can start to make your own judgment on the trajectory of 20-something these days. Richard Fry writes, “In 2021, the most recent year with available data, 39% of 21-year-olds were working full time, compared with 64% in 1980. And only a quarter of people this age in 2021 were financially independent of their parent — meaning that their income was at least 150% of the poverty line, compared with 42% in 1980.” He continues, “One factor that has contributed to fewer 21-year-olds having full-time jobs is the increase in college enrollment over the past four decades. Today, almost half of the 21-year-olds (48%) are enrolled in college, whereas about three-in-ten (31%) were enrolled in 1980.” Another point Fry mentioned was that, “Today’s 21-year-olds also trail their predecessors on the other milestones analyzed. Around half of 21-year-olds (51%) were living somewhere other than their parents’ home in 2021, whereas the same was true for 62% of people their age in 1980.” 

These statistics lead me to believe we are on our own when it comes to these abnormal experiences and lifestyles. Being in your 20s, but even more so at 21, has a wider variety of experiences than it ever did before us. Social media, the economy, world affairs, the real estate market and other factors play a big role in what becomes of you and the world itself. So, what can we do to make this experience less isolated and stereotypical? For starters, realize and be comfortable with the fact that your 20s are not supposed to feel like a monolith; that’s the beauty of life and interacting with each other because y’all are different! Another way is to explore what it may be like to be a multifaceted version of yourself, and that can be done through hobbies. 

Back in 2020, in an interview with NPR’s Meghan Keane, Elizabeth Segran, author of “The Rocket Years: How Your Twenties Launch the Rest of Your Life,” spoke about the importance of hobbies. Segran explained,  “Some studies show that hobbies are actually really important to your mental and physical health. Some doctors recommend hobbies as an intervention for health and psychological problems. So actively think about the hobbies that you’d like to pick up in your 20s and actually create the time to pursue them, knowing that it will only get harder to adopt new habits later in life.’’ Being in your 20s is no joke, but it also shouldn’t be taken too seriously. This is one stage of the ever-changing and evolving life you’re going to live. Remember, you’re doing great in the circumstances you’re in, no matter how high or low. 


Isaiah Ireland is a third-year Media and Culture major.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *