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The Roaring Twenties

Tagged as: ToaLS 101.

Written by AznRiceFan on March 8, 2012
Unfortunately I think much of the older generation of MMOTalers that was around when I was in high school and just starting out in this community are no longer with us. I imagine most of them are now knee-deep in their own adult worlds, starting careers and making babies. Those old faces would probably have a much firmer idea of what I am trying to relate to you today (or tonight, whenever you happen to be reading this), but since they are no longer here, we'll have to make do with just me and hopefully whatever I have to say on this subject will suffice.

At any rate, I think most of us still here fall somewhere in the age range of about 16-22 with perhaps a few outliers, so most of us are just about to enter into the stage of early adulthood or have just done so.

Having just turned twenty-one and having spoken to a few older friends, I've developed a pretty good sense that the twenties are one hell of a crazy decade. Some would say the twenties are the new teens. No, you're no longer battling zits (most of us anyway, hopefully) or wading through pretentious high school dramas (I'm looking at you, my few Facebook friends still in high school). But you're either leaving/preparing to leave school or have already left and getting thrown out into the fire of this nebulous "real world." Scary as hell. For you younger ones not yet at this stage, let me lay the groundwork for you: You've got to find a job or else hop into graduate school, the economy's not so good, and for the first time in your life since you were about four or five, you're not in school. You can do whatever the hell you want. You can travel, go on an African safari, fight for independence in Libya, open a winery, work at McDonalds, you get the idea. Leaving high school and going to college? Pfft. Leaving school and having almost any option in the world available to you? Now that's scary.

I don't know about you, but when I was fourteen or fifteen, I thought I'd have my life figured out by now, or at least be on the right track towards that goal. Y'know? Graduate college, get a cushy job, find love, buy a nice house in the suburbs and declare the baby factory open for business. You thought you'd be this guy by the time of your mid-twenties:

It's a lie.

The reason why some people are saying that the twenties are the new teens is because more and more twenty-something-year-olds are using this decade to figure out their lives. People are living longer and people are as a result taking longer to settle into starting the rest of their lives. It used to be that you left college, got a job at Boeing and spent the next forty years doing the same thing. Then after those forty years you're hanging out at the local Hometown Buffet for the early bird special.

The twenties are now about finding out about yourself. Exploring what you really enjoy doing and figuring out who you really are. Why? Because you procrastinated on doing that in your teens and by the time you got to college you realized, "Oh shit, the stuff I cared about in high school doesn't matter at all anymore."

All the while massive change is happening around you. After all, the twenties are the decade many of us still believe will be the decade we get married, start having kids, and begin building our careers. It hasn't happened yet, but I can only imagine my reaction any day now when I log on to Facebook and see that someone I knew in high school is getting hitched or else is starting a family.

But going back to how you realize when you get to college that high school stuff no longer mattered: I mean, I still do a lot of stuff I did back then. I still watch anime, I still play video games (almost done with playing FFXIII [yes, the first one...I'm behind]). But going to college made me realize I had many other dormant interests that I never got the chance to discover until I left high school. I've picked up so many random minors just because I realized I had a strong academic interest in something I never knew I had.

Another thing that really changed my outlook on the coming decade was my recent trip studying abroad in Hong Kong. Having chosen to stay close to home for college, it was just totally amazing to me when I realized how desperately I had needed a change of scenery in my life. You just come back with a totally refreshed view of your life because studying abroad forces you out of your comfort zone. You realize how much you were set in your ways back home. If anything, I had a harder time adjusting to being back home than being abroad. If you haven't yet, I definitely highly recommend studying abroad if you're in college or about to start college.

But anyway, I came into college thinking I would be there for four years, graduate, hop on right over to law school right after, get a J.D. and then practice law for the rest of my days. Now, I definitely am taking longer to weigh my options. It's funny, because when you turn twenty, you start to realize you're not gonna be young forever and that you have to figure out what you want to do in life soon. Use your time wisely because as you get further and further into your twenties, you'll have less and less time to explore what you want to do. You'll have to pick and choose what you want to do, no longer having infinite time to mull over infinite options. You'll realize, "Shit, I no longer have time to go to this place," or "Crap, I can no longer be a childhood piano prodigy."

Me personally, I'm using this chance to figure out what I want to do as an adult. I'm still leaning towards practicing law, but I want to be sure. I just can't personally stand the thought of going through the 40 hours a week, 5 days a week, 40 year grind that previous generations have seemed to settle for. So I want to be sure I'm doing the right thing with my life. I'm actually contemplating taking a year off before going to law school, maybe teaching English abroad or else doing some kind of work that will give me a chance for some deep introspection. 'Cause y'know, it's your life, right?

What do you think? Are the twenties the new teens or are we just pansified cinderellas trying to delay the inevitable grind of adulthood?

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March 8, 2012
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Thu Mar 08, 2012 04:56 PM +

I think we've become a bunch of intellectual, philosophical nut cases. We think things, we think too much, and in the end that burns up a good number of years. We don't commit like we used to. And it's hard to say whether that's a good thing; jobs are no longer as permanent as we believe them to be, and marriages are falling apart at an alarming rate. Are our reconsiderations working?

But I'd also agree on the pansified whatsittooya statement. Technology has just pampered us too much, and we've become slower, as humans, because of that. Yes, we're faster in action, but also slower in thought, because with everything arrayed out for you, there's not as much need for thought. That can be really disconcerting when you hit, say, college, more or less, when everything becomes increasingly complex, intricate, dense, veiled.

Thu Mar 15, 2012 03:25 PM [Edited once ] +

I'm in my second year of college now and yeah man, this isn't like back in the day anymore.

And I think it's also crazy that we were all playing MapleStory 6 years ago sharing our gaming activities and now we're dealing with our individual adulthood. But hey, I'm glad some of us older generations are still here to share our thoughts and life experiences with each other.

Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:15 PM +

ur mom iz a pansified cinderella trying to delay the inevitable grind of adulthood?

Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:20 PM +

I'm about to turn 21 and I've already got a years worth of work experience as an engineer, have had a steady relationship with my girlfriend for over half a year, and know exactly where I want to go (although there are still a few paths to choose from to get there). Maybe I'm the exception? Who knows, maybe it'll all change after I get my bachelors.

Fri Mar 16, 2012 06:06 AM +

Parents' basement. It's what I'm destined for.

Fri Mar 16, 2012 06:34 AM +

MasterCheeze said: Parents' basement. It's what I'm destined for.

Basement dweller neckbeard.

Fri Mar 16, 2012 04:18 PM +

I'm sorry to hear that your life is perfect in every way, tar.


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