Does it seem like just yesterday that you had to pull yourself up by your bra straps to cope with a major quarter-life crisis? And now, you turn around and realise that you are getting closer to 30 than you are to 20, and the end of this decade looms like a danger zone that threatens to engulf you. People can react differently to this, but before you hit the panic button about the unfamiliar path ahead, we would like you to sit back, take a deep breath and read a few things you are likely to realise about life and yourself as you enter your late 20s.
1. You will worry a LOT about money
As you graduate from sharing a room to living alone or sharing an entire apartment, expenses are bound to rise. And no thanks to Murphy's Law, your income might not be directly proportional to your expenditures.
But on the bright side, you will become a whiz at spotting bargains, making impromptu calculations and managing the household like a pro - trust us, your parents are going to be very impressed when they visit.
2. But you will prioritise quality.
Yes, you might be broke, but you know it makes sense in the long run to make some extra efforts for a quality life - whether that means eating proper meals and not just instant noodles, buying the more expensive, healthier brand of cooking oil, or taking off for a weeklong holiday even if it empties your bank account.
3. Your time will become very precious....
Life is sometimes a busy cycle of errands and routines, and more than money, you will come to value your time. You will be selfish about how you spend your time and with whom - in a liberating turn of events, you are likely to choose to share yourself and your time only with people you actually like.
That might mean fewer friends - then again, friendship has never been about quantity. And an added benefit: you will say NO more often and without an iota of regret. You will say no to people who are toxic, no to activities that you do not enjoy and a firm no to invitations that do not entice you as much as binge-watching Jessica Jones on Netflix.
4. You will feel young yet old and wise.
There is no magic wand in your post-quarter-life-crisis phase that will tell you where you are headed. You will compare yourself with your peers who seem to be happier and more successful in their personal and professional lives. You will feel clueless about your own wants and needs. This makes you feel as young as a teenager - BUT with the added wisdom that the grass of course seems greener on the other side, and that age has nothing to do with figuring out your life... It is a lifelong process!
5. Health is wealth
In your late 20s, you finally realise the importance of this proverb you have been nonchalantly uttering since primary school. Your body reacts instantaneously when you stuff it with junk food - and medical bills are friggin’ expensive!
This is also one of the reasons that employee benefits like medical insurance will suddenly become important to you.
6. Decisions have repercussions.
There will be a lot of decisions to make... And unlike your early 20s, when you were impulsive and did not care about the consequences, now you have to live with the choices you make - whether it is quitting your job or taking on a new one, buying your dream gadget, moving to a new city, ending a relationship, marrying someone, or even going back to school.
And with each difficult and easy choice you make - irrespective of the outcome, you learn more about yourself and grow up a little more.
7. You will grow into yourself.
This is the time of your life when you can feel yourself growing up and emerging into an individual you respect. And self-respect automatically means you are more comfortable in your skin and do not have those oscillating set of principles that marked your early 20s.
8. You will identify a lot with fictitious villains.
Don't worry…you are not turning evil. Life - also known as the School Of Hard Knocks - has simply taught you empathy and shown you how no one is perfect. It's human to err and you understand that people are sometimes beautifully flawed. And that those perfect superheroes are just too perfect to deal with - villains are easier!
9. It's scary - but guess what, you realise you are brave.
No one said this was going to be easy, but as you manoeuvre the obstacles and ride the highs and lows of whatever life throws at you, you realise the extent of your strength and bravery. And you sort of end up loving yourself a lot.
No matter where you end up, you know you can trust yourself to pick yourself up and keep moving.
10. You will laugh about your quarter-life crisis...
… Because, in hindsight, 25 seems very young and the quarter-life crisis was just the beginning of the painful process of growing up and turning into an adult.
But getting to know yourself is a rewarding experience - you will find yourself doing things that impress yourself and those around you, and there is much joy to be found in even the tiniest of victories.