I saw this image on Instagram the other day, while pilfering for quotes that would make me lol and I thought yes. That sums up my life right now. It sums up everything. Every thought I have when I’m overthinking, every panic I have when I wake up at 2am gripped in fear and I can’t remember why and a lot of the conversations I have with my also-25 year old girlfriends. Because if there’s one word no one uses (at least outloud) to describe being 25, it’s “confusing”. And frankly, that’s what it is.

what it feels like to be 25

Let’s take a look at the recent headlines, just to get into the vibe. We’re being told by none other than ‘Britain’s leading fertility specialists’  that we need to have kids before we’re 30  and that being on the Contraceptive Pill is not only shrivelling our ovaries, but that it’s actually causing deaths in young women (I’ve only been on it for 11 years, no need to panic guys). At the same time we’re being bombarded about leaning in, “breaking the glass ceiling” in everything from Sports, to Politics, to Tech, while staying feminine, polite, engaged, smart –  oh and ensuring we look “beach body ready” while we’re doing it.

I’m not saying 25 year old women are the only ones getting hit hard by this. I also think there’s a ton of mixed messages going out to guys of our generation – be in touch with your feelings, be masculine, train hard, be smart, be a reliable family man, play for the team, be a ‘lad’. But I only have time to work on my own problems now so sozzles guys, you’re on your own.

I think the main cause is uncertainty. I could quite happily wait until my mid-30s to have a family – I have gorgeous Nieces, Sisters and friend’s kids to babysit which gives me all the fix I need right now – if only I could guarantee I’ll be able to have them when I’m ready. But how are we meant to know how much weight stats actually have on our individual body clocks? Is 30 really the cut off? Because I know people who have started a family at 35, 38, 40. I also know couples who have taken 3 rounds of IVF at 26. It’s a frigging landmine and I have no idea how to negotiate it.

Similarly, I can’t quite decide how marriage fits in with my life and idea of happiness. To get married at home, abroad. To not get married at all. To make a serious commitment to someone else, while retaining independence. To want the fairytale big proposal but at the same time to not understand why it should be left to someone else to decide if or when or how you get married. Who the hell knows.

I’m gripped in uncertainty about not owning my own house (or car, or anything else that I could offer the debt-collectors of my Topshop card for that matter). At the same time I want three holidays a year and to live in a studio in EC1 and to eat at STK and fill my summer wardrobe with Triangl and Carvella and new season Zara.

I want to be fit, exercise, see my friends, read books, watch TV, listen to podcasts, see my boyfriend, spend time with my family. Occasionally I try to do all at once and find myself at a bar with a friend, locked in on Instagram while organising dinner with another social circle and checking emails. Or I’m trying to get in the bath, listen to a podcast, read a magazine and speak to my BF through the door about dinner two weeks on Tuesday. Do you feel exhausted yet?

If my senses had any authority, I think they’d be heading into the woods or throw themselves off a cliff for the amount of overload they get each and everyday. And yes it took until I was uploading Instagram images in a place where no Instagram image should ever be uploaded for me to realise that I had a multitasking-problem.

And work? Well I’m lucky that I have a pretty cool career, I work for myself, make my own schedule and get to do something I love and look forward to every single day. But all it takes is a well-timed status update about a promotion or new job, for me to fall right off the wagon and start wondering if I should have more clients, a better job, a higher income. No matter how well I do, I always feel like I could be doing better, that it’s not enough and worse, that it’s all going to be whipped from under my feet at any moment.

It’s a daily battle and one that I think many of us are going through in our Twenties. I quite literally want it all. Now. And it’s impossible and completely first-world and so self-indulgent to complain about having too much choice when so many generations before us and generations now, in other parts of the world, have so little and sometimes no choice at all. But this is how it feels to be a 25-year-old in today’s world.

And sometimes, it really sucks.

Beth Gladstone

Beth is a Writer and Digital Marketer who founded The Full Agenda as a place to talk about the things that kept her and her friends up at night. Currently working as a Marketing consultant to various SMEs she is a big fan of the startup market and loves technology, apps and anything social media related. When not obsessively checking Google Analytics, she can be found reading, writing or relaxing with a glass of Prosecco.

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  1. Mel / June 8, 2015 at 2:47 pm /Reply

    Oh my goodness. I so identified with this!

    We also do similar jobs and I think a way, that presents us with even more choice.

    Just discovered your blog. Need to stop myself from procrastinating and reading everything-right-this-minute!

    • Beth Gladstone / June 10, 2015 at 1:28 pm /Reply

      Thanks for commenting Mel, it’s great to hear I’m not the only one! Sometimes it can get overwhelming can’t it but I think stepping back really helps (even if it does mean a break from the work for a while) 😉 x

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