Everyone talks about all of the transitions you go through during your early twenties, but what about your late twenties?
Yes, your early twenties are a time of change. For many, it’s a time of graduation and of starting on their career paths. But our late twenties are a whole other ballgame.
They are also an in-betweener stage, but in a different way. For many people, by this stage, you are already settled in your career or have been working for a few years and have that experience under your belt. But, things are changing around you, and changing for yourself and for your friends as well.
Why Our Late Twenties Have Become an In-Betweener Stage
1. Some of your friends are married, some of your friends are single.
By your late twenties, you will likely have a mix of married friends, single friends, and friends in relationships. Everyone is going through things at different times.
You may be consoling one friend who was just broken up with, but also celebrating with another friend who just got engaged.
2. Some of your friends are parents, some of your friends are partying until the early morning.
Not that you stop going out and having a good time once you become a parent, but it is no longer a priority or something that happens every single weekend. They have another, more important commitment now.
That’s not to say that they should stop being invited all together from things (unless, of course, they ask you to stop telling them about things). The group that goes out on weekends does tend to become smaller than it once was.
3. Some of your friends own homes, some are living at home.
More and more millennials are living with their parents for longer. There is a mix of renting, owning, and living with relatives that is happening into your late twenties.
Some of your friends may live in a house, others may be in a studio apartment. This just means that planning your [insert show all of your friends watch together here] watch party takes a little figuring out.
4. Some of your friends have money to spend, some of your friends are in debt.
By your late twenties, the grace period for your student loans is likely over (unless you are still a student). These are something many are paying off — in addition to their bills, taxes, rent/mortgage, etc.
Additionally, everyone is likely making different salaries. This, combined with if there is any debt, means that everyone is in a different situation financially.
Some of your friends may be able to take that vacation with you, whereas others cannot. It is important to figure out who is comfortable doing what, and not forcing someone a strain financially.
Be wary about this, as you do not want to make anyone feel bad about not being able to afford something (think the episode of friends where Ross is planning his birthday festivities but it is too expensive for Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey).
5. Some of your friends have jobs they love, some of your friends have jobs they hate.
It is extremely important to support all of them. If your friend loves their job, cheer them on. If they hate it, help them with leads or send them job postings.
Additionally, some of your friends will have jobs with lots of flexibility, and some of your friends will have jobs that demand them to be on call 24/7. This is especially important to think about if you are trying to plan a trip together, but can come up even if you are just trying to plan a happy hour or dinner.
All of the above can seem like extremes, but that’s exactly what is happening. Everyone is in an entirely different situation. No matter how close your friend group is, it is likely not possible that every single person in it is in the same exact situation at the same exact time.
Because of this, it takes more figuring out than it did in your early twenties when almost everyone is on the same playing field just starting out. There are more factors involved now. There is more knowledge involved now. There is more experience involved now. And there are likely more bills involved now, too. It is almost like your friend group has become a puzzle, and you need to fit all of the pieces together to get the perfect image.
Now, I am not by any means saying that doing things all together anymore is impossible. It just takes a lot more planning. And sometimes, this planning can be frustrating and feel like too much to handle. But, it will (hopefully!) end up being worth it. Just, always be mindful of the work/financial/relationship/life situation that your friend is in. Be there for them in the best way that you can.
It’s also important not to constantly compare yourself to your friends who may be in a seemingly “better” situation that you are right now. Everyone’s paths are different. I know it’s cliche, but it’s important to remind yourself of that.