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Thread: What were your early 20's like?

  1. #1
    No Blorg's Avatar
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    What were your early 20's like?

    Broad question-- I'm interested in any/all of its implied sub-questions, plus these:

    If you went to college, what was it like, how did you do/not do, what would you change? And/or what were your first jobs (or other activities?) like?

    How did your perspectives change?

    How well or poorly did you connect with people?

    edit: "what were/are your early 20's like?"

  2. #2
    Member El D.'s Avatar
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    It was awesome.

    I was in college working in the music library. I listened to records and studied. Basically I got paid to study because the workload there was so minimal. Pretty much the only people who used the music library were music students, and they already knew how to find what they were looking for. Rarely did someone ask to check out a vinyl, which was somewhat surprising to me, but I guess in many ways the physical library is going to way of the physical newspaper.

    Since I was getting enough school work done while I was at work, It freed up the rest of my time to skateboard every day. That and attend lectures for school, but I skipped a lot of those because many of my professors in business school would simply regurgitate terms from a powerpoint presentation that they emailed the class earlier that week. I saved a lot of time by skipping the lectures and cramming by memorizing the weekly powerpoint presentations two hours before the exam. Alas, some classes werent so easy, but I approached those classes just as half-assedly. I scraped by in college and did just enough to get by. My GPA hasnt hurt me yet. In this line of work, no one gives a shit about your GPA. Maybe it will matter if I decide to go back to school.

    So for the aforementioned reasons I had lots of time to skateboard and party. I was in my prime back then. I skated for like 5 hours a day. It was the shit. I miss those years more than any other time in my life. I had a girlfriend. I was having fun. I had enough money as to not be limited by a lack of it. I had it all.

    I guess that goes without saying that I didnt have a whole lot of insight or wisdom into my future. I blew it off and kept thinking "I'll figure it out when I have to." I did, but I guess I didnt exactly follow any passions in regard to my career. If I could go back and change something that might be it. Then again I'd be lying if I told you I regret spending all that time skateboarding.

    I was also pretty good at connecting with people then. Sometimes I think I was better then than I am now because I was happier with my life, thus more confident.
    Last edited by El D.; 10-14-2014 at 08:36 PM.

  3. #3
    凸(ಠ_ರೃ )凸 stuck's Avatar
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    It was like those videos of dogs leaving a medical research facility and running through grass for the first time. I was coming from a very lonely suburban existence, fraught with depression. I had some great friends, but it was nothing like the extended community I found when I was in my last couple years of college. I became more popular, confident, friendly and outgoing. I fell in love, played in a bunch of bands, travelled, was living the dream. My nihilistic misanthropy shifted to a more activist mode.

    My first fun job was reading scripts for an actor- I met a group of people from LA, children of actors and other "industry" folk. I kept that job for years, it was great. It could be a grind and wasn't steady, but I could make around 30 bucks an hour, which paid for my meager lifestyle.

    I was also somewhat of a leech, I would seek out living situations where I could rent a couch in a communal house. People would let me for whatever reason.

    I also became pretty skinny from walking around constantly, like several miles every day.

    I don't think I'd change anything. Sometimes I wish my current career were more stable, but the withering of the music industry isn't something I could have predicted 20 years ago. Oh well.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Limes's Avatar
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    Despite college (and picking an IT degrees in electronics engineering (incomplete) and computer science) I didn't make a lot of money, this is why my own attitude toward education is certainly subjective and tainted. I realize that this often non-verifiable "token" is fast becoming the delimiter between menial work and middle class, but my own experience was painful in watching some people go straight to well rewarded fields. Money has always been important to me, because we never had any the whole time I was growing up (no family car, just a few vacations etc)

    Even though I was at the cutting edge of my industry in both skills and education, my salary was equated from my age and marital status. I resorted to working no more than two years for companies before handing them ultimatums on pay, perks (company car) etc. I quit about three companies this way and got the pay raise anyway with each new job. I really enjoyed some of those jobs (field engineering) and still miss certain aspects of them. I began traveling extensively starting at around age 20, driving up to a thousand miles per week, visiting every corner of the UK, mostly thorough installing the UK VW/Audi dealership computer network and a few other large gigs.

    I can't complain now because I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum, the highest pay grade, but less diverse, and/or relevant skills than a lot of the fresh new twenty somethings in the field.

    A lot of people with their heads stuck in the sand, slow to move with the times would try to lecture me about how you get rewarded for staying with one employer, yet none of those people managed to keep their jobs as the employers all inevitably reneged on their side of the contract. I used to fantasize about "told you so" situations, including one with my own brother, but these days it would just be cruel. Nobody likes that "I was right" asshole.

    I left my home country at 23, going from Birmingham UK to Miami, FL and became a father at 25. I knew I'd have kids and that I didn't want to do it when I was older. I'm glad I did, it's great seeing them grow up and offer protips on various things. I don't generally rule by edict, but by practical comparison, e.g. "here's how and why you will be judged if you get a visible tattoo". Stay classy girls. With my dual nationalities, my kids all automatically qualify as British citizens, so they can go live and work in the EU in the future if they choose, which they're expressing an interest in.

    As far as connecting with people, I've never been good at that and this continues. I don't have any friends in the traditional sense anymore, but this is also society's paradigm shift to the silos of social media, we all have our connected 'storefronts' now. One day I might make more effort in this area.

    There's a song that came out when I was 15 that never fails to remind me of my twenties: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtjFsFXU9YU
    I think it actually helped me to "get to be the creature that I always meant to be".

    Man, I felt like Dr Evil recanting his monologue typing that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Senseye's Avatar
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    Mine were not bad.

    While I was in college, life was kind of a grind because I was poor. So part time work and school made jack a tired boy. After graduation it was straight into the work force. Easier on the schedule (and bank account) than both work and school so it was an improvement.

    The good thing about that age is there are lots of single peers around looking to have fun much like you are. Enjoy it while it lasts, because come your 30's it's married with children city for most people.

  6. #6
    Ieilaelite pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    I turned 20 sharing a room with a 17 year old canadian I fell in love with on the internet. She was my first and I was hung up on her for a long time. We mostly stayed in that room until she got pregnant and left me, I took it hard and abused myself with drugs and left the country to avoid impending legal trouble. Got off a bus in Seattle at 3am with nowhere to go, nobody to call, like fifteen bucks canadian in my pocket. Spent the next couple years homeless and wandering around, meandered up and down the coast a couple times, kept coming back to Seattle. In a burst of motivation and hope I put some effort into getting help and getting off the street. Just happened to get a job as a baker in the shittiest bakery in the world, but I managed to hold onto that one for a little over six months despite my blossoming alcohol dependence. Then I went from job to job for a while, drinking as hard as I could as often as I could and mostly being isolated and depressed and miserable. I was 25 when I stopped drinking and started turning things around, I think.

    I miss my early 20s sometimes, it felt like the first time in my life that I actually had any fun.

  7. #7
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    My life after college mostly consisted of working in jobs that paid relatively well, but were in very high cost areas of the country. As a result, I was living paycheck to paycheck for a while despite having gone to a top tier university and gotten what should have been a lucrative degree (engineering). I had long term boyfriends and many acquaintances that I could socialize with, but not a lot of actual friends. I have exactly one friend from that period that I still talk to on a semi-regular basis outside of facebook. I was very focused on living frugally so I could pay off my student loans and car, which was in direct contrast to the guys I dated and at times caused some friction in my relationships. I mostly concentrated on my career and finances, but in later years when things weren't so tight I spent a lot of my free time shopping for designer clothes. I moved apartments a lot, mostly because nothing I could afford was nice enough to not get on my nerves after a while. I had fun going to Vegas with various friends and coworkers over the years, but rarely did things like go out to dinner with friends or over to someone's house for drinks. I didn't start doing those things until I hit my 30s.

    College was a different story. I had tons of friends and spent almost all of my free time with them. I also had a long term boyfriend who instead of being a financial drain on me like some of my later boyfriends actually bought me things and took me places I otherwise couldn't have afforded. My college friends were smart and funny and always right there since we had all lived in the same dorm for four years. I didn't drink much but nobody seemed to care or judge me for it even though most of them were heavy drinkers.

    Long story short, I found life after college extremely disappointing. It wasn't nearly as stimulating and I was shocked to see just how dumb and lazy the average American worker was - I guess I was pretty sheltered from it at uni. My income didn't go nearly as far as I thought it would either, and finding friends and partners was much much much more difficult.

  8. #8
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    People said that university would be different from highschool. It wasn't. The lecturers were still idiots. The classes were still broken. They asked wrong questions on the exams. It was all still rote and authority. The way to grades was still to be a rich goody two shoes yes man.

    I was living at home essentially taking care of my mother and the house as she went further downhill mentally. My younger sister had left getting government support under the grounds of parental abuse. My dad avoided the entire situation by going and living in a town a few 100 kms away while "doing his phd".

    I decided that I had opinions and ways of viewing the world that other people didn't like, and they'd presumably one day try to shut me up via force, so i used this time to learn to fight/violence. Friend and me went round uni trying to find a good no nonsense self-defence class. He dislocated his leg <6months in. I stayed with it for 5 years, training 2-3 times a week minimum at least until I left the town...

    I had stopped attending lectures at all by the end of my undergrad time. I got a job working security at a rugby club, then at another club, then went into the control room of a local security firm. Saved up some money.

    I did meet my current wife at university, so that was a plus. We moved to Sydney together afterwards...used all my savings to make that happen, looked for a job when i got there...

    Frankly, my late twenties/early thirties have been far superior to my early 20's...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    Frankly, my late twenties/early thirties have been far superior to my early 20's...
    Yeah, my life started looking up around the age of 26 or so.

  10. #10
    chaotic neutral shitpost jigglypuff's Avatar
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    i'm not done processing my early 20s yet. all i can really say is that i gained an idea of the kind of person i really am: i am opinionated and passionate, am pretty obsessed with personal & skill development, like indulging in artistic interests and pursuits, am "in love with being in love" (and very much prioritize healthy communication in relationships; i'm much more aware of my needs), have a hard time relaxing sometimes and struggle with anxiety/depression often, am adaptable and enjoy challenges, and enjoy exercising my nurturing side.

    health-wise, it's been really up and down. for a while i struggled every day with not jumping in front of trains. once i almost had some type of seizure due to low blood sugar; my neglect had really reached that point and it was a wake-up call. i've been on both extremes when it comes to having a healthy/unhealthy sleeping schedule. in terms of relationships, i was in one that made me feel like shit all the time, and in one that makes me feel amazing, special and worthy of everything good i have. i was afraid of having pets for a long time cuz i didn't trust my ability to deal with loss, but now i raise chickens and it's brought me so much joy i can't imagine not being around animals. i was a shitty student throughout my undergrad, but now i'm trying to get straight As. i was even addicted to my computer for a while, but now i hate cracking it open.

    i feel i wasted much of my early 20s working boring, potentially stable jobs, but at the same time i don't regret getting that out of the way. i saved up enough to buy my share of a (new!) car and whatever shitty, boring work i've dabbled in only benefits me in terms of my personal work ethic.

    now that my mid-20s have begun i wanna have more fun and become more serious about taking care of myself, starting with... skincare. i have these stress wrinkles. i wanna think i spent my early 20s preparing for this stuff, just learning how to relax and enjoy life in little ways, despite the work ahead of me.

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