4 Social Pressures You Should Ignore In Your Twenties
Research suggests that for most people, their twenties will be the most difficult decade of their lives. This statistic didn’t surprise me at all. I might only be 4 years into my twenties, but as a young women of 24 I certainly feel an overwhelming amount of pressure from different directions to have it all before I’m 30. The thing is, there are certain social pressures you should ignore.
The natural thing to do when you feel social pressure is to listen to the people around you and convince yourself that the things they are telling you to do are important. But how important are they right now?
It’s worth remembering that no two people are the same, and people progress through life at different rates – and thats completely normal. I’ve come to realise that it’s good to ground yourself occasionally, stop comparing yourself to others and that it’s ok to ignore the pressures you might be getting from family and friends to a certain extent. Go with your own natural flow.
1. Buying a house
Let’s start with the most annoying one – buying a house. Is it just me that feels pressured by literally everyone to buy a house? Parents, boyfriend’s parents, friends, friends of friends, colleagues, people on the TV. I feel like I’m constantly being told about how important it is to get on the property ladder and invest in bricks and mortar – and I totally get it, I really do. The trouble is not everybody can save the £10,000 or however much that’s needed for a deposit on a house without making huge sacrifices. Committing to saving a large amount of money every month whilst you’re in your twenties is a big thing. It means less holidays, less meals out, less shopping trips, less everything. It’s your first decade of being an adult, so does it really matter if you enjoy yourself for a few more years before you start saving for a house? Especially if you’re happy with your living situation right now.
2. Getting engaged or married
You know how it is, every time you open Facebook it seems like yet another one of your friends or acquaintances is engaged to be married. You probably ask yourself when will it be me? But have you thought to ask yourself whether you’re actually ready to start planning a wedding? Or to commit to somebody for the rest of your life? You might not be. Tom and I have been together for 4 years this December and things are amazing, but (and although I kid about it, a lot) if engagement isn’t on the cards in the near future then I’m ok with that. Why rush things? I feel like as women in our twenties, sometimes we forget to enjoy the ride instead focusing on the end destination.
3. Having a career
I spoke a little about how I’m keen to do something more with my working life in this post, and I think social and societal pressures may have something to do with why I’ve felt as though I’m not where I need to be career-wise. Rather than pressure from friends and family (although for some people this might be the case), I feel like the Internet and sites like LinkedIn play a part in this. These days everybody is a ‘girl boss’ or on their way to their next big promotion. Like I said earlier, people progress through life at different rates. I like to remind myself that as long as I’m working on my dreams, then I’m on my way. It shouldn’t matter how long it takes.
4. Having a baby
This one is not as relevant anymore because a lot of women choose to have children a little later these days. But regardless, when you’re in your twenties and a friend your age is already married, owns a house and has a bun in the oven it can leave you feeling like you’re lightyears behind them. As I said before, it’s all to easy to trick yourself that you want these things when really, it’s just pressure you’re putting on yourself to ‘catch up’ with people around you. I’m certainly not ready for a baby yet – sorry mum!
I wanted to write this post as a little reminder to myself (and other women in their twenties that are struggling with pressures from other people and society in general) that’s ok to move at your own pace. You don’t need to have your shit together by the age of 30. Enjoy your twenties, you’re doing just fine.