- 13 Signs You’re In Your 20s
- 1. You Hate More Things on the Internet Than You
- 2. Your Body Cracks In Interesting New Places
- 4. You Look Forward to Sleeping on the Weekends
- 5. The Most-Played Songs On Your Phone Are From Six Years Ago
- 6. You Increasingly Dis Loud Noises and Crowds…
- 7. You Can Look Back On the Past Few Years And Not Feel Embarrassed
- 8. You May or May Not Be Planning Your Future Kids’ College Funds
- 9. You Have Fewer Friends and That Doesn’t Bother You
- 10. It’s Really Depressing How Long Ago You Studied Abroad
- 11. You Have a 401(k)
- 12. Your Career Is Going Nowhere…
- 13. You to Complain About Younger People
- 10 Things You Should Do in Your 20s to Set Yourself Up for Success Later On
- Think of Money as a Result, Not a Goal..
- …But Save
- Start Taking Care of Your Body
- Tame Your Tech
- Forgive Yourself and Others for Mistakes
- Distance Yourself From Drama
- Invest in Self-Knowledge
- Slow Down
- 15 signs you’re having a quarter-life crisis
- How the Aging Process Works – Signs of Aging
- In Your 20's
- In Your 30's
- In Your 40's
- In Your 50's
- In Your 60's
- Hearing and Vision
- Biological Age
- True Age
13 Signs You’re In Your 20s
It happens to everyone eventually: the shock and mild confusion that indicate you’re firmly in your 20s and will only continue to get older, eventually reaching your 30s — an even more perplexing and scary concept. The symptoms of being in your 20s can be difficult to discern, but here are a few signs that indicate you’ve reached the beginning of adulthood and can be as cranky as you want.
1. You Hate More Things on the Internet Than You
Every new thing seems weird and annoying to you. You know the sites that you and have no problem being curmudgeonly about it.
2. Your Body Cracks In Interesting New Places
When your hips or knees start making odd popping noises bubble wrap being loudly popped, you wonder whether it’s normal and if so, what other surprises your joints have in store for you during the next few decades.
4. You Look Forward to Sleeping on the Weekends
It’s not that you don’t do fun things; it’s just that you sometimes look forward to getting them over with so you can get a really good night’s sleep on Saturday.
5. The Most-Played Songs On Your Phone Are From Six Years Ago
This music collection was on the cutting edge of 2008! Nothing will ever be as good. Nothing!
6. You Increasingly Dis Loud Noises and Crowds…
… also standing up. Anything that involves standing around a crowded bar/room/street/anywhere while people mill around, yell and spill things on you is not a fun prospect.
7. You Can Look Back On the Past Few Years And Not Feel Embarrassed
There will, of course, still be some moments that make you want to cringe, but it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be. Either you’ve finally figured out how to navigate through life without being 100 percent awkward or you no longer care — either way, it’s sweet release from the icy claws of anxiety.
8. You May or May Not Be Planning Your Future Kids’ College Funds
Even if you’re not sure if or when you’re going to have these kids, how many there will be and what their names are, you’ve begun casually investigating the 529 plan and other college savings accounts, because it’s a harsh world out there and these hypothetical kids need a good education.
9. You Have Fewer Friends and That Doesn’t Bother You
Maybe you’ve lost touch with some people, but in the age of the Internet, you never really lose touch — plus meeting new people sucks and you don’t want to invest that much effort in finding new friends.
10. It’s Really Depressing How Long Ago You Studied Abroad
One of the greatest adventures of your life was… ugh, five years ago? Almost six? Every time you think about it, you get a panicky urge to plan another trip to France or Spain or South America before it’s too late, and then you realize how much money that would cost.
11. You Have a 401(k)
You know you need it, but you still curse the day you agreed to deposit 15 percent of your paycheck into this thing.
12. Your Career Is Going Nowhere…
… or at least it feels that way. Then you realize that you’re in your 20s and you’re not supposed to be successful yet, so you can postpone that anxiety until you’re in your 30s, at which point it is acceptable to begin panicking and wildly flailing through personal and professional crises of every category on a weekly basis.
13. You to Complain About Younger People
Few things are more delightful than transitioning from being complained about to being the complainer. Don’t any of the new songs you’ve heard recently? Hate current fashion trends? Don’t bottle it up — tell those kids to get off your figurative lawn and never look back. You’ve earned it!
10 Things You Should Do in Your 20s to Set Yourself Up for Success Later On
With many of us taking much longer than our parents or grandparents to finish our education and settle into a career (thanks, crappy economy), it can feel that these days, your 20s is one decade-long stint in the waiting room of life.
Sure, it's generally a time of experimentation, parties, and freedom, but as anyone who's been there recently can tell you, it's also hugely stressful. And it matters. A lot.
As clinical psychologist Meg Jay explains in her book, The Defining Decade, though your 20s can feel both responsibility- and consequence-free, the choices you make in this decade of life have an outsize impact on how your life progresses down the road. So how do you enjoy the good aspects of this period of self-exploration while still setting yourself up for the best shot at success and happiness?
That's what a thoughtful young questions asked on question-and-answer site Quora lately, eliciting wise responses from several entrepreneurs and post-20s business minds. Here are some of the highlights of their advice:
This was one of the most common pieces of advice. “You are mature enough to go on your own and immature enough to learn from others,” explains Shikhar Agarwal, a young computer engineer living in Silicon Valley.
“You don't have family obligations and are carefree.
Use this time to meet different people, live with them, and understand their thoughts and culture; go backpacking and learn how to survive independently in a new place.”
“Travel is a great provider of knowledge,” agrees financial investigator Burke Files. “Not from Hilton to Hilton, but from city to city and country to country, staying, where possible, with local families. We learn through struggling. Push yourself to struggle with language, customs, foods, and arts.”
Think of Money as a Result, Not a Goal..
It's natural to want to live comfortably later on, but according to several of the Quora responders, the best way to attain this goal isn't to focus on money itself. “Don't stress about money. It will come,” summarizes copywriter Patrick Gant.
So what should you focus on instead? Finding what you to do and getting good at it. “You don't have many responsibilities during your 20s and can take risks,” writes Agarwal.
“So follow your passion–don't get tempted by short-term gains. If you want to do a Ph.D., don't get attracted toward the huge job package. First, find your passion.
” (Though, don't think you have to absolutely adore your job–“Only 0.1% of people have a dream job,” cautions another responder.)
Money shouldn't be your primary motivator, but nearly everyone who responded agreed that you should still focus on sensible financial planning, especially setting away a rainy-day fund to cushion you when you hit inevitable bumps in the road. “Start saving,” advises Drew Eckhardt, a systems software engineer. “Set aside six to 12 months of living expenses. You don't want to panic or change your lifestyle if something bad happens injury, sickness, or job loss.”
Start Taking Care of Your Body
It's much easier to get in the habit before you've done much damage to yourself physically or developed long-standing bad habits.
“By my late 20s, I had ignored and jeopardized my health through a lot of partying and burying my head in the sand,” confesses advertising creative director Christian Cipriani. “I turned, but it was very hard.
I'd picked up a lot of speed over the years, so it was much more redirecting a ship than a motorcycle.”
The solution? “Take care of your body,” suggests researcher Bill Welsh. “Minimally, 30 to 45 minutes of aerobics five to six times a week and some weight training alternate days. Your body will thank you forever.
” This isn't just about health; it's also about enjoyment. “You're at your athletic peak,” writes Eckhardt.
“It's great to bicycle 420 miles across a state, climbing 30,000 feet worth of mountains, and feel good doing it. Enjoy it.”
Tame Your Tech
Twentysomethings are notorious for being tied to their smartphones 24/7. Use tech for all it's worth, sure, but also learn to set reasonable limits to your usage so you can use that time for other things.
“Everywhere–a bus, meeting, restaurant, friends, and so on–your eyes are always down, staring at the smartphone. Maybe someone has d your photo on , upvoted your answer–common on—get some air!” urges Agarwal.
“Swap TV watching or Internet surfing for practice on something that you enjoy and that's also useful,” writes Linda Lonnqvist. “And if there are a couple of other people in the room you're in, talk to them, don't text someone else,” adds Welsh.
Forgive Yourself and Others for Mistakes
If you're the type who sailed through school and university raking in accolades, your 20s is probably when you'll discover that everyone–even A students and superachievers–makes mistakes. That might sting a bit, but it's an essential part of growing up. “Learn to accept your mistakes,” urges Advait Kamat.
You probably spent your teenage years being cocky and trying to seem in control. Things are different now, he continues: “You're going to be facing a lot of rejection when you go out hunting for a job. You're going to be making a lot of amateurish mistakes.
That's when you'll have to say, 'I made a mistake, and I'm sorry for it.' And mean it.”
Welsh agrees and takes the “accept mistakes” argument a step further: “Don't react poorly to mistakes. Mistakes are a great education and probably the quickest way we have to finally getting things right.
If you understand this, it will make you patient with other people who make mistakes, and you will learn forgiveness. It's a very short hop from there to kindness, the greatest virtue a human being can have.
Distance Yourself From Drama
You really don't need problematic, energy-sucking people in your life. “Learn to tell the difference between people who value you for who you are as you are versus those who just want a piece of you,” advises Gant. “Avoid toxic and clingy people,” adds Roger Austen. “These people are time wasters.”
Invest in Self-Knowledge
“Your 20s is the best time to start understanding yourself,” writes Agarwal. “You should know what upsets you and what makes you happy. Realize what is the thing that would motivate you in times of greatest failure. Find the answers to these questions: What is your fear? Who loves you? What do you want to achieve? And so on.”
“Learn something about yourself,” writes Andrew Gumperz. “Our biggest learning task in life is learning who we are.”
Between struggling to get your career off the ground, sort our your romantic life, and enjoy the social opportunities surrounding you, it's easy to feel frantic in your 20s.
That's natural, but don't forget to pause, breathe, and take stock from time to time. “Slow down long enough each day to listen to your intuition,” suggests author and coach Jessica Manca.
“All good things come when your mind is still,” agrees entrepreneur Paul Doran. “Find ways to get the snow globe of your mind to settle.”
The little things count, too–at least two responders were adamant that you will deeply regret it later on if you don't take care of your teeth now.
Ken Meltsner, a solutions architect, recalls that he “had too many friends neglect good dental care because it costs money that they didn't have, or they didn't think dentistry was important enough. It is–trust me.
You're stuck with the same teeth for the rest of your life, and crappy care when you're young will end up costing you many times more as you get older.”
What advice would you add to this list?
Published on: Apr 29, 2014
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
15 signs you’re having a quarter-life crisis
Ah, your mid-twenties. What was once a settled period of contentment for many people has become a tumultuous time of confusing uncertainty for today’s young adults, many of whom feel stuck in permanent adolescence.
Single with no chance of settling down anytime soon? Miles away from ever being able to get a foot on the property ladder? No idea where your life is going? Welcome! You are in the prime position for a quarter-life crisis.
Fear not though – everyone’s having them so you’ll be bang on trend.
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
You could be in the midst of one right now and not even know it. Here are the 15 signs you’re having a quarter-life crisis:
1. You’re starting to question what your purpose in life is. WHY DID YOU PUT ME ON THIS EARTH, GOD? WHAT IS THE POINT OF MY EXISTENCE? (In a less morbid way than it sounds.)
2. You’re frustrated at not being able to figure out the answers to the above.
3. You’re terrified by the thought that your best years may be behind you and you still feel you haven’t done anything with your life. Remember being 15 and thinking about how at 25 you’d have your life together and be smashing it? Good joke (cry).
5 ways to make the most of your 20s
4. Social media makes you feel anxious and you can’t help but feel freaked out every time an engagement or baby announcement pops up, even though you don’t want to get married or have kids yet.
5. Listening to Taylor Swift’s 22 brings on an existential crisis because guess what, you’re not 22 any more and maybe not everything will be alright, Taylor.
6. Going into Forever 21 is equally conflicting (shouldn’t you be shopping at Reiss and Jigsaw by now anyway?).
7. But you keep telling yourself 25 is the new 21. It is. It really is. I’m going to keep writing about it until everyone agrees it is anyway.
8. You're torn between wanting to be a proper grown-up and wanting to be looked after by your parents in a bubble of safety and comfort forever.
9. You feel the need to escape somehow.
10. You’re torn between thinking ‘F*** it, I’m going to pack in my job and go see the world while I can’ and ‘S***, I need to climb the career ladder and work really hard so I can achieve some success in my life’.
11. You’re offended when you’re ID’d but even more offended when you're not.
12. You buy yourself an expensive handbag or gadget because you want it to appear you’ve got your s*** together even though you’re not sure you can pay your rent this month.
13. You don’t know whether you should be dating around and having casual fun or trying to find the one because everyone tells you something different.
14. Your temporary job has somehow lasted three years.
15. Whilst you and your peers were once all impoverished youngsters together, you’ve realised that your friends working in higher-paid industries will ly be richer than you for the rest of your life and the gap between your incomes is probably only going to widen, which kinda sucks.
But remember, fellow young grasshoppers, life isn’t about money or marriage or any of the things we’re freaking out about. And most of all, it isn’t a race.
Whilst it’s true that being in your 20s now is different to how it was for our parents, your 20s have always been a time for figuring out who you are and what you want to do with your life. We’ll get there.
How the Aging Process Works – Signs of Aging
Ask people what they think they’ll look in 25 years, and chances are they’ll mention how their parents looked at that age. And while genetics certainly play a part, research shows there’s more to the story. Only about 30% of what we see as aging is inherited, explains John Rowe, M.D., Julius B. Richmond Professor of Health Policy and Aging at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.
When you look specifically at things above the neck — cognitive function, vision, and hearing — that number goes up to about 50%. “People feel there’s some intrinsic clock playing out a program in their body that they don’t have influence over,” says Dr. Rowe. “It’s just not true.”
Yes, good news: We have real control over how our bodies age. Aging is happening on a cellular level at every moment, so for a long and healthy life, it’s vital to stay on top of the changes within your body and your mind. For a better understanding of these shifts through every decade, we talked to the experts.
In Your 20's
In our 20s, we’re generally at the peak of physical health. In several ways, our bodies are still on the upward curve of development — even our menstrual cycles maybe more regular than in our teens! — and our brains and bones are growing to their full potential.
Your brain is changing well into your 20s, says Shanna Levine, M.D., a New York City–based internist working in private practice for Goals Healthcare. Research has shown that your prefrontal cortex — the part responsible for factors inhibition, high-level functioning, and attention — continues growing until around age 25.
POWER UP: It’s never too early to prioritize brain health! Keep your noggin sharp through the decades with these brain-boosting tricks:
- Plan to volunteer. One study found that giving back, even for less than two hours a week, could slow cognitive decline — ly because doing so promotes social connection and mental engagement, which research has proven can help stave off dementia.
- Study a new language. It may be easier to learn one when you’re young, but studying another language at any age can “promote thinking skills, increase mental agility, and delay the aging of the brain,” found one study. Plus, if you take group classes, you get the social benefit.
- Learn to play an instrument. Even if you don’t see yourself as musically inclined, give it a shot. In one study, people 60 and over showed improvement in cognitive functions after just four months of piano lessons.
By the time you’re 18, you already have up to 90% of your peak bone mass, including strength and density. However, you’re still adding more mass than you’re losing (that changes around age 30). While the amount you develop is primarily set factors race and gender, about one-quarter of it is determined by things you can control.
POWER UP: Exercise regularly, get enough calcium in your diet (about 1,000 mg per day), limit alcoholic beverages, and don’t smoke.
In Your 30's
Many people see this as their best decade. During our 30s, we’re ly getting more settled in our careers and families, and according to one study our happiness levels are still actively increasing. This is also when making real lifestyle changes can help stave off long-term issues.
You may notice that it takes extra effort to shed pounds. This is because of a slower metabolic rate — it can start to decline in our 20s and continues to decrease by 2% to 3% every 10 years. The reason you ly won’t realize that until now: This is also when we start losing muscle mass (3% to 8% per decade after age 30).
This metabolic shift may translate into an increase in body fat around your middle.
While you might be annoyed about how your jeans suddenly fit (or don’t), the deeper belly fat around your organs (called visceral fat) is more of a concern— it can increase your risk of things type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure.
POWER UP: Eat healthfully and start a regular exercise routine; it’ll help build muscle mass, which gives your metabolism a boost.
Seeing new fine lines and wrinkles in the mirror? You can blame decreasing collagen and elastin levels. And cell turnover slows after your late 20s, so skin can look dull and tired without extra exfoliation.
Our Beauty Lab recommends adding a facial peel, top-tested Dermalogica Rapid Reveal Peel ($85),to your weekly routine. This is also when damage from past unprotected sun exposure can start to rear its ugly head.
POWER UP: Prevent future sun damage by wearing SPF 30 or higher every day — even if you’re not hitting the beach or the pool. Check out GH’s beauty scientists’ top-tested face sunscreen.
In Your 40's
Everything seems to come together when you hit your 40s. While your family life and career are ly at a high point, caring for aging parents and planning for the future can make it a stressful time.
Struggling to read the restaurant menu? Eyesight begins to weaken at this age because of changes in the eyes’ focusing ability. But you won’t see the more profound consequences for two more decades, says Dr. Levine.
POWER UP: Focus on your diet. “Just one cup of kale has more than a whole day’s worth of the carotenoids zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta-carotene, which help shield ocular tissue from harmful UV damage and may also reduce your risk of developing cataracts,” says GH Nutrition Director Jaclyn London, M.S., R.D.
“Every 10 years after the age of 40, we lose about half an inch of height” because of changes in bones, muscles, and joints, says Dr. Levine. But talk to your doctor about any rapid height loss — it could be a sign of osteoporosis.
POWER UP: Get exercise. There’s no way to fully stop shrinking, but a study found that people who did so regularly could cut the height they lost almost in half. This was true even for those who became moderately active only after 40 (compared with those who never exercised regularly and those who ended their activity as they got older).
In Your 50's
As your children head off to high school and college, now is when you think about how you would to spend your time. Whether you focus on a new hobby, a volunteer project, or a career change, this decade is all about starting to concentrate on your own wants and needs.
The big health story during this decade? Menopause. It hits some women in their 40s, but the average age is 51.
Menopause is diagnosed when you haven't had your period for over a year — and when your ovaries stop producing estrogen, the effects can be challenging both physically and emotionally.
The classic symptoms include hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, and even anxiety or depression — but not all women will experience every one of these.
POWER UP: Keep cool! While there hasn’t been much research on supplements and herbal remedies, some women have found that black cohosh eases hot flashes; one study showed that listening to relaxing music or practicing slow-breathing exercises could reduce their frequency. For many women, the end of periods — and cramps, bloating and PMS-ing — is something to celebrate!
In Your 60's
Welcome to a new concept: freedom! Whether it's thanks to becoming an empty nester, being newly retired, or just shaking off societal expectations, it’s all about you from now on. Here’s to prioritizing your mental and physical well-being!
Hearing and Vision
Along with declining vision, hearing loss is an issue: One-third of Americans in their late 60s and early 70s have hearing loss. And after 75, half of us will have difficulty hearing.
POWER UP: Ask for help, especially since this can be socially isolating. Today’s hearing aids are often more discreet than previous models, so don’t hesitate to talk with your doc about whether you’re a candidate. Only 30% of adults 70 and older who could use them ever have, reports the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
This is why many researchers also talk about biological age, a measurement focusing on biological markers that show how your systems are actually aging. “About 68% of people will have a biological age within five years of their chronological age, but you can also find individuals who are 10 years older or younger,” she explains.
You can’t stop aging, of course, but lifestyle choices make a real difference. And research is focusing on what else can be done. “People want to play an active role in their own health maintenance,” says Dr. Guarente. He and his team at Elysium Health are looking to develop a test that will let people find out and monitor their NAD+ levels.
The hypothesis is that NAD+ levels are a better measure of aging than chronological age. And in theory, knowing them would help people make profound changes.
“Successful aging is not the imitation of youth,” says Dr. Rowe. “Making yourself look better on the outside won’t impact what’s going on inside.
” At the end of the day, it’s internal functions that actually matter for our health and life span.