1. Your thirties are looming.
Gone are the days when 30 seemed so far away. Once you move beyond 25, 30 gets closer and closer every day, and that scares the hell out of you. Especially once your friends begin celebrating their 30th birthdays, shit is starting to get real.
2. Time is FLYING by, faster than ever before.
It was as if one minute you were turning 21 and (finally) legally allowed to drink, and then the next, you were suddenly approaching 30. During this part of your life, time seems to move faster than it ever has before. This could perhaps be because of the busyness of your schedule or the increased responsibilities you have, or even the increased freedom of being able to travel and explore the world. Time does fly when you're having fun. But whatever the reason, always try and slow down during those memorable moments and cherish them. Time is slipping right on by you, try to enjoy every second it.
3. You're suddenly pressured to have your whole entire future planned out.
Marriage? Kids? Career? If you don't have one or any of these figured out, get ready to be hounded by everyone around you. Everyone seems to be dying to know when you're going to settle down, when you're going to have kids, what your five-year plan is, or where your current job is taking you. You may not know the answer to some or any of these, and that's OKAY. Everyone moves at their own pace and follows their own path. Don't let someone tell you "you have to have kids," because you certainly don't if it's not what you and your partner want right now. Of course, you should think about your future and perhaps have an idea of where you're going, but nothing has to be set in stone right now, especially if you're not fully ready to make those big decisions just yet.
4. Work, life, balance becomes more difficult.
This is the age where you still want to make a good impression at work, but you also want to go do things and live life as much as you can, especially now that you're feeling that pressure of getting older. It also becomes more difficult to go out whenever you want, and this is for a number of different reasons: all the bills you have to pay, a wedding you're saving up for, you want to buy a house, you have a child to take care of, or it could simply be because hangovers are much worse than they were in your early twenties. You may find yourself often having to choose between being responsible, or going out and having some fun at the cost of spending money you shouldn't be spending, and/or feeling like absolute garbage at work the next day. Depending on your job, you may also find yourself spending more time at work than ever before. This is mostly because getting older typically involves moving up in your place of work, or getting a better job. While this is great because it usually means more money in your pocket, this also comes with increased responsibilities and having to dedicate more of your time to your work.
5. You grow apart from some (or a lot) of your friends.
At this point in life, you and your friends are on all different kinds of paths. Some are just starting to settle down or get serious with a partner, some still live at home, some are buying houses, some are already married, some are having babies, some are still searching for a career path, and some are still partying no matter what day of the week it is. Regardless of how you choose to live right now, though, just do you. Don't let anyone judge you for where you are, do what makes YOU happy. The hardest part about this is when you feel a divide forming between you and the friends you were once close with. It is during this age that this happens quite often because not only are you all on totally different paths, but you also begin forming different interests, hobbies, responsibilities, goals, and maybe even new social circles. You are now spending your time doing different things, and with new friends you may make. Some friendships embrace all these changes and grow together, while others, sadly, begin to grow apart.
6. You start to see people's true colors.
You're no longer afraid to break ties with toxic people in your life, friends and family members included. You begin to realize who is truly there for you, and who is there only when it is convenient for them. You now know how sacred your energy is, so you'd rather not waste your time or that energy on people who simply exhaust you. You break away from anyone who gives you more negative than positive vibes, and people who are loaded with drama. You may not forgive as easily as you used to, especially if you've been burned in the past. You're more mature, and along with that comes the ability to see people's true colors. It is painful at first, but when you have the courage and strength to let go of someone toxic in your life, you'll be grateful in the long run that you did.
7. You're still young, but you feel older every day.
You feel like high school was just yesterday, but then you realize it has been about 10 years since you graduated. 10 years! How did that happen? You still have it in you to spend all night at the bars and go to parties, but hangovers tend to take over your whole next day. You start feeling little aches and pains in your body. You have to maintain skin care routines to get a jump start on wrinkles. To maintain a healthy weight you have to do your best to eat clean and get a lot of exercise because your metabolism is also slowing down. You know you're still young, but suddenly you're starting to feel older and older every day.
8. You do (eventually) have to make all those adult decisions.
As much as you may not feel ready, or you try to avoid it, you will eventually (and by that I mean soon) have to make some big decisions in your life. This includes decisions of marriage, or buying a house, your career path, whether or not you want kids, or just where you want to be a few years from now. Yes, those decisions can be scary, but they are also necessary as we now know how quickly time is moving right on by. It's not going to wait for you, so you have to decide for yourself which choices are best for you to set up the building blocks for your near-future.