Being in your 20s is a true roller coaster. At the beginning you're super excited, 'cause hey, your life just started, but by the end, you're devastated, because, most likely, nothing went as planned. And yeah, there are lots of ups and downs, but in the end, it is the decade that will end up defining you completely – it is the time you finally figure out who you really are (well, maybe not completely, but you're a big step closer to it), and it is a time in which you will grow the most, both emotionally and intellectually. Plus, you're still young, so you will definitely have a lot of fun, even though chances are you'll be broke, unemployed and single. And what sums up life struggles better than Harry Potter GIF? Exactly, nothing.
So here are 15 magical GIFs that show you what the 20s are all about.
15 When you just turn 20 and you feel like your party life has now truly started.
Yeah sure, you probably partied in your teens, but you spent your whole youth eagerly anticipating your 20s, because those always seemed like the best party years, full of amazing nights out in town with your friends, dancing 'til the dawn and not remembering a thing the following morning. Besides those, you also envisioned lots of fancy dinner parties, where y'all would be sipping on expensive wine and complaining about how you can't agree on where to go out later. Well, listen, if that's what your 20s end up looking like, you're lucky. For most of us partying gets boring, overrated, and we all turn into lazy sloths who'd much rather spend a night in, catching up on Orange Is The New Black and devouring a whole pizza. Yup, party life in your 20s most likely isn't as existent as you thought it would be.
14 When you graduate and finally start feeling like you're an adult now.
College is that transitional period, where you kinda feel like an adult, but also not really. However, once you graduate, you expect your real life to truly start. You're kind excited that you are an official adult now, that you're the one pull all the strings, and you are deciding how you want to live your life. And it's true, at this point you have it all in your hands, and let me tell you — it is extremely overwhelming. This is where life truly hits you in your face, and you end up drowning in taxes, bank payments, rent, jobs, and just in general, everything. If you're one of the lucky ones, you'll manage to deal with all of it gracefully, but it's more likely that you will end up stressing out over all of it, and kinda regretting this whole 'adulthood' thing.
13 And when you realize your parents aren't your boss anymore.
If you grew up with strict parents, graduating from college and starting your own life will seem extremely liberating. No more curfews, no more chores, no more answering to your parents on a daily basis. You can sleep in as long as you'd like, you can go out whenever the heck you want, and you are the boss of figuring to what you want to spend you time on. But as amazing as all of this sounds, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows. You will eventually have to do the chores, and you can't really sleep as much as you'd like, because life is a b*tch and you'll have to find a job, for which you're most likely gonna have to get up early. And once you realize how much your parents actually helped you out on a daily basis, being your own boss definitely won't seem as awarding as it once was.
12 But then you realize you're so not ready for adulthood and you start panicking.
At this point you've been through some hard stuff on your own, and you've realized that adulting maybe wasn't the best thing that ever happened to you. Nope, it definitely wasn't, it was probably actually one of the worst things. Like, if you could go back, you'd definitely try to avoid it all. You thought you were pressured and stressed out back in school, but nothing compares to the unreliableness and randomness adulthood can throw your way. It's just all too damn overwhelming, it's no wonder most 20-something-year-olds struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. At this point, controlling your emotions is a daily struggle, especially if you still have nothing figured out, and you always thought you would have your life together by 25. It's OK, though! You're not alone. Literally, everyone else is going through the same troubles.
11 When you finally experience what true love feels like.
OK, this one may not apply to everyone, but most people haven't really experienced true overwhelming love until they are in their 20s. Teen crushes were all great and fun, and at the time they seemed like the real deal, but falling in love in your 20s, when you're trying to get your life together, is a whole new experience. Finding someone who makes you feel at peace, even though your life is literally spinning around you from all the stress, is something you just haven't ever felt while you were a teen. And knowing that there's someone who can assure you that no matter how effed up everything is, they are still there for you – it's probably the most amazing thing you can experience in your 20s. Love is never defined by age, but you change through the years, and in your 20s, you start experiencing how to be independent and self-sufficient, and this can be a giant emotional rollercoaster. Being in love in your 20s means you learn to work as a team, and it is a very special experience that no teen can possibly understand!
10 When you start applying for jobs.
And by "applying," I mean, applying to literally every little job posting you come across, whether you are qualified or not, because the need to financially support yourself has never been bigger. This means applying to everything from being a barista, to being a law clerk, and befriending everyone you even had eye contact with on LinkedIn, because networking is crucial, and modern 20-something-year-olds do it all online. And don't even get me started on you writing your resume! Trying to think of every little school project, or garage sale you volunteered at, just to fill up your CV. You won't even care if it's relevant, because the competition is hard and the more experienced you seem, the better your chances, right? I mean, after all, they always look for someone who's barely 20 but had at least 8 years of relevant experience. SMH.
9 And when you don't hear back from them. Ever.
So now the waiting games begin, and well, get ready to wait for a long time. Eternity probably, because chances of you getting that Hogwarts acceptance letter are bigger than the chances of you hearing back from any of the jobs you've applied for. It's just the cruel reality – most places won't even have the decency to email you back and let you know you're not in the game anymore. They'll just leave you endlessly hoping to be contacted. Don't these employers realize that behind those resumes and cover letters are actual humans who have hopes and dreams?! They are relying on hearing back from you! Don't they realize that being a 20-something-year-old is already stressful on its own, without even having to mention the almost impossible task called "job hunt?
8 Or when after sending in 356 applications, you finally get invited to an actual interview.
Listen, it's bound to happen at some point. One day, you will wake up and it will just be your lucky day. You'll get an email or a phone call saying that you're one of the few chosen ones to actually come in for an interview. Yes, your happiness is through the roof. You immediately call your family and friends to let them know you basically got this one. But then the cruel reality that is adulthood hits you again. How the heck will you get through the actual interview? This isn't one of those easy internship things; this is the real deal. You gotta present yourself in the best light, but what even is your best light? Do you even have one? You'll end up stressing over it all – not sleeping the night before, sweating your way through the interview, and maybe if you're lucky, and the employer feels your struggle, you really will end up being the chosen one.
7 When you finally realize who your friends for life are.
Listen, friendships come and go, but usually it's in your 20s that you figure out what friends are there to stay. And there are no rules really, it could be your best pals from kindergarten, or your new coworker, but usually, the bonds that are strong in your 20s will be strong for the rest of your life. It's that time when you finally start to understand and accept yourself for who you truly are, and the people who know and accept you that way are the ones who will most likely be there for the long run, and those will be your keepers. At this time in your life, you'll figure out who your chosen family is – the ones you deliberately decide to call your besties. And realizing the true importance of real friendship is probably one of the best parts of your 20s.
6 When someone tries to involve you in drama.
Listen, your life will never stop having drama. Drama is just a basic part of living, but the pre-20s, high school teen drama is definitely gone. And now that you're older and smarter, you know when to back out of it. Don't get me wrong, there will still be people who will try to get you involved in something that's, quite frankly speaking, none of your business, but now, you're wiser and you know when it's time to say goodbye. Plus, your life is too stressful on its own to really care enough about other people's struggles. Unless they're friends. If it's your bestie, then none of what I said applies. Nope, you'll jump right into the drama, and somehow summon the courage to be the strong, optimistic one, who will help your friend get through whatever it is they are going through – no matter how much of a train wreck your own life is.
5 When someone shares their opinion, but you couldn't care less.
Let me tell you, you will be surprised how much people love sharing their thoughts and feelings about the most random things, without you ever asking them to. Maybe this happens throughout your whole life, but it isn't until you get in your 20s that you realize you really don't have to sit there, listen, and pretend like you care. You slowly start realizing that time really is money, and spending it on other people's problems, opinions, or even just gossip is definitely not worth it. And it is in your 20s when you start telling people how you feel, what you care or don't care about, and whether you wanna hear about their thoughts on the presidential race or not. Sometimes, you just gotta stop them and say no, no matter how hard that might seem.
4 When you realize life in your 20s isn't as amazing as you thought it would be.
When you hit your mid 20s, you finally start realizing that life in your 20s definitely isn't as exciting or fun as you always thought it would be. Sure, there still are fun times, lots of great memories, and lovely people, but it's just not as easy-going or as exciting as you thought it would be. You thought you'd have it all figured out, you thought this was the golden age you always dreamt of when you were a kid, and now that it's your reality, it just isn't as golden as you imagined it to be. It actually isn't golden at all. It's stressful, unpredictable, and probably a big old mess, but you just have to make the best out of it. Who knows, maybe the 30s are the fun decade?
3 But that's life.
Life is what it is, and in your 20s, you realize you can't control too much of it. Yes, you are the creator of your future, but there are so many other factors involved that the end result usually never looks like what you hoped your future would be. And as devastating and sad as that sounds, you actually somehow come to terms with it. Sure, it may be raining A LOT, and but every once in a while there's that piece of sun that makes it all worth it. The 20s are when you realize your childhood dreams of becoming a successful Grammy winning singer, or a famous tennis player at the Wimbledon most likely won't happen, but that's OK, because other great things will, and at the end of the day, you will still have your dreams, and perhaps you will have new dreams. Even if they are still unreachable, they are yours.
2 And you just gotta make the best of it.
Honestly, this is the period of your life when you'll figure out how to take a bad situation and turn it into a good one. No, seriously, you will become a pro at it! Night out canceled? No problem, theres an open bottle of wine in the fridge and a rerun of How I Met Your Mother on TV. You got fired from work? No biggie, now you're on a vacation until you decide to look for job again. Hello, sleeping in! You had your heart broken? You will rise from the ashes, stronger than ever. Literally, every time life throws you under the bus, you'll somehow manage to find something positive to hold onto, because if you don't, you wouldn't be able to survive. And that's why the 20s are so darn important – they teach you how to live, and how to survive.
1 And lastly, when you realize that you will never get your Hogwarts letter.
OK, I'm sorry to have to break it to you, but if you haven't gotten you Hogwarts letter by now, you won't get it at all. Yeah, I feel you because I didn't get mine either, but hey, there are worse things than being a magic-loving muggle. Like, being, uhm... well, I guess there actually isn't anything worse. But hey, life isn't fair, right? So now go and try to deal with the realization that you'll never walk the halls of Hogwarts, you'll never watch a Quidditch game, and you'll never have a chance to fail your O.W.L.'s. I know, I know, I'm crying too, but hey, at least we know magic exists right? I mean we can still dream of being wizards and witches and there's always the hope of our kids one day getting the letter. Try to hold onto to that – it might make you feel better. But no promises.