Your 20s are for yourself

When was the last time you went on Facebook, creeped photos and took note of how many people from your high school have children, are pregnant, are married or are engaged?

The general reaction to these sorts of people – among my social circle at least – is ridicule and a general disbelief that many of our peers have decided to take their lives in a direction that is completely out of sync with what most students our age are doing.

We’re busy worrying about term papers and how drunk we got last night, and it’s unbelievable to think that many people who we went to high school with are now worrying about wedding dresses and changing diapers.

While getting married and having children are certainly in the future for many, starting down this path in your early 20s is not the right time to do so.

Though it is not uncommon for people in university to develop relationships with partners that they have every intention of marrying, there is no reason to make such a significant commitment so early in your life. At our age, there is still so much to experience, and having people in your life that will inevitably restrict your choices is unfortunate.

The opportunities that are available to us at this age are endless; however, by making decisions and extensive commitments now, you will limit what is available to you in the future.

What if you get a chance to study in Paris or receive an internship in Prague?

The troubling reality is that getting married and having babies hinders your ability to take such opportunities.

Nobody wants to wake up one morning in middle-class suburbia feeling as though you never lived up to you potential and resenting your family for holding you back.

The choices you make now will significantly impact the rest of your life; it’s important that you make ones that will not only make you happy in the moment, but are in the best interest for your future.

Your 20s are the perfect opportunity to invest in yourself.

Regardless of how long you have been together, people change and relationships fall apart.

While it is perfectly plausible that you may have a meaningful marriage that allows you to develop as a person and gives you incredible experiences, there is no guarantee that any given relationship will last, and it’s so easy for people to lose themselves in another person.

The best partners and parents are those who maintain a life and identity outside of their children and spouses.

If you do not take the time to do so, you risk building a life where you depend on someone else for fulfillment, instead of learning how to be happy with the only person that you will need to live with at the end of the day: yourself.

Children grow up and leave home, 37 per cent of Canadian marriages end in divorce and building your entire life around these two entities sets yourself up for failure.

Invest in yourself and your education, because if everything else in your life falls apart, at the very least you will have that.