11 Things You Don't Have To Own By 25
Every day, I see another article in my newsfeed listing the things I was supposed to have by the time I turned 25. The age 25 has become some sort of unofficial milestone year that society has determined as "the year to have your life together". But having your life together is totally subjective.
Seeing as I've made it past 25 just fine, I can personally attest to the fact that most of these lists are ridiculous and end up making you feel inadequate. The worst kind of thing you can do to someone who's at an age where they're trying to get their life together, figure out who they are and want they need to be happy — is tell them what they should be doing and what they should have.
Everyone finds their own way into their 30s, and no two experiences are the same. The most important thing to know is that you're in a safe space for trial and error. There will be some things that you think you need, only to find out that it's not right for you at this time. You'll also come to learn that there are things you can get rid of, like bad habits, toxic friends, and power bracelet collections. Here are 11 other things you don't have to own by the time you turn 25:
A Massive Savings Account
Of course you should save money if you can, but not everyone has the luxury of putting money away. If you need to use your every last penny to pay rent and take care of yourself, it is what it is. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about the position you're in. You'll have a savings account one day — 25 is just an arbitrary year. Besides, your finances are personal.
Fancy Kitchen Appliances
Some 25-year-olds have standing mixers and juicers. If you don't have anything in your kitchen that didn't come with it, it's fine. You don't need to be pureeing vegetables and baking soufflés. A microwave is a fine accomplishment. You'll hit up Kitchen-Aid when you're ready.
A Long-Term Career
Lots of people around you will have careers that they're happy with and feel settled in. You might be still figuring it out, and that's fine. Take all the time you need to get the job you want. You want it to last for a long time, which means it might take a long time to find it.
Personally, I don't know anyone who personally owns a car, but rumor has it, people do. Some people rent and lease cars their whole lives. There's nothing wrong with that, and there's nothing wrong with riding the bus. Twenty-five is definitely not the year to splurge on a car, if you don't have the funds already available.
A Serious Relationship
Of all the things you might want to own, a serious relationship might be something that you really want to have. But you can't assign an age to love. You just have to be open to so that it can find you when you're ready. If you haven't had a serious relationship by 25, it's not indicative of any bad omen in your love life. You're just pacing yourself.
At 25, you're still figuring yourself out. There's no need to buy an apartment when you don't even have a good idea of your tastes and your future income. Get to know yourself for a few more years and get comfortable with your income before you start committing to things like homes and apartments.
I get it, who doesn't want nice shoes? But listen, if you need to buy discount shoes — the kind that give you nasty blisters and fall apart in a year — that's fine. Carrie Bradshaw really confused young women about what their shoe collections are supposed to look like. You have your whole adult life to buy expensive shoes. If a clean pair of sneakers are the fanciest shoes you have, so be it.
Stamps On Your Passport
Not everyone can afford to travel the world. There's a lot of pressure on young people to travel before they settle into a job and begin to grow roots. But just because you didn't fly to Nepal straight out of college doesn't mean that you're not going to travel one day. You have to do things when they work for you. Maybe 25 isn't your year to stamp the hell out of your passport. Maybe it will be 26, or 40. Be OK with it.
In your early 20s, you're going to destroy your furniture. All the moves, the parties, the art projects — your furniture is going to get trashed. Don't even bother getting the good stuff. Stick to second hand and discount. You can get nice furniture when your lifestyle becomes a bit more predictable. No one's judging the holes in your couch as much as you think they are.
If art is important to you, spend money on it. But if it's not, there's no need to have it by 25. Take your time figuring out your tastes. Art is a huge commitment, and no one is going to expect to find it in your apartment. If you want things on your walls, browse local artists and thrift stores.
If you do own jewelry, you probably once owned a bit more. Your mid-20s are all about being adventurous, spontaneous and finding yourself. It's not a time to stress out over an expensive watch getting wet or a diamond earring falling out. Between gifts and occasions, you'll have a jewelry collection before you know it — and it will stress you out. Enjoy having nothing to lose, for now.