This week I turn 25 and thought I would evaluate where my life is at having reached a quarter of a century. It’s not until recently that I discovered that 25 is a big age, I thought the big ages consisted of:
But apparently 25 is a big deal too, first cervical screening Hooray!
A quarter of a century and mid way through my twenties and I consider myself to be in a good place in life, not quite where I thought I would be when I was little but I am on the right track. Growing up I looked up to my mum and wanted my life to be exactly like hers, I wanted to be married by 22 and having my first child at 24. So as I turn 25 unmarried and without children a part of me feels I have failed my younger self, although times have changed and in reality I am at a similar stage to all my peers and I believe I have a lot to be proud of.
Firstly I was a good girl and I didn't break any of the age rules above, on my 17th birthday I had my first driving lesson, the first time I got drunk was on holiday with my friends at the age of 18. It was a civilised girly holiday with cocktails, days by the pool and exploring the Island of Mallorca. Not, as some might prefer, a boozy week completely paralytic in Malagluf. Loosing my virginity followed shortly after, alcohol may have had an influence in this but I have no regrets. So overall I have done pretty well at following rules.
I am very proud of my financial situation. When I finished my GCSE’s at 16 my Dad told me if I wanted to go to collage I would have to get a job to pay to get myself there. On July 8th 2008 I began working at supermarket in my village. My wage paid for my bus fair to collage and paid for driving lessons and my first car, a little blue Peugeot 107 nicked named humpy.
Since I have then I have paid for everything other than food and bills at home. At 18 I started paying rent. At 21 I decided to go to University and along side the bog standard student loan I funded my three years with no help from parents. I left university with enough saved to buy my second car, an almost two year old Ford Fiesta. I am now saving for a deposit for a mortgage on my first home with my long term boyfriend.
Had I chosen to go to university sooner, at 18 with everyone else, I don’t think I would have appreciated the costs involved, my parents wouldn't have been able to help and without savings behind be I would have struggled, whereas I was comfortably well off during my time at uni. I was a super tight ass though. In the year leading up to university I turned down many nights out with friends and other social occasions and I was saving pennies like they were gold. When at Uni I didn't go out much and I was rigid with my budget at one stage I was spending less than £10 a week. It unfortunately did not result in weight loss and I am sure I left uni a stone heavier than when I arrived.
If I had chosen not to go to university at all I would probably be in a very different situation now and probably not as happy as I am. I have always struggled with knowing what to do career wise, for me whats important is having a family and I didn't really have a plan as to how to afford it. So before I decided to go to university I was miserable working at the supermarket, unsure of how to progress my career to a level I could afford real life. I considered management training but knew it would just be the same crap I was unhappy doing with added responsibility and stress. Luckily a trip to America and a breakdown of a relationship gave me the push and inspiration I needed to make the decision to go to uni.
I wasn’t that keen on uni, when I was there. That might be the understatement of the year. For me the best thing about uni was the people I met, I made what I hope will be friends for life with my two housemates Amy and Bekky. I thought the time spent in uni was not value for money and I didn't take long for me to realise that I was still going to struggle find a job when I left uni as I didn’t feel I had been given the tools I needed to go into the digital industry.
I continued to work at the supermarket part time whilst at uni, thats how I came out with savings. When I finished I was determined to get a full time job as soon as possible so I took the first thing that came along that I thought I might enjoy. I had contacted plenty of companies looking for work as a junior web designer or social media something but heard nothing. So I found a full time job working for a bank. In my first week I had to travel to Birmingham on my own, stay in a hotel meet new people and get enthusiastic about a job that suddenly on the traumatic drive up I was now uncertain about. Unfortunately things didn't get better and I my anxiety levels went through the roof, to the point I was unable to do the job. I made the decision to leave before I was fired and following the most difficult decision of my life so far I made myself unemployed.
Thanks to my friends Facebook scrolling I was only out of work for two and a half weeks before I began my current job at PPC Stars and online marketing agency as an SEO consultant. SEO was not something that I have studied but now nearly three months in I seem to be doing ok and I am so much happier than I ever was at the supermarket and the bank combined. We recently went Go Karting as a team building activity to celebrate achieving a good quarter together.
So all in all i’m happy, I'm in a loving long term relationship with a man I intend to buy a house with next year and begin settling down. I am on track to saving my half of the deposit and I have a career that I enjoy and is heading in a positive direction. Life in my mid twenties, not how I imagined it but going in the right direction and with plenty to look forward to.