The truth about 20-somethings lists

By The Beacon | February 20, 2014 1:22am

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Taylor Tobin |

They have appeared on your Facebook news feed. You’ve seen them pinned and retweeted. They are the “7 Life Lessons From History Every 20-Something Should Know,” “18 Simple Things 20-Somethings Should Remember,” “10 Things Every 20-Something Should Keep In Mind,” “20 Things To Let Go Of In Your 20s” and “23 Little Facts Of Life Every 20-Something Should Remember,” or at least something along those same lines.  These articles, or listicles, have all been posted on the online magazine Thought Catalog just last month.

As if juggling any combination of schoolwork, relationships, internships, jobs, exercise, tests, sleep and other college day-to-day activities wasn’t already stressful, seeing articles like these makes me cringe and think, “Should we be worrying about that, too?”

Now, I’m not here to rag on Thought Catalog and their writers. It takes guts to put your thoughts out there for the world. However, I do hope that when you see posts like the ones above, you don’t take them too seriously. After all, Thought Catalog takes submissions from anyone under the ambiguous slogan, “All thinking is relevant.”

And no one’s 20-something experience will be exactly the same as yours, so these writers’ thoughts and opinions may not be relevant to your life at all.

One recent list on The Huffington Post tells all people in their 20s to be active, take a vacation, have a crazy night out, cook more, get rid of fake friends, binge watch a TV show, buy something valuable, call friends and family and, finally, relax in 2014. Hopefully you don’t need a list to know you should call your loved ones this year and take some time out of your busy schedule to relax. And you’ll probably still have a good year if you don’t have the time or money to take a vacation, get super fit and binge watch a show on Netflix.

I admit it can be interesting to hear about people’s triumphs and disasters at this stage in life, and there are a lot of them, so go ahead and read an article if the subject intrigues you. It’s fun to be able to relate to experiences that others have had in their 20s, and know that you are fairly normal after all.

But let these articles simply amuse you, not serve as definitive rules for life in your 20s. However entertaining the writer’s thoughts might be, know that they are really just listing suggestions, not absolute rules.

Taylor Tobin is a sophomore business major. She can be reached at tobin16@up.edu.

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