My 23-year-old girlfriend got diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes last week and it threw me for six.
Why? Because if you had to ask me which one of my friends would have been the least likely to be diagnosed with any kind of illness, it would have been her. She exercises daily, never leaves the house without a hat and sunscreen and I’ve never seen her touch a piece of cake in as long as I’ve known her.
But you know what this experience has made me realise? There are a whole lot of stereotypes floating around out there about being in your 20s and there are often not a lot of truths to them. Everyone’s got such a distinct idea of what your 20s are supposed to look like – that you should be full of energy, vibrant and healthy – when in actual fact, being in your 20s doesn’t exempt you from anything.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Lights by Tena. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.
Here are some of the things you’re not exempt from, even if you are in the early years of adult life.
I don’t know where everyone came up with this idea that your 20s are meant to be this carefree decade of little responsibility. The years where you can happily go out drinking all night, sleep all day and fritter away all your money on silly things without a care in the world.
These days, all the 20-somethings I know are seriously worried about their futures. So they’re saving their money. They’re getting two or even three different university qualifications. They’re signing up to do a thesis or a masters program. They’re interning at a bunch of different places while also working and trying to get awesome uni grades.
I think the last time I went out and got drunk was… at the beginning of April. It’s now mid-June and I’m stuck in a pile of never-ending economics exams. There just hasn’t been time to be completely carefree this semester. Seriously, bring me the wine.
2. Health issues
There are so many health problems that are incorrectly perceived by society to be reserved for older people. As well as my friend who was recently diagnosed with diabetes, some of my 20-something friends have struggled with problems such as infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid problems and light bladder weakness.
Health problems such as these can lead to serious shame and embarrassment. In the more extreme cases, anxiety over these health problems can result in depression and a reduced enjoyment of life.