Why Your Twenties Won't be a Sitcom (and that's okay)

I have a confession. 

One of my most unhealthy habits is to load up my sporadically used SpareRoom account and find house shares in whichever city I'm currently obsessing over. 

In lockdown it was London... then it was Edinburgh... currently, it's Munich. 

And I basically find the most compatible people and fantasise for an hour or so about our would-be life together. Bonding over wine, having hilarious in-jokes, getting excited for dates, crying at romcoms and eating a lot of cheese.

Currently, I'm watching New Girl, so naturally, the search for imaginary roommates has turned into all men, of which I come in and brighten their lives and inevitably fall in love with one who will, likely, break my heart yet, eventually, marry me.


It's a pretty rude awakening, then, when I look around my life and realise that it's absolutely nothing like these sitcoms I've been attempting to manifest over the last five years.

And being half-way through mine, I can confidently say that now, I actually kinda get why.

It's not because I haven't had sitcom moments. I really, truly have. I've blackout drunk karaoked to a full room with zero recollection, I've flown across the world without a phone or purse, I've driven along an American highway singing Stevie Wonder at the top of my lungs, I've had a man start crying on our first date and I once saw the subject of my 18-year-old self's whirlwind Greek romance walking down the street in Sydney, 5 years later. 

And when you think back, I'm pretty sure you will also have your sitcom moments too.

But what isn't shown in sitcoms, is every evening, when the FRIENDS all retire to their own apartments and bedrooms because it's just been a bit much. Or the times living with three men is actually an almost-health-hazard.

What isn't shown, is how bloody hard it is to make friends as an adult. Or the difficult life choices you have to make. 

It doesn't show the people who have chosen children and families over living alone or with friends. And if it does, then you can bet it shows them poorly. 

It also doesn't, for instance, show the aftermath of an international pandemic and an economic crisis - what do you do when you have to move back in with your parents?

It doesn't explain that your best friends are almost definitely not all going to be in the same group, or even know each other. They might be scattered all around the world, or you might not live in the same country to them.

You might have decided to live with your boyfriend, or you might decide to buy a house. 

The likelihood is, your life is not like a sitcom. And sometimes, it's good to be reminded of the positives of this. 

Despite the Insta stories and the Facebook posts and the TikToks, everyone has nights where they just want to go into their room and have some time to themselves. 

Everyone has doubts about whether they're doing the right thing, whether they're in the right job, whether they should be saving more money or 'living their best life'. 

Because it's not the glamourous moments that unite us, it's not the wild stories or the 'you should've been there's', it's the feelings of uncertainty. It's the parts of your twenties that aren't shiny: your childhood pet passing away, your job making your redundant, your self-confidence spiralling - these are the human experiences that unite us. 

We're told time and time again that being in your twenties is about discovery, about finding who you are and who you want to be. It's a process of elimination and making choices that will change your life's course. 

And often, these moments aren't the ones that would be televised.

So relish both sides of your twenties, and know that no sitcom is going to show you that. 

Love, Alice - sat in bed at 11:30 on a Saturday night, where I've been for the last 4 hours. 


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