Is it true? “Your brain doesn’t actually become fully developed until 25.” When I was 18, I thought I had things all figured out. At 21, I believed I was finally untouchable, take my ID and let me inside the bar Mr. Security Doorman. And at 25, you realize both 18 & 21 year old you were still completelyyyyyyyyyy off.
I was a huge nonbeliever in the whole your-brain-loads-to-100% at 25. When you turn 18, you feel like a young, responsible person who’s LEAPS ahead of high schoolers and all under them. I knew what I liked and didn’t like to eat & drink, my sleeping & studying habits, recognized my social skills, had some creative interests, etc. Then when you ring in the 21st birthday clock you actually earn some adult merits like purchasing your own alcohol or walking through a casino without being heckled. A blessing and a curse, truly. Thereupon from 21 to 24 you’re under the impression that you’re the wisest, best version of you that there can possibly be. And yet, I was wrong.
Even though yes, by now you do actively mature, take life matters more seriously, and become more independent, you’re still CHANGING. How I was thinking even a couple of years ago to now is significantly different than back then.
Because once this age arrives, your brain’s internal expansive remodeling comes to a stop, and your brain development stalls. Scientifically, the downsides to a hardened brain are a peak level of cognitive ability (such as identifying patterns) and it gets harder to adapt and pick up on brand new skills. Obviously, not lit.
But it doesn’t mean you have to have a quarter life crisis. At this point your wisdom retains through consistency, most of us have figured how to control our impulses and organize our lives (key word here most), and we’ve metamorphosed to the person we’ll be going forward.
It’s at this age where pragmatism starts to subconsciously take form, whether you attentively realize it or not. Our goals and aspirations enter front of mind more often, because by now you have had an adequate time to learn, grow, adapt, and experience. Questions like these probably pop up all the time in your head: What do I want? What can I achieve? What would make my life better? How do I become happy? Successful? What drives me? What do I wanna do?
Everyone’s answers will be unique. No one’s will be the exact same. We’ve all got our own life wishlists. Some people want pure financial freedom, a spacious house in (fancy city name here), a new car, a fit body, a job that doesn’t ‘feel like a job’, the list goes on and on. We all want it. But how many of us are going to seize all of it?
This isn’t to discourage you or any reader by any means. I want everyone to strive for what they want out of life. It’s short, dude. We’re all here for a finite amount of time, guaranteed. You gotta make it count. Religious prejudice aside, all we know for absolute certainty is that one day that internal time is going to stop ticking.
However, sometimes applying realistic measures with yourself and your life is an authentic method of inching one step closer to what you desire.
While it may sound simplistic, this is by far one of the hardest ‘Life Elements’ for anyone to ruminate on. As humans, we all seek acknowledgement and connection. There’s nothing more detrimental and torturous to someone’s mental health than genuine loneliness. Not having a friend to hang out with, a family member to talk to, someone to just share your thoughts to and not be alone in a seemingly abstract void. If you’ve ever felt this angst and dread, you know how catastrophic it can be to your head.
That feeling can consume some people, no matter how well off, in great shape, best job in the world, some may have it. It’s why so many people long for a relationship/partner in their lives. And I’m not pointing fingers directly at this specific demographic in a bad limelight, but people who tend to early marry… divorce. This isn’t up for debate, it’s statistically shown that 60% of people who marry between the ages of 20–25 divorce. More than fucking half of 20-some couples who marry don’t work out. Of course there’s many factors to read between the lines with such a stat, but I’d say it’s a safe bet to suppose that many of these people sealed the deal without forethought. And then they end up exactly where they were trying at all costs to avoid: alone.
And again, I’m not a discourager for when to propose to your significant other. If you feel the time is right, do your thing. I for one have plenty of my own life decisions where if I could have done things differently, I would have, sure. All I’m really trying to say is that now that I’m a little bit older, little bit wiser… taking some time to be pragmatic about how you navigate your life can show you sides you haven’t seen, pivot you a different direction, or just punch you with that gut feeling to grab your attention. The marriage example above may be a bit too on-the-nose, so here’s some other subjects to ponder on in a realistic manner:
- How did you feel about your living situation at 18 (or in high school) versus now? Were you content back then, or already yearning for better? How about now? Did a geographic relocation matter as much as you thought? Did moving out help as much as you thought? Roommates worked out? Is living alone more your style, truly?
- How did you feel about your job at 18? How about your job today? Are you happier? Are you simply moving up the corporate latter? If so, willingly, or because you don’t see other options? Are you still as stressed? Less, more?
- What was your body like a couple of years ago? How do you compare it back then to it today? Are you happier, or more discomforted? Are you going to do something about it, or not?
- Who was in your main clique of friends a few years ago? Are they still the same people? Who’s out? Who’s in? Are YOU in / out of a group now? Were they being toxic, or do you just disavow any blame?
To be honest, I’m not sure what deeper ‘message’ I’m trying to convey on this one. I just wanted to share some personal insights because I truly was one of the disbelievers of the age 25. But man, was I wrong. 21 year old me = to 25 year old me. Not by a long shot. But one of the neater parts about getting older is reflection. You bear witness to what your actions, whether things worked out how you wanted them to, or not. You live and you learn. I dunno, it’s interesting. Hopefully you can find this rationale worthwhile. Whether you’ll eventually turn this age or already past it, it’s intriguing to express that your mind does sort of align. It does start to click and piece itself together, literally and metaphorically. It’s nice. It’s a… good feeling of solace.