1. You are officially in your mid-twenties
That's right! 24 marks the start of your mid-twenties. You are no longer an early-twenties carefree young adult. And you know what comes after mid-twenties? Late-twenties. Which is only a stone's throw away from.... 30.

2. You can't stay up late anymore
Literally, 10 minutes after I officially turned 24 I was fast asleep. I didn't even wish my boyfriend a goodnight. I just passed right out.

3. And you start to get up early
The next morning, my body decided that 7:30am on a Sunday was an appropriate time to be awake. It certainly was not.

4. You realize there are a lot fewer cards and gifts than in previous years
But you also realize that it's kind of okay. I mean, when was the last time you bought gifts for your mid-twenties friends' birthdays? That's what I thought.

5. And you treasure texts/calls over social media posts
Remember when getting the most Facebook birthday wishes was a huge marker of how many true friends you have and how popular you are? Well, not anymore. At 24, getting personal texts, or better yet - phone calls, are way better. 

6. You can indulge in your old people habits
I'll be honest: I rang in my 24th birthday watching an episode of House Hunters International.

7. Real life creeps in
I remember birthdays of yore where I would (kindly) demand the whole day be about me. Well, at 24, sometimes real life sneaks in and the day also has to include grocery shopping, packing lunches for work and getting your boyfriend's hair cut. 

8. You start to realize other people your age have it together
For some reason I felt very safe at 23 - no one has it figured out at 23. But at 24 I've started to realize there are people my age who have families, fully established careers or at least in-suite laundry. 

9. It's your party and you'll cry if you want to
Yeah, even at 24 there were some tears on the big day

10. The idea of going out is a little nauseating
I can't say this is true for all 24 year olds but for me, the idea of going out to a club or organizing some sort of big event sounded terrible.  But, to be fair, I felt like this the minute my 19th birthday was over.

11. You know eating crap all day is a bad idea
Remember when your birthday was just an excuse to have candy and cake all day long? Yeah, well at 24 that diet won't really cut it.  You'll wake up feeling bloated, 5lbs heavier and with a sudden occurrence of adult acne. 

12. But you're never too old to treat yourself
Which is why I got myself a pedicure while my boyfriend got that long-overdue haircut. 

13. Everything starts to hurt
I don't remember this back ache being such a problem when I was 23.

14. A birthday isn't that big a deal anymore
I can still recall being in elementary school and counting down the days until my birthday.  But now with weddings, engagements and new babies happening all over my newsfeed, a 24th birthday just isn't that big a deal. 

15. Snail mail is making a serious comeback
I have been a huge fan of snail mail for a number of years now. I love buying stationary and sending cute cards in the mail.  So I was pretty elated to receive about 6 birthday cards/packages through the mail.

16. You're terrifying close to a quarter-century
The pressure is on! It really feels like you have to do something this year so you can get to 25 feeling somewhat accomplished. Is it to late to join that Olympic team to Rio?

17. No one else really seems to care that you're 24
Yeah so besides your close friends and family on the actual day of your birth, no one else really cares. I had to call my insurance provider the next day and said my DOB on the phone and I didn't even get a "happy belated birthday."  Rude.

18. You don't get to tick the next box yet
So as a person who enters a lot of contests (seriously, I enter all of them), I often have to disclose my age by selecting from a drop down menu.  However, the options are always: <18, 18-24, 25-... So by turning 24, I haven't gotten to move up a box. And I always just want to shout at the contest people, "Just so you know, I'm 24! I'm at the tail end of the category! I'm not some fresh-out-of-high-school 18 year old!" 

19. You realize there are all these aspects of adult life that you're supposed to be doing
Okay, so my 23 year old self knew this too but it has really hit home at 24.  How am I supposed to be responsible for going to work 8 hours/day 5 days/week, doing groceries, doing laundry, going to the gym, keeping my house clean, cooking, packing lunch, making sure said lunch is healthy, having a social life, trying to dress nicely, going to the doctor/dentist, staying on top of my TV shows and showering regularly? It's just too much for one person! 

20. And you realize which aspects you can skip
So maybe I'm supposed to be doing all of the things above but let's be honest: it's not happening. So yeah, I've been slacking on my meal prep, my floors haven't seen a vacuum in a long while and I can't remember the last time I put makeup on or did my hair.

21. You crave more intellectual stimulation
Now that I'm a couple years out of school, I'm finding myself hungry for something educational. So that probably explains why I am picking up a newspaper every morning, starting to read novels again and engaging my boyfriend in couch conversations about politics. 

22. You might even crave some healthy lifestyle choices
So I can't tell if this one is a result of aging or pressure to try and fit into a bridesmaid dress but I'm definitely a lot more conscious of my water intake, eating habits and ability to make it to the gym a couple of times a week. 

23. Family is the most important
Even at 24, family is supreme. My first birthday call was from my mom and I had birthday dinner at my boyfriend's house enjoying a homemade cake his mom had made.  Texts from my sister and an email from my brother were some of the best parts of my day. 

24. You still have no clue what you're doing
So I'm 24.  And I have no clue what I want to do with my life. I have no clue what my career will be, if I'll end up going back to school, if/when I'll want to start a family, when I'll ever have enough money for a house or when I'll be able to adopt a pug with breathing problems. And I think that might be okay.  Just ask me again when I'm 25... 

Published by Riana Autumn