the mid-twenties (mini-📝 1/100)

So I turned 24 yesterday and the biggest question on my mind (as it seems to have incepted all of my friends’ minds) is: does 24 count as “mid-twenties”? “Welcome to your mid-twenties” my friends quip. Others take the less subtle approach: “you’re an old man”. For some reason, people in their early twenties have an obsessive fear of the mid and late-twenties. Perhaps, it’s because young professionals in their early twenties still want to pretend that they’re in school and that things don’t have real consequences and there is an opportunity for do-overs. We crave the spontaneity of campus, the non-commitment of parties, the safety of a bubble. At Rice we used to call this phenomenon going “beyond the hedges.” It was a big issue that the school and the student association tried to solve for by naming the problem and devising solutions to encourage students to leave the campus they paid good money to go to school at. The effort was designed to help introduce students to the world outside the magical village that the school campus consisted. For most students, you got glimpses in your weekly off-campus food adventures or the occasional concert-festival-artsy gathering, but none of these really brought students face-to-face to the real dangers of the real world. We were afforded a safety that people scarcely recognized and appreciated. The few real encounters with danger that we were privy to were the occasional campus police reports of armed robberies, stalking, or petty thievery.

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