I recently binged watched the infamous reality show, The Hills. A series where we follow fun and bubbly Laguna Beach alum Lauren Conrad as she navigates her new life in L.A. with her best friends, Heidi, Audrina and Whitney. Lauren has the perfect internship, all the guys want to date her and of course they frequent the hottest nightclubs in the city. 

Growing up this show was oddly my North Star. Me and my best friend would watch it incessantly. Tuning in every week to see if Brody and Lauren would ever date or scoffing at Heidi and Spencer drama – the entertainment was endless. This “reality” show was naively how I imagined my life would go once I graduated college. In my mind it was: college, get a boyfriend, get married and maybe pop out a kid… all before the ripe age of 25. 

Obviously we know this show is super scripted and is definitely based in some crazy alternate reality, but you couldn’t help but feel the emotion in every mascara filled tear. After rewatching the show at the age of 26, I can still relate to some of the things Lauren and her crew were going through.

Everyone says that your twenties are some of the best years of your life. Your prime they call it. It’s a time where it’s okay to impulsively buy that flight to Thailand or crush on a few too many guys. It’s a time where most people learn the most about themselves and hopefully figure out what they want to do with the rest of their lives.  But what people don’t tell you is that your twenties are actually really hard. Filled with long phone calls home. Student loan debt. Finding friends and sometimes losing old ones. Imposter syndrome at work. Overall just feeling really confused and often questioning what your actual purpose is in life. 

Similar to how LC and her friends lived out their twenties on camera, a lot of us are as well. With the boom of Instagram we’re constantly under a microscope to be the ultimate “20 something” in every aspect of our life. We feel the pressure to be fit, have lots of friends, a great job, but so many times others don’t see the hard work or the sleepless nights that go into that “effortless” post. 

As I enter into the 2nd half of my twenties my goal is to be way more intentional with my actions, my space and my peace. Even though most people say it’s time to get serious in your thirties I want to start that mindset now. The next four years are going to be about laying a real foundation for the next big chapter in my life and I think more people are starting to adapt to that mindset as well. 

But the overall key to really navigating your twenties is finding the balance. You’re not too old to have fun and not too young to get serious about who you want to be. Set deadlines. Work from home. Take mental health breaks. Start a new hobby. Create a side hustle. Hang out with friends. Whatever it is, make sure everything you do in this pivotal point of your life has purpose and makes you happy. And if you don’t remember anything from this article, remember this, never be the girl who didn’t go to Paris. 

Written by, Morgan Peterson