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Paradox1's avatar

How much wiser did you become after your early 20's?

Asked by Paradox1 (1179points) February 26th, 2011

I have been told that “nobody at age 22 knows much of anything.” I am in my early 20’s and was wondering if there is much truth in this – especially in today’s changing social dynamics regarding the new “emerging adulthood.” How much do you feel you have matured since 22? Would you say you were clueless or not at all? The only thing I know for certain is that when I turn 25 I will instantly become a better driver (according to the ins. companies!)

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17 Answers

MissA's avatar

Nothing is instant, like you’ve described. It’s a building process, regarding character and experiences. You can only assess the growth as the living of life proceeds,

marinelife's avatar

I am so much wiser than I was in my 20s: emotionally more mature, make better decisions, knowledge, everything.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I can remember feeling somewhat bewildered about how life really worked when I was in my early 20’s. Some time around 26–28, I began being okay with my choices being limited in some ways, and I recognized that I had acquired a success record for good decisions. That gave me confidence that I didn’t have when I was younger.

Ron_C's avatar

I was a smart ass Republician that thought the people rioting for civil rights were a bunch of ignorant hippies. I am no in my 60’s and realize how little empathy or understanding that I had.

Seelix's avatar

I think it depends on what you do during those years from your early 20s to mid/late 20s. A lot of people start on their career paths, start looking for potential spouses, move out of their parents’ houses, and do other more independent things during those years, which leads to a lot of growing up in a short period of time.

Personally, I feel like I have a much better grasp on how the “real world” works and on decision-making now than I did 10 years ago at age 20.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I know now how much I didn’t know at 22, but thought I did. But….that’s a good thing. That’s why “kids” get stuff done that “can’t be done.”....they don’t KNOW it can’t be done!

Aethelwine's avatar

Wait until you’re 40 and complain of being old. Someone older than you will tell you you are young, quit your bitchin’.

it never ends ;)

auntydeb's avatar

We are each and all, only the sum of our given experience. If at the age of 22 someone has seen death, been persecuted, or had children; their knowledge and understanding of aspects of life may be more than someone say, ten years older. When I was that age, I’d seen death, but was a virgin; I had been emotionally flogged through a damaging family, but had no idea what other people knew.

I think the years after about 23 are when we truly ‘step into’ adulthood. I’ve seen it a few times in young people around me. 21, or 22 is still somehow… unformed. Then, at 24, it is a sudden surprise to meet a fully formed, opinionated adult who has some greater wisdom. I think this kind of transition is entirely intuitive, not down to life experience as such.

I’d love to joke and say ‘after that it’s all downhill’ – I hated my 30th birthday! – but actually, age is enormously exciting. Understanding things differently, finding tolerance, becoming the age that my own ‘wise people’ once were, that’s the bonus.

woodcutter's avatar

It is so much there is no way to measure.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Some people, despite growing older don’t grow up or become mature. When you understand and take responsibility for the consequences of all your choices and behaviours, then you are mature. That’s not easy but that is why only some of us get to that point. I’m getting there.

perspicacious's avatar

Tons. Early twenties is barely past childhood.

Paradox1's avatar

Thanks so much for the responses. I feel much more confident where I am now, where I’ve been before, and less worried over the future’s uncertainty.

12Oaks's avatar

I learned so much more after leaving formal education then I ever did in the 10 or 11 years of having to go through that. Much of the stuff I learned is stuff they said you can’t do. I’m 42 now, so it seems that the wisening up has long been over.

MacBean's avatar

My experiences aren’t exactly typical. Personally, I gained a fair amount of wisdom from 17–20 through the processes of having brain surgery and then becoming disabled. But ten years later, I’m mostly just wise enough to know that there’s a lot I don’t know.

Scooby's avatar

Everything depends on individual circumstance, experience…… up until I hit my early twenties I was just all about me, so cocooned in my own little bubble that I had very little concept of the real world nothing affected me…… Up until I hit my early twenties I had never experienced real loss, that came In the shape of losing a very close friend, that’s when my bubble burst & I knew I had to wise up…. None of us live forever so strive for everything you can be, never forget to laugh along the way, it keeps us young & full of focus……… :-/

MissA's avatar

I’m grateful to you all for your insightful writing. Although I feel that I’m a strong woman, I’m always amazed at what is shared here, brings me to pause and think. Really think.

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