Britt Julious
Updated Sep 27, 2014 @ 1:37 pm

At 8:30AM today, I turned 27 and officially joined the Late 20s Club. At first, the idea haunted me. Our society places so much emphasis on staying young—and made me question what it means to grow older.

But I’ve come to learn not to worry about it. In fact, growing older and wiser offers a number of unique opportunities you might not have had when you were just out of your teens. Here’s why your late 20s can be your best years yet!

1. You’ve finally established a good group of friends.

I used to fret endlessly about my friends when I was younger. Were they loyal? Was I cool enough? Would we always be there for each other, no matter what? But with age comes the realization that friendship is ever-growing and changing. And finding a good group of friends to help you through the dark, weird, uncomfortable and amazing parts of adulthood is necessary. It becomes a lot easier to find those people once you’re older and know who you are and what you want in life.

2. You know exactly what you want in a relationship.

OK, maybe not exactly. But you do have a good idea of what does and does not work for you. You’ve been through the bad breakup and the awkward hookups and everything in between. With age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes self-assurance in ALL of your choices.

3. You don’t feel guilty for not going out.

YOLO used to plague me, but not anymore. You’ve been through all of the crazy nights, the drunken mishaps, and the moments of regret. Now you can relax at home and no one will judge you. YOLO IS OVER and thank goodness for that.

4. Your life is beginning to resemble just that . . . a LIFE.

The moment I threw away my first cheap IKEA coffee table and purchased a sophisticated, well-crafted one was the moment I realized I was able to establish (if only a little bit) the sort of life I always imagined when I was younger. Adult life doesn’t have to be about material possessions, either. Just knowing what you want is HUGE. Doubling down on my writerly dreams helped motivate me further. Building the sort of home I always dreamed of, in bits and pieces, keeps me focused and makes me feel like I’m moving forward.

5. You’ve figured out (or are figuring out) who you truly are.

Go back and read your journals from when you were younger. Recognize that self-doubt? Hopefully, you don’t. Hopefully, it’s just a part of your past. Knowing who you are—or, at least, who you can be—tends to come into focus once you start to round out the end of your 20s. And once you’ve felt that feeling, don’t let it go!

6. You’re still young enough to get a little crazy.

If you DO want to go out and party, no one’s going to judge you. Your late 20s are a time when you are only just establishing the sort of long lasting responsibilities (a car, a home, a child) that will shift your social life. Don’t be afraid to live it up while you’ve still got the energy and the freedom to be independent.

7. But old enough to know when to reign it in.

Your wisdom and memories of times past means you’re less likely to live recklessly—just because. Feeling secure in your decisions and ideas is a blessing that only comes with age.

(Images , via and Shutterstock)