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AIBU?

To find it weird how different people's lives turn out?

34 replies

cinnamonmon · 09/10/2022 18:56

I'm 26 and can't help but look at the people I went to school with and just find it so weird how differently lives pan out. We were all born in the same year, have had the same amount of time on Earth, relatively similar upbringings and yet our lives are all so different.

For example, quite a few of those I went to school with are married, homeowners or have children. In the years we've left school they have found their long-term partners, saved up enough to buy a property, have children, start careers. In the same amount of time I've not really done much... I've been to university and got a master's and started my career but I'm still on a low salary, single and can't afford to live on my own.

It's been 10 years since I left school, which is a long time, but at the same time feels like no time at all.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

61 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
36%
You are NOT being unreasonable
64%
Ihatethenewlook · 09/10/2022 18:59

I don’t really get what you mean tbh. A single, seemingly small decision can completely alert the course of someone’s life. Choosing whether or not to go to uni, or whether or not to have children are pretty basic but massively life changing choices

Ihatethenewlook · 09/10/2022 18:59

Alter not alert

MrsPicklesonSmythe · 09/10/2022 19:04

I'll bet lots of them are envious of your freedom and career

AnnapurnaSanctuary · 09/10/2022 19:06

I know what you mean OP. I went to a school reunion a few months ago and thought about this. And not necessarily in the ways you might have predicted either!

Diverseopinions · 09/10/2022 19:22

I guess you've hit upon a truism that finding a partner and settling down, does make it more possible to buy a home. A lot has been said about this on Mumsnet recently, that two salaries are needed to run and repair a home. Forty years ago, one salary would have been sufficient.

Earning your masters will have been more do-able now, when you're in the rut of studying, so you've done the right thing for you. So much harder to do it when older, and with kids to look after. I hope all your hard works translates to a really good salary, very soon.

Ohshitiveturnedintomymother · 09/10/2022 19:25

I’m not sure I understand the point you are making? Yes people live different lives?
Are you implying the at you are better because you have a masters rather than getting married? Yes a masters is nice but I don’t understand why it would stop you having more money? It’s only an extra year at university and they are ten a penny nowadays

or are you saying that they are better supported by having a husband?

BloodyHellKen · 09/10/2022 19:40

This might sound obvious but at 26 your life hasn't turned out anywhere. It is still very much work in progress as are your friends lives.
Come back in about another 50 years to make a more fair comparison.

PeekabooAtTheZoo · 09/10/2022 19:46

Well to be fair, you did GCSEs 10 years ago, you might have left THAT school but you presumably didn’t leave education as A levels are 2 more years, 3 years on a degree and at least a year on a Masters, which is 6/10 years being economically inactive. You’ve had 4 years of working to their 10. You need to work in longer cycles of time before measuring yourself against people who stopped doing qualifications at 16. Check again when you’re all 40!

titchy · 09/10/2022 19:49

BloodyHellKen · 09/10/2022 19:40

This might sound obvious but at 26 your life hasn't turned out anywhere. It is still very much work in progress as are your friends lives.
Come back in about another 50 years to make a more fair comparison.

Yeah - wait till you're in your 40's. You'll be surprised about how similar all your lives are!

J0y · 09/10/2022 19:53

You're still so young. It's not til the 20th year reunion that people show up as their real selves, no energy put in looking good by comparison.

At my 20th year school reunion I spoke to one woman whose daughter was 9 months pregnant so she was about to become a grandma at 38 and another who was having ivf.

I was trapped at home with very young children.

At the 30 year reunion recently, I went in so relieved to be back at work and not unemployed/stuck home with kids and to my surprise some of the more successful types were talking about early retirement!!
Everybody accepting of all the different circumstances though.

AutumnalCosyness · 09/10/2022 20:00

You are so young. You're hardly even started yet op! Relax.

StressedToTheMaxxx · 09/10/2022 20:13

Ihatethenewlook · 09/10/2022 18:59

I don’t really get what you mean tbh. A single, seemingly small decision can completely alert the course of someone’s life. Choosing whether or not to go to uni, or whether or not to have children are pretty basic but massively life changing choices

You do know what she means though because you've answered her question. A single decision can change the trajectory of someone's life. That's one of the ways a persons life can turn out differently anyway, there are many other reasons.

gogohmm · 09/10/2022 20:18

Look back in a further 20, things might be looking very different.

Life isn't a race!

I had a friend who was married with a kid and a house at 22 - we were all a bit in sw, especially the double garage, her husband was significantly older and had a good job, by 42 she was on marriage 4. 3 children by the previous 3 husbands- I declined the invitation to her 4th wedding (legitimate reasons but I admit to being judgemental)

cinnamonmon · 09/10/2022 21:41

Gosh no I didn't mean that having a degree meant I was any better than anyone! I meant the opposite. I feel like I've not made much progress since I was 16. I mean up until a couple of years ago I was still worrying sitting in classrooms and worrying about 'homework'.

I feel like a lot of people I've gone to school with have settled down and are now 'proper adults'. I want nothing more than to be a mum, and so I feel behind and like I've not actually achieved anything of meaning in my life yet.

OP posts:
BloodyHellKen · 10/10/2022 09:44

cinnamonmon · 09/10/2022 21:41

Gosh no I didn't mean that having a degree meant I was any better than anyone! I meant the opposite. I feel like I've not made much progress since I was 16. I mean up until a couple of years ago I was still worrying sitting in classrooms and worrying about 'homework'.

I feel like a lot of people I've gone to school with have settled down and are now 'proper adults'. I want nothing more than to be a mum, and so I feel behind and like I've not actually achieved anything of meaning in my life yet.

I wouldn't stress too much OP.

I too did school, college, degree, travel, work, degree and was only a couple of years older than you when I completed my masters degree, single(ish) 😂

Some friends were married with children and mortgages but I had done what I wanted to do and they had done what they wanted to do. The best part of thirty years on we are (mainly - one couple divorced) all happily married with children (I had my 3) in my 30s the only difference being their children are older than mine and have largely all left home but I certainly don't regret living my 20's in a footloose and fancy-free way.

You should do what feels right for you OP and you have achieved a lot - you've got a Batchelors and a Masters degree which are great achievements and hopefully will open up good and interesting employment opportunities :)

VereeViolet · 10/10/2022 12:33

I think extended schooling can keep you in a bit of an adolescent frame of mind, like you’re still a child preparing for proper adult life. And obviously you enter the job market later and have potentially put off serious romantic relationships.

It sounds like what you really want at this point is a home and family. So make it an ambition now the way you made school an ambition before. The people that you’re comparing yourself to have probably been on the marriage/family trajectory for five to ten years.

I’ve felt behind in life for quite a while for a variety of reasons. Things are only just starting to come together for me now in my (late!) thirties. But it required effort and sacrifice. When I was younger, I was pushed to succeed in school/jobs, and marriage/family was almost an afterthought - something that ‘just happens’. But it most definitely does not!

xogossipgirlxo · 10/10/2022 12:39

cinnamonmon · 09/10/2022 21:41

Gosh no I didn't mean that having a degree meant I was any better than anyone! I meant the opposite. I feel like I've not made much progress since I was 16. I mean up until a couple of years ago I was still worrying sitting in classrooms and worrying about 'homework'.

I feel like a lot of people I've gone to school with have settled down and are now 'proper adults'. I want nothing more than to be a mum, and so I feel behind and like I've not actually achieved anything of meaning in my life yet.

Comparison is a thief of joy, as they say. This is why I hate facebook/instagram so much, it makes people feel miserable.
You're only 26, a lot can happen that in a few years you might look back and be surprised how well all worked out in your life.

Clarinet1 · 10/10/2022 13:09

Life is different for everybody and
no two people are alike. There is no set list of landmarks that have to
be achieved (house, marriage, DC) and certainly no set timeframe for doing it. You say that you want children. It will almost certainly happen for you at some point and in the mean time you have a great role model to give them of achievement and hard work and shown what can be done, particularly important in terms of demonstrating achievement by women.

goldfinchonthelawn · 10/10/2022 13:17

I think you are massively undervaluing your own achievements. They could look at you and think: Wow, look at @cinnamonmon They have two degrees already.

bingbummy · 10/10/2022 13:29

Your life turns out how you make it turn out. You need direction. At your age I knew a few people for whom families, children, and owning a home were the be all and end all. I could not understand it and thought 'boring, that's just what everyone else does'

What did I want to do? I got a degree, went for post-grad, started trying to climb the career ladder, did not prioritise finding a partner or settling down and lo and behold my friends owned a home and had children in relationships by age 30 whereas I was aimlessly wandering around thinking about my career.

What is it you want from life? Where do you want to be in, say, ten years' time? In life, not just in work.

bingbummy · 10/10/2022 13:35

cinnamonmon · 09/10/2022 21:41

Gosh no I didn't mean that having a degree meant I was any better than anyone! I meant the opposite. I feel like I've not made much progress since I was 16. I mean up until a couple of years ago I was still worrying sitting in classrooms and worrying about 'homework'.

I feel like a lot of people I've gone to school with have settled down and are now 'proper adults'. I want nothing more than to be a mum, and so I feel behind and like I've not actually achieved anything of meaning in my life yet.

Then you need to find the person to be a mum with. You need to get out there and meet someone, take a few years to ensure you know and can trust them, then settle down.

Don't be cagey about what you want with people, be open that you want a family and are hoping to meet the right person for that. Discuss how you will raise children, what kind of work life you both want to have, will one of you stay at home, will you have a joint account, clear up your boundaries around porn and friendships etc. etc.

avoid becoming one of the posts on here that wonder why their marriage is breaking down when they did not discuss even one of those things.

If you can have your first baby at 30 that will be great but you can't rush these things either.

And tell your daughters not to leave finding a partner until mid-twenties, tell them to prioritise it if it's what they want. We aren't fertile forever.

Dyawannafeelhowitfeels · 10/10/2022 13:46

Ohshitiveturnedintomymother · 09/10/2022 19:25

I’m not sure I understand the point you are making? Yes people live different lives?
Are you implying the at you are better because you have a masters rather than getting married? Yes a masters is nice but I don’t understand why it would stop you having more money? It’s only an extra year at university and they are ten a penny nowadays

or are you saying that they are better supported by having a husband?

Good grief, do posters here just like to be as negative and critical as possible?

In what way was OP implying she was better than other people? Clearly she’s saying she is struggling to afford a house on her own, and just pondering that in the same amount of time people have built stable relationships, careers and bought their homes.

Masters aren’t ten a penny. 5 years ago 5.6% graduates had a Masters. In comparison to the general population that’s relatively small. Do you have a masters @Ohshitiveturnedintomymother ? Because you’re being really rude to OP

Ohshitiveturnedintomymother · 10/10/2022 13:52

I do thanks, two actually and a post grad qualification. The majority of my friends do too. They are not that uncommon at all.
man’s no, I’m not being overly negative. I got a real sense of ‘I’ve studied and all they’ve done is settle down so why is my life worse?’ from the op

Arbesque · 10/10/2022 13:53

I'm surprised at 26 so many of your school mates are married with children. I live in Ireland and most couples are in their 30s nowadays before they marry, buy a house etc.

By the way, I know lots of people who didn't get married or have kids. They would be very surprised to hear themselves described as 'not proper adults'. I hope you don't say things like that in real life.

BrightOrangeRectangles · 10/10/2022 13:54

This is a good, thought provoking thread, OP.

I often ask myself what I could do to change the trajectory of my life. Then I remember the prejudices I've faced, the upheavals and unexpected events. 😥

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