Am I The Only One Not Having Enough Fun In My Twenties?

I feel like a pretty big loser for admitting that I don't have much fun, but I feel like I'm not alone. Find out how you can have more fun in your twenties

I know it seems quite strange to be writing a post about not having enough fun.

Of all the things we need help with, having fun definitely isn’t one of the usual suspects. In fact, most people would probably say it’s the only thing we can do well.

But no, not me.

The other day I had a really sad realisation – I don’t have much fun.

I swear I’m not completely boring though. I do a lot of things I enjoy and LOVE doing. But the fun stuff? I seriously had to wrack my brain to come up with a list of things I do just for fun and even then I could barely list a handful.

It was so sad. Besides travel, there really isn’t that much fun in my life.

And to be honest, I feel like a pretty big loser for admitting that.

I mean, who doesn’t have fun when they’re in their twenties?! I will say, I do feel slightly better that, when I had this revelation when I was at the beach with my friend on Sunday, she realised exactly the same thing.

So that made me think – maybe we’re not the only ones who aren’t having enough fun?

I feel like we put so much pressure on ourselves to already have our lives completely sorted out that it can become SO easy to take life too seriously.

We need to know what our passion is and how to get paid for it. We need to find someone that makes us happy. We feel like we need to look like a Victoria’s Secret model (at least I do) while being healthy, energetic and carefree. But we also need to be well-read and serious enough that we can get a real, grown-up job.

When I think about it like that, it’s no wonder I forget to just have some plain old fun.

So how do you have more fun?

After my friend and I had our sad but enlightening revelation we tried to figure out how we could have more fun. This is what we came up with:

1. Say yes

So we tried to think of when we’ve had the most fun and realised that it was when we were both studying overseas on our respective exchanges.

But did that mean we had to be overseas to have fun? Or have a lot of money to spend? Or not be working? Did we have to be completely out of our comfort zone and surrounded by people we didn’t know?

We realised that it wasn’t actually being on exchange that made it fun, it was our attitude.

We had a ‘yes’ attitude.

We said yes to almost every opportunity that came our way instead of thinking of all the reasons we shouldn’t join in (like we do at home). Being on exchange gave us the feeling that we had to make the most of our time since it would go so quickly, so we just said yes and it lead to a lot of fun.

That is at one end of the spectrum though – I think I would burn out pretty quickly if I lived the way I did when I was on exchange for more than a few months. But the good (and bad) news is that, at least at the moment, I’m a long long way away from that kind of burn out so I can definitely afford say yes to A LOT more things.

I think it’s sad that I say no to doing so many fun things.

And I don’t say no because these things wouldn’t be fun. No, I say no because I’m too tired or can’t be bothered, or because I don’t feel like I have the time or there’s something else I’d rather do, or because I don’t know the people who will be there very well. And sometimes it’s just because no one ever gets around to organising it.

So now ‘yes’ is my new default and I will be reporting back on how it goes!

2. Seek it

Not only were my friend and I saying no to all of the cool, exciting opportunities that didn’t exactly fit what we felt like doing, we weren’t seeking out any fun either (seriously, I swear I’m not completely lame…).

Unless you live in a really cool city like Paris, New York, Toronto or London, you probably complain about how there’s nothing fun to do where you live. I have definitely been known to say this about Brisbane.

But really, when we’re honest with ourselves, there are heaps of fun things to do everywhere if we (and by we I mean ‘I’) only look.

So I’m making the effort to proactively think of fun things to do, instead of waiting for someone to invite me. As sad as it may sound, I’ve starting putting a list together of fun things I really want to do:

Hiking and camping, going to fancy events and really super laid back events, playing social sport again, having ‘adventures’ (this is what I call it when you get in your car with a friend and have no real plan and just do all the random things that pop into your head) and getting organised so all of those ‘yeah we should totally do that’ things actually end up happening.

There are so many amazing adventures we can have, we just have to look.

What about you?

Are my friend and I all alone on this one or can you relate? Do you wish you had more fun?

Don’t forget that comments are always welcome and appreciated – I’d LOVE to hear what you have to say!

Sam xx

Author: Sam Brown

  • Oh I definitely recognize this! Over the last two years I think I may have become ten years older in seriousness and I am really not pleased with it at all. I had this realization in the last couple of months, that I simply don’t like the way I’m living and I’m determined to change it, I’m just trying to find the way 😉

    Liefs,
    Yara

    • Hey Yara!

      Thanks so much for your comment!! Hahaha so true about the seriousness – that’s exactly how I feel! I’ve started telling people that I’m trying to have more fun and although I was originally about worried about sharing that since it makes me seem so lame, I’ve found so many people that can relate and everyone I’ve told about it is doing something to help me have more fun (from making really good suggestions to just reminding me that I want to have more fun). All the best!!

      Sam xx

    • Hey,

      Thanks so much for your comment! And thanks for the reminder that my life isn’t that bad! I do find it hard not to get caught up in what it looks like everyone else is doing (ie always having fun) when I feel my life gets boring! Thanks for your wisdom!

      Sam xx

  • this deeeefinitely sounds familiar! when i started a research master program, i invested all my time in studying and research… doing something for fun, for myself, or even just relaxing felt ‘bad’. at one point, realizing i was doing that, i was so, so frustrated that i had my priorities all wrong. and, as you did, i really discovered having more fun while on an internship abroad. 🙂 i’m moving back again in a week, and hope i can keep up with it!
    xo, cheyenne

    • Hey Cheyenne,

      Thanks so much for sharing that!! It’s nice knowing I’m not the only one struggling with this!I also struggle for feeling guilty when I’m doing something fun that isn’t related to what I feel like I should be doing (studying or work etc) and it has really taken me a long time to get my priorities back in order (and I still find it really hard to pass up getting paid in favour of doing something fun but I’m working on it!) I’m so happy to hear you’re starting to get things in order in your life too 🙂

      Sam xx

  • I’m definitely Boring. When I turn things down, I’m generally thinking about two things: social anxiety, and being broke. I’ve been trying to make time for entertainment, even if it’s just movies and TV and books, because besides that, my life is work and dicking around on the Internet. I’m not sure what I consider fun, either – the thing is that the things that I find exciting and my actual career tie closely together, so a lot of the time, I’ll say no to something that I’d consider fun to do because I want to get paid for it.

    I suppose I’d like to travel more. I’d like to go to museums, and the cinema, and actually have friends. I’m not interested in clubbing and I generally loathe crowds and noise, but I would like to go to concerts on occasion and have dinner with people. I’m not sure how to go about making that happen, but I think living normal-people hours and streamlining my work would be a good start. That’s what I’m working on at the moment.

    • Hey Lix,

      Thanks so much for your comment! Such a good point about how this also comes back to money and the way we think about what our time is worth (whether we think our time is worth $x and we should always be making money or that it’s valuable to spend our time having experiences).

      I always like to think of what I did for fun when I was a kid 🙂 It can be hard going from a life that’s a little more ‘serious’ to one that has a lot of fun in it but I definitely think you can make it happen. I definitely think that having more fun and relaxation in life makes you more productive in work and study and everything like that – it’s definitely worth it!

      Sam xx

      • Also you might like the book ‘Play It Away: A Workaholics Cure for Anxiety’ by Charlie Hoehn – I’ve listened to a lot of podcast interviews with the author and I really want to read it!

        Sam xx

      • For me, part of the whole ‘want to get paid for my creative activities’ is that the industry is full of, pardon my french, fucking assholes, and I’ve reached a point where I refuse to be kind to people because I’ve been burned so many times and I’m so tired of people expecting free labor.

        I don’t even think I’m work-obsessed, really? It’s just there’s not much going on in my life right now. And it would help if I had friends I could hang out with, but it’s not like I had that all the time when I was in Spain. I didn’t. I was a bit of a hermit. When I was a kid, my idea of fun was writing and reading, but the idea of writing now stresses me out because I think it’ll use up creative energy I need for work, and reading – well, I do read fanfic. That makes me happy. But I always read at night and I’m always afraid to start a novel in case I’ll just read it the whole way through and not sleep till morning. Which is not a rare occurrence, me not sleeping till morning.

        My best friend was with me the first week I was here and that was the highlight of my year. I was stressed about flathunting and I got zero work done but I was able to walk around the city and just, I guess that’s my other idea of fun, just spending time with people I love who understand me. I find that so daunting when I think about making friends – I’m not very trusting and I find it hard to commit to getting to know someone because there’s a voice inside of me going, “they’re going to fuck up and you’ll hate them, just you wait.” So between that dread and the dread of social anxiety and the fact that I can’t justify spending money on public transport, the whole thing is just a mess.

        But making time for entertainment is a step, so I’m doing that at least.

  • I live right outside NYC on Long Island- I’m in Manhattan many times a week but I still find myself to be living a boring 20’s lifestyle. College was the best time of my life and now, at 24 I seem stuck. Stuck enough to the point where I’m working to move to LA. I feel like as I scroll through Instagram everyone else is having the time of their lives- but I’m living so mediocre. You’re definitely not alone!

    http://www.Wandering20-something.Blogspot.com

    • Hey Lindsay,

      Thanks so much for sharing that! It’s funny how no matter what city you’re it can still be hard to have fun. I guess it’s not really where you are that matters but how you approach life 🙂 Such a good reminder (especially as I always think that maybe if I was just in a different city I’d be having more fun haha)

      Sam xx

  • Super stoked that Toronto was included in the list of fun places 😉 Because it totally is! I’ve lived here my whole life, and it took moving away to Paris (sorry to name drop the ‘fun’ cities… ha) to realize how fun Toronto can be!

    I think it’s easy to assume having ‘fun’ in your 20’s means neglecting your responsibilities and being wild and crazy. This is fun to do here and there but keeping up with that is way too exhausting for me , and I’ve never been a big partier. So for me having fun sometimes means doing silly things I would have done as a kid: tie dye, tobogganing, snow ball fights, hehe. Maybe someone else sees these as boring, but I think they’re super fun 😛

    Love these tips for having more fun – saying YES especially is an important one!!

    • Hey Katia,

      I feel the same way about partying. It’s fun every now and again but I’ve definitely gotten over going out every Friday and Saturday night and getting drunk off my face.

      Childhood fun is the best 🙂 I wish I could say that snowball fights were a part of my childhood (it was more like A LOT of swimming in the pool haha)

      Sam xx

      P.S. I love Toronto!

  • It’s nice to know that other people feel this way too!

    Sometimes I think about what I considered fun when I was growing up. I loved wandering off, going to theme parks, and dancing around my living room…and I’d say I still have fun doing all of these things 😛

    http://www.theblissfulmind.com

    • Hey Catherine!

      So true – I think the things we loved doing as kids are often the things we still find really fun today. I used to love playing sport, creating games to play with my brothers, jumping on the trampoline, exploring, dancing (and so many more things) and I still find doing all of that stuff so fun. I definitely need to get a little closer with my childhood again!

      Sam xx

  • Really great post, especially the point about saying Yes! I’m in my late 20s and I’m looking back on my 20s and I need to have more fun.I was in college during my 20s and will be in school in my 30s. I have decided to make the most of the rest of my twenties and take more risks even though it can be scary.

  • I guess it’s all about how you define fun, I think it’s fun reading a book in my dressing gown on a Friday night!! I agree though, saying Yes more is the best way forward.
    Alice
    thesmalldesk.com

    • Hey Alice 🙂

      Thanks for your comment! It’s a really good point that it really depends on how you define fun. I LOVE reading but for me I wouldn’t really say that it’s ‘fun’, for me fun is usually a social thing with other people and always involves a lot of laughing. I’m glad you know what fun is for you!

      Sam xx

  • I bet a lot of people can relate to this, you definitely aren’t a loser for thinking it! 🙂 This is partly why I write a little bucket list for each season, because otherwise time just floats by and you’re too busy thinking about that piece of work you need to do, or the job you need to finish, or how you really should actually go for a run today (and not just think about going for a run today). Technically it’s another to do list (which I’m quietly thrilled about) but it helps me to remember to do more fun things. 🙂

    • Hey Jen,

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this one 🙂 A bucket list is such a great idea! I feel like I have a vague one in my head but I’ve never actually written any of it down. I’m going to start creating one!

      Sam xx

    • Hey Alice,

      Thanks so much for your suggestion!! That’s kind of what I’ve been doing and it’s going well so far! Let me know if you have any suggestions of things to add 🙂

      Sam xx

  • I’m so glad I read this because I have found myself saying “no” a lot lately for all the same reasons. I’m 23 and I hardly ever do anything adventurous or fun! Mainly because I work a grown-up job, have a pricey apartment, and feel tired a lot. THANK YOU. This year… I will say “yes” 🙂

  • I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while & just realized that I never left a comment telling you how much I enjoy reading it! I’m 21 and I can relate to so many things you write on here, like this blogpost. I actually had never thought about this, or maybe I had put this feeling in the back of my mind trying to ignore the fact that it was true. But yes, I don’t have much fun either and that’s mostly because I rarely go out of my comfort zone. And that’s what I have to work on. Saying ‘yes’ more, getting out of my comfort zone once in a while & having more fun, even if it is reading a good book, watching a movie, hanging out with friends, explore, etc…

    • Hey Joana!

      Thanks so much for your lovely words about my blog, I appreciate it so much (and I’m really glad you like it!) Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be so hard and is something I’m really trying to work on! All the best 🙂

      Sam xx

  • Such a great post! So honest, which is what we need more of! I feel like lots of people our age feel this way and by talking about it we can help each other.
    I think that by leaving your comfort zone you will be able to try more things and have more fun 🙂 Hope you are having a lovely day Sam.
    – C
    Claudine Converses

    • Hey Claudine!

      Thank you! I definitely agree that this stuff needs to be talked about more, especially since I thought I was the only one experiencing it (because it looks like everyone else is having a lot of fun according to their insta/facebook etc) but once I started talking about it with some of my friends almost all of them feel the same way. I’m working on getting more outside my comfort zone and trying new things and so far it’s going well!

      Sam xx

  • I can totally relate to this! My friends and family are constantly telling me I need to have more fun! I think saying yes is a big one. I used to be so stressed out with classes that I thought I just didn’t have time to do anything fun, but really it’s a matter of prioritizing, working efficiently, and deciding that fun is an important part of your life. I used to have a really terrible habit of backing out of things at the last minute because I had bad social anxiety. It prevented me from doing a lot of things I wanted to do, but I convinced myself it was safer to stay at home. I’m glad to say I’ve worked through that but every once in a while that old thought pattern creeps in. I keep telling myself that I’ll enjoy myself when I get there and I always do!

    • Hey Alex,

      Thanks for sharing your experience! It’s sounds like you’re working through it and having more fun which is awesome 🙂 I definitely agree with everything you say – it’s about prioritising and also knowing that fun is an important part of life. I think with the whole ‘hustle hustle hustle’ culture we can feel really guilty when we’re not working or studying, but fun is really important too!

      I feel like I’m the same – people tell me I need to have more fun too but it can be quite confronting to hear from someone else so I feel like I get really defensive if someone says it, but once I realised it for myself it has been really liberating. Thanks for your lovely comment!! (as always)

      Sam xx

  • I know what you mean, I definitely need to try and get out and about more and not just work all the time! It is one of my goals to say yes more, I think you almost get in the habit of just doing the routine of (for me) work, home, blog, sleep and repeat. Whereas when I finally get out, I always enjoy myself! Interesting to think about x

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

    • HI Jasmin,

      Thanks so much for your comment! I definitely feel the same – I get comfortable in my routine and don’t want to try anything new but when I do it’s always fun! All the best with having more fun 🙂

      Sam xx

  • This was a really good read Sam! When I hit grade 11 I came to the realisation that I needed to say Yes more and so I joined every single club I could in school and was out with friends nearly every afternoon and on weekends. That was great and made me realise that sort of fun is great. I’ve dialed it back a bit now but I always think back to that time as a sort of ‘supporting evidence’ that it’s a good idea.

    I almost always also think back to something my Grandma told me about my Dad. That he was a straight 7 GPA student in Medicine for the first couple years of the degree and then he saw his friends and himself lose friendships and see what fun things other people were doing. So he decided to only aim for 5s. And he had heaps of time for friends and activities. I think about this when I get swallowed up in study/work. x

  • I feel so related to this post! When I was a teenager I thought that I’d have my life sorted out by the time I was in mi mid-twenties. Now, I’m 29 and I still to work so hard to make a -decent- living I don’t have time to “have a good time”.
    It was really helpful to see there’s people feeling like me. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂

    http://memoriesofthepacific.blogspot.com.es/

    • Hi Cristina,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience with this! I feel like I’m on the same path, but luckily there’s always time to start doing things a new way!

      Sam xx

  • Just found your blog and I am excited to read more inspiring posts about how to make your twenties more memorable! Although I’m only 19, I’m turning 20 in a couple of months and all of a sudden have this fear that life seems to be going so quickly and I’m not actually doing any of things I thought I would. I need a kick to start being more proactive so that my twenties turn out to be everything I hoped they would and your blog seems like the perfect place to start 🙂

    http://candiddevon.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Hi Devon,

      Thanks so much for your kind words!! I appreciate them so much 🙂 And happy birthday! I’d love to know what things you’ll be trying to do for fun in your twenties

      Sam xx

  • I totally feel you! I keep feeling like I had the best time when I was studying abroad and romping around Europe and I’m a boring old cactus lady now finishing up at school… but it’s true, saying yes and thinking of more ways to reconnect with people and explore my own city here at home is getting me back in the adventuring mood! xx

    Natalie / Salt & Sail

  • I am a bit older than you, 26, and I totally know what you are talking about. I feel like all I do is work and work and work… and I don’t have too many friends here, all my friends live in the Bay Area and on the East Coast 🙁 Someone once told me life doesn’t even start until you’re 30 so hopefully that is true.

    Batty4Beauty.com

    • Hi Francesca,

      Thanks so much for your comment! I think a lot of people say ‘life doesn’t start until your thirties’ because that’s when people start getting more in tune with what they really want and how to ‘balance’ it all. You’ll get there 🙂

      Sam xx

  • I totally get this! Because i got married very young and the bought a house, got pets and now a business ive never really done the crazy parting or travelling. I skipped all that single time with friends and went straight to friends in couples and with kids. Not that has to be boring but its different. I need more fun in my life. Im in Brisbane too so i get that it can seem like there’s not a lot to do. Any ideas? 🙂

  • It feels so good to know I am not alone on this point. I also came to this “sad” realization that I am not having as much “fun” as others in their twenties. What has really helped me is realizing the bigger picture of why I work so hard and what I want to achieve, so its okay that I’m not partying as much as other people.

  • I dunno, I rarely go out and do anything and I feel completely fine. Trying to do anything that requires me leaving my house just sounds stressful.

  • It feel so good to know that I’m not the only one who feels that way. I think you are right we need to start saying “yes” instead of making excuses. Thank you for sharing this.

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