I’m Feeling 25

As I approach the six year mark of my blog, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. I was thinking about how blogging has changed, which led me to really start to recognize how much I have changed.
There are countless things I love about blogging and that I love about The College Prepster; one of those things is that it has turned into a sort of record (albeit public) of the ups and downs of my life over the past six years. I have never been consistent about writing diary entries, as much as I have attempted in the past. But there was something about this blog, something different, that kept me going and sticking with it.
Change is certainly one of those things that happens right under our noses. Occasionally, we have the moments where the rug is pulled out from under us or we have to make a defined decision or we embark on a very specific journey that signals change. For the most part, however, change is slow. A sneaky thing that lurks around in our lives as we go about, well, living.
I’m glad that at the beginning, no one was reading. I think it made me way more comfortable about the whole “public” element. As a result, I’ve shared a lot over the years. The archive of my blog can be an emotional place for me. I can go back and revisit so much of the roller coaster. Sometimes I’ll stumble on an old post and be brought right back to that moment. There’s just something about rereading my own writing; I can remember everything about that moment, including where I was when I wrote it and how I was feeling at the time.

An unflattering photo, but I’ve been documenting the growth of my grey hair– inadvertently– over the years. I promise I’m not totally fixated on my grey hair, I just happen to notice it and it makes me think about aging and almost always sends me down this path of reflection. Case in point, this 2012 post. 
25, so far, has been a good age so far. I feel 25. I used to always feel like I had one leg in childhood and another leg in my senior years; a grandma trapped in a prepubescent body. I think I was working so much right after college (that was a rough year), I didn’t have time to really let adulthood catch up with me. Now I feel it. I feel responsible and youthful at 25. Enough responsibility (a business, a dog) without tons of responsibility (I can still play hooky for a day, no mortgage, no children).
I truly feel like I’ve found, or at least continually attempt, balance in my life. I think back to the way I used to view work, as an obsession, a distraction, at times a self-punishment. Now, I view work as my job. It’s simply my job. I do my job… and I have a life. That release alone has brought me so much more happiness that I feel like I missed out on for quite some time.
There is, after all, a certain luxury of being 25. It’s been years since (reluctantly) declaring independence from my parents, so the shock factor of that has worn off. The constraints of the educational path (“you have to get a good SAT scores, you have to maintain a good GPA, you have to get into a good college”) have long been lifted. What felt like the end of a road, has been reevaluated as the beginning of a long one. I used to find decisions daunting and all-important, but with every choice I make, I realize it’s only choosing my next adventure, not choosing my own self-destruction. Life goes on, often unexpectedly, but it goes on!
I hope this post is one I can reflect on when I’m, say, 35 and can smile at. To remember being 25 as a time when I dutifully paid my taxes and binge-watched Gilmore Girls in its entirety. A time when I was learned how to cook in a tiny kitchen and indulged in Nutella by the spoonful for breakfast. A time when I impossibly knew everything and still, of course, knew nothing.

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Audrey Lin

The more you experience in the world, the more you realize that there is still so much more to experience! I'm a freshman in college right now, about to finish my first semester, but I still feel like a high school freshman. It probably doesn't help that I could pass for a middle school student (thanks to my short stature and "baby" cheeks haha). Coming into college, I've met so many COOL people. I wish I could be as cool as them, but I'm just a little freshman. Maybe next year the new freshmen will see my class and feel that way about us. Maybe I'll feel like a sophomore 😛 -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's


Great text! I am 24 and turn 25 in April. I still feel like a teen most times. But I think that will change with the things that come next year.

I really like your blog 🙂


This is a really inspirational post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I can only hope to be as successful and as happy as you are now when I'm 25. Thanks for sharing!

♡ veena |
twitter/instagram: @veenamccoole


This has to be one of my favorite posts you have written. It is so great to see you comfortable in your own skin and I know exactly how you feel. I'm not 25, but I think we all have a certain time in our lives when we reach a point where we can confidently say we are comfortable in our own skin– that has definitely been the case for me this past year, everything has just seemed to fallen into place perfectly.

Prep on a Budget


It's wonderful, the feeling of contentment and happiness, isn't it?! It's been fun to follow along on your journey while I've experienced similar things. I think that's what has made me stick to reading your blog for so long, you're real and you're not afraid to show it (or, if you are, you brave through that fear!).

Also, binge-watching Gilmore Girls is always a good idea.

Sweet Spontaneity

Mika P.

Such a great post- I think so many young people feel this way. I turned 22 a few months ago, and I'm still struggling as I feel like I'm still so young, but then, I also have many responsibilities (but still no children or anything too anchoring). I'm still trying to work in being a professional, too!

Anyway, I totally feel you with binge-watching Gilmore Girls. I thank Netflix continuously (;

Jessica Alvarez

This was such a beautiful reflective piece! I feel like many forms of media don't address the mid-20s, and I loved how you can be both "responsible and youthful." I'm excited 🙂 Thanks for sharing openly!


Gena Newcomb

I'd be lying if I said I didn't tear up reading this. At 22, a semester away from graduation and trying to get into graduate school, I'm a mess of anxiety and stress. This post is so inspirational and gives me the hope that one day I will find the balance and happiness you have found.

Jordan Orris | Prep of the Plains

Carly! I've been following your blog since your Georgetown years, and it's been so fun to join in the journey. (I'm 5 years younger than you, so I read it thinking, "Oh, this will be what my life is like at Georgetown!") (btw I didn't even apply once I accepted my offer elsewhere! Oh naivety) This post gives me so much hope for my twenties! Thanks for being a stylish, wise , and generally awesome person to look up to! xo Jordan @

Rachael Draper

I love this post, it is always great to hear words of wisdom from ladies around my age. I am 23 going on 24 in April and I hope I feel this way by the time I am 25!


Oh my gosh! Carly, it is so funny your are saying that. Everytime I look at old posts on your blog (I have been reading TCP for about 3 years now), I (even as the reader) remember what I was going through when I was reading it, as well as where I was when I was reading it.


Beautifully said! I think everyone (whether you're 25, 18, or 35) can get a lot of wisdom out of this post. We're all trying to figure out how this whole "growing up" thing works, and it's awesome to reflect on the past and watch how everything fell into place (even when you can remember how nervous you were that things would work out)!
Lauren |

Alex B.

What a great post, Carly! As my 25th birthday approaches in a few weeks, I've been reflecting on my twenties as well. Even though 25 looks a little different than I thought it would, I've learned to embrace the challenges life throws at us. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and observations about growing up, it's nice to know we're not alone!

Also, you're not the only one getting gray hair in her twenties! Good for you for embracing it, I've succumbed to hair dye!



Carly, as I have mentioned before, you are an inspiration to so many girls alike. You have undoubtedly paved the way for girls like me. You are such an inspiration. So here's to you, 25, and almost six years! Enjoy <3

Champagne Star

I know the feeling. I'm 25 now and I'll be 26 in January, but it's only been in the last month that I've really started feeling my age. I have a job and live on my own now, so I finally feel that I have a "grown up" life with "grown up" responsibilities. I also noticed quite a few gray hairs popping up over the last few months, too!

Southwestern Prepster

The other day I realized that I was starting to feel a smidge of what you have – relief, the ability to really relax, breathe, and feel content. I just finished my first semester of college – to be able to say/think that sentence is so surreal for me, and I can only imagine being able to say half of the things you've already done by 25! I can't wait to see what else life has in store for all of us!



Love this post! Even though I'm just 21, I have finally come to understand the life truly is one big adventure!


I actually think that's a beautiful photo of you. I really didn't notice the gray until you pointed it out, and it could be mistaken for the sun shining on your hair.

Violet Clouds

Thank you for this post, I am working on making decisions and I love your phrase 'with every choice I make, I realize it's only choosing my next adventure, not choosing my own self-destruction'.


Hi, Carly. Your blog has inspired and has taught me a lot. Although there are many blogs out there I always come back to yours because besides posting outfit posts you also share who you are to your readers. Thank you for allowing us to get to know a little bit of who you are and not just what clothes you wear.

Amye Mae

Here's to binge-watching Gilmore Girls when you're 29 years old, with just a few more "grown up" responsibilities (but not *too* many!)