Dealing with impending adulthood

As a 20-year-old college sophomore (I don’t use nouns because, like Britney Spears in the movie Crossroads, I am not a girl, not yet a woman) I’ve had a year to get accustomed to situations that come with being an adult. Without parental help. Through the last year, I’ve realized something grievously important: How does it make sense to let young people between the ages of 18 and 22 make life changing decisions about their future careers when they haven’t even lived a quarter of a century?

When I realized this problem, I also realized that I was the only one capable of letting society know that it could shove all of its expectations of getting a job by the time I’m 22 out the window. While I do hope to be offered a job by the time I graduate from my four year institution, I also don’t want to feel pressured into entering the workforce solely because it is something that is expected of me. I want to experience life first. Isn’t that what LIFE is about? LIVING?

I’ve had moments where I feel unhappy just thinking about how my time as a carefree student is ending. Does entering the world of adults mean I can’t plan to visit places like New Orleans with my friends? Does it mean I can’t wait impatiently for Bonnaroo or Coachella anymore? I still have dreams I want to accomplish. I don’t want to slowly leave them behind just because a 9 to 5 job is demanding my full attention?

The real problem about adulthood is that people eventually settle. Which is incredibly frustrating when you think about how your approaching that moment in your life where all you are worried about is a paycheck you can survive on. #thestruggleisreal

While it doesn’t make sense to ask someone in their early 20s what they want to do for the rest of their lives (because they haven’t lived life to the fullest yet), it’s great to be in our 20s because these are the only years were we can be completely self-centered.

Think about it. Once we get married and have kids, we can’t necessarily decide to pack up and take a road trip with friends. We have to see if we have money, time in our schedules, call a babysitter, see if it’s cool with the hubby, etc, etc. It’s almost impossible to have some down time for ourselves, period. So, be completely selfish while you can. Do whatever you want. Live life how you’ve always dreamed your 20s would be. Don’t settle until the majority of your dreams and goals have been accomplished, because once you stop and settle down, you’ll have less opportunity to see those dreams through.

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8 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more. We are so wrapped up in trying to establish ourselves in a career, and are constantly preparing for our futures that we forget how to live. Great post, and great blog! Care to check out mine? Downwiththenorm.wordpress.com

  2. Entering the world of adulthood is scary, you’re right. BUT it also means you’re absolutely free to do whatever your heart desires. You can work, have a fulfilling career and still take road trips with your friends. It’s about prioritizing and setting things aside to make that happen. Want to take a day off to make a three-day weekend? Work extra earlier in the week and no one will mind because you already made up for it.

    The best part for you about being a student is that there’s still time to make sure that you love whatever it is you’re getting yourself into. Work should spark passion inside of you. If not, then you’re doing it wrong. Spend time cultivating the kind of career that will let you live.

  3. This is a great post. As a 22 year old, I’ve been forced into reception jobs and other similar trades just to make an income. There’s a lot more to life then money that we’ll rarely get to experience. I’ve blogged about my twenty hardships if you’re interested in checking it out! Hopefully relateable for you.

    • I know what you mean. When I turned 20 a couple of months ago, I wasn’t excited for my birthday but I was excited for the new decade ahead of me. A few months in to that new decade and I’m starting to realize that money and societal expectations is going to try its best to ruin my 20s. We can’t let it happen though. We have to ask ourselves, “What are my expectations for my own life?”

      • That’s so true. I feel like the struggles of growing up is becoming a ‘twenty-something’ epidemic. Hopefully we can find our way. I’m glad you were able to relate to my backstory!

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