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.

I would rather…

…live life without a care for what people think about what I do.

For example, I really want to travel. I want to experience the world — even if it means I go by myself — just as long as I get to celebrate the experience of being somewhere new. I feel this incredible urge to just get up, leave and DO something. It’s hard because all of my instincts, everything that my mother instilled in me, is preventing me from doing that.

The older you get the more restrained you get. At first, it’s either your parents or societal obligations holding you back. As you grow older and gain more responsibility, though, I’ve learned that its the fear of the unknown that prevents you from pursuing dreams.

And that’s a problem when you’ve been a dreamer from birth.

Yet, I’ve realized that I cannot continue to live my life in fear of the unknown. Otherwise, what kind of life will I live? A boring one.