Being a 20-Something is Stressful, No I'm Not Being Dramatic
Ok, we’ve all heard it before. The complaints of a 20-something college grad. Woe is me, I can’t find a proper job blah blah. But what’s one more rant huh? This quest for the perfect, well, anything (career, relationship, body) is overwhelming but kind of humorous in a Murphy’s Law kind of way. Shall I start with the false promises that college made, indirectly? You spend hours in the library working your tush off, overdosing on coffee and energy drinks because that A on your physics final solidifies your spot in the post college career world. So you graduate with mostly A‘s and a B here and there, because that’s my “go directly to Go and collect your 200 dollars” card right? Right?! Wait, it didn’t secure my spot in the corporate world? Preposterous! “Welcome to life after college my friend”, says the universe.
So I figured I’d share the six worst things I’ve experienced since becoming apart of this real world thingy.
1. Moving back into the parents’ house. I love my parents, I really do, but after four years of complete freedom the whole “rules” situation had become a foreign concept. It’s like being born then having to figure out how to fit back into the womb. Suddenly there are chores, and what was that mom? Curfew?! But, I’m in my twenties. So now I have to revamp my nightlife rituals because I should be heading home by the time people arrive to the shindig. Such a hassle. This is just not going to work so I respectfully decline this offer of free rent because, well, I am an adult. Psh, I do what I want.
2. Taking back my independence, and gaining bills. So I decide to move out (prematurely, might I add). Just give me my independence because college prepared me for this right? I’m so excited to feel like an adult again. Got my cute apartment in a new city with the Bath and Body Works candles and posh new furniture. I can handle this. Then that first bill comes. Oh, electricity wasn’t included in that initial thousand dollars? Neither was gas? How about trash and water? Mommy is it too late to squeeze back into the nest? So many questions! Needless to say, the expense of actually taking on the responsibility of a place of your own is quite alarming. Especially when your dream career is still a distant goal and working two or three jobs is your primary source of income. Which brings me to my next point.
3. Explaining to people what you want to do in life. The dreaded question that is indubitably asked at any gathering. “What do you do?”. I’ve never rehearsed three of four sentences so well in my life. “I work at such and such temporarily until I can move to such and such and pursue yada yada and actually put my degree to work blah blah”. Two years later, the story hasn’t changed. It might have been modified here and there with the thoughts of going back to school to acquire higher education to stay a front runner in the competitive job market, however, the general answer remains the same. On one hand, why do I need to explain anything that I’m doing with my life to a stranger? On the other hand, there’s the “it’s not what you know, but who you know” factor that keeps this well rehearsed monologue on a loop. Maybe this person knows this person who knows this person and WALLA! I’m finally winning an Oscar. Being a dreamer has it’s peaks and valleys. For now, my pride is making this dance difficult as I am not doing what I ultimately want to do, and until that happens, explaining my journey to the masses is emotionally exhausting. I’d rather stay home and snuggle with my Netflix and YouTube.
4. Wanting to travel but having absolutely no money. Enjoy your twenties they say. It’s the best time of your life they say. The pressure is now on because not only do I have to solve problems 1-3, I now have to make sure I have enough time to experience this best time of my life chapter that people are so heavily stressing. Whew. Ok, I’ll take some time to travel the world. How much was that plane ticket? I guess I’ll start smaller and drive to my college friend’s birthday dinner in the next city. The trip to Ibiza might have to wait another year, or two.
5. So and so is now married. I could just leave that there. While finding myself, I completely forgot about the whole “finding true love thing” (sarcasm). Again, where is this pressure coming from? Who is making me feel like I need to be in a solid relationship right now? The older I’m getting the more I’m noticing that dating time becomes shorter and shorter. What used to be a four year relationship before an engagement ring is now becoming a year plus one visit with his parents and the wedding bells chime. And with social media basically taunting you with new families forming every other day, it’s, well, I’ll leave that for another post.
6. Wanting to be healthy/thin but discovering a new love for pasta. Food is one of my best friends. Let me tell you, food is like that puppy I wanted for Christmas. It’s loyal, it makes you feel better, I sound crazy….(giggle). Well there’s not much I won’t eat and being a foodie in your twenties is a daily battle. My mind and my back-fat are telling me to say no, but my heart says indulge. Yes I workout but I workout to eat. It’s a habit I’m trying to break. As I get older I’m sure it will change, however, as of today, pasta and hot wings are my Kryptonite.
Now, with all of that being said, I suppose this journey is about growth and becoming who you are at your own pace. I really feel like there should be a Reality Check course at every school. A course that teaches you how to do life, so to speak. I am finally understanding that this attitude of instant gratification and entitlement just because I have a degree is not realistic. It is comforting to know that I am not alone in this struggle as I have had numerous discussions with my friends and classmates. My advice to those about to leave college is to take it a day at a time and live in the moment. Trying to get it right is the biggest mistake we could make at this age. We are young and can literally do anything we put our minds to so let’s have a blast doing it!