I thought that before we jump into this new journey, it would be important to shed some light on as to why we find adulthood so terrifying. When I say ‘we’ I mean those of us who have just, or soon will be, graduating college or university.
I don’t presume that i know how every single young twenty-something feels about this critical time period in their life but what I do know is this: not once, in my twenty one years of life did anyone ever say anything encouraging about becoming an adult. From the time I was little, I’d shout “I can’t wait to grow up!” and the response from my parents, relatives, or random strangers, was always “No you don’t, because when you do grow up you’re going to wish you were young again.” This was always spoken with a tone of dread, a hint of misery and a dash of regret.
Then, when I got a little older, people started telling me that high school sucks and college will be the best years of my life. So eventually I got through high school and fell into the world of plenty; plenty of freedom.
I arrived to college first year wide-eyed and ready to take it all in. Then suddenly three years go by faster than the first 18 years of life altogether.
Third year was tough, tough tough, and in first semester you’re just trying to survive and keep your marks from falling as drastically as your spirit has. Then your final semester comes, and this is when people really amp up the despair factor. Lecturers, peers, friends, and even strangers become a strange form of nemesis. They are the ones that are telling the tales of how awful life after college is “the great thing about being in college is you have no responsibility! Once you leave, that’s all gone.” Or the friends that are convinced they will never see anyone ever again “I’m going out every single night this week because I’m never going to see these friends again!” Last, and probably the worst, are the genuinely concerned people who want to know how far along your plans are for the future “have you heard from any jobs yet?” “Where have you been looking?” “where do you see yourself in five years?” what do you want to DO?”
Now, let’s break this down. We have the naysayers mourning the glories of total freedom, the desperadoes clinging onto the sinking ship of their youth, and the kind souls who are simply trying to help.
Many, if not most, of these people have good intentions when saying what they think needs to be said but I’m going to offer my own opinion in an effort to expose these statements which have over time started turning into almost dark fairy tales of what lies in the forest of adulthood beyond.
Responsibility: Seriously, unless you have a child or loans straight out of college why do people keep saying you have MORE responsibility? After graduating college, the only responsibilities I truly have are going to work and paying my bills. Both of which I have already done.
Bam. Myth exposed.
Adios Amigos: Never seeing your friends again. Okay, this is a more realistic “myth” but here are the facts. If you established a good solid friendship with someone during college and you both would like that friendship to continue, it will. If you have a casual friendship where you drink together twice a week and rarely talk about more than the latest campus gossip, it probably won’t.
“The Plan”: I have actually lost count of how many times I’ve been asked “what’s the plan after college?” by friends, relatives, teachers, and even strangers. I don’t hate these people for asking, not at all, curiosity and an interest in my future is never a bad thing! I just hate the question. Or maybe I hate my answer. Or maybe I just hate having to think about it. Pick one, or all three! Simply put, I think it just makes us think about things that we don’t have the answer to; and nobody likes being the only one who doesn’t know the answer.
I hope this post has helped launch you into my thought process for this blog, but just in case my purpose is still far out in space here’s what it is: I want to make adulthood sound less daunting. This blog will be a compilation of stories, tips and my own exciting exploits as I journey into the unknown!
Life is about the not knowing, the delicious and often terrifying ambiguity, having to change, accommodate.. taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what is next. – Gilda Radner