Adulting At 22

“Woooooooooooooooooow! You are 22?! You are so old.”

I hear this phrase a lot…not really, but I feel like it, especially when I am talking to kids who are not even in their 20s, or are just 21-years-old.

I agree with the youth, I am old as can be.

Everytime I say this to an adult, I get a swarm of giggles, as they seriously cannot believe that I am complaining about being old at the ripe old age of 22-years-old. I guess that no one thinks that being 22-years-old is much of a milestone in their lives. In fact, only having lived 22 years of life is not very long in the long run.

Something about turning 21 turned on a light in my head, and then the exstitential life crisis began. My 21st birthday also turned on the light in my head reminding me to drink more wine!
I began questioning my life, meaning I began realizing that my collegiate years were coming to a close, which then meant that I would have to make my own future and BE AN ADULT.

This barely makes sense, but being in school, especially the years before you are graduating from college, you do not think of these things, as you do not need to be making big decisions about your future.

During your 20s, you are responsible for making big decisions and deciding your next move about a multitude of different things. This is an incredible important time to be alive, as this decade of your life will emphasize the magnitude of the responsibility of the decisions that you make. The power that you have over the way that your future turns out is an incredible amount, and many times, having this much power and responsibility over your future is the reason for their destruction. Sometimes, the pressure to maintain stability and work towards your future becomes too much, and instead of appreciating this kind of power, you end up resenting this kind of control over your life.

Many big lifestones occur during your 20s, beyond your imfamous 21st birthday. Often, many individuals complete their collegiate career in this decade of their life. This decade of their life is most often the first time that individuals are living by themselves, and as a result, must learn to be completely independent. Independence is another huge theme that is relevant during your 20s, which is a good and bad thing.
Getting ahold of understanding, accepting, and following through with your independence is not as easy as it seems. It is also not the easiest, nicest, and most amusing thing to get ahold of, but independence has the power to make people exercise their ability to live to freely, which is an incredibly moving thing.

School gave me an identity and was a wonderful way to procrastinate and figure out what I would like to do with my life. Once school is done, you no longer can use that as a crutch from making decisions about creating a concrete future that you want and would make you happy.

I am still working on finishing my double degree in Psychology and Advertising, but as I begin watching my peers and friends graduating, growing up, finding incredible jobs that I could have never dreamt of, getting opportunities to do things they love as a career, and attempting to apply everything that they have learned from the textbooks and life into their current reality to mold a life for themselves.

It is all very extremely exciting, but the idea of life can be very unsettling. The world is essentially your oyster, but your dream job and dream reality cannot be so easily attained. You must work, you must put yourself out there, you must fail, you must struggles, you must doubt yourself, you must embarrass yourself, you must be dedicated, you must set yourself apart, you must make mistakes, and you must perservere, in order to get to your dream. Nothing comes that easy, especially when you are attempting to achieve all your dreams and goals.

You never know what to expect with life and I have spent a good portion of my time feeling very uncomfortable, because many things are out of control. Similarly, everything seems so uncertain, and truly, I have never felt so unsure, lost and confused.

I have also been fearful, because I do not want to end up unhappy, with nothing to be proud of. I have all these dreams and goals I would like to initiate, but it is much harder than expected.

When you’re in your 20s, you surely are transitioning to adulthood, meaning that you need to reorganize your priorities, so you can succeed, because no one will do this for you, or even force you. This is difficult, as you have lived your life with someone breathing down your back to make sure you are doing what you have to.

Adulting as a 22-year-old had me overthinking about the way my life would play out in the future and it made me an anxious mess. I felt like prior to 22, I was still deemed a child to a certain extent. Now, I feel like I am completely responsible for everything in my life, and I didn’t have much time to transition into this.

No, I am not ready, or remotely prepared for this journey they call “adulthood.”

Paying off bills, paying off student debt, finding a job, following your heart, etc. are all things you must do as an adult, but it is easy to forget that you are allowed to have fun, as well. Even at the so-called ripe age of 22, I often find myself caught up in the hustle and bustle of things, leading to the dissapation of any humorous or adventurous bone in my body.

“How do I have fun maturely?”
I wonder this a lot, especially when I find myself in the middle of deciding whether or not I should just embrace my young partying tendencies.

Adulthood honestly can be fairly boring in my book, however, it is challenging and instills a schedule for me, which is extremely beneficial to have for anyone.

But, at the same time, adulthood has made me feel like one of the most uncomfortable, high-strung and confused human being ever.

Becoming a responsible adult does not happen over night, no ones perfect, but damn, people sure do try their best. Like everything else in life, adulthood takes some adjustment to get used to, as being a child masks all the gory, uncomfortable details that accompany being an adult. If this was not made clear before, adulthood is not a smooth ride, or even remotely clean.

With an increase in age comes an increase in your load of responsibilities, and unlike childhood, you do not have a choice but to face your responsibilities, for risk of legal consequences. As an adult, it is in your best interest to stay out of trouble and upkeep your responsibilities, in order to grasp a feeling of consistency and familiarity within your life. The feelings of consistency and familiarity seem to become hard to recognize or grasp, as you begin growing older.

The difference between being a college student, or a “young adult,” and actually being an adult is outstanding. The term “young adult” is self-explanatory, explaining that you are on the younger cusp of your twenties. As an homage to your youth, despite the fact that you are legally defined as an adult, individuals who fall into the young adult category tend to be less accepting towards adulthood.

I should have listened to my parents when they told me that the fun does end. The end of ones childhood feels similar to experiencing a death, or attending a funeral. The conclusion of childhood feels so painful, because our childhood is a portion of our life that is dedicated to engaging in as much fun as possible. Accepting adulthood is similar to pleading guilty to a crime that you did not do, even though the entire court believes you are guilty.

Your 20s are a roller coaster constant ride, as you must learn to juggle more on your plate than you even are capable are. Your 20s are the first time that individuals must learn to the value of independence, perseverance, etc. At this age, you are being held responsible and accountable for your actions, which is why staying out of trouble is in your best interest.

No longer will your illegal actions be simply frowned upon, but now your actions have more serious consequences than a proper spanking and proper talking to. Often, you will face jail, prison, community service, etc., if you are convicted of a serious crime as an adult. So, committing illegal acts and being reckless in public, or even in discretion, could lead into trouble. Not to mention, getting into legal trouble disrupts opportunities to achieve your future goals and it is incredibly expensive. The goal is not to react aggressively towards life, even though it can be incrediliby frustrating and difficult at times, so it is important to react negatively towards some circumstances in a controlled manner.

While all these aspects of your life are constantly moving, improving, and changing, the decade of your 20s may be one of the most confusing and most ambiguous decade of your life. Your 20s bring so much change that the sudden transition into adulthood, in the blink of their eyes, may make this time of your life, a time that is closely associated with self-doubt, as all these changes are foreign for you and you barely know how to act. It is overwhelming and emotional to learn to properly and effectively handle your life, its’ responsibilites, and the baggage that comes with it.

Just like good wine, you only get better with age, as you continue to practice your life skills throughout this entire decade.

With all the commotion and distractions occurring around you, it is only natural that your circle of friend slowly begins to gradually get smaller, as you realize that you do not have the time, energy, or patience to engage in upkeeping with too many friendships. In fact, your social life sometimes becomes a burden, as it often takes a backseat to all of your responsilibities, your fears, etc. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as maintaining a large circle of friends often distracts individuals from the important things in life. While it may seem selfish and lonely to slowly disassociate with your social life and your support system, it is often easier to achieve your goals and accomplish your missions with less vulnerability to drama, distractions, and clutter within your life. It is very common for you to feel completely disconnected with your social life during your 20s.

During your 20s, it seems like everyone is just as lost as the other, or I at least hope so. It is not very comforting to know and to realize how nothing about your future is set in stone. Honestly, in your 20s, no one knows what is going on with their lives. We are all out here trying to achieve success, in the best way we know how. It is very important to take advantage of opportunities that come your way and land on your lap, as it is very difficult to pave the path for your future without the assistance of others.

The biggest myth about your 20s is that it is going to get better…Just kidding! The biggest myth is definitely that the idea that you need to achieve all your long-term goals and achieve financial stability by the time you enter your 20s.

“I do not know what is going on” and “I am trying to get my s**t together” are two of my most used phrases that I utilize to describe the ambiguousness of life.

These days, it seems like I am always trying to get myself together, because I am never truly “together” even when I devote endless hours, minutes, seconds, stress, and energy obsessing over the idea of “having it together,”
The concept of having your life together must be a joke, because no matter how much time and energy I attempt to set aside to get myself together, I still find myself in pieces, scattered all around the globe.

My second of year of my 20s has most certainly continued to force me to attend to my responsilibities, take care of myself, and be more independent. However, I have had my fair share of identity crises, as I often who I even am. I spend most of my days anxiously waiting for someone to reveal what my future holds. I do not trust fortune tellers, but I would love a trusted source to give me some insight on what my future looks like.

No matter what my age is, I am far from succeeding at the act of adulthood. You see, most of your 20s are spent acting like you are totally “alright” with everything, even though you are actually a big ball of anxiety and stress. This often brings out a lot of insecurities within people, as they do not know how to react to life.

Do not worry, even if you followed the yellow brick road, everyone is always lost to a certain extent. This is nothing to be embarrassed about! It may cause you to immediately chug a glass of red wine daily after you have completed your obligations, however, it sometimes is reassuring to know that others around you have yet to figure it all out.
Life is just one of those things that can never be thoroughly figured out, so it is safe to say with certainty that life is NOT a open book and that the answers are not right in front of you.

Enjoy your youth, but enjoy these hilarious and relatable tweets and memes! They may just put a smile on your face and restore faith in you to keep pushing on, despite being completely and utterly confused.

xo,

Aichan Tewahade

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