Blink 182 taught us in their song, “What’s My Age Again?” that "nobody likes you when you’re 23.” Now that I am in my third month of being 23, I realize maybe it’s not that everybody hates you when you are 23, but 23-year-olds themselves simply hate being 23.
College is over and now we have entered our freshman years of adulthood. We are looking around, with wide eyes, wondering what the hell to expect next.
They’ve warned us about the real world, and now, we are finding out for ourselves the cold hard truths we tried hard to ignore.
Your first job won’t be as glamorous as you expected.
There is a big chance your first job won’t have anything to do with the degree you worked hard to get for the last four years.
I spent a season working as a cart girl at a golf course, during which a customer once told me I was “doing well with my degree.” Smile, hand over the beer and drive away.
You may not even have a job after you graduate.
Unemployment sucks. There isn’t much else to say about that.
You may have to adjust to living with your parents again.
The small apartment you shared with two other people now seems luxurious and spacious compared to your bedroom back home.
You hope your dining set doesn’t get too dusty in the basement, as you wait to be on your own again. And, trying to date becomes so challenging that you revert to high school tactics just to even make out with a boy for a little bit.
The future is so unclear you don’t even know what you are doing next week.
Friends keep trying to plan trips and buy concert tickets with you, but you have no idea what you will be doing, where you will be living or how much money you will have. There will even come a point when you will say, “It all depends if my group is called into jury duty.”
You get overwhelmed.
We sift through online job sites, trying to decipher the postings. We try to understand the fancy and vague wording. We meticulously fill out online applications that differ from job to job and hope there are no technical difficulties.
We tailor cover letters despite the fact they likely don’t read them. We hope one of the three versions of our résumés is the best fit for the position.
Then, we start having thoughts like, "You know, maybe I’ll just go to grad school. Yeah, I’ll just go back to school."
“Dating” hasn’t become any easier.
The pressures start to press a little harder once we start attending our friends' weddings. The field feels like it’s becoming smaller now that people our age are getting engaged, married and having babies.
Factor in social media creeping, finding a happy texting medium and dating tools, like Tinder and Match.com, and we get exhausted.
Oh, and the fact that you don’t have your own place? Love life? What’s a love life?
Ultimately, we start to feel like we don’t know anything. Maybe we are clueless on just about everything and it has us feeling a bit cranky. So, I urge our fellow peers to give us a break and throw us a bone or maybe a job.
We are trying our best to make sense of the world. Be gentle with us and maybe even try to point us in the right direction. We will get there. Eventually.