Not Feeling 22: Why Almost-Adulthood Is The Worst Time Of Our Lives
In summation, it's awkward.
You're not really sure where you belong.
You just graduated from college, and college rocked.
You had your close friends, your place to hang out on campus, your favorite bar, your apartment or downtown house and your lunch spot.
You knew where you were going 100 percent of the time and didn't feel uncomfortable strutting around campus.
You were a college senior, experienced and seasoned. You were a pro.
Then, you graduated from college, and everything that was once familiar became unknown.
Even if you had your new job and living situation worked out, you still had no idea how to be a real adult.
Being an adult 24/7? Wearing business clothes? Commuting to work?
These concepts all seem so foreign, and to be quite honest, they are.
Four years of college meant four years of parties, four years of epic hangovers and four years of still living out the young adult title.
Realistically, you could mess up with minimal damage.
You could skip a class and not get fired. You could skip three classes and not get fired.
To break it down, your brain at 22 is confused.
You feel excited to move on with your life, but you're intimidated because you don't really know how to.
You watch as your best friends disperse in various directions to pursue their own goals and dreams, and you feel happy, yet slightly jealous of them.
You feel as if everyone around you has something figured out that you don't.
The truth? No one has his or her life figured out at 22.
If someone claims he or she does, the person is lying. Why?
Because being a recent college graduate at 22 is one of the most transitional times in your life.
Things change quickly and without reason.
At 22, we doubt ourselves.
We doubt our career paths and if we're happy holding those entry-level positions that rake in minimal cash.
We doubt our past schooling and if it was enough.
We doubt our friends.
Will you speak to them as often as you did when you were all situated on campus? How often will you see them?
You doubt your relationship.
Will you and your loved one make it now that you've graduated from college?
The answers to these questions cannot be found or told to you by another.
They will be discovered over time, as frustrating as that may be.
Everything is new, and most of the time, we spend our energy reassuring ourselves.
We reassure ourselves we will reach our dream jobs.
We will live in our favorite cities. We will meet our soulmates.
We will one day look in the mirror and see adults.
We speak to other 22-year-olds and reassure each other.
We tell each other things will work out, and we will figure things out.
And in the long run, we will.
Even with the doubt and with the stress, we will figure things out.
How? No one really knows for sure, but we will.
Why? Because we are intelligent, motivated, inspired 22-year-olds. We have our entire lives ahead of us, and that is nothing but brilliant.
To be young, healthy and able to do anything we want is something blessed.
We will doubt ourselves from time to time, but that is what it's like to be human.
We are strong, educated and bright-eyed. In short, we are powerful.
Your brain at 22 is fresh and without burden from many of those adult experiences that may negatively influence us. Be thankful for this.
Explore the new adult world with conviction and unbiased thought.
Try the things that once made you nervous.
You are no longer in college. You no longer have papers or classes to attend.
Round up your fellow 22-year-olds, and live.
The age of 22 may be awkward, but that's nothing to be ashamed of. You are finding yourself and your stride, and that takes work.
And if you mess up, breathe. Soon, 22 will be over, and 23 will arrive.