Am I the only 25-year old who feels like the 20’s have so far been the most confusing time in life?
I’m only 5 years in, and I have never experienced so many scary lows and exhilarating highs before.
As I teenager, I fantasized about being an adult – having the freedom what I want when I want to. Plus, as a millennial, I learned that the world was at my finger tips. My great education would make me a millionaire by 25, and I would own properties, drive fancy cars, have the latest gadgets, travel the world and be married to equally successful partners and have at least one child by 25.
This was further from the truth for me.
All I had as a fresh university graduate with a Media honours degree was confusion about my life’s purpose, pressure to make something out of myself because all my peers seemed to have it together, unanswered internship applications, student debt and a broken heart caused by a breakup with my varsity sweetheart and the growing rift between me and my friends.
Months later, life cut me some slack, and I landed an internship. I thought I would have a MacBook Pro and the corner office as soon as I stepped in because of my honours degree and millennial status, but instead, I ran coffee errands, booked my boss’ meetings and did all the menial tasks that others in the company didn’t want to do.
I was perplexed when I saw my first paycheck. I expected a 5-figure income would afford me a spacious, fully furnished apartment in a leafy green suburb with a fully stocked fridge. Instead, I received a 4-figure income which was enough to pay for my monthly bus trips, toiletries, data bundles and student loan installments. I couldn’t even afford to share a bachelor apartment with a friend.
That led back to my parents’ home, which I hadn’t lived in for 4 years since leaving for varsity. Here I was, back to doing chores at my mother’s command and running to my room to take calls from boys.
I wish someone would’ve told me that I’d drift apart from most of my friends after graduation. It’s not because of a fallout (in some cases), but because life moved us in different directions and we simply lost touch. I felt lost when the safety base that I had built during varsity dissolved.
Social media made things worse. Sure it’s great for plurality of opinions and borderless communities, but liking a friend’s pictures and leaving comments didn’t feel nearly as fulfilling as face-to-face interaction.
Pictures of everyone on my timeline either traveling to exciting destinations, getting married, getting promoted or having a child gave me heart palpitations, as if being underpaid, in debt, living at home with no fancy clothes and no partner rendered me a failure by my generation’s standards.
Nobody warned me that heartbreak would be more difficult to recover from with age. A failed relationship that would normally take 3 months to get over at 18 takes close to a year by the time you reach 25. And, it’s emotional turmoil to go through.
Relationships seem to last as long as heating up milk for 30 seconds in the microwave. I found that authentic relationships where I could trust someone enough to fully be myself were few and far in between, exacerbating the loneliness I felt, even though there was an abundance of single people on dating apps. Choosing not to date is just as tough because it’s not entirely great to do life without a partner who knows and supports me. On top of that, my sex drive drives me crazy. I literally want to have sex all the time.
With the first quarter of my life done and dusted, I feel like i’m letting go of being a child and accepting that i’m an adult. i’m coming to terms with the fact that i’m now responsible for my life. It feels like I’m fully getting into adulthood, and that it’s a time for reflection and excitement as I enter into the next quarter of my life.
*image from YouTube.