Did you ever watch the show Friends? I can’t say I’ve watched more than an episode, but it’s my roommate’s all time favorite show. And back in the good ole’ days when I was recruitment chair of my sorority, we did a Friends themed recruitment round - we took the friends theme song and changed the lyrics to be sorority-esque. So now, I know the theme song all too well (both the actual version and the sorority one).
The first verse hits pretty close to home:
“So no one told you life was gonna be this way
Your job's a joke, you're broke
Your love life's D.O.A
It's like you're always stuck in second gear
When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month
Or even your year, but…”
Now I can’t say I 100% relate to the lyrics, but I’d say this is a pretty accurate description of life in your early 20s: job struggles, learning about financial independence, dealing with love, feeling worn down.
I’ve been talking to friends lately and the consensus is that it’s hard to juggle everything: loving yourself, loving others (romantically), maintaining friendships, staying in touch with family, performing at your job while figuring out what you want etc. etc., the list goes on.
Graduating college, I didn’t expect life at 22 to be this freaking hard. I knew there wasn’t a linear path as you see in college, yet I did not expect to always have 50 shades of gray decisions. There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to making decisions in life, no one to tell you if you’re making the right choices and what the future implications of your decision will be. Unless you can see into the future, which in that case I’d like you to email me please! All you have when you make decisions that propel you in one direction over another are your intuition, advice from the wise, and courage/fear to make the decision, whatever way it may materialize.
To recap what I’m saying: it’s a lot damn harder to juggle everything, and it sucks to make decisions when you don’t know if they are the right ones.
I know, I know… “If you think being 22 is hard wait till you have kids and a mortgage and a dog and a boat and a car and a retirement plan and and and”. To that I say, I hear you and I politely ask you to shut up while I revel in the 22 year old, young, naive angst. Because I know this stuff will get easier over time, but it’s been almost a year since I graduated college and I still feel I am a little lifeboat out at sea looking for the lighthouse to guide me home.
I am keenly aware that my feelings are not special or unique; in fact pretty much everyone I brooch the subject with enthusiastically tells me they feel (or felt!) the same way. And that, my friends, is why being 22 sucks. Maybe I’ll do a counter post as to why being 22 is awesome, to play devil’s advocate on myself. That is a story for another day.