Twenty-two. An age that many people reflect on in fondness. I’m constantly being told that this is the best time of my life. “You’ve got so much ahead of you!” the optimistic ones say. “Stay young while you can!” the older ones say. “You’ll never get these years back!” the depressed ones with seemingly a lot of regrets say.
The post-college, pre-marriage years are a time in our lives when we map out our future. We choose a route for our careers. We forge our friendships. We create and destroy relationships. We go to bars with friends. We have no wrinkles on our faces or arthritis in our joints. We don’t have a single varicose vein. We make out with each other. We jump high and run fast. We think quickly. We see traveling as an opportunity rather than a hassle. We know how to text discreetly and we don’t have to increase the size of the words on our iPhones to read messages without squinting, Mom.
These are the things our elders are talking about when they tell us to hold on to our youth. Our lack of responsibility. Our health. Our free spirits. Our normal looking legs.
Well here’s to you, elders. Thank you for raising us. Thank you for caring for us. Thank you for loving us. We respect your opinions and advice and truly are forever indebted to you. But please, and I mean this in nicest way possible, shut your mouths.
Modern 20-somethings have so many obstacles stacked against us that we’ve become stress bombs ready to explode before we can even walk across the stage to accept our college degrees. We can barely get a job, and when we do, we work 50 hours a week for $10 an hour. On the weekends, we serve at restaurants where we can’t even afford to eat.
We owe tens of thousands of dollars to that Sallie Mae (that bitch). We constantly say goodbye to our friends because they have to move back in with their parents. We watch our older peers succeed while we twiddle our thumbs and complain about the economy.
But that’s not what this is about. This is about something much more terrifying than the prospect of interning until we’re 29. There is one facet of being a 20-something millenial that is harder than student loans, jobs, goodbyes, and life choices combined.
Learning how to be an adult.
Undoubtedly, this is the most overlooked adjustment that 20-somethings have to make. Everyday we confront challenging questions and situations that cease our progress in becoming an adult. For example:
“How old is too old to be drinking boxed wine straight from the spigot?”
“Will I ever learn how much dry pasta is appropriate to dump in the pot if I want to eat just one serving of cooked pasta?”
“What the hell is business casual?”
I will not only be answering questions like this, but also tackling hard-hitting issues and providing advice. From sensitive issues like making the adjustment to wearing clothes around the house after an extended period of time living alone to time management skills like getting your laundry done in less than 13 hours. Plus I’ll provide health and career advice like how to take a nap in the workplace without your coworkers finding out.
We’re struggling through our 20s trying to figure out what we want from life and where we belong in the world while simultaneously being burdened with learning how (and more importantly, how not) to become an adult.
Let’s struggle together.