22

I can confidently say Jodi Picoult is my favorite author, blue is my favorite color, and that I will eat pizza for every meal with excitement. Now you may be surprised, but these things took me a while to figure out. I had to read many books and genres to realize that Jodi Picoult’s novels were what I enjoyed most. Similarly I went through every color in the rainbow saying orange, purple, or yellow were my favorite color, when in reality I was just saying that because it was a Monday or it was my best friend’s favorite color. Pizza, well who doesn’t love pizza, enough said. Now as a senior in college, a few weeks away from graduating and entering what people continue to tell me is the “real world” (making me question what world I live in now) I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I would like to think that just like my favorite books, food, and color, I can explore and find where I belong, yet society does not welcome us to this idea. My parents continue to push me to follow in their footsteps and I look around at my friends who know exactly what they want to be and have their plans all mapped out and I am in awe. It isn’t that I don’t have ideas, but I feel pressured as a 22 year old to make a firm decision on what I want to do for the rest of my life, when currently I still have to ask to go to the bathroom in some of my classes and I struggle to put Ikea furniture together. I would love to travel the world, to write a book, to teach English abroad for a year; however, none of these leave room for the growing up that is supposed to take place after I graduate.  I continually ask myself and my fellow soon to be college graduates why? Why do we need to decide at this moment who and what we want to be? At the age of 22 our brains are not even fully developed yet and most of us live on a diet of cereal and eggs. I find this concerning, but also invigorating to see people living in the moment, putting reality on hold for four years. My parents have told me that I should enjoy college because it is the best years of my life, yet I often feel a sense of sadness when I hear this statement, question why the best is not yet to come. I believe we are at the beginning of figuring out who and what we want to be, most of us earning a degree in what we love then pushed out into society with a pat on the back and a good luck. As a student-athlete in college, I had little time for internships and jobs, limiting my ability to explore and see what I like and what I do not. I believe that as college graduates most of us have not met our potential, that we have learned, but now it is our chance to learn by doing. I am not saying jobs are not important and careers are bad news, but I am saying that at 22 we should not have to decide these things. Like finding a good author, our future should be explored, tested, and then determined. My teacher once told me in order to find out what kind of books you like, you must first read different authors, genres, plays, and poetry, because only then are you opening your eyes to everything. I believe I have only seen college, one small aspect of my life, and now it is time for me to continue exploring, to not settle down, to continue searching and testing what is out there. As a part of the millenial generation, I can say confidently that we are smart, we are prepared, and we are curious. As any good thing, it will take time for us to show the world our potential, but if we are forced and put under pressure to decide now, our growth will be stunted. So for now, I am okay with not knowing what I want to do forever, because when I do figure it out one day, it will be a decision brought on by experience and knowledge, not a decision made to please my parents or people around me.

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2 thoughts on “22

  1. rzaidi01

    Congrats on graduating (soon)! As someone who graduated last year let me welcome you to the world of post college life. Biggest piece of advice I can give you, just take it one day at a time. Adult life is hard (I honestly don’t know why we were all so excited on growing up) but I can say is that this is the time where you are in charge of your life and it’s up to you whether you want to make turn a negative into a positive. Good luck 🙂

    Reply

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