Living life at my own instructions

At The Corner Of 20

Carrie Bradshaw kinda thing without an excessive million dollar debt in couture.

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I was asked what I saw myself doing at 25, years ago. I recited an endless list of what I wanted to do and be, but I was lacking. I was lacking an individualistic aspect of what I envisioned myself as a mid 20s woman. I saw myself walking down the aisle at 25, having an apartment in the most "it" neighborhood of San Diego, and the list goes on. I had let myself be swooned into what was expected of me by cultural and social aspects. Up until a certain point in my life, I was convinced that was going to be it for me, you know, the 'dream life'. I figured I'd finish my undergrad by 22, I'd most likely be engaged sometime after that, and I'd have a vogue wedding in the vineyards of Mexico.

And that reality was accepted by me.

I came to crash into emotional walls when I began to really think about my future. I began to ask myself what I truly wanted. What did I want? I told myself to forget about everything I had planned and to really shut everything out and be honest with myself. I had always had a thirst for adventure and challenging myself, yet, I had already conformed myself with things that reflected someone who wasn't me. I wrote down a list of things I wanted in the next five years, among them I wrote: not feeling trapped, be independent, not get a major I hated for the sake of quickness, not give up. I made the decision that if I was going to fail or succeed it would be at the result of my own doing because if the future brought good or bad I'd still be doing my own thing. I chose to live. I had to leave many things behind, I had to make people unhappy in choosing my own happiness, and I had to say no when I had always been afraid of causing discomfort. With it, I threw a dice at life and waited for it to land in the place where I would be destined to go. I was afraid, I was nervous, and at points, I felt I was gambling with my life.

I chose medicine over finance because I had never felt so purposeful as I did when I interned and saw I could change lives. I knew I had an advantage over most grads had I gone into finance because I'd go into a guaranteed job, but the moment I tasted the life of a doctor, I knew nothing would give me the almost tear-inducing emotion it gave me.

Fate threw me in the heart of San Francisco, a place, I never even considered living in. Yet, I found myself in a place very distinct from what I knew. I exchanged the lavish downtown apartment future for a small, shoe box style room. At times I wondered if the big city was consuming me at the beginning, but I came out triumphant when I mastered the art of public transportation. To that point I had accomplished many things I had once dreamed of: I was preparing myself for a future I excitedly awaited, and I was becoming independent.

At the corner of 20, my visions had changed. Yes, I have struggled a lot, maybe for the price of becoming independent in a city hundreds of miles from home, without the comfort of living in a home surrounded by a loving family, and with the fact that if I want something I have to work for it. I have cried more than I would like to admit at the fact that I don't get my way most of the time, or that life isn't as easy anymore. I've had people talk about what they think they know about me because I live in another country, people who have bet that I will lose my way and that this is just a phase. You see, I've learned that at the end of the day it is not so much about what they want to believe about me, but rather what I think of me. At the end of the day, the end of a struggle, or days I wish I could sleep more, I remind myself that I am living the life I want to live, and I am proud of myself for that.

I had to make sacrifices that at the moment made me doubt myself. I was going to lose time with my parents, siblings, watch my younger brother's transition into high school, and reduce seeing my best friends from weekly to a few times a year. I had to redirect my current life into not the easy path, but rather the one that would lead me to personal growth. At 25 I no longer saw myself in a white dress, I saw myself in a white coat. My 20s were no longer programmed to becoming another person in a bitter job, conforming for the fear of jumping into the complete unknown. If you ask me now, what I see myself doing in my 20s I'll tell you I have no idea. I have no set schedule for anything, but I am continuing a steady road. Ultimately, that's one of the most important things: fall, run, cry, laugh, whatever you want, but don't stop walking. The destination is there, but the key lies in how you travel the road.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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Summer And Jobs

Working summers doesn't have to be tedious.

Aasayed
Aasayed
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Like many other college students, I was ready for summer but was kinda bummed that I had to work. Its not that I didn't like where I was working, I actually was really lucky to be working in a hospital environment but I just hated being alone all summer from 9-5. I've had this job for a few years now and a few other paid interns came and went but I never really connected with any of them. This year is different though.

I got really lucky to have another intern work with me that was very similar to me. The tasks we got were always simple but they were made to be more fun because I got to do them while talking with someone else. Now I actually enjoy and look forward to going to work.

The key to finding a good job is finding one that you enjoy doing and one that will help you gain knowledge that will help you out with future career plans. Working with friends also make tasks enjoyable! I would be careful with working with your friend however because if your job needs you to be serious and focused, being around your best friends may distract you from that.

Another thing that definitely makes summer jobs more enjoyable are taking breaks! It is your summer vacation after all! I'm not saying don't take a day off just to sit around, but if you make plans with family and friends, take a Friday off and enjoy the warm weather and good company! Employers understand that us college students and on break and have lives, they are usually very lenient with days off!

If you have to do a summer job to make money to live off of or pay for college, the best thing to do is look at the big picture. If you don't enjoy your job but can't afford to quit, remember that the money if going to help you out a lot. Also, this job is probably only for the summer right? So it's not permanent my friend! Get through these annoying few weeks and you will be back at college, taking steps for a bigger and brighter future.

Summer jobs are tough, I know, but make the most of it! And don't forget to enjoy it whenever you can!!!

Aasayed
Aasayed

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