These Are Our Early 20s
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Politics and Activism

These Are Our Early 20s

Our 20s is actually the scary monster in our closets we were so afraid of when we were young.

These Are Our Early 20s

Every time I think about it, it baffles me that my birthday is coming around again. To add salt to the wound, it feels like I just turned 21 so the reality of turning 22 already is hard to bear. Similar to turning 21 last December, I assume that the anticipation of turning 22 has its perks but being the wonderfully bubbly and pessimistic girl I am, there are more downsides than upsides.

For starters, I feel like there's an unspoken rule of thumb that comes with turning twenty-two and it's this: with the change of one number in our age, you're required to suddenly know the in's and out's of being an adult. Not only did this only unspoken rule give me the goosebumps, there's a giant burden hovering over my head now and I have zero clue on how to approach it.

Take the concept of "responsibility" for instance. I personally feel like the responsibilities we're expected to carry throughout our early 20s change drastically every year. When you're 21, to me it feels like the outside world automatically assumes you're still in college, making a mockery of the "real world" and staying out just long enough to catch the sunrise. While this is true, being (or turning) 22 comes with an entirely new set of requirements. This time around, just with the change of a number, you're expected to know what field of work you'll be pursuing, how much of an income you'll be bringing in and bulletproof answers to questions your extended family has for you. As a result of the change of this one number, you suddenly feel lost, or at least I do. I believe that with turning 22 and having this newfound concept of responsibility hanging over one's head, comes the fear of being average.

Mediocrity in our early 20s is the new black and it's not a good thing.

For as long as I can remember, I've always been average at best in most things. I never took this fact to heart until only recently and it's mostly due to the fact that I'm in a state of a rut and don't quite know how to escape it and if there's one thing I'd love to do, it's to escape it. Turning 22 gave my sense of mediocrity a whole new meaning and I never really knew what to do with it until this summer. You think to yourself, "I've been pushed to do my very best up until now, so why did I stop?" and thinking even further back to our grade school days where our parents would force us to memorize our multiplication tables and our teachers gave us extra study sheets to practice on, it stopped because we had to learn how to hold our own hands. Mediocrity only became a driving force in our lives because we got to an age where it wasn't appropriate to have others hold our hands - that age being our early 20s.

As cliche as it is to say, to even write out, our 20s are all about experimentation, trial and error and learning from our mistakes but it's a lot easier said than done. I guess it took the change of one number in our ages to teach us this.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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