Saturday 10 June 2017

The Pressures of Being Twenty-Something

I struggle daily with the pressure of now being an "adult".

Since leaving school at the age of 18, I've stumbled through adulting a little bit like a fish out of water. The transition from being a teenager to growing into an adult is a difficult one. It got worse a year ago (almost to the day) when I moved out of my childhood home.
After living in the same house for 22 years, I flew the nest to move into a tiny one-bedroom bungalow in the middle of nowhere. No neighbours. No street lights. No noise. Nothing. But it's lovely :)

Now, I say adulting got worse but obviously it has it's pros and cons. If I want chicken nuggets for dinner? Cool, there's no proper adults around to tell me off. I want friends over 'til 3am? Fine, I'm not keeping anyone awake. BUT; and it's a big one - there's the daunting task of adulting. The term 'adulting' covers a whole array of things. Living at home, yeah I had to pay a little bit of rent, do some washing, buy some food - I was relatively independent. But now it's a whole different story. Paying rent, bills, council tax and insurance is one thing, and having to cook, clean and fix things when they break is another.

But my issue here (and I'll stop waffling now) is the INSANE pressures that us twenty-something year olds are exposed to. Now, I'm not saying no-one else before us has had these struggles, but the expectations of our generation is overwhelming. We are expected from the age of about 13/14 when we choose our GCSE options to have a career path decided on and planned out. Then aged 16, you're expected to know what you're going to study at university, regardless of whether you actually decided to go or not. And by now, aged 23, you're expected to be in a high-flying career, earning 30k+ and receiving promotion after promotion. To those of you who ARE achieving this, I'm pleased for you, I really am. But the majority of us aren't. And that's okay too!

As if anything to do with money wasn't already confusing/stressful enough, you're then expected to be able to pay for rent WHILST saving for a mortgage. Which unless you're doing very very well in life is a bit tricky. Being asked "oh, you don't own a property yet?" or "isn't it about time you had a mortgage?" is utterly soul destroying for us average kiddos who are just trying their best. Muddling along in a job they don't especially like, not necessarily doing things they'd like to do, saying no to that dinner out with your friends to do house chores and save pennies...

Now I know you'll say "well, that's the way life goes!" and I get that. I really do.

I don't know about you, but in my head, I still feel like I'm my 14-year-old self (which doesn't bode well for doing the whole adulting thing) and this poses some real issues when in reality, I'm 23. I often feel like I'm not doing very well at being an adult, but then I go on to debate with myself. I also feel that WAY too much is expected of us twenty-something year olds. No disrespect to my lovely parents and the generations before, but I feel like maybe they had it a bit easier than we do. It was easier to get on the property ladder. The economy was in a better place. The cost of higher education was a million miles away from where it is now. The internet has been a blessing for us, but it's also a curse for adding yet even MORE pressures onto us.

However this is not a post to bash the previous generations. Everyone has their struggles. It's merely an opportunity to voice my opinion that I think we, the twenty-somethings, are doing alright.

Chin up, friends- we'll get there. 💓


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