An open letter to every 20-something struggling to find their place
Being in your early 20s is straight-up awkward. You are forever in flux. Every day you are battling the constant desire to go back to your carefree childhood days while also daydreaming about your secure (and seemingly glamorous) future. Basically, you’re either reminiscing about the past or hoping for the future. Talk about complicated.
You’re balancing on a tightrope – not quite a full-blown adult but far from being a child. Your independence is put into question on a daily basis, as you convince yourself you are out there on your own but realize that you are helpless when it comes to oil changes and 401ks. Most people title their middle-school days as the awkward time of their life. But those awkward years are right now, too.
But there is no need to fear. Hundreds of people are in the same boat as you. I have three words for you: You got this. It is easy to get discouraged. There’s no shortage of bad news, no shortage of jobs you can apply for. It’s hard to see the end. But I promise, it’s all going to come together.
Many of us have heard that cliché expression, “If you believe it, you can achieve it.” Well, this expression rings true right now. Believing that you are not only capable and competent but worthy of success is more critical than ever. Comparing your frustrations to the successes of others is your ultimate downfall. Don’t do it. Don’t go on a LinkedIn binge and look at the amazing internships that your career crush landed. Your college life is about counting memories and experiences, not resume bullets.
How do you combat this strange funk? Be proactive. Research, research, research. Figure out who you are and what you want your life to entail – then go for it.
Don’t shy away from opportunity, no matter how big or small. See every experience, from a part-time job at a children’s clothing store to the unpaid internship, as an opportunity to prove your worth. Understand that from here on, you are constantly on trial proving to the world that you were right all along.
Don’t get stuck trying to prove others wrong; work on proving yourself right. And if you get lost along the way, remember that it’s going to be OK. It’s a temporary thing, this funk. You’ll work your way out of it. In the meantime, look to your friends and family, take a deep breath, and keep going.
Amanda Garrity is a cat-obsessed, entertainment junkie who aspires to work at an entertainment magazine after she graduates from Elon University in May 2016. In her free time, she can be found writing articles for her campus magazine, The Edge, analyzing the drama of One Direction and daydreaming about moving to London. Oh, and eating lots of chocolate. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram.
[Image via Comedy Central]