Unraveling life as a 20-something.

Being a 20-something can be very challenging. Having to deal with various challenges and situations in life is no child’s play. The pressure is enough to overwhelm or cripple anyone. As a 20-something myself, I have sometimes looked at life and questioned a lot of things. I have asked questions such as do I have to go to school? Why am I insecure about some specific issues? How do I take care of myself? How do I choose the path that would lead me to become a more independent adult?

the pressure of being a 20-something and figuring life

One major challenge that most 20-somethings face is mental and emotional stress. This stress is associated with being an adult; sometimes, they have to deal with body change, loss, grief, anxiety, stress. Many 20-somethings are looking forward to achieving self-dependency and financial stability. Whether this pressure is from home or the society, it is something that gets most 20-somethings worried and all these worries can sabotage productivity.

I discovered that a significant number of 20-somethings do not necessarily know what they want to do with their life after getting a degree. Others that have clarity are still very confused and worried about how they are going to achieve their dreams. Personally, when I was much younger I had the answer to everything and felt everything was easy to get but as time passed by, I began to understand better. If everything was easy to get, we would all have want we want, when we want it. In respect to knowing what to do with life and finding a path, passion should be the focus rather than the job title or income gotten from a job or business. Do a deep dive and ask yourself what you aim to achieve with that passion.

Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart._Roy T. Bennett

As humans, we grow and evolve; consequently, our dreams and ambition might change one way or the other. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have abandoned your dreams. It mostly interprets to growth. I can boldly argue that a lot of 20-somethings do not have the plan their lives figured out. They might not tell you this, they may portray a very different part of their struggle, but believe me, most of them do not necessarily know what to do with their lives and it’s okay not to have answers to everything at once.

It is 100 percent okay to not have everything figured out. The school does not necessarily prepare us for life lessons and that’s the truth. It only gives us a platform that helps prepare us for life. Sometimes it seems like some very talented set of people have got everything figured out right? They have got a plan and they stick by their plan. While for some, they just sort of keep dabbling into things, until they decide to stay with the choice that captivates them. There is no-one way to this life and so understand that even if you have to adopt trial and error to achieve your dreams, you should!

One thing that is very important in all of these is that you shouldn’t compare yourself with anyone. Oh! I’m 22 and I don’t know what to do with my life. My friend has got everything figured out why don’t I? Trust me, they don’t! it only appears as if they do. Ask yourself, what is it I’m good at? What do I have passion for? Please don’t say you are passionless. Everyone has one thing they love doing and so you must ask yourself if you are willing to use that passion of yours to achieve your purpose and objective in life.

Do all the good you can, for all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as you can_ Hillary Clinton.

 

why is being a 20-something so complicated?

 

Even if your passion is to watch tv all day or to play games. Have you thought about how to make money from it? Is your passion food? You don’t have to know how to cook before having a passion for food or before you begin to make money from it. Have you considered eating to make a living? Or having a photography cookbook or just plainly taking pictures of food? I sometimes listen to people say I just want to change and touch lives. So many 20-somethings are very ambitious, which is good. They have big dreams and desires. Sometimes it’s just a phase thing and it eventually wears-off with age but for some, it’s an integral part of their biological composition. Changing lives can be simple yet difficult. What medium do you want to use to change lives? Clothes change lives. Whether it be luxurious or just normal everyday clothes, they still change lives. What set of people do you want to touch? In making this decision, it’s important to note that touching lives do not necessarily have to be designed for the needy. Rich people also need their lives to be touched. Focus on your passion and ensure that whatever you choose to do, you can change lives no matter how little it may seem.

Leaving the issue of finding a path, let’s talk about 20-somethings and their emotions. How does one deal with one’s emotions in situations? Why do we get to feel things deeply? Why is the world built in a way that favors some particular people over others in the society? I think one very major issue 20 somethings go through is that of identity. A lot of 20-somethings are going through what I call an astronomical identity crisis. The 20-something stage is a phase in between being a teen and growing up to be an adult. It’s a period when one adjusts from not so serious issues to having to deal with very serious situations as a young growing adult.

The twenties are somewhat like a foundation that would determine the remaining days of one’s life. It is at this stage you get to make friends, where you get to finish most of your formal education, you get to experiment with leaving home and maybe coming back home as well, you work towards being financially independent, make meaningful relationships, friendships, and connections. Now, the thing is, whichever you decide to achieve first, don’t make it into an obsession. In place of that, focus on your happiness and self-fulfillment.

Accept yourself, love yorself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down._Roy T. Bennett.

What is an identity crisis?

An identity crisis is a phenomenon where the quantities of looks, beliefs, and personality that makes up a person brings about insecurity, uncertainty, and confusion. This is mostly triggered by the kind of society we are a part of. Society dictates what one should do and how to do it. These societal dictators are everywhere; they are in the religious houses, they are in schools, they are in our political systems, they are board members of corporations, they are on our Tv, they are members of our families and some of our friends. The truth is, everyone experiences an identity crisis at one time or the other. Consequently, resulting to the increase in young adults who feel like they don’t fit in.  This, in every way, defeats the theory that humans are born with free will. From the time a child is born, the parents are already picking the color of the room most likely based on the gender of the child. The child is told how to act or how not to.

We get to hear “You should dress this certain way” “No! you should see to it that your hair is this particular way”, or “this is the way a lady should behave and a man shouldn’t do this or that”. The existing social construct is what puts so much pressure on so many 20-somethings. I’m not saying that 20- somethings should just be left to do whatever they choose. However, parents and guardians should learn to put more trust in their 20 somethings hoping that they have been guided well enough over the years to act like responsible adults.

Identity crisis is a much bigger problem today because many people are oblivious to its existence. Naturally, 20-somethings  want to explore and discover new things but there is still this gigantic pressure on them to quickly fit in to adult life. The reality of this situation is in the fact that young adults are faced with tackling the world from the perception of their parents, from the perception of every other person they find interest in and even from that of strangers. There was a time when I was obsessed with tattoos and piercings. I would see tattoos on people and I wouldn’t stop admiring. I fantasized about getting one but refused to do it because of the conservative society I was part of. In a typical African society getting tattoos or several piercings is regarded as being wild and outlandish.

20-something and still figuring life out
Steps for decision making.

 

Decision making.

The Decision-making process for 20-somethings is a tasking process and even so, studies have shown that the process of decision making is different in the early 20s and late 20s when compared side by side. Certain things are put into serious consideration before making any decision for the 20-somethings. Many 20-somethings are very sensitive to criticism, they fret more than they should about the opinion of others. Let’s talk about the issue of love and relationship, most 20-somethings have at one time or the other worried about their love life. Am I  ready? Am I making the right decision with this person? Why Is forever something I should think about at this stage of my life? What characteristics am I looking for in a partner or friend? What kind of relationship am I looking for? We have now even begun to see a higher percentage of 20-somethings making decisions as to why they do not see themselves marrying at all or why marriage might not be an option for them.

Nobody told me adulthood was going to be like this.

I have heard this several times and each time I hear It, I look back at the time when I could not wait to be an adult. Whenever I got asked my age, I would end up adding two to four years to my real age because I couldn’t wait to be all grown up and it seemed like it was taking longer than normal. I know many 20-somethings that had to grow faster than their age because responsibilities fell on them. Unlike their mates, they were faced with the responsibility of taking care of their families. Some have had to start to pay rent and other utility bills very early in life, many have had to sponsor their education themselves. Consequently, the pressure on them surpassed those of their mates. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the world we live in.

At this end, there is no manual to life neither is there any assurance that whatever life tool adopted will bring about a specific result for a specific circumstance. It is important to remember that you are first a human being before any other thing else and therefore your goal should be happiness before any other thing else. Pursue your happiness and go for your passion and in your journey of finding self-fulfillment and purpose in life, remember not to lose yourself.

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18 Comments

  1. Babe your write up is inspiring and very educative, you have already touched almost all the issues. I, as a 20somethig, I think I fall into the category of those that are faced with the challenges of taking care of myself and my siblings and this makes this stage very stressful. Lulu, it is not easy to be the firstborn. In all, I have learned a lot.

    • Thank you, Jide. Yes! I tried to touch some very important categories but in order for me to touch all the parts, I might need to make the article a series. I must commend you for being strong and taking responsibility at a very young age. I know it’s a lot to handle. Well done!

  2. Ibrahim

    Nice, I clocked 20 two months ago, though I have been thinking like a 30 something since my late teens, financial dependence is one of our major goals in the twenties, and it’s not easy living with parents with different perceptions from yours, we just have to keep pushing.

    BTW, this write up is great!

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