Throughout my life, I have been a young person, and I have had little reason to change that. Why would I want to? Being young, being free from the shackles of responsibility, has been ideal really. After all, at 20, I have only known what it is like to be a young person, a student, and a dependent. In my infinite wisdom, I blindly assumed my youth and university experience would last forever. However, I have since been informed by my fellow third-year students that we do get old and as far as Uni is concerned, the end is nigh.
After weeks of regular, late-night existential crises, it dawned on me that there might actually be something beyond the age of twenty-one. I am not sure what yet, but there is something. There have been rumours of these creatures that exist between my age and the ancients (my parents) but it just could not be possible to function after graduating. Do they stay in education forever and pile on degrees like the food at an all you can eat buffet? Do they go and see the world or… or get a job?
DUH DUH DUH
Finishing university provides so many choices and paths for a person to move forward. Choice is a brilliant thing and the control to do anything with your life is wonderful when those choices are on the horizon. One day, the horizon seemed exciting with so much time to plan my landing. I blinked and the horizon is drawing ever closer and I can see the rocky shore. If I do not make a decision soon on my direction, we are looking at a sinking vessel with me, the captain, solemnly going down with his ship.
“Time is extremely valuable and I prefer to waste it” – Kanye West
URGH. There are just so many directions with finite time and resources; I am not young forever and I cannot afford, financially, to do nothing at all. The winds of time are pushing me forward, while I am at the back of the boat trying to drag it backwards to the land of 10p Fredos and GCSE classes. Those are words I never thought I would write, but I am in uncharted waters and the security of school reminds me of calmer waters. The boat will not be turned around, it cannot.
Where are we going?
Like many of the people on board HMS third-year, I am struggling to enjoy the university ride without any real direction beyond; forward, older and into work. University, of course, represents a chance to map out the kind of person and career you may want to have, but it can often be forgotten that some people are happy exactly where they are. As such, transitioning through stages of life can be painful and disillusioning. I often have wondered why I have worked so hard to be surrounded by people I consider friends and opportunities to explore the sea of life around me. Together. I suppose what I am experiencing is a fear of isolation, not just from the people around me but from the curiosity to explore all the life around me that I can only experience now.
But this is life.
Life goes on, and has always gone, and going between unknowns is par for the course. You’re not nineteen forever after all. Despite my anxieties, I know deep down getting older does not directly translate to missed opportunities or isolation, choices still remain. As much life does not slow down, it is important to remember we can take time to make our decisions on what we want to do, not what we have to. Age comes with responsibility, yes, but part of that responsibility, I believe, is to remember life is to be lived remembering the wide-eyes we had as kids.