20something profile: Kevin

IMG_3015This post was written by Kevin, who is studying entrepreneurship and creative writing:

No one wants to be that old guy in the room, especially the classroom. Just recently, I transferred to the University of Rochester to finish my bachelor’s degree. At almost twenty-seven, I’m certain the majority of my fellow students thought me the professor as I walked in. (Trimmed beard, dress shirt, super handsome—I can’t blame them).

I began my college career the same time my high-school friends were finishing theirs. I was twenty-four and surrounded by eighteen-and-nineteen-year-olds (and thanks to a dual enrollment high school program, sixteen-and-seventeen-year-olds).

In my first few weeks of freshman year, I reeked of insecurity. “Out of place” is a phrase that fits well, but a better one is “Out of shape.” My brain was sluggish, my legs were tired (so much walking), and I hadn’t completed the square since high school.

Yes. My attitude could’ve been better. In fact, it got worse. The “If only’s” hooked my lip like a shiny lure of insecurity, comparing my predicament to others, blaming them all day long.

“If only I had their money.”

“If only I didn’t have to work a job.”

“If only I had a younger brain”… untainted by the Limp Bizkit craze of the late ‘90s.


Eventually, two important things clicked for me during freshman year. 1. Comparing myself to others was a waste of time. 2. (And if I wanted to be a dick about it) I could run circles around these kids in the classroom and in life.

Sure, they were hip. But I was an experienced experiencer of experience.

In my “wasted” years after high-school, I traveled the world and made music and got married. I interned and ran businesses and had fun. I did a lot. But honestly, one experience stayed with me more than all others — the ugliest experience I have — and it fuels my college career even today: minimum wage with no way out.

Minimum wage with a 50 cent raise after a year (and no way out). Talk about motivation. Suddenly, the Charlie Brown teachers spoke to me as clear as day.

Cue: angelic-epiphany-music.

Angst to Awkward to Adult

To become successful adults, we must accept the past as well as the present (one cannot exist without the other). From there we move forward, into success, or the adulthood limelight, or whatever you want to call it. So awkward, this adulthood stuff.

Here are my immutable laws. They’ve gotten me this far. Feel free to use them.

1. Accept the path you’ve been placed on

2. Recognize the path you most desire

3. Take whatever steps you need to take to get there

4. Accept responsibility for the missteps as you go

NOTICE: Never part of the equation is comparison. “If only’s” are a trap in the basement of adulthood failure (It rubs the lotion on its skin!).

I plan on graduating in 2015 with my undergraduate in entrepreneurship and creative writing. If I can handle it, I may continue and get a master’s somewhere. We’ll see.

When I finally (re)enter the job market, I know I’ll have nothing to be afraid of. I may be a little older than the “average college grad,” but that won’t stop me. It really doesn’t matter. Most social pressure is just bullshit we get from TV anyways. What matters is that you make the best with what you’ve been given, that you find the path you most desire, and that you go for it.

Don’t be fooled, my friends. EVERYTHING is up to you.


Kevin Daniel blogs at TheNumberKevin.com.

About David

I'm an aspiring writer and filmmaker in my twenties. I also run a blog where twenty-somethings share their stories and advice on beginning a career in this economy. Check it out at http://twentysomethingsblog.com

Posted on October 2, 2013, in 20something profile and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I am also an experienced experiencer of experience. So, there! Ha!

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Very inspiring.

  3. I love love love this post. Very inspiring!

  4. Reblogged this on The Number Kevin and commented:
    I’m honored to be featured on “20Somethings in 2013.” Check out their blog and give them a follow!

  5. Your youthful optimism matched with your worldly experience of what success costs will serve you well. I’m not a betting man (nor do I play one in the blogosphere), but if I were, I’d put my money on the 27-year-old with the scraggly beard and the “Shaggy” hat.

  6. When I taught freshman/sophomore Spanish while I was in grad school, my best students were the 30-year-old moms who were back in college after getting their kids off to school. It was a pleasure seeing their maturity, and their brains were not in the least rusty.

  7. I definitely think that age is just a number, and as you said, you were more prepared to go back a few years later, rather than right away as a (lost) eighteen year old. I personally see it as vital for people to take at least a year or two (if not five, six, or seven asi am doing) year off to find themselves, and gain an education outside the classroom.


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