20something profile: Anna

This post was written by Anna, a 21-year-old college student:

One time, Macklemore said, “Thirty’s the new twenty because twenty-five-year-olds seem ten.”

I never thought of it that way, but once it was said, I really couldn’t disagree. It may be because I’m entering further into my twenties and leaving my teenage years behind, or perhaps it’s the near future of pure adulthood looming in the not-so-far distance. But either way, I’ve never felt more unknowing.

I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. And I’m really not afraid to admit it.

Throughout school as a kid, I always watched my brother write, and my teachers told me I had a good writing style, so I coasted through school thinking I would somehow, some way end up writing. I figured journalism would be the right track, so why not go to one of the best schools in the country for journalism?

But as fate would have it, I wouldn’t be able to do that.

So I settled for an English major. Nothing bad, I would still be able to read and write, which was what I wanted. I started taking all these classes about literature and learning theorists like Althusser and Lisa Lowe. It was interesting and engaging, but I had to force myself to do it.

I think that’s how a lot of college-age students feel. They have to force themselves to do the assigned homework; they have to force themselves to go to class. A lot of students have been taught to hate school. But in fact, a lot of us love learning.

Learning and school are different. We learn what we love and what we hope to do for the rest of our lives. The rest is schooling. We take classes that the university or college says will make us well-rounded individuals. But I think it just makes us bitter.

But taking all these classes that I want to and even the ones I don’t, life seems to stall for a bit. Your college years will be the quickest four of your life, but when you’re living them, they seem to drag on.

It’s a waiting period. A transitional period, if you will. You wait for your life to begin, so you can start what you really want to do — your career.

Your twenties are for being a child but also an adult. You go into college (and your twenties) knowing what you want, but you come out a few years later more confused than ever.

College makes you so career-focused that you forget you’re supposed to live. You forget that the twenties are times to make mistakes and that no one knows what they’re doing, but everyone is trying so hard to look like they do.

We’re all really just ten-year-olds trying to pass as twenty-somethings. So how are we supposed to decide our career when we can’t decide what we even want to do?

Check out Anna’s blog Thoughts of a 21-year-old

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 April 21, 2014, in 20something profile and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hey Ana,

    Thanks for sharing with the honesty.. You may want to check out a book called The Defining Years by Meg Jay. She really looks at how important the 20’s actually are and that we do about 80% of our development in our 20’s..

    All the best and would love to see what you decide to end up doing 🙂

  2. I really love this post. I think this actually voices what a lot of people are afraid to say out loud to their friends.

    When we transition from high school to university/college, we think we can learn for another 4 more years, because we have been learning for most of our lives. But (most of us) are learning with the goal of getting a good career. Schools are there to teach us things, and they can be vastly different from what our careers will look like. Some people go on to become very specialized, but say, if you were a major in Medieval History, could you really get a specialized career with just a bachelors? There’s a lot of pressure too since you have to pay for your own schooling, at least where I’m from.

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