I’m out in these streets… confused. As we all are, I presume.
Post-grad life can feel a lot like regression. Suddenly you have your “freedom”, but really it is a limited freedom weighted down by responsibilities. No matter how independent you are, there is no way in which you are completely prepared for post-grad life. High school and college doesn’t teach you life skills like how to live without life insurance and how to pay your taxes. And no matter how many nostalgic adults are telling you that it is all downhill from here, you tend to be optimistic and not believe them.
No one can really fully prepares you for your individualized emotional reaction to life after school. You may go through withdrawal and denial. It is important to remember that this is a major life change and your mental health can shift with the change. You will need to find yourself another support system because after 4 years of having all your friends in one place, it will be difficult not seeing them as often.
It is OK to feel like a mess. In your 20’s, everyone seems to be at different points in their lives. Maybe you live at home while your friend has an apartment. Maybe your coworkers are all married with kids. Maybe you have quite a few friends getting engaged while you are single af. Maybe you are still figuring out if you even want kids while some of your friends already have some. Ask any one of these 20-somethings and I’m sure you’ll find that their lives are messes beyond the surface.
You could be like me in which I feel my life has regressed, not progressed since graduation to the point that I feel I am back in high school. It is reminiscent of all those movies in which the protagonist has to live the day over in order to break the cycle of their past mistakes. But the perks of being in “high school” is the drama and intrigue. Remember the innocence of having crushes and discovering mutual attractions? Or the nascent nature of the beginning of something new. Imagine the rush of listening in on some gossip. Can we take all the good parts of high school with us wherever we progress in life?
You may not know what you want out of life. It’s possible to have a few blueprints and to-do lists. Still, life is unpredictable. That is what is so scary and magnificent about it. It is hard to enjoy yourself in your 20’s when you are perpetually confused, but let the confusion wash over you and accept it. Don’t forget to wander aimlessly and just maybe you will happen upon some clarity.