A lifestyle blog all about Birmingham, UK.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

nearly 20 = early life crisis?!

Earlier, me and my friend were discussing what it is like being 20 (I know I am not actually 20 yet but I'm only 3 weeks off so yeah) and it's actually a very, VERY confusing age.

Why? Because at the dear old age of 20 years old, everyone's all over the place. Half of the people I went to school with are having children or getting married, which, well fair play to them if that's what they want to do! 

But, the other half, well what the hell are we doing? The vast majority, if single, are probably swiping left (constantly) on Tinder and if in a relationship probably thinking, oh god what's the next step at this age?! Because the thing about being 20 is, you're only just 'not a teenager' and you're probably not in a successful career and financially stable, so you probably aren't living in a swanky apartment, you're probably still living at home with your parents. 

So although you would think, at 20, you would be completely free to do what you want as you're an 'adult', that's not really true when you've still got rules and regulations in your home and possibly still getting nagged by family members like you're 14. 

So how should a 20 year old even act? If they haven't found the person they want to spend the rest of their lives with OR have decided to hold back on the whole baby thing?! I DON'T KNOW - if you have the answers, please step forward.

I have found, well where I'm from, is that the people who haven't settled down with someone or living in a place by themselves are the people who have moved away for university, which is obviously what I did. And it's for these 'university move away-ers' who probably find this '20 year old' stage most difficult. As, chances are, you'll make friends and get in relationships with people from different parts of the country and, these relationships built with people will eventually become a little loose. Don't get me wrong, I know I'll stay in touch with many people I have met whilst being at university, but that's not the point I'm making - the point I'm making is, the vast majority of these people you've built these relationships with will eventually move away from you at some point - making it incredibly difficult whilst being away at university to be able to 'settle down' and have these almost 'adulty' lifestyles than the people back home, the same age as you, seem to be having.

And it's so difficult to settle down whilst being a university 'move-away-er' because, well, you never seem to know what your next step is. If you're in a similar situation as me, about to go into your final year of your degree, then you don't KNOW what you'll be doing even this time next year, where you'll be moving to and what your plans are. So it's a little difficult to put solid labels on all your kinds of relationships at university as, well, what about if you have to cut them loose for your future plans?

See, they don't tell you about this kind of thing when applying for university - they tell you it'll be the best years of your life blah blah which, yes it is, I will never regret my decision for moving away for university, it's moulded me into a person I could have no way have become if I had stayed in my hometown - but they don't tell you that you'll have to really think about the majority of the decisions you make whilst being away because you have to constantly think about life after university when the fun and games are all over and it's time to be let loose into a real working world. See, whatever choices you make can affect your plans after your 3/4 years of studying/having a great time. 

A brief example, I did have a relationship in my second year in Liverpool. Don't get me wrong, I completely adored the boy and was gutted when it ended, but, thinking about it, well it's very most likely it would have ended after university anyway, we lived in completely different parts of the country and we probably would have had to move away for work or something like that to an even more different part of the country/world at some point wouldn't we?! Because in the university lifestyle, it's difficult to plan a life together when you don't even know your plans for next week.

Now, I know many people who have managed to keep all sorts of relationships after university and I really do take my hat off to them because it can't be incredibly easy, surely. But from my point of view, this is the way I see it. I also have friends at university who have partners back home and it works well for them. But I guess as someone who doesn't, I can't help but see this awkward '20 year old' stage in this light - we're still so young yet expected to act like adults but we can't even plan incredibly in advance because you don't really have a clue what you'll be doing, some don't even know WHAT they want to do! I also understand that you don't have to be 'in a relationship' to be considered as an adult but i'm sure you can sense my general vibe here.

But, you know what, I like my 'I-don't-know-what's-coming-next-am-I-having-an-'early life'-crisis, because I enjoy not knowing what's next. It can be pretty scary and sometimes I freak out a bit but it's pretty fun, not knowing what's coming and what opportunities may come my way, like it's pretty cool really. It's also pretty cool how many different kinds of 'being 20' there are - and I think that's the thing about your early 20's - after that age, will you ever meet loads of different types of people again, where your one friend is travelling Asia, the other one's wedding day is next week, the other one is on his ninth pint in the pub and the other one has just decided to go to university? 

So actually, it seems that being 20 is actually a great age for me because it suits me and the whole 'confusing' side of it is actually my favourite part.


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