Tag Archives: college

The Early 20’s Minefield.

18 Oct

Yes, yes, I get it. You’re in your final years of uni and despite what your parents, lecturers and employers seem to think, you’re battling though a first-world mine field of opportunity, anxiety, deadlines, bankruptcy and uncertainty. You’re put to the challenge of juggling an ensemble of important commitments and choices, all of which are relevant to your personal and professional development as a young human being.

You endeavor to find that delicate balance between holding down a thankless part time job  (or two) , meeting relentless assignment due dates, committing to countless, seemingly fruitless unpaid internships, maintaining a healthy social life (aka fitting in as many student pub nights as your schedule will permit), as well as finding some time to squeeze in those other things you love in your life, such as fitness, relaxation, dinner with family, chores, weekend getaways, quality time with the girls, or heaven forbid – a boyfriend.

I can proudly say I conquered each of the above with great success, but this isn’t to say there weren’t hours, days, even weeks, when I didn’t collapse into a heap in a fit of frustration, engulfed by an overwhelming sense of defeat, telling myself how no one seems to understand how hard it is being 22! I would wonder when the sparks I was sending off in all directions would come together and finally create a dazzling fireworks show I could be proud of.  And my toxic frustration slowly began to seep into the way I perceived the all good things happening in my life.

Now at 26, with just four eventful years up my sleeve, self-esteem in tact, a stable income, a stimulating full time job, a solid friendship group , a healthy work / life balance (including plenty of down time, exercise, dinners out, bottles of wine and trips to the beach), and I can quite confidently say that without having navigated my way through the minefield of challenges put forth during my misshapen, over-committed, action-packed, uncertain university years, I would not be the capable and level-headed person I am just four years down the track.

Looking back, I still feel it wrong to discredit those “lapping up a booze-fuelled uni life of no commitments or responsibility”. Those years were new, important and tricky. They required dedication, agility, resilience, flexibility and positivity. They lacked the structure of a “nine to five” work week, which (despite sounding mundane) holds direction, job security, routine, income and still leaves time for the good things in life. I think this stable monotony is underestimated for its ability to keep one’s head above water, despite the common woes faced in the average workplace.

So in a shout-out to those blindly feeling their way through their “infant 20’s” – don’t beat yourself up when a ball or two drops and you nearly loose the lot; it was hard, it is hard, it does get easier!