Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Twenty-Something

I have read a lot of articles lately that talk about the struggles that everybody has in their twenties. The majority of these stories have been written by people retrospectively and, in essence, they tell us that it 'all works out in the end'.

While that is comforting to know, I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject as actually being a twenty-something (and trying to avoid a quarter-life crisis).

As a millennial, I know that the likelihood of me being able to buy a house any time soon is unlikely, I also know that jobs don't pay as much comparatively and life is generally just a bit harder than it was for the Baby-Boomers.

If you had asked me 10 years ago where I would be now, I would probably have said i'd have a high-flying career and own a house on the outskirts of the city with my husband. This hasn't happened.

My thoughts 10 years ago were a reflection of my parent's lives and what they were doing in their twenties. It was always a time I had looked forward to; freedom, independence and my own space. I believed that this is the point when I would have it all figured out.

Now that the time is upon me, this is what I do have:
- A fairly useless University Degree
- A lovely little rented flat
- A boyfriend
- A new job
- Lots of student debt

Okay so, maybe not that different from what I had thought. I still have my independence, my own space and someone to share my life with. The difference is, I really don't feel like I have it all figured out, and that's okay.

As I have written about previously, going to University was hard for me. I didn't get much financial assistance, which lead to stress and debt. I found that I was a goldfish in a Sea full of sharks and suddenly, I was not so sure of myself.

After graduating University, I found myself a nice little office 9-5. I enjoyed it for a while, then I was promoted and enjoyed it for a little while longer. Then it came to a point where I needed a change. I left for a job in a completely new industry after being sold 'The Dream' in an interview.

On day 1 of my new job, I knew something wasn't right. I thought it would all work out in the end and talked myself into giving it time. By week 3, the stress of hating the role (and the company) was making me physically sick and I knew I had to leave. FUCK. I had just started a tenancy on a flat with my boyfriend (who would be unable to support both of us) and now, I didn't have a job.

The weight that had been lifted from leaving the job suddenly came crashing back down. Reality is a bitch. I had a little bit of savings but knew that I wouldn't be able to survive on that for long. This is where the crisis kicked in. What have I done? Why did I leave my old job? Maybe I should try and go back? WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?! I think that these are they types of key moments that people talk about in their terrible twenties. It's that time where every decision you make feels like it is going to affect the rest of your life and we don't yet have enough life experience to handle these pressures.

A couple of weeks down the line and I have pretty much managed to sort my life out. Through the support of my friends and family I have got back on my feet and I'm trying to calmly navigate the situation. It's still going to be a tough couple of months but I know that I need to go through it to come out the other side. These circumstances that at first seem so terrifying are actually the ones that make us who we are.

After speaking to other people, I found that this had happened to almost all of them at some point in their life. They had all got new jobs that didn't work out and had to leave, thus leaving them in financial turmoil. If they can get through it, so can we!

So there's my 2 cents on the topic. I would love to hear about your life experiences in the comments so please feel free to write below!

Thanks for reading.