The speed bump in your twenties

College years have been the best time to be alive, and probably will continue to be. You close the chapter of high school and move forward to the next. Sure, there’s more chapters to come but there’s something about the college years, and being in your mid-twenties that I believe is probably the best years and will be the best years of my life and I know several people agree. You’re young and seeing the world in new eyes. You’re meeting people from all over the world, and being taken out of your comfort zone. You’re in the most crucial time of finding yourself and where you belong. Staying out too late on Thursday nights, and ordering a large greasy pizza from the local pizza place will never feel so casual cause you’ll wake up the next day and just roll yourself out of bed to class looking like a bus hit you, and 85% of the time, so will everyone else. You’ll never feel so young and alive like you will in those college years, and that’s awesome that we get to live it. So much to learn that we actually want to learn, at least half the time (curse gen-eds) and you are making choices solely based on YOU.

Although all this is so exciting and new and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else but at Iowa State, living my life here, no one tells you how hard that speed bump when you’re ACTUALLY finding yourself is. Who am I? Is this really what I want to study? Do I really want to stay at this school for four years? Should I go to graduate school? Am I even good enough? So many questions will constantly roam your mind, eating you alive because everything you do is towards your next chapter.

The question, “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” will become so common you’ll have the same answer every time someone asks you, and eventually, it just becomes old. One day, I was asked just that, I hit that speed bump hard. I knew how to answer the question, I know exactly the cookie cutter vision in my head like the back of my hand but suddenly one day it hit me. What am I actually doing towards that, how easy is it actually to grasp that exact cookie cutter goal I’ve had in my brain since I walked into college. I’m an overly passionate person when it comes to my love for English and literature so the overall goal of being involved in that is clear as water but suddenly I found myself questioning where I was actually going. I have the goal but the process suddenly becomes blurry.

Suddenly you’re 20 sitting in your apartment questioning all that you’ve done and if that’s actually what you want to do. Are you even good enough to reach that field? Is it actually possible? Not only do you start to question your studies, but yourself. WHO AM I? Am I really doing what I want or am I just going with the flow of everyone else in my life? Often I find myself too comfortable in routine with my friends lives and just finding it completely normal to do what they want. It’s what feels the most normal, right? You all get together Friday night, someone structures a plan and you show up dressed up and ready to do whatever it may be. Is that really what you want to be doing? The week is just another routine of following the usual flow of scheduled lunches, and homework assignments, and going to work.You’re just letting time tick a way but it doesn’t actually feel like you’re living.

You lost yourself in the midst of everyone else, the lectures, the forced conversations and you don’t know where you went.Suddenly you’re sitting in your room drained because you can’t quite find where to go because you’re normal routine is grey and you settle for a nap. You feel dull and it’s the little moments that add that extra color to keep you going everyday until you realize you just aren’t quite what you thought you wanted to be.

How do you find yourself? You don’t know if the major you’re in is what you want to be doing anymore, your friends probably won’t understand the hole you’ve fallen in because they seem pretty invested in what they’re focusing on. Suddenly you’re favorite movie isn’t as enjoyable, or the books you’ve planned on reading are just sitting piled at your desk.

You’re twenty, and you’re trying to figure yourself out. What the heck happen, everything was going great?! College is so much fun, and you loved your major a month ago? What is life if you don’t question it? I often believe if you sit too comfortable you stop living. That grey that overtakes the color in your life, and the dullness in yourself is a sign that you’re growing. Your mind is changing the puzzle pieces that fit, and you’re just simply stuck figuring out what piece goes where.

It’s gonna be okay because you’re love and passion in what you want to do with your life will come back. You just have to push yourself to remember what you actually love about it. Don’t just follow the motions of your studies but actually lose yourself in it. School will always be school, but remember what brought you to school after having the choice to be done. Remember your friends are in this awkward bump too, and maybe some of them have it more together than you, but sometimes their stability is just what you need to hear about, speak out to them. They’re hear to help you out, and they’ll teach you so much about yourself simply by who they are. You want to stay in on the weekend and eat a large pizza and watch Netflix, do it. You want to go out to mug night and order a large pizza, do it. Explore the clubs that caught your interest, try out the church your friends been begging you to go to. Basically eat pizza all the time because one day our bodies will hate us more than the freshmen 15.

The world has so much to teach you about yourself. That’s the beauty of being in your twenties, and in college. We are at a point in our lives where it’s all about us, and no one can take that away from you. Not the part time jobs we’ll work, not our parents, and not our classes. We have so much to learn and so many speed bumps that are only going to push us to really find ourselves. Those scary moments of questioning ourselves is because life has a curve ball coming that’s gonna only lead us closer to that place of identity security.

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