Adulting sounds exactly like what it is; boring, not fun, and full of responsibilities. Sadly, however, it is a part of the inevitable truth that all teens and young adults face in their lifetime. At times it changes us for the better or it forces us to find ourselves in some of the most trying times. We ultimately understand the world, society, and everything else around us… no matter how f&*ked up it is.
So why are you reading this? I hope it would be to identify with what I am experiencing post-graduation. Or even, hopefully, get a good laugh. Whatever it is that has made you click this page, I hope you continue to stay on this journey with me as both, you and I, try to understand what it is like to really grow up in the 21st century as a 20-something.
Welcome to the Adulting Series
Part 1: The Job Hunt
Okay so here is my lovely “mission statement” of an introduction into myself and why I am here:
On May 14th 2016, I graduated from the (pronounced THEE) Illustrious North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with my Bachelors of Science in Journalism and Mass Communications with a concentration in Mass Media Production. I graduated with second highest honors of Magna Cum Laude. I am a first generation American-Trinidadian and the FIRST to graduate from a four-year university.
Yes that is a mouth full, and no I don’t repeat this all the time. It is the biggest thing I have accomplished for myself and my family, it is a very much a big deal, although a Bachelor’s degree is now the equivalent to a High School diploma in the work force.
But, of course, life hit me not even a week after graduation; I was back in New York City starting my first week as a Communications Intern for a health insurance agency and frantically looking for a job. Thanks to my friends that (for what I felt) had a good short term future that was equip with a job to start in the fall, I went into panic mode.
It seemed that I, after making a huge accomplishment and always to have a plan, felt that I was “slacking off” by not having something form of a job lined up in the Fall season. So for the remainder of the internship I found myself applying to various job, first within my major and in the deep shallow depths of cues horror film music retail.
After several years of watching my friends and older brother work for different clothing stores and a popular, high-end department store within New York City, I somewhat vowed that I wouldn’t enter retail unless I absolutely had to …. And that day would be the day my vow would be broken.
Within somewhere around my 3-week break from ending out my Communications internship, I received a call from a popular, fortune-500 book store smack dab in the middle of the tourist central of NYC. This seemed like the perfect opportunity and job to work. Obviously I accepted and made it passed an impromptu phone interview and a final interview with the store manager. By sheer luck, I also was able to score a position as an overnight shift worker for a well-known international clothing brand blocks away from the book store. Everything seems to come together for me.
Plot twist: my position at the book store lasted all of two weeks and I never got scheduled for a shift for my overnight position. Go figure.
On the other hand, I’m now an employee for NYC working full time. I am in the Telecommunications realm, so I am not too far off from what I majored in, with a special emphasis on customer service. Along with this main position, I have two communications internships where I am creating content (Hey Tula!) and working with a film company on production items.
I’d be lying if I added “I don’t get tired” to this cus yall I do.
I present this whole story to say that, the job hunt is a very unpredictable and aggressive one. You LITERALLY have to stalk the job you want in order to be heard. And sometimes you will simply walk down the street and see a help wanted sign. Things happen. Sadly, many companies won’t answer you at all which was something I had to learn. With a lot of companies, it is mostly based off of who you know and not such much as of what you know until you get to working at the company. So yes, listen to your professors, guidance counselors, etc. when they say you have to be proactive. You never know or even notice sometimes how you proactive-ness (this is definitely not a word) can be what gets you where you need to start at in being successful.
So yeah... be that annoying person. And also don’t judge your level of success to your friends.
Be you son.
Part 2: Living up to the dynamic societal expectations
Okay so today’s topic is a bit more intimate. Bear with me here for a moment.
As myself and my significant other approach our 3rd anniversary, more and more people have been asking some serious questions about our next steps within our relationship. Serious questions such as Marriage (conceited meme)
And having children (conceited meme).
My mind couldn’t rap around the idea of me and him having children and being THAT committed to each other (not right NOW at least).
Guys, I’m not saying I don’t want to one day have these things with him, but the thought of THAT at THIS point in life is a bit overwhelming. Alright so not a bit, yall IT IS.
Then one night I come to a sort of an awakening: I also have to realize that when those older than him and myself ask these questions it is because in the 90s and early decades having children in your early to mid 20s were the norm. Having a family of 12, being married and living in a starter home by 18 or 21 was considered important milestones for those ages.
My mom had my older brother by 19 and when I was born my father was just turning 21. The story can be said to be the same for some of my other friends about their parents, if not at earlier ages. Many of our parents HAD to grow up before their time.
Once I noticed this it became clear as to why I was being asked this question from family members and others. HOWEVER, I always end up giving a nice peace emoji and/or handing my baby cousins back to their parent.
I personally love children; I have been around them at all ages throughout my life. I am just not at the point in my life exactly where I believe having a child is beneficial or productive to my relationship. The same can be said for my significant other (SO) We both want to be financial stable and have our own shared home for which we have been living in for about 2+ years.
The times are changing, and many practices are starting to become outdated. Many women married early for various reasons, one being for financial gain or even for the idea that women couldn’t do many things in society, unlike today, without the attendance of a man. The idea of having a large family or starting one early would also be considered outdated due to the population being considerably larger today. There is no need to have a family of 12 children anymore. Half the time, it is difficult to be able to support one child, let alone another 11 of them.
Children and marriage are blessings and very valuable to my life as I continue to grow. However, I do not want to rush these things. My SO and I have so much more to build upon.
To close out; when my SO’s aunt asked me the same questions my response to her,
“We have a hard time deciding where to go on vacation for a weekend and what to eat in the next 20 minutes. We are just living life.”
Part 3: Responsibilities and FOMO
FOMO: fear of missing out.
I have self-diagnosed myself with FOMO since my preteen years. I always wanted to be in two or more places at once. This didn’t help the fact that I always had a very vibrant social life and personality. My family and friends enjoyed being around each other all the time and I, too, enjoyed being with them.
This would always cause me to over extend myself as far as where I would say I would be invited out anywhere.
I’m still dealing with this today into my adult life. Especially in post grad. I watch my friends back at university having a good time partying and living it up. I want to experience the college life again but then I snap back into reality realizing that I cannot stay a college student forever and that I have bigger dreams and goals to fulfill.
Of course due to me graduating, I now have more responsibilities that I have to deal with. Paying more bills, having to be responsible for myself COMPLETELY, and staying on top of certain things. I have to be an adult all the time.
But for me, it didn’t seem like much a huge difference. This could be the fact that I grew up in a big city or because I went away for college and had to make fairly large decisions for myself.
Either way, I faced my adult responsibilities despite the fact that I wanted to not miss out on having the fun I used to have when I was younger.
My full responsibilities haven’t come in full force yet however I am planning for my future for when I do need to fully move on and on be on my own. I am avidly progressing to become more and more independent than I am right now. I do have my moments where I fall off and have to receive a sometimes hurtful reminder that I am still learning how to adult.
So dearest reader, we both are in a strange time in our lives. We won’t have everything together and… that is fine. You don’t necessarily need to understand every aspect of what a 401k will include. Understanding that we will at times fail can lead us to a healthier understanding as to what we can do to help better ourselves. Not everything needs to be perfect.
So stop thinking you not worth anything.
Don’t do that.