Turning the grand old age of 22 has made me think a lot, about a lot of things, but mainly about where I am in life.
When I was 6 or 7, 20 something seemed ancient, and in my little head, when I drew in my books what I would be like when I was a 20 something woman, I was married and had about 12 kids! Oh how naïve I was then. But now I am 22 and am not disappointed that I am not that girl I had drawn in my book when I was a kid, in fact I am somewhat relieved that I am not married and on kid number 12 at this age, that would be concerning! And for the record I don’t want 12 kids, ever! But as my final year of university drew to a close, and a new chapter began, I couldn’t help but think about how different we all are. How being the same age no longer means we are doing the same thing.
Our whole lives have been planned out for us until we finish our GCSE’s, we went to pre school, nursery, primary and secondary, we do our GCSE’s and then what? We can either choose to continue in education, to go to sixth form, which was my route, college, an apprenticeship or work. And none of these are bad choices, they are individual choices to do what we want to do in life. I am so fed up of people criticising others over what they are doing.
I remember when I was going to university and people were making comments like “Why would you want to get into debt?” “Why would you want to study that?” Well because this was a route which enabled me to get a better chance being in the career I want. Being at uni has also taught me to grow up, it has taught me life skills, I feel I am a better person from going there. I have had the opportunity to work within various health promotion jobs whilst at university, as well as being able to study abroad and make friends for life. I would not have realised, had I not gone to university, how passionate I am about supporting people, about making their lives better. And I now know that a health promoter is my end goal.
I remember being so excited about going to university; a new city, a new life, a new chance to reinvent yourself. It has been an amazing journey, and I’ve shared it with the best of friends. But now what? Now I’m 22. I graduated in July. I am not at the same point in life as other 22 year olds, and I’ve learnt now not to compare myself to others.
There are some people my age who are just starting university, others who are engaged, have children, moving out of their parents house, some moving back home, others moving out of the country even! But comparing myself to any of these people isn’t going to help. Their end goal is different to my end goal, and panicking over the fact that I am in a different place to them, won’t achieve anything!
‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams’ (Eleanor Roosevelt), so instead of moaning and comparing yourself to others, and being critical of others life decisions; support one another, praise each other! Encourage people to do what they want to do- It’s okay to be the same age and be at different stages in life.