Getting to a place where you actually want to work.


We all move through life at our own pace.

We don't realize it, but age 10 kicks off a transformative decade that sets the tone for the 20's.

During this decade huge amounts of transformations occur, and somewhere mixed in there we're supposed to have transitioned from child to adult somehow.

(Music to set the mood).

Among that transition is increased responsibilities for self, others and if applicable your very own children.

Damn. Right?

It's actually pretty intense.

(New mood, :P)

College probably helps this transition go smoothly if you have parents to pay for it and actually graduate by age 22.

In fact it's a perfect facilitator for that. Unfortunately, our current education system is biased against first generation students, international students as well as middle income students. And so this facilitator is thrown out the window -- I belong to two of the three latter camps.

For the people in my shoes that I know, the transition goes less smoothly. Usually involving some mix of community college, sexual frustration from living at home past age 20 and part time jobs that are actually basically full time (30-35 hour weeks) at, likely, a retail store in your hometown.

At age 18-20, we resent this situation and grow an emotional bias against working. If lucky, people successfully transfer to a four year school at age 20. But this is not common. If you didn't qualify for financial aid because of your middle income at 18, you won't at 20. And if your family didn't want to pay at 18, they won't at 20 either.

Ouch. Fafsa won't recognize your own income until age 23

Some of you will get this.
Some of you will get this.

(New Mood :p -- side note, linking music is fun)

So maybe you go to school at 23 and try to graduate by 25. 🤷🏻

You're kinda old and not in any friend group but such is the path of this cohort of people.


If you finally get grants as a poor person, like your poor friends got at 17, at 23 then college is suddenly everything you hoped it would be. Your rent is fully paid for, as are your books and food is provided by dining halls.

Your reaction to moving into the dorms.
Your reaction to moving into the dorms.

Life is good for a couple years. Party on. Don't pay for anything. Go to class, write papers, laugh whatever.

It's great. But there's a problem. You're 23/24 not 17.


That means you're launched into the system at 25 instead of 22. What does that mean?

Well, the 22 y/o has a comfy 3 year cushion to get into regular life. But the 25 y/o has already spent that same window.


We all need to move on, grow up, work and if you want to get married and make babies.

If you're still the person who resents work and feels trapped on a job because of your experience between 17-23 that's a harder transition for you to make at 25.

The person who went from high school to BS in bio-engineering (or whatever) at age 21 who's never worked a day in her life is super excited to get a job at a fancy medical office somewhere with 0 resentment for working. Totally different mindset and life experience really.

Eventually, though, what ultimately is the case is that there are only two options. Employment and unemployment. One leads to a life where you can function, go places on your days off, buy things you want -- and need -- and function normally as an adult.

One leads to running out of cash, bad credit, debt, evictions, law suits and possibly homelessness. All of which is pretty much inconceivable to the girl who started on day one in the medical office at 21. 🤷🏻

That bitterness of the inequality of experience does sting, but we have to get over it at some point. This take is about exploring what it takes to actually do that. I don't actually know how yet, but I know people have to. Wanting to work, rather than believing you are being imprisoned and held back by work. That's the shift that needs to take place honestly. Wanting to work.


Getting to a place where you actually want to work.
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Most Helpful Guy

  • BradFlipK
    You hit it pretty spot on. I'm one of these people who wanted to go to college, but my parents wouldn't pay for it. In fact they told me "when your 18 your out" I tried desperately to explain I wasn't ready to be on my own and needed more time. They didn't care. Now after all this time, I'm 36, never gained a single college credit. Never been married (I strongly feel, because I was never financially secure) Because I had to bounce from job to job. At 36 I now have dental insurance! Woo Hoo! You wanna talk about worklife feeling like it killing you lifelife. Man oh man the stories I could tell you. About REAL LIFE
    Is this still revelant?
    • Robertcw

      Probably a bad idea to force yourself through the system like that honestly.

    • My your parents had to be mindful of you. I mean they could have at least give you the option to stay home but have you pay rent for the room were you were sleeping in. If I was you I would have cut contact with your parents. If you weren't ready hey you weren't ready. You were pretty much still a kid back at that time.

Most Helpful Girl

  • Not only “poor people” get grants but alrighty. For a pell grant, maybe. But there's a lot of stuff based off your academic achievements and high GPA in HS
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • TremorJay
    Well you've already got half the puzzle. You know the hand you were dealt is pale in comparison, so what you have to do is cut yourself some slack. You're not on the same timeline as everyone else. Make your own timeline, compete with yourself, that should be the goal. Make the best out of what you have.

    This definitely resonated with me. I worked in a retail store in my home town for 5 years. Working "part-time" and going to community college, then university. Setting foot on a university campus was surreal, I never thought I would make it. Only to figure out I wasn't on the right path. I dropped out my senior year. I just barely got back on my own two feet again, less that a year ago. I want to work, because I'm living for me now, and I can trust that the effort I put in will get me somewhere.
    • Robertcw

      Well well. Our lives are basically identical.

    • Robertcw

      It's the middle class white guy life, I'm telling ya.

  • Good take
  • Anonymous
    I have a long story to share , When I was 18 I got that whole you college application talk to an advisor college tour orientation so on. My first semester in college when I was super young 19 I believe. I didn't get a good experience my 1301 English professor wanted me to do the whole work we been doing threw out the whole semester. I asked her if my whole work was wrong why didn't she tell on that same day why tell me on the last day that I file the class. I got discouraged then I was put on probation at my local community college for not passing one class from that silly professor I just told you about. I gave up I decided to work in retail instead and work my way up to a management position. Now it's not easy in order to be an assistant manager or a supervisor emploeyer are asking to have at least an associate degree. I decided to enroll at Penn Foster for my bachelor's degree in business so far it's great to I am on my first year and so far so good I love online better then traditional classrooms , I know what you think I'm old. I am 27 years old almost hitting 30 . I will be 30 when I graduated with my bachelor's lol. Old but never too late.
  • Anonymous
    Interesting take,...

    In my case it was 23 and I had no opportunity to get a job in career I choose, so I had to go back to retail... And finish in 2 years is totally unrealistic in my case it took 5 and that was only undergraduate...

    Then after back on s**t jobs for 5 years, guess what I decided to go for MSc

    After finishing that I'm 35...

    No wife, no kids, not even girlfriend, no experience in that career, not even mortgage payments started, just hopes and dreams...

    Now when I'm in that boat why not to go all the way - PhD, what will I lose?

    Will end up 40 broke, but with PhD and huge student loan bill, without any experience in that field, so overqualified, no experience and no future...