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.
Among that transition is increased responsibilities for self, others and if applicable your very own children.
It's actually pretty intense.
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
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.
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.