How old is 20, really?


After another day of trying to figure out everything I need to figure out to go live in China, and then come back, find somewhere to live here, get a job, and graduate, and then decide what I’m doing with my life (*deep breath*), I’ve decided this has to be the most obnoxious age I’ve been so far.  I mean, I used to think that somewhere around 17 was the worst (you know… too young to take over, too old to ignore) but that thought has now been officially vetoed.  Let me explain.
At 17 life sucks because you have to live at your parents house since you’re too young to legally move out.  Now, at 20, I still live at my parents house but it’s with the infinitely depressing realization that while there is nothing legally or theoretically preventing me from leaving,  I’m stuck here until I can afford not to be.  Which right now looks like never.
At 17 life sucks because the only job you get to work is demeaning and makes minimum wage, and you have no choice.  Now, at 20, life sucks because I’m old enough to be expected to actually pay for things like rent and groceries and I have no excuse as to why I don’t have a respectable job other than, economy sucks, I don’t live anywhere more than 6 months ish, and I’m still in school.  Which really carry no weight in the sympathy zone.  And now, at 20, it sucks even worse because I graduate college in less than a year and have come to realize recently that, no, I really have no idea what I’m doing, but once you’re a graduate you’re expected to start changing the world.
At 17 life sucks because you’re parents don’t know anything.  Or rather, they know everything but it’s not cool to listen to them and they don’t understand you really anyways.  Now, at 20, life sucks because parents still don’t know anything but now you’re not sure if it’s because you’re still too cool to listen or they actually don’t know more than you anymore.

20 is an obnoxious age because it’s another in between age.  And no, I don’t mean in between buying cigarettes and buying beer.  I mean, think about it.  Think about what I/you have done and haven’t done and should know and do know and don’t have a clue about.  I have climbed 14ners, I have lived by myself, I have completed all but a couple semesters of my degree, I have totaled a car, I have been in love, I have learned calculus, been published, found jobs, taken road trips, made friends, lost friends, eaten sushi, broken toes, gotten stitches, thought about death, worried about my career….  But I still have no clue how insurance works.  I couldn’t change the oil in my car, or even tell you where to find it.  I don’t know how to invest.  I wouldn’t know how to buy a house.  I’m not sure about so many things that I find are important.  And 20 isn’t what it used to be.  A couple decades ago, we would all be getting married and settled into life.   But no longer.  If we learned anything from Sex and the City, it’s that 40 is the new 30.
So here we go.  In three weeks I’m flying myself literally halfway across the world to begin figuring all of this out.  An internship and lifetime of experiences crammed into a semester await.  And after months of job hunting and trying to remember what it is I’ve been learning these last couple years, I’m about at the point or either exploding or laying back and waiting for everything to just fall into place. Because if my parents have taught me anything, it’s that after what they’ve paid for tuition, if I don’t find a six figure salary right of the bat I’ll be a miserable failure.  Just kidding.  Mostly.
And sides, I’ll turn 21 soon anyways.



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