I posted this image today on my Instagram and smiled, remembering the first time I saw it.
I was 22 and a recent graduate from college. I took a job in a different state, away from my friends and family. I was in a fast-paced environment, absorbing information like a sponge, and working in a field that I envisioned myself in since I was a teenager. Yet, I still felt anxious, as if I was not doing enough. “This is what you’re supposed to do,” I told myself after taking my leap of faith. “You’re 22, you have plenty of time to figure things out.”
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A few months into my Jordan year, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to skip this decade entirely. You see, no one tells you that 23 can be a rocky year, especially for those of us who are high-achieving, degree-toting millennials; thriving off completed checklists and meaningful relationships.
Although I was making new friends, and delved myself into my work, church and gym; I still felt unbalanced. I felt like something was missing, but couldn’t put my finger on it. The only people who really could relate to me were my tribe of 23-year-old friends who were experiencing the exact same thing.
I noticed we were all singing the same tune of the “23-year-old blues”. We were too old for the college activities, but too young not to be fabulous and fulfilled in every aspect of our lives. Our conversations became a constant rotation of the following lines:
- Do I need a master’s degree?
- These student loans though.
- Just pray.
- They got engaged?
- Who had a baby?
- Did you see him/her on Facebook?
- Pray again.
- Coconut oil.
I came to the conclusion that it was an epidemic.
Some of the most talented tenth in my circle were stuck — but we weren’t without faith. Life still went on and eventually we found our footing. Now, at the boss age of 25, I look back on the amazing ride it has been in the past 730 days. Literally, everything has changed.
I’m at a new job, making new friends, bought a new car, moved to another state, and am working on my master’s degree. Is life perfect? Absolutely not, but it’s shaping beautifully.
I wish I could reassure my 23-year-old self that those growing pains are strengthening her for the life ahead.
For all the recent grads entering the workforce, let me warn you: 23 can be a whirlwind in many ways, but relax and hold on. Here’s a few tips:
- Meet as many people as you can
- Become politically awakened
- Fall in love
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Start your business
- Do community service
- Don’t be fooled by social media (most people don’t publicize their struggle)
- Become good with your money
- Pray often
The fake friends eventually drop themselves off, you’ll figure out how to make a few good meals, and the times of uncertainty that you feel and don’t tell anyone about won’t last forever.
You will bounce back and you will thrive.
Be sure to GROW through it and enjoy the ride, we’ll see you on the other side.
Once called "The Hyper Millennial" by a colleague, Vannesia is excited to take the world by storm. Here to impact all she encounters, she strives to use the inspiration God gives her to encourage the world one person at a time.