Sunday Seven: Seven Things That 20 Somethings Are ‘Supposed’ to Do

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking this week about what is expected of 20 somethings. People have a lot of opinions about your twenties, what you should be doing, what you shouldn’t be doing, how you should feel, how you shouldn’t feel. It’s both exhausting and annoying. While some people are truly trying to help and pass on wisdom after the mistakes they made, it is SO hard not to roll my eyes most of the time. Anyway, I’m hoping that I’m not the only one who gets these!

You should travel, all the time, everywhere! 

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Now, don’t get me wrong I enjoy visiting other places, seeing other cultures and their history BUT I’m not someone who’s into travelling. The thought of just having a backpack and all that jazz doesn’t appeal to me, it never has. I have a list of places I want to go but you won’t see me heading off for weeks or months at a time to share a room and a shower.

You should get experience, lots of experience! 

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I’m lucky enough that I’ve had some great opportunities, but very early on I learnt that coming from money can really help get your career kick started. There are so many industries where you are expected to get experience by working for free or on minimum wage. I know for a fact most 20 somethings really do want to get experience but simply cannot afford it without support.

You should/shouldn’t be thinking about getting married! 

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People are obsessed with when they think you should or shouldn’t get married. There’s a total divide on what people think in my life. A lot of people are like you guys have been together forever, when are you getting married? OR they will tell you under no circumstances should you do it in your twenties, I have to say though most people who say this are divorced.

Go out! Party and make the most of it! 

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I did a year of partying at uni, sometimes it was fun but it was never my thing. I’m quite happy to go to the pub every now and again or go out for some cocktails after payday but I’d rather save my money and do exciting things that won’t make me feel awful the next day!

Don’t forget to save!

Between all the travelling, partying and unpaid experience?

You’re in the best time of your life, remember that. 

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So far my 20s have been good, but they’ve also been pretty hard. I think people forget the confusion, the stress of trying to work out who you want to be and how to make that happen and all the expectations on you. Oh and not to mention the debt if you went to uni, so much debt.

What are/were you guys told throughout your 20s? Let me know in the comments below!

 

I don’t know what I’m doing

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I took myself off the blog for the last few days for a combination of things, I’ve been busy, my backs been keeping up at night and I’ve been freaking out more than a little bit. So I spent my time with family, at work, sleeping and occasionally having an almost panic attack.

I had a conversation with my Mum last night and just ended up saying ‘you know what I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, I have no idea what to do when I graduate, I just really don’t know’. Honestly that is how I feel right now but my Mum, being the babe she is just said to me ‘You know what Chlo, no one knows what they’re doing, just do what you want to do’ and there it was. It’s something so simple but something that we all forget.

I don’t think that anyone’s job choices will make everyone happy. Some people will make choices based on what other people want and then make themselves happy and to be honest no one really gives a shit. You get a job, you make people proud, blah blah blah, but no one else has to go to the job every day, has to work with the people in it and to you know earn a living and possibly do it until they die.

Does any of this mean that I understand what to do with my life? Of course not I still get stressed out all the bloody time. Will I get a good class degree? Do I go and do a grad scheme I like the look of? Do I go all in and just do my PhD and worry about money later? Do I just go and get a job straight away? Part of me just wants to go please someone give me a crystal bloody ball so I know what should happen!

I don’t think I’m alone in this. I’m guessing that there are a lot of people who just freak out sometimes and don’t know what’s going on or what they should do or if they’re even doing the right thing right now. I don’t think it’s specific this fear and uncertainty can impact anyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality, class etc. Who knows maybe everyone else is just pretending very well.

Getting ready for the year of the twenty something.

In a few short hours I will end the last month of my teenage years and then in a few weeks embrace the title of 20 something for the next decade… Ask me a few months ago and I would have told you I am point blank refusing to enter my twenties, I will have my 18th birthday again and never grow up. Now it’s a different story. This month has been an odd one but I feel like it’s changed me so much already. It’s no secret that my teenage years were pretty rough, school was hell and it was in my teens that I experienced some of my deepest lows, a place I never want to go again. Now I’ve been able to put that behind me, it feels so freeing. My god I sound like a hippy. I’m still your straight up rock chick, the amount of Jack Daniels I managed to knock back last night pretty much certifies that, as does the long list of tickets that I’ve already bought for this year…oops. So I’ve written a list about some of the things I’m most proud of, this is only the start. 

 

Moving in with Ali wasn’t the only thing to change me, but it’s helped. It’s nice having someone to share dinner with and waking up next to him in the morning, it’s nice to know that when I go back to uni I’ll come back to smiles rather than my little room in halls. If I’m on a low it’s generally easier to handle, not all the time though (I’m still working that part out). I feel so happy and content and this is something I’ve waited for. We’ve made the right decision now this is our first little home together 🙂 

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I’m going out with friends Freshers was a bit tough for me, I wasn’t in the right mindset with all the changes to go out and party and I didn’t know what I wanted. I’ve been to club night twice now and had a girls night in London, something I wondered if I’d ever actually do. After my night out with Jen last night I’m planning another, this is a BIG deal for me and I’m really proud of myself for being able to do it and not letting my illness get the better of me. 🙂

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Jen and I last night on her 19th Birthday 

 

 

Sorting out my mental health  I’m going back to mentoring tomorrow after having to leave because I only get a certain amount of funding for each year. Honestly I’ve struggled this summer for a lot of different reasons. Ali and my Mum have helped a lot but it was hard being away from friends I’d made, missing the life I’m used to in Kingston. I want to focus this year on my strategies for lows. I know they may never completely go but at least with some help they’ll be more manageable. 

I love my job I’m in a job that I love. Student Ambassador doesn’t sound gruelling but it gives me so many opportunities. I got out and talk to kids who remind me of myself, I share my love for my uni and my subject. Now I get to write professionally, be a content editor and help with the media and marketing stuff. I learnt so much by just being in the office for a week and it’s cemented my passion for digital media. I love my job so much and after having more than one that I didn’t enjoy growing up it’s so refreshing to feel good at what I do! 

 

I don’t feel under pressure by the future. Who says when I should and shouldn’t do something? I’m not in a normal relationship, I’ve spent over a quarter of my life with Ali and I’m only 19. We’re not getting married any time soon because we both want to have careers, which we’re both getting on with. I’m going for internships  and continuing to write (work experience in now 100% confirmed for April 2015!!!!) and he’s getting work experience in his field as well as both of us throwing ourselves into the band. I’d be lying if I felt completely free, a lot of people I know are getting married and having children or have their ideal engagement rings in their head…I don’t think about all that too much. The only thing, which is slightly pressured is having children but that’s biological. Ali and I are happy and well, I think we’ve done one of the hardest bits by living together, now we’re just going to plod along and see what happens after we graduate. 

In short I’m ready to say goodbye to my teenage years and hello to my twenties. That said I will not be stopping eating Turkey Dinosaurs, ice lollies or raiding the sweet shop…ever. 

Why I won’t be a teacher any time soon

So as you know I’ve been busting my butt at my teaching placement for the last few weeks but I haven’t been writing about it really at all, the simple reason is that there isn’t much to write about. The simple reason isn’t the only reason though. I realised today that although I love working with kids and encouraging them, right now teaching isn’t for me. I’ll never say never but it’s not something I’ve set my heart on doing, I’d much prefer to lecture later in my life when I’ve learnt more or even become a teaching assistant because I like that one to one experience with the kids but spending time doing lesson plans and levels and talking about exams, it’s just not me. 

I think that it’s more me to be stuck in with the kids and being able to help the ones who struggle and watch them grown rather than worrying if 30 of them are going to make the grade this year. Don’t get me wrong I have enjoyed it and I absolutely adore all of the staff I’m working with but this isn’t the careerer for me. Maybe it’s just not my thing, maybe it has something to do with my past but in the last few days I’ve been thinking very hard about what I want from my twenties. I only have 3 months left of being a teenager and then I’m supposed to hit my delightfully messy twenties. I want them to be as happy as they can be after trudging through my teens but I’ve also found out that I want to kind of let them run and see what happens. I work damn had at uni but I want to have fun just like everyone else and why can’t my 20s be fun! 

After that, who knows I might come back and want to become a teacher. I want some kind of life behind me before I go and try and teach kids about life because that is what school should really be about I think. I used to love the entertaining teachers who had more to tell us than just their day to do life, and a lot of young teachers do it. Some take gap years but I want longer than that, I want a job that I find interesting and I’m passionate about and right now that’s not teaching. 

So let’s just see where this is going to get me….

Forever awkward!

This picture came up on my Facebook page today after my friend Lucy shared it. I think it sums things up really. I’ve spent the evening tidying and organising my room thinking about what to take to the new flat, what to throw away, moving again. Now some people argue that moving in with my boyfriend is a big grown up step and it sure felt that way when we went to the bank to open a joint bank account today but compared to some people I know, it’s not. I have friends who have children, who have been engaged, who are currently engaged. Me and Ali are still calling turkey dinosaurs and curly fries dinner which is just the way I want it to be right now! 

On the other side of the spectrum I’m surrounded by people who are out every night, partying, drinking (just as I can hear through 4 walls currently) something I’m not that interested in. Don’t get me wrong I like to go to the pub and I was gutted when I couldn’t go out tonight but usually I’m not bothered. I get more bothered about not being around my friends than actually getting wasted. 

This is the thing as I fastly approach my twenties I’m faced with this weird in between place and when your with either type of friend it feels awkward. By the amount of re posts on Facebook I’m not the only one my age who feels this way! So I’m going to plod along feeling awkward for god knows how long, I like this age and I’m not in a hurry to grow up any time soon!