I’ve been reading a lot of articles and hearing a lot of different news reports on the “20-Somethings” that seem to have their priorities messed up. Allow me to take my soap box for a few minutes and explain.
When I was in high school, I was your perfect “well rounded kid”. What colleges were looking at and these life skills would prove to be useful later one. I worked a part time job, I ran cross country and track, I was part of a variety of clubs and activities, I taught myself to play guitar then and I also sang in my chorus, all while keeping decent grades. I also worked in serving both my community and in the impoverished areas of Appalachia, repairing homes that had fallen into disrepair and damaged by tough winters and rising flood waters.
Me playing guitar a skill learned in high school (still perfecting it)
It came time to go to college. Since I was already in the mode of being busy constantly, this continued and paid off, since I was able to get an excellent scholarship for 4 years of college, and many other scholarships my freshmen year. I worked a part time job in college (which was just under full time status….36 hours a week) and babysat to make extra money. In addition to that, I held leadership positions in my college in various clubs, organizations and made high honors/Dean’s List every semester. I also ran cross country and participated in a lot of community service and service project trip efforts.
Working in the theatre in collegeGraduation day in 2007 with 2 honor society’s ropes on my neck and high honors
I was a busy girl! There was no time to party and “sow my wild oats.” It was a time to get set up for my future career. I did my internship earlier than most people, completing it prior to my Senior year. I took extra courses to get ahead and determined that I wanted to pursue my Masters degree immediately.
I did just that, the day after I graduated with my Bachelors degree, I had already been enrolled for one week in Masters classes. I completed my Masters in one year, including my thesis. In order to help pay for it and take care of my other expenses, I worked a full time job, a part time job and an on-call job. I slept only 2-3 hours at a time. But, I was young. I could do that.
2008 graduation with my Masters (Here with my wonderful parents)
However, I now have the time and the means to LIVE! I put off my life for too long and while I have no regrets, I know I need to enjoy myself now. Perhaps that’s selfish, but I don’t want kids right away (or maybe at all, but that’s a debate for another day). I want to travel, I want to enjoy my late nights laughing with friends over a glass of wine, I want to play beer pong in my basement and have a cup of coffee when I feel like it. I have been serious my whole life and worked hard to get where I am, so now I think, I deserve this time.
I am now living in a wonderful house, I have an amazing job, and my blog which has opened so many doors to me. I am a proud puppy momma, I take care of myself by working out and eating well. I’m still an active volunteer in my community because I feel it’s important to give back. This was not luck at all, I worked hard for it. I deserve to enjoy myself a little.
Crossfit Competition Kona, my beautiful pup.
As for the other 20-somethings I know, they are in the same situation. They worked hard, now they can play hard. As for those that you may criticize because they haven’t moved out of their parents house yet or gotten a job, have you watched the news? Have you seen how the job market has crumbled and how that same generation is struggling with mortgage payment before they even own a home? I’m referring to student loans here.
So before you start comparing each generation to your own, consider the circumstances. Had I not been able to obtain the job that I have now, I would be just like that myself. All that education, all that hard work and unable to utilize it. I’ll give thanks to myself for my hard work by raising my glass to all the 20-somethings. Cheers!