I’m 23 and I have friends at varying ages throughout their mid 20s and there seems to be a similar feeling of being stuck in a rut shared between us. It’s a feeling of being not a ‘proper adult’ whatever that means, being stuck in limbo between being a student and having moved on from this and having a proper career/ life path. Very odd.
First of all I don’t like the fact that we don’t define ourselves as adults, or ‘proper’ people existing in the ‘real’ world. Second of all how do you get out of this state of semi-student-dom? It’s all partly, I suppose, to do with what I’ve previously discussed about taking yourself seriously and presenting yourself as who/what you want to be. It’s a question of growing that extra set of balls (figuratively for men and double figuratively for women) that allow you to get by in the adult world. and I suppose it’s a question of growing up even more than you feel you have done.
This is the time when you feel you should be grabbing your new career, rolling with it and developing it into something that transforms you and lets you flourish. Sadly, coming out of university in the current economic climate doesn’t help with that and so this rapid upward movement out of university doesn’t happen. Instead you stagnate, get stuck in a day job that doesn’t mean anything to you other than a means to make money and get by and this becomes hard to climb out of, or to even see the best direction to take to get out. Particularly with those of us wanting careers in the arts and cultural sector (where living in a state of semi-student-dom is often seen as a requirement) it can be hard to identify, seek out and grab onto that thing that is going to pull you up and out of your rut.
I’m afraid I don’t have the answer to breaking this feeling, but at least we know we aren’t alone in feeling it…