At this age, your university days are most likely behind you.
You are ready for the rest of your life.
Or, are you?
The thing about being 23 is that, you are truly at the beginning of the rest of your life.
But also, at this age, you realize that life is not as straight forward as you thought it would be.
It is the year that you try to pave a path for yourself.
The year you stay up at night imagining what you could become. The great things you could do. The life you could live.
But it's also the year you wake up in a cold sweat, looking for a sign that everything will be fine.
And the only response you get is the sound of your uneven breaths and the voice in your head telling you, it may not work out.
At 23, you realize that maybe what you studied is not exactly what you need to survive in the real world.
It's the year that you wish you never left school because the real world is tough. Really tough!
And so, in this year, you probably apply for a 2nd degree or a Master's degree, not because you need it, but because you need to escape your reality.
It's the same year that you feel the greatest amount of pressure to pick up a job, any job, just to be able to say, 'I work for X company'
It is the year your parents give you a chance to prove yourself.
But it's also the year your parents ask you (politely) to give up on your dreams, because you haven't shown 'enough progress'.
It's the year you walk on eggshells in your parents' home, knowing that you don't belong there anymore.
The year you awkwardly avoid meeting your parent's eye at the dinner table, because you know what's on their mind...
"Why can't you find a job and be as successful as your sister?"
It is the year your parents count every coin that they give you, knowing that you must pay it all back.
It's no longer their responsibility to hand things to you.
In this same year, you meet your friend's mom in a supermarket. After a quick hello, you try to push your trolley forward. But, she stops you...
...and informs you that her daughter just received a scholarship for a Master's degree, in a world renowned university in London.
Then she inquires about you, "..doctor or lawyer?" with a hopeful look. You reply with "uh...doctor", as you cast your eyes downwards.
You know that she sees through your lies. But the truth is worse.
This is the year that your boyfriend/girlfriend decides that maybe they are better off without you.
The year that your social life is non-existent. After all, your university friends are fighting their own fight.
It is the year that you seek advice from anyone who seems to have it all figured out.
And so, you seek out the one person who always had a solution to every problem.
Your school counselor.
She, who once believed in your dreams, now gently ask you to find any job. 'You can always follow your passion later on in life,' she says.
But in all truth, the school doesn't want unemployed graduates loitering about. It's not a good look.
If you listen to her, it is the year you make the first big mistake of your life. A mistake that you can't blame on someone else.
This is a tough year.
Granted, it is the year that you get so broke. But it is also the year that you make your first genuine income.
It is the year you read as many motivational books as you can land your hands on.
But it is also the year you realize that these books only have a short-term impact.
In the end, this is the year that you learn the true meaning of drive and determination.
It is the year you not only have to fight the negative voice inside your head, but also the voices outside your head.
It is the year that you have to closely listen to your heart's wishes. And, trust me, your heart will speak to you.
This is the year that you fight, for your dreams, for the life that you want.
And as you get close to 24, you realize that you are not alone. Every successful person was once at that awkward age when things weren't so clear.
But they fought. Everyday. To get where they are today. You can do it too.
At least I hope that's what will happen. Because, at the moment, I am one of the many 23 year old graduates trying to stay afloat.
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About the author
Hi, I am Angelica, a creative writer with a particularly intense interest in travel blogging.
After graduation, I started this blog to write about what I love to do...Travel. And occasionally, a few other topics.
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