Sep 22, 2011

Grade 20-Something

From the time you enter preschool until you graduate college, you and your friends basically reach all your milestones together. You all start kindergarten in the fall when you are five. If you live in Texas, you learn about the Alamo in fourth grade. You enter high school at fourteen, get your driver's license at sixteen, go to college at eighteen. You start (legally) boozing at 21 and graduate at the ripe old age of 22. Neat, tidy and all tied up with a bow.

Then it's Grade 20-Something which lasts for 8 years and has no state approved curriculum. Some of you go straight into graduate programs. Some get engaged (lots if you are in Texas). Some start dead-end jobs but hey it's a paycheck. Some land bad ass jobs that give them raises before they even have their first day. And let's be honest, some go "backpacking" in Europe but never leave and end up smoking lots of legal-in-Amsterdam stuff while drinking heavily. Hey to each his own.

But that's what's crazy, often fun and sometimes a little unsettling about it.

Suddenly you and your friends are supposed to be entirely independent people doing things entirely on your own schedule without a built in group of sameness. Which is kinda unlike anything you've ever done before. CRAZY. On the other hand, it is wicked fun to hear about all the different paths these wonderful friends of yours are exploring. You can vicariously become a chef, serial dater, married lady, PhD student or hip urbanite all via Facebook and email. FUN. And at times it's a little unsettling. You go through something and naturally you turn to a friend to say "dude, remember when 3 months ago you..." except oh crap, they didn't. It's not like a driver's license where one of your friends has just done it. You might be the only one. (Ok not in the whole world, but in your world.) Or maybe they've all done it. Except you. UNSETTLING.

I'm not saying it's bad. In fact, it's probably good. (Imagine if we all had the same job. Competition would be fierce and a lot of society's needs [like all the rest of them] would go unmet.) Good, but at times a little surprising how independent-study style it all is. No syllabus, no standardized tests, nothin'.

I'm just saying that if Grade 20-Something seems a little unfocused to you, well, you're right. The only focus of this grade is getting to the next one, 30-Something.


Jessica Porter said...

love this...i was totally thinking something along these lines not long ago, crazy! 

Cheryl said...

Glad you liked it :) Every once in a while I think about this when everyone is running in their own direction. It's kinda crazy but pretty fun too