This whole being-graduated-from-college thing has turned out to be one big wake up call. This article on the Financial Diet has been an even bigger one – one that was less gradual and way more direct. So, this is my response to it, as a girl who’s been there.
Chelsea Fagan writes about this strange social phenomenon amongst millennials to fight against our own adulthood. That “because many of us don’t cross the traditional markers of ‘adulthood’ in our 20s, it’s somehow cool to flail in the other direction while our belt-less pants fall down around our ankles.”
She mentions her main frustration with social media culture — that it’s considered quirky or cute to share your own irresponsibility on Facebook and ironically suffix it with “adulting.”
“It’s considered adorable and relatable to talk about how ‘Whoops just spent the rest of my paycheck on a bottle of champagne and pizza, which I’m eating in the dark because I can’t change a lightbulb, while watching a Netflix show on an account I share with seven people, which I have turned up all the way because my smoke alarm has been beeping for the last three months.’”
I’m in my second year of being a graduate, and I am in a similar position as many of of my fellow millennials – living at home in this quasi-renewed-childhood. I don’t pay for my groceries. I don’t pay rent. Sometimes I forget to think even think ahead all together – especially financially. There are still so many basic things that I don’t know how to do, yet. I can blame this on an absence of classes in school devoted to these basic life skills, or I can suck it up and also take responsibility for my own unwillingness to teach myself about them.
And perhaps this was the scariest thing about graduating — not just the fact that I didn’t have a clear path anymore, but because I lacked the basic skills and tools I needed to just survive in the real world long-term.
Fagan states it best: “We should be celebrating when we figure these things out, and talking openly about how to get better, not bathing in our shortcomings in an effort to avoid the reality of growing up.”
I have a new resolution to do exactly that — to “figure these things out” — because I have everything to gain from it. I know from personal experience how thrilling it is to do something for myself, to feel armed with every tool I could possibly need, and to know exactly how to use them – to be swimming, instead of floundering. And I’m excited to finally feel that way.
This is my education now. Frankly, it’s about damn time.