Flack: Who says life has to start at 22?

Sean Flack

My roommate is engaged to be married. My best friend is buying property. It’s my senior year of college and all around me, people who were once doing beer bongs at frat parties are now turning into — gulp — adults.

What am I doing? Sitting in my boxers eating peanut butter out of the jar, thinking that commitment and adulthood are the worst possible things right now. And, you know what? That is completely fine.

At this point in our lives, these things happen. We look for our future. We look for security. Our college days are almost over and people feel the need to start the rest of their lives. But who says life has to start at 22?

There’s always this pressure that we have to conform to the accomplishments of our peers. Oh, I’m single; I must be a loser. Oh, I’m jobless; I must be worthless. Oh, I still play video games; I must be a bum.

That kind of thinking is wrong. Don’t base your life on what other people are doing. Make your own meaning. That’s what life is about.

We’re in our 20s. We have an entire decade to mess around. Hell, we have the rest of our lives to mess around. And messing around doesn’t have to be watching marathons of “Top Chef.” Messing around can be taking trips, falling in and out of love, being free, finding yourself and realizing what you want out of life.

I realize that adulthood is what some people want. But what I want to get across is that it’s all right to not want the 9-5 job and white picket fence yet.

Every time I come home for some sort of family gathering, one relative will always ask if there’s a special girl in my life. That inquiry is followed up with, “So, what do you want to do with your life?”

Women and your career. Women and your career. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Is that all anyone cares about? It’s no wonder people get so bummed out when they see their friends getting married or getting new, fancy jobs. We live in a society where those two concepts are the pinnacle of human success.

And I don’t want to be burned out. I love my major and I love women, but I’m afraid that if I throw my everything into those two things right out of college, then I’m going to wake up one morning in the future and realize that I didn’t explore as much as I should have. My dad says there’s plenty of time for that in the future. And he’s right. These are my 20s: prime playing-video-game-in-my-underwear time.

I say forget the job hunt right after college. Take a month or two off to relax or go someplace you’ve always wanted. Unlike college, we’ll be in some sort of career for the rest of our lives. Do you really want to jump into that right away, or into a lifelong commitment with someone else?

It’s cool if you do, but it’s also cool if you don’t.

Don’t worry; you haven’t failed. Like they say, not all who wander are lost.