I’m not sure when it happened, but suddenly “list-publishing” websites have become the norm. In fact, it might be argued that they have become the sought-after source for news updates and articles concerning “How You Know You’re From a Town of 32,000 People or Less,” which I thought you would have been able to figure out on your own.
I don’t take issue with all list-standard websites. I remember fondly sitting in my apartment as a senior in college laughing hysterically at cracked.com articles. The difference? These articles didn’t validate; these articles informed. Cracked and their clever writers didn’t give me a generalized list about things I need to know about my twenties. But now, it seems as though I can’t scroll through my newsfeed without seeing a shared article with similar sentiments.
So let me sum it up for you. Your twenties are utterly confusing. From kindergarten until roughly 22, you and your friends were on the same life track. School was all you knew. It was the norm. It was your friend’s norms. That all changes drastically once you meander across the stage to receive your diploma. While some friends immediately begin careers, some begin families. I truly cannot imagine another time in my life that will be so transformative, except for perhaps when we start getting divorced or dying.
But here’s the beauty of it all. You don’t need a list to tell you what you’re doing right or wrong because it simply doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what old classmates or former flings are doing upon graduating. Because there is no right or wrong answer, no standardized timeline or widely accepted measure of success. Pay no attention to these over-simplified lists and more importantly but no less difficult, pay no attention to social media posts from acquaintances. Remember, what you’re seeing is a highlight reel. Don’t compare that to your behind the scenes.