It has been drilled into my skull since the minute I emerged from the womb that this is how my life was supposed to unfold:
I would get good grades, I would go to a good college.
At said college, I would meet the love of my life. My intellectual equivalent. We’d both be ranked between 6.5 and 8 in terms of appearance. We would never fight, except over which pizza toppings to get. How cute.
He would propose before I turned 24. We would get married in the spring, before either of us hit our 30s. I would birth approximately 3.5 kids within the next four years. Soon, I would realize that Mom Jeans are the only suitable pants to wear to my kids’ soccer games.
It has rapidly come to my attention in recent years that the aforementioned sequence of hypothetical events does not remotely reflect the life I want for myself. Or anyone, truthfully. When people my own age post engagement photos on social media, I have to put an ice pack on my forehead to recover from physical and emotional discomfort.
We aren’t supposed to be monogamous. Socially, it’s expected of us; but biologically, it’s unclear whether we’re really programmed for monogamy. Why corner yourself in an exclusive relationship and pledge a lifetime of sexual fidelity during your 20s, at such a young age?
It’s perplexing that so many of my peers pressure themselves to ~*~find someone~*~ before they graduate. So many people in my generation seem to spend an exhausting amount of time searching for their soul mate.
We want the best, and we want it fast. We apply this unrealistic mantra to almost every aspect of our lives, but it’s especially disturbing when applied to the idea of finding our “other half.”
Our college years are commonly referred to as the time when we really find ourselves, but as I round out my senior year, I find myself disagreeing. College is when I discovered everything I wasn’t. I spent high school trying to be the best at everything and anything. I spent college realizing that I’m not.
I don’t know who I am, exactly, but I know who I’m not, and who I don’t want to be. I’m not someone who wants to date right now. I’m not someone who wants to get engaged any time soon. And I’m not someone who wants to get married in the foreseeable future.
It’s too soon, and we’re still too young. Commitment might seem like the logical, practical lifejacket that will prevent you from drowning during post-graduate life, but it can also hold you back from becoming who you really are.
Because at this point, you probably don’t even know who that is.
I’m not someone who wants to spend her 20s with someone else. I’ve spent my entire life with someone else—whether I filled the void with parents, teachers, or friends—and I think it’s time that I, and the rest of my generation, spend some time all by ourselves.