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22. It's a tricky age to be in. Then again, your early 20s realistically are. Why? Because you are officially becoming an adult, more in the sense that you are now entering the full-time working world once graduating from university or college. Also, things can be different in the living realm, too. You are either back at home realizing how difficult it is to live with your parents or finding out just how expensive it is for you to live on your own.
Leaving school for the final time is very difficult because you know that it is it—you are done forever. Think about that. Most of your life up, until now, has revolved around school. From when you were five until now, every week was scheduled with a form of school involved, except, of course for the summer months. School, no matter at what age, kept you occupied with sports, friends, and schoolwork on occasion. It gave you a reason to socialize and meet new people.
Now you are out of school, working, which makes it a lot harder to socialize with others, as you are all on different schedules. Not to mention if you are in a new city, like me. It is tough once out of school to meet new people, especially if you work a full-time job with a small staff, or one who is not your age. Also, unless you have a car commuting to and from work can take up most of your day so meeting new people is tough, especially when you are unable to join any extra activities because you are trying to find your own place.
That is another big change that makes life difficult, but exciting—finding your own place. I don't mean like the one back in university where you shared it with others, but one just for you. If where you live has a rental market like Toronto, then you understand just how expensive and difficult it is to find a place here. Pretty well, apartment hunting becomes your second full-time job, because you have to spend so many hours finding places within the area you want to live in, within your budget, and that are a decent size. Next are the hours you spend viewing all of these places and filling in their apartment application forms at the same time. The worst part of it all is getting all the rejection emails saying how they found someone else. It's enough to make you want to give up. Then, once you find a place that is great, now it's all the costs of getting yourself set up there; buying the things you need to furnish it, finding internet, figuring out when you can get the keys, and finally moving in, which is so much fun, but so annoying at the same time—packing things just to unpack them an hour later.
The most stressful/difficult part of it all is trying to find yourself. You are a different you, not one who is a student anymore. You are considered an adult, a young professional, and it's tough. For so long, you rely on your identity as a student and now that it's taken away, you think: who are you supposed to be? And, at times, it gets really tough to figure that out. You just do not know at that time and you feel lost.
Some days, you just want to go back to a simpler time, where things were laid out for you and you knew who you were as a person. But at the same time, it's an adventure to discover yourself and it's (hopefully) worth it in the end.