One of the more awkward phases we all encounter in our lives is the “freshman” stage. First, we’re freshmen in high school, where we have to start worrying about things like popularity, school-related activities, dating and even which college we plan on going to. Then we’re freshmen in college (if we choose that route), where suddenly we’re off on our own and Mom and Dad aren’t there to make sure we’re doing our homework or making curfew. If we’re lucky enough to make it out alive of both of those phases, we then become what I like to call a “freshman at life”.
This stage occurs during your first few months or years after graduating. Usually these freshmen at life have a hard time adjusting to the 9-to-5 lifestyle and may even go through their own quarter-life crisis (“Did I go to school for the right major?”, “Why can’t I find a job?”, and “Why am I so tired at 9 p.m.?”). For me, I worked 2 part-time jobs until I found my first full-time, “big girl” job at a small marketing agency near my parent’s house. I lived at home to save money, was in a long-distance relationship with my college boyfriend and did my best to make the most of my time.
But now I’m on to a whole other freshman life phase. I’m moving out of state to live with my boyfriend in an apartment. While I lived on my own in college, I was surrounded by peers and friends. This will be my first time living with a boyfriend, the first time paying for rent and utilities, and the first time living in a different state than the one I grew up in. I’ll also be starting a brand new job in a bigger city- where I’m taking public transportation, another thing that’s new to me- so I feel like a freshman all over again.
Being a freshman at any stage of life is usually associated with being wide-eyed, curious and maybe even a little clueless. Will I get down on myself when my bank account drops after each monthly rent payment? Probably. Will I go through the awkward moments of trying to make friends in a new place? I’m sure of it. Will I be overwhelmed with my new duties at my new job? Most likely- everyone is at first.
The old Rachel would be very terrified. She’d have constant anxiety stomachaches. She wouldn’t be able to sleep for a month leading up to the move. She would play situations in her head over and over of missing the train, walking into the wrong building and worrying about if her boyfriend would hate her after living together. But you know what?- I’m not really going through any of those things. Sure, I’m a bit nervous and anxious, but I know I can do this. I’ve done it 3 times already in my lifespan. I’m practically a pro at being a freshman. 🙂
How do you deal with being a “freshman at life”? What recent situations have made you feel like a freshman all over again?