22 and Confused? This One's for You

Do you remember being 15 years old and thinking how badly you wanted to be grown? To be independent, to have found your true self, to have everything figured out, and to essentially have found the love of your life?

Okay so skip to a couple of years later and you're in your 20's. Although it's some of the best years of your life, and you've learned more about yourself than you could've imagined, you've realized how much more complicated and confusing life can really get.

So here I am, a 22-year-old, college super-senior, and I have absolutely NO idea what I'm doing with my life. Scary right? But actually it isn't, at least not anymore...

See, I've realized that stressing over the things you can't control is utterly pointless. Don’t get me wrong I was a complete mess of a person. I am the type of person who always has a plan—I used to know what I wanted and how to get it, and more importantly, I always knew what to expect. So, when all of a sudden I had no idea what I was doing, everything turned into one big mess real quick.

I'm completely lost. All I could think about was will I have a job after graduation? Everyone I talked to, including my parents, assumed I had a plan. I mean why wouldn’t I? I'm a planner, of course I'd have to have a plan. Wrong. So wrong. The expectations from others and myself put the biggest pressure on me. I. Was. STRESSED. That amount of stress eventually turned into anger, which then turned into me not caring about anything. I found it extremely hard to focus in class, put in any effort in my relationships (both romantic and platonic,) I was always tired, and I was constantly pushing things off, even the really important things. I mentally and physically felt like I was floating through life. Yes I was, quite frankly, a whole mess of a person. I knew how self-destructive I was being, and that made me even angrier with myself. So, one day I decided to stop. How do you just stop? When you're low—real low, when everything is crumbling down—how can you just stop? I understand that everyone is different, and what worked for me might not work for you; but if you're one of the many, MANY students that feel this way, it won't hurt to try.

I want to emphasize how important self-care is, and the very first step to self-care is to call yourself out on your own shit. Being aware of yourself is huge. You know yourself better than anyone, you know what is best for you, and you know what YOU need. Create the person you want to be.

Sit down, clear your mind, and make a list about yourself. What you like, what you don’t like, your goals, what you want career-wise, relationship-wise, life-wise... Organization will make you feel like you have your life together, even if you don’t.

Do things that make you happy!

Listen to your favorite song 17,000 times in a row, go on a shopping spree, FaceTime your family, watch movies all day, do a face mask, hang out with friends, drink some wine, do things that make YOU happy.

CLEAN. Scrub, rinse, wipe, CLEAN! Clean your entire apartment, clean your room, do your laundry. Clean, clean, clean all the bad energy away. You're essentially starting fresh, and you’ll want to be productive and relaxed when you get home. How productive and relaxed can you get if your room is an entire mess?

Take a long hot shower or bath. Shave, if that’s what you’re into. Wash your hair. Imagine that all the pain, stress, anger, and anxiety you're carrying are going down that drain. Literally…therapeutically.

And most importantly, love yourself. Don't be so hard on yourself, and especially don't compare yourself to anyone else. You will make mistakes, but just remember that it’s part of your growth. Things have a funny way of always working out, even if it's not exactly the way you want it to. So quit worrying. It's okay to feel lost, just don't let it consume you. Okay? Now go out and slay ya life!