A friend recently posted this article on Facebook. It quotes a Daily Mail survey that found women age 33 are experiencing the busiest times of their lives as the convergence of professional, social and familial responsibilities eclipses any hopes of substantial “me” time.
When I read this, my thoughts went in two directions. First, is that a picture of Shakira alongside the article and if so, does that mean she is 33? After a quick search, it was confirmed that this beautiful, sexy Colombian and I are indeed the same age. See, I thought to myself, I can be beautiful and sexy at 33 just like Shakira!
After some celebratory hip-shaking (quickly disproving my thought), I went back to the article to think about this time in my life and is it actually the “busiest” I have ever been? Perhaps. And then, when was I not?
College. I have extremely fond memories of these four years, and what I don’t remember is ever feeling super stressed. Sure, I had all-nighters in the journalism lab trying to build a website (we called it “new media” back then) or pressure to find a suitable date for a sorority formal, but I don’t recall ever yearning for balance.
For someone who works at a university, I think I need more college in my life. Or at least my college attitude. And I think this is how I can make it happen:
One reason I wasn’t so stressed — I had no idea what I should be stressed about. In high school, I worried about grades, getting into my 1st pick college, etc. In college, I kind of felt like I achieved all of that and in my blissfully ignorant way, just assumed I finished school and a job was guaranteed (and when I graduated during the last year of the tech boom in 2000, it was — take that 32-year-olds!).
I’m not advocating for being an unaware adult – real life with real challenges has crept in and that’s how it goes. But rather, understanding we do not need to know everything and we won’t always have it all figured out. For many things, we will know what we need to know when we need to know it. I’m working on truly believing this and I feel like when I do, it will naturally create a sense of balance for me, especially as it pertains to relationships.
I secured my first internship as a freshman by just calling up the company, saying I needed a summer internship and asking how this would be possible. I had no idea about the proper protocol of job searching and I would be frightened to see what I passed off as a resume. But I got the internship. I think I’ve lost a little of this chutzpah. I rarely ever say to myself, “What do I have to lose?” We should say this more.
My senior year in college, I participated in a fundraiser where my friends and I danced for 30 hours straight. When it was over, I took a shower and then slept for 15 hours with no interruptions. I was completely clueless to the world around me but woke up refreshed. I think it’s time for another 15-hour nap. Being 33 is exhausting.
Were you clueless and carefree in college and if so, how have you maintained this among “real life?” What has been your busiest age? And finally, if you knew me in college, am I delusional or was I really this, dare I say, laid back?!