Elle Severe Presents

Nobody Likes You When You’re 23

In Life, Musings, Random on July 27, 2012 by WhiteBread

When I graduated with my Master’s of Public Health this past May, I immediately thought to myself, “In the words of the physically dead Michael Jackson and the professionally dead Kenny Loggins: “This is it”.  This is the beginning of something great!”


These big expectations met a pretty mundane reality.  Rather than be patient and satisfied for the time being though, I instead turned to the one thing I do best: getting angry.  I had a hard time thinking of my graduate degree as a boon for my future; instead, I found that furthering my education had only left me with a giant chip on my shoulder and no dip anywhere in sight.

Alright, I know what you’re thinking.  “Hold up.  This is crazy.” (And probably going a bit further with a Call Me Maybe reference).  “You’re in a pretty awesome situation and should be counting your blessings.  Sure, you may not consider yourself flourishing on a professional level yet, but you can at least consider yourself successful on an evolutionary level (you are surviving aren’t you?)”.

Ok, I hear you and overall, I’d have to agree with you.  You’re right, I am lucky.  So why do I still find myself bitching so much?  Why do I still feel so inadequate?  Why do I think I’m missing something in my life?  Well, I’ve spent the last few months contemplating these very same questions.  And after weeks of tears, moments of moping and countless hours of self reflection, I think I figured out the answer: I’m 23.

Being 23 sucks, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise (oh, I’m looking straight at you Lena Dunham).  Trust me, I’m a doctor.  Alright, I’m not a doctor, but I have been living this age day in and day out for the last nine months.  I have also done some research.  A great deal of my time has been spent reading autobiographies and memoirs as well as asking older, much wiser people questions about life and aging.  And you know what?  95% of them agree with me: being 23 isn’t fun.

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