Turning 20, is there even a manual to it?

Goodbye teen years, goodbye freedom. Say hello to my new best friend: responsibility.

After getting the forever-dreamed driver’s license, the legal contract saying that we can drink alcohol, and the new taste of freedom as a young adult, now it hits me by surprise (again) that the two-year-promotion time is over. Voila, welcome 20.

This is what 20-year-old Marcella looks like.

And here’s another good news: I’ll be graduating in a couple of months’ time.

It’s not that I don’t want to graduate (well, maybe I don’t), but graduating means receiving a new sets of responsibilities. No more studying, I need to work. Or no more merely studying for getting a pass, I need to attain the knowledge needed for work. No more skipping classes, I have deadlines. And soon there will be bills to be paid, dream jobs to be pursued, mortgages to be thought about, and boyfriend to be married. Life is good.

And at the age of 20, you can’t help but revisiting your before 20 bucket list and trying to cross some points. So here is mine:

  1. Getting an internship
  2. Get paid (part-time jobs count, right?)
  3. Publish my own book (maybe in another decade…)
  4. Getting your writing published
  5. Do bungee jumping (I’m afraid that age will catch up with me soon)
  6. Watch a Broadway show (even better, I’ve watched two)
  7. Traveling to the most bizarre places and learn their cultures
  8. Watch Roger Federer playing live at Australian Open (please, Federer, don’t retire too soon!)
  9. Become a barista
  10. Learn how to do ballroom dance (waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep)
  11. Getting married at the age of 20 (maybe not)
  12. Graduate at the age of 20 (soon!)
  13. Learn proper English
  14. Meet ‘someone’
  15. Discover your passion and your dream job
  16. Getting your dream job

And somehow you start to see the neighbour’s grass and realise that your before 20 friend has already gotten into five different internships in three different countries. Another has interned in Bulgari Hotel in Bali. One is on a scholarship in London to study MBA. The other got a scholarship to study in the University of Tokyo, which ranked 21 according to Academic Ranking World Universities.

Now, I wonder if I can ever have my own house and pay that 30-year-mortgage money. Now, I wonder if I can have a decent job that will enable me to live on my own. Now, I wonder if I (along with my future husband) can get our kids to school and pay for their tuition, especially in the middle of this horrible economic crisis.

So now you are 20 and trying to get a job. Tomorrow you’ll be 23 and (hopefully) already having a job that you like. Next week you’ll be 25, (probably) already walking down the aisle with the man of your dreams. Next month, you’ll be 30, nervously consulting the doctor of the birth of your first child. Next year, you’ll be 50, and then 70, and 80, and…

And life goes on.

I’m not what you call the ambitious type, but I do have my own ego – the ego to be wanting to have something to be proud of. To be able to look back, and call my past as a series of accomplishments.

Maybe discovering your dream job, getting married, having kids are still very far in the future. But at the age of 20, somehow you start thinking about it. I guess, the planning starts now.


8 thoughts on “Turning 20, is there even a manual to it?

  1. Nicky says:

    To think that I’m near my 20’s as well… And I’ve just started college. Well, better late than ever.
    Bungee jump you can do it at any time now, but watching Roger playing is a once in a lifetime experience! Don’t loose that!
    Anyway, good luck on your next “10 years of hardworking” as a friend used to say about 20’s ;)

  2. Hi Nicky, thanks! Fingers crossed that I will watch Roger Federer playing live next year! =D

    And Loonyliterature, thanks! I think I need to hear that a lot, I tend to be overworried… but yes I’ll enjoy life and make the best out of it! :)

  3. Happy belated birthday! I was surprised to know that you are the same age as me. Have a great year ahead! Your blog is really awesome and inspriring! By reading your blog, I feel that you are a thoughtful girl with full of energy. Keep on this wonderful attitude to life:-d

  4. Thank you so much Petz! :). And Fragriver, thank you to you too! oh have you had your birthday? should I say welcome to the club 20 as well? lol. And thanks for the encouragement, it really means a lot to me! :). Hope you’ll find the upcoming blog posts inspiring too :)

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