Dealing with a pandemic in your 20s

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I planned to write a more general piece about living life in your 20s. But I thought I’d make it more specific in relation to the current pandemic we’re suffering as I feel as though 20-somethings are in a very unique position. Of course all of our experiences are going to be different, we haven’t all lost our jobs or even lost loved ones because of the virus. But generally speaking, where your 20s places you in the grand scheme of your life, it is particularly tough to be dealing with such a catastrophic event.

Being in your 20s is kind of like setting yourself up for the rest of your life. You’re either still figuring things out or maybe you’re starting to settle down in a new job or relationship. Of course you could do this earlier or later than your 20s but I think for the most part people are finding themselves in one of these states. And when your life is in a state of flux already, there’s nothing worse than something else coming along and further complicating things.

And what I think about every day is how much time I’m wasting. If you’re a teenager then more than likely by the time you get to your 20s the pandemic will hopefully be a distant memory and if you’re slightly older then maybe life is stable and the coronavirus has caused disruption but you’re still somewhat comfortable. Every day I feel like I need to have achieved all these arbitrary accomplishments by the time I’m 30, and I get that these thoughts are kind of irrational but it still doesn’t change the fact that I still want these things for myself.

And before the virus hit, things were great. “Living my best life” as the kids say. I was in a job I loved and for the first time in a long time felt as though things were stable. How stupid of me. and this pandemic is really testing all of our resilience. But for some reason I feel as though I’m feeling a lot more pressure than I would if I was at school or university or in my 40s. Because even at 26 I’m still trying to figure the world out. And with COVID it’s as if we’ve left the old world behind and have to acclimatise to a totally new environment. New rules, new standards but same people. And it’s a difficult situation to navigate.

Every day now I’m waking up thinking, “how can I make money today.” Instead I finish the day poorer than when I started. It is great that I am having more time to focus on more personal projects and really expand my creativity but at the same time I’m just like give me a 9-5 and slap some money in my account every month. The tables are constantly turning on creative freedom and financial stability. And when you’re looking to move out in the next year unfortunately financial stability will prevail eventually.

I will say though in some weird way the pandemic has done wonders for my social life. Reconnecting with old friends, making new ones and just seeing people flourish in these uncertain times. But now I’m done, I need some normality, a job and a competent government.

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