May 7, 2018 | Justice Crisp
Ever since I graduated high school I knew exactly how my life was going to end up. I was going to play college ball, graduate in four years, then move to Austin and start my career right away. Then life happened. My journey so far has been nothing like I thought it would be. If I could go back and do it over again, I would slow down.
I am 24 years old, about to graduate college after SIX years (super-duper senior status, it’s fine!). Along the way I have had to balance school, a job, sports, and extracurricular activities. I am someone who, I hope and believe, has successfully transitioned to adulthood, though not without my ups and downs. Having characteristics of an independent adult has been instilled in me for a very long time by my parents and by my own personal experiences. Needless to say, I have been “adulting” for a while now. I am blessed to be able to confidently say, I am prepared to take on whatever the world has to throw at me.
Unfortunately, I was in such a rush to get here, I forgot to stop and smell the roses every now and then. Towards the end of my junior year I finally told myself that I deserve some time off work and I need to enjoy life a little more while I am still “a kid”. So I did. Though that didn’t last long because – who likes being broke? ¬– I got another job that following semester and have had one ever since. But, I have changed my way of living and haven’t looked back.
Many transitions happen during a person’s development from a child to an adult. In addition to biological and cognitive changes is a person’s emotional maturation. By that I mean, learning who you are as an individual, and sticking to your personal values.
As I move forward into my “adulting” journey I have focused on growing my emotional maturation. I have learned to identify and stay true to my personal values. Recently, I have traveled, taken more breaks from homework and spent more time with my dog and my girlfriend. To make sure I continue to slow down and enjoy life, I have really thought about this when job searching. For example, I have set work-life balance as my top priority. I keep coming back to that single value when I am job hunting, because more often than not the first offer right out of school or the “really cool/fun” jobs make you work 60-80 hours a week. As much as being jobless, for way longer than I can afford scares me, I will not stray from what is important to me in fear. I have been proactive in checking reviews, asking peers and doing everything I can to research jobs to make sure the culture is right for me and work-life balance is important to the employer as well. Money doesn’t buy my happiness. My family, friends, traveling, my dog, coffee and red bull are where I found my happiness!
To end with a piece of advice, SLOW DOWN! Find what makes you happy and make sure that is your number one priority. It is okay not to be a millionaire, married with two kids by the age of 22. Enjoy school, experience life, serve whenever possible, and don’t burn any bridge you cross!