“Now that college is over, I don’t know how else I can meet the love of my life. I’m destined to be a cat lady.”
This is the part where the late-twenties laugh at the absurdity of my generation. If you’re reading that line thinking that a person so young can’t possibly say something like that, then you’re unfortunately mistaken. Since college graduation, I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve heard this said in seriousness.
By no means am I trying to justify this hopelessness from my fellow early twenty-year-olds. I thoroughly believe that not finding the love of your life by 23 is not the end of the world. However, since I am part of this hopeless-romantic generation myself, I understand where this is coming from.
We grew up watching the great television loves. Boy Meets World, Saved by the Bell, Wonder Years, Dawson’s Creek. They all made us grow up believing that we’d fall for our childhood best friend.
But then our childhood ended. There was no childhood best friend turned lover, but that was okay. All the books, movies, and tv shows taught us that highschool was where love really blossomed. We would have our first relationship, our first kiss, and we would have our great love story by the time highschool was through.
But then highschool ended. Many of us hadn’t found “the one” at this point. Thankfully, before entering a state of hopelessness, we were thrown into college. Surrounded by an entirely new crowd of potential loves, we believed that college was now our place to find our life partner. After all, many of our parents (as it turns out) met in college or at the age of 18-23.
But then college ended. And this is where we began panicking because nothing about the real world held resemblance to the shows we had relied on. Post-grad did not mean instantly finding a job and moving out with your friends and significant other. Our post-grad meant loans, unpaid internships, moving back home, and for some of us, an absence of that significant other that we were so sure we’d find.
The point I am trying to make is that while it is easy to laugh at a 23 year old who says that they’re going to be “forever alone”, one must understand that this is all part of the panic. Upon finishing college, many of my generation entered a momentary panic because a lot of things were not turning out to be what our childhood made us believe. Immature? Yes. False sense of entitlement? Absolutely. But this is something that I would like to believe is a moment that we will all look back on and laugh at.
So maybe the late-twenties were never actually laughing at us because the statement was absurd. Maybe they were laughing because they went through this process and they already understood that contrary to what we had expected, not having it all figured out at the age of 23 is nothing new.
Do we honestly think we’ve reached our prime and have no hope of finding the love of our life? Absolutely not. We know that there tons of ways we may meet our life partner- work, mutual friends, or just being at the right place at the right time. Deep down, we know its a matter of time. But this is the panic and we must see it through.