Updated: Feb 21, 2021
Young, dumb and broke; that is how it feels sometimes. Being a uni student and a young adult feels like this constant tug of war between being capable to having complete incapability. The multitude of commodities; good grades, steady incomes, saving money, having an extravagant social life and flourishing in one's extra curricular activities, all collate into the expectations of today's young people. But that's it: a societal expectation. Society expects you to be marvellous at juggling it all and the rat race determines who catches the most balls (whether that innuendo was necessary, I don't know, but it was fun). Suddenly when you crack into the commencement of adulthood, you're thrown in the deep end and are supposed to know how to swim. However, that is without any prior swimming lessons, so it is more like learning how to not drown. I wanted to write *rant* about what it feels like to be a uni student/young adult today, so here it is and this is how it goes.
A life update will be in check to make sense of where this blog's ideology stems from. So I finished my first year of university in 2020. Let's review that for a second. To be honest, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was not your classic first year of university, that's for sure. First, I did not go into the Halls of Residence accomodation. After my gap year, I felt like that was not going to be the best environment for me. I had gained this independence that was an irreversible crux that now propped me up. Initially, I was just gonna live with the rents for the year, that was the plan anyway. But when I came home, I spent the summer meeting people from my friend Kaspar's hall and by the time March came around, one shawty was asking me if I wanted to move into a flat with him. So I said "fuck it" right then and there. It has been the best thing and so much fun. The plan is to continue living with these nutters for another year, who knows what shenanigans are going to occur, I'll be sure to give y'all some story times of the newsworthy content.
COVID came around a couple of weeks into living in the flat and studying at UC. To say the least, it made things interesting. It was most definitely an opportunity to get to know my flatmates better. Those close confines brought about a lot of bonding time. Surprisingly, we all made it through with minimal domestics and no serious injuries. Apart from the one time when I tried to learn how to skateboard and face planted at 8pm a street away from my flat. Not one of my brightest moments when I limped back to the flat with a crippled knee, at least it kept things interesting. Zoom classes successfully kept things intriguing as well. Try learning German through Zoom. Imagine trying to comprehend a language that already sounds like someone on the verge of choking 24/7 combined with the constant freezing of screens and microphones not working; do not recommend.
The rest of the year was mostly great. I loved my courses, rekindled myself with an old love which was journalism, did a little too many drugs - which we have now abstained from - of which created many fun moments, met a load of wicked people, played more piano, sang a lot and loved my life. 2021 so far has also been wicked. I got a paid job opportunity working as a Feature Writer for CANTA, the University of Canterbury's official student media which is a dream, it is the first foot in the door and it feels unreal. I continue working in the cafe which I am still loving - most of the time - when I am not dealing with the infamous Karen trope. But I think I win on having the best coworkers that make those Karens bearable.
While all that goes on, I feel like a young, dumb and broke student. To be as candid as possible, that is entirely true, I am young, dumb and broke. This is probably because I do not invest in stocks and have yet to create my start-up or a YouTube channel. And I think it is because it comes down to not having enough time. For instance, I find one's schedule hectic and that is before uni has even started (if it does that is, before COVID takes the total reign). I am twiddling away at two jobs - three last week when I was delivering flowers for Valentine's Day - to pay that rent, maintaining a social life over caffeine and booze, gymming when I can and writing as much as I can while intermittently looking after my little sis. It feels like my plate is full and you know what? It is going to get fuller starting next week with university. But time is currently limited to surviving. The limited time means that thriving is not an option. Having a full schedule and becoming a master in the thrive delegation will continue to be an objective of mine.
There is this capitalist expectation of pushing it while you're young and have the energy to burn yourself out so that you can get yourself fully embellished into the system. Yet you do all of this only to find yourself completely exhausted and lethargic to things that should make you the happiest; such as your friends, family and partners. That's the Western world for ya. I think it is mildly fucked and does not necessarily breed the most happiness. As the current young ones who are situated at the bottom of the societal hierarchy, there is a subconscious acceptance that "burning out" and "getting on the grind" is entirely okay. In my last blog post, I talked about the dark side of productivity which is kind of a cute pre-tense to this post's content. Especially when you're getting your foot in the door for the first time, over working and exploiting your own efforts are incredibly normalised. And for what? To maintain those minimum wages to continue living from paycheque to paycheque? Hopefully you make it into the beautiful capitalist system after all that in the end!
Okay, the existential societal angsty rant is over, but I think you can understand where I am coming from. Boomer, try to be an empath for a second! It is just when you don't have the resources of time, money and skill to meet the demands to "make it" is what angers me. Ultimately, every individual will go through this stage and it is fun too. The mild delusional state of pretending to know what you should be doing in life humours me. I would describe this state as the sober version of being drunk; delusional, hazy and downright questionable. I am incredibly lucky to live where I do and to have the life that I have. One must remember to remind themselves with that everyday. Just take care of yourselves this year! Instead of popping the fattest manu into the sea of societal expectation, just pop your toes in. Live your life for yourself, under your reign and rules, because you deserve nothing less.
Above is Khalid in his music video for 'Young, Dumb & Broke.'
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This blog will encompass the life of a 20-year-old kiwi chica. Composed of stories, advice, life lessons, worldly observations and whatever else Ella's life brings to surface. For all of this and more, read my new found blog 'Born In 2000': established on the 28th of October, 2019. Where Ella Gibson explores her life that exceeds all limitations. Publications should be expected once a week. Also, be sure to take this present moment now and rock it!