I can’t say I was too pleased with the idea of turning 21, despite it still being so young in the grand scheme of things, I suddenly felt that my 21 year old self would suddenly feel the entire pressure of “adulting” and the long list of responsibilities that come with that.
Today, I wanted to discuss the whole aspect of “getting older” and the genuine pressure and anxiety I feel as each year goes by. For a while, I thought I was alone in feeling this way, but after discussing the way I felt and the pressure I seem to put on myself to achieve as much as physically possible in a year, I realised I wasn’t alone.
I took it upon myself to research and look further into the subject of feeling anxious about completing as much as possible before you turn a certain age. I realise to many, this may sound ridiculous.
That’s because it is.
Since the age of around 18 and leaving for University, I started to apply a little more pressure within certain aspects of my life and especially in terms of work, I felt the “need to succeed”.
You see, I have always been ambitious. From my Primary School days and getting chosen to be Head Girl, I have always wanted and needed to excel in whatever I put my mind too – and I am not saying in any way, shape, or form that this is a bad thing, because it isn’t. It is in-fact a great trait to have.
However, it does require a certain level of balance between being ambitious and putting too much pressure on yourself. From the age of 18, I started to set myself goals and what I wanted to achieve before I turned 19, which worked out well – but also meant that if life took me in a different direction or I didn’t quite manage to do everything I’d hoped – I’d feel horrendous guilt.
This is when it becomes a problem.
Life is filled with high’s and low’s and sometimes with that, plans can be diverted and you can be taken down a route you’d never of dreamed of. This isn’t an issue. Nobodies life pans out exactly how you write it down and this can be a hard pillow to swallow.
So, instead of allowing myself to feel a sense of pressure on every birthday – I have decided to start listing the things in life that I have achieved, and the things I’ve completed and seen. At the age of 21, I can say that I am a BA Honors Filmmaking Graduate from Bristol University, that is now the Founding Director of her own Film Production Company, surrounded by a wonderful set of friends and the most supportive Family. I’ve experienced a huge amount for someone that is 21, and seen parts of the world that I never even thought of. To say all of that and reflect on the person I am, and the things I have completed, makes me extremely happy and only makes me want to achieve more – which I will, but not under the constant pressure of needing to do it all before I turn 22.
The moral of the story, is to live life how you want. If at the age of 40, you decide to quit your job and travel the world.
Go for it.
If you are turning 18, surrounded by friends that are all planning on leaving for University to do a degree and it isn’t in your best interest to do so –
That is fine.
Live life in exactly the way you want too, and never feel pressurised or anxious about comparing your life to somebody else’s.
21 for me, is a year of building myself. A year of pushing my company to the limit and achieving great things. A year of enjoying myself, travelling and spending every moment I can with my Friends and Family. I have ideas and ambitions for where I want to go in terms of work, but there is no pressure.
If you ever feel the same way I did, please do not hesitate to email or DM me on Instagram and we can chat. Don’t feel alone.