Just weeks before my 22nd birthday, I’ve come to a startling realization. Somewhere along the line, my routine of prolonged benders wherein I pound too much Jack and chief bogies with zero regard for this fine specimen of a body has lost its magic. I’ve hit a lull. It’s not that I’m not having fun; it’s that having fun just isn’t that fun anymore. I’m too distracted by thoughts of the future to enjoy myself.
It’s my last college summer before I graduate in December and I’m squandering it by getting blackout and banging 6s on my futon. Meanwhile, the waking death of being just another average business major with some monotonous bank job lurks ahead. I’m rattled because the more I think about it, the realer it gets.
Could it be? Is this what I think it is?
The realization struck me with such a force that I could barely stand it:
I’ve peaked. There’s no going up from here.
Sure, there are some who would say that the peak is when you graduate and start making “real money,” but they neglect to mention that along with said “real money” comes a “real job.” Not to mention “real bills,” and don’t even get me started on this so-called “financial independence.” That’s just a fancy word to describe how mom and dad aren’t going to be chipping in anymore. How am I supposed to work a 9-to-5 when I haven’t managed to get up before noon once in the last four years? Unless we’re tailgating, of course; in that case, tap the keg at 7:00 a.m. and let’s ride… But nobody counts that.
Nothing brings me more crippling anxiety than responsibility, and the real world is full of it. Just loads of exhausting bullshit coming at you from every direction and taking the form of all these things that are supposed to be life’s little treasures. Work, a wife, kids, probably a second wife, probably more kids because she wants to have something that is “both our own…” It’s never-ending.
But right now, at this very second? My only concern is me, and I fucking love it. There’s nothing more liberating than having the free will to do literally whatever the hell you want. Have you ever been out somewhere and seen a dad who is away from his wife and kids for the night? The look on that guy’s face says it all. For just a blip in time, that man is brought back to the whimsy of a carefree life — the type of life that I live full-time now.
Everything about this life is carefree. For starters, being surrounded by thousands of single-and-loving-it women is a pretty cushy perk. Then couple that with the fact that I’m entitled millennial scum and the ‘rents are footing the bill for most of my expenses. That allows any cash made from a part-time summer job to go straight to beer or any other number of unnecessary splurges. Finally, and this may come as a shock, but the business school at the third best publicly-funded school in my state does not have the most challenging curriculum, meaning school is a breeze. All in all, college life is perfect. But my college life is rapidly coming to a close.
No question — this is the peak. As I progress on, the question now becomes how do I turn this peak into a plateau? I’m trying to milk this shit for all it’s worth; it’s imperative I find a way to combat all of the suffocating features of adult life for as long as humanly possible. Stay single for as long as I can while simultaneously not having to work some mindless middle-income job is a must-do. Maybe I should go white girl and travel the world for the next couple years? Or at least not settle for a tragically painful job until I have to.
One thing is for certain: I will be on edge until I figure it out because feeling like you’ve peaked is fucking terrifying..