The semester ends in a week. Despite a hiccup, and the usual endo stuff that plagues me, it’s mostly gone well. Lately, though, I’ve noticed something. I’m kind of exhausted hanging out with all these young kids.
Granted, I will give you that the fatigue from my endo and anxiety hasn’t helped either. But being around people, no matter how mature or how nice, who average 8-12 years younger than you? It wears on you a little. I don’t mean that as any offense to any of my colleagues at school. But it is true. I actually talked to one of my professors about it, how I feel I have more in common with them than people in my cohort.
Some of that, yes, comes down to maturity. We may have common interests — even youthful common interests like comics or gaming — but it’s the life experiences that make the difference. There’s a lot more drama in your 20s than one really realizes. At least not until you’re out of it. It’s not even necessarily a bad thing, either. In your 20s, you’re learning how to be an adult, learning how to be on your own, typically for the first time. For most, all you’ve ever known is home and school. And suddenly here you are thrust out on your own trying to decide what it is you’re doing with your life. Somehow you’re expected to figure out your entire career path — that you should be able to have your life sorted out by the time you declare a major. These sort of expectations aren’t helpful and cause a lot of stress. That’s all just part of becoming an adult. There’s nothing wrong with it.
However, I went through all that. It’s not that I don’t have sympathy for what they’re going through, or anything. It’s just that I’m so over the drama. Things change in your 30s. I don’t want to be dragged into petty arguments over hurt feelings. It’s not that I don’t care, but at the risk of sounding heartless they aren’t things that deserve too much of my energy. Being surrounded by people, day in day out, who are around a decade younger than me, those behaviors and attitudes are starting to rub off.
I know I sound incredibly whiny in all of this. But I miss talking with people who are dealing with full careers, buying houses, getting annoyed by bills, and maybe even starting a family (by whatever means they define that). I want to hang out with people who don’t think it’s lame to go to bed at 10pm or spend an entire day in pajamas reading books with my cats. Things are different for me because I live here. I may move after graduation for a job or PhD, but I don’t go home on holidays because this apartment is my home. My parents’ homes haven’t been my home in a long time, even if I do visit every now and then.
I’m an independent adult, who misses talking with other independent adults about adult-y things. I feel like parents can understand this. You spend all day with the kids and sometimes forget what it’s like to have a conversation and interactions with people our own age. There’s nothing wrong with having friends of mixed ages, but I think it needs to be a balance. Right now, my scale’s tipped and it’s slightly wearing me thin.