Today is the 100th day until I turn 25 years old on the 15th of August, 2017. The feeling of impending doom looms about as I struggle to come to terms with the idea that I am going to reach a quarter of a century within this time frame.
Being a 25 year old in a society that is milestone-orientated I am supposed to have reached an arbitrary milestone by now. A milestone that entails the attainment of an undergraduate degree from a university, a stable relationship with a human or a successful career in a chosen field or both. This standard is unwritten and unspoken yet I feel it completely burdening me.
I have reached none of the requirements and I have yet to decided whether I want to pursue it or not. Conform to the ideal standards or remain as I am. But is this really who I am? A 25 year old university student who has taken nearly 8 years to complete one undergrad degree. In my defence, as a 17 year old wide-eyed first year university student at Otago University I had huge dreams and aspirations. I dreamt of studying medicine and returning to my home country of Tonga as a qualified doctor ready to diagnose and treat all ailments and diseases. This dream has never left me and I still dream of making such a difference for my home country but for now, I need to work on myself.
At 17 years of age I tried to get into med school at Otago, that didn’t work out. At 19 years old, I tried to get into med school at Auckland University, that worked out. But I withdrew from the programme when I was 23. So here I am, at the School of Population Health, completing my final year of a Bachelors of Health Science Degree.
I do not know about the experiences of most almost-25 year old’s out there, but I do know mine. I have struggled to accept the time-limits imposed on my personal, mental and physical growth as a sentient being. I struggle to reach these milestones successfully. And I tend to victim-blame, myself being the victim (it’s no fun, not recommended). I tend to question my self-worth and how capable I am as a human being in living. That is utterly depressing. But it’s true and I have accepted that I feel this way.
However, I wish to ask all almost-25 year olds out there, are you feeling the same feelings of impending doom as you etch closer and closer to the big TFB (twenty fifth birthday). Or is it just me, imposing societal standards of age and age milestones on myself…