Optimism, social media, anxiety on minds of 23-year-olds

What does it mean to be 23? Via Metro World News
What does it mean to be 23?
Via Metro World News

Being 23 is so fun and exciting. To be in love, to spend every waking hour communicating with your significant other and your many friends in new ways: Texting, WhatsApp and Skype messaging are, for us, as natural as water-cooler conversations for our parents.

I am about to finish my education, but some of my friends are already earning salaries at their first jobs. I share a flat with a few friends, but many of my other friends are still living with their parents. It is nice to know that if things get tight, your parents are mostly happy to help you out.

But wait; I’m also anxious. Apart of all these parties, my life is full of changes. I have my freedom, but it comes with uncertainty. I am ambitious, but I am afraid I may not measure up. My friends and my parents arrange things for me, so sometimes I feel a little bit depressed, but then my friends would take me for coffee and a muffin and I forget all those blues. I can always count on my friends, they’re the best!

But don’t be fooled by our neon-colored chinos, spiky hair and oversized glasses: We know what we want in life. We want a career, and we go to university exactly to get this. Learning just for the sake of knowledge isn’t for us. And we want to enjoy sex and relationships for a while before getting married. We start our sexual life early — I mean really early, compared to our parents — but we will get married later than them. We watch porn without blushing. We were raised on the Internet so no sense to make a big fuss about it. But make no mistake: We are not hedonistic. We don’t really like casual sex, at least not as much as the “noughties” generation.

Just don’t call us a short-sighted and self-centered bunch. Despite all the Instagram and Facebook selfies, we’re not egocentric;­ we just feel entitled to more things than the previous generation. Besides, we’re concerned about others and want to improve the world. But we’re not idealists in the way that young people in 1968 were. We have more modest goals: We want to find a job and make money, but it is important for us that we will do some good in the world at the same time.

The biggest change between older generations and us is gadgets and the Internet. Our mobile phones, tablets and laptops are an extension of our bodies. Last week, my friend forgot her phone for a weekend country trip and she had an anxiety attack. ­Adults will never understand that. We don’t use social media — we simply live there.

The social support is indeed useful, especially since many of us moved away from home. But parents are checking on us every day. They prefer to call, but I would rather text them back — ­ it’s quicker. But it is not that easy for the third of us who still live with our parents. We face discussions, even arguments, on whether we should pay rent at home, whether we should help out with cooking and cleaning, and whether our parents can tell us what to do. At age 15, you reluctantly accept that these are inescapable conversations. But at age 23? I mean, come on — our parents didn’t live at home at that age, so there are no models to build on.

But in truth, being 23 means being on a very solitary journey: We have to figure out on our own who we are and what we want to do with our lives. We have to decide what kind of work and career we want, and whether we want a family. These choices are much more diverse, and as a result, much harder to make than 50 years ago. In fact, 50 years ago most 23-year-olds had little say in their future: It was already set out for them. So, yeah, I am kinda happy!

Now, like and share that post or I will unfriend you!

 

Jordan Neuhauser: New York

23-year-old Jordan Neuhauser in New York City.  Credit: MWN
Jordan Neuhauser, 23, in New York City.
Credit: MWN

The 23-year-old New Yorker talks career and adjusting to city life post-college.

Career: I work for Kapnag Heating and Plumbing Corp. It’s been in my family since 1925, when my great grandfather started it with his business partner. On a daily basis, I get to be in all kinds of places in the city, from multimillion-dollar homes to crappy houses.

I wasn’t pressured into taking over the family business. I talked about it with my mom and dad, and they said if that’s what I really wanted to do that was OK with them. I applied for some other stuff so I had other options, and I got a few job offers for things that in the end didn’t fit me. I started out as an intern, getting exposed to all aspects from manual labor to the management side. It’s good for when I eventually take over the company because if these guys are still working here, they know I paid my dues. They also know I can judge what they’re doing and see if they’re doing it correctly.

Hobbies: I got recruited to play soccer by Elon University in North Carolina. They offered me a roster spot, and I played four years during college. It was the greatest experience of my life. Those guys are still my best friends. I’ve got tons of stories from that time. When I returned to New York, I joined a competitive league in the city. Soccer will always be part of my life.

Home: I live in a really large two-bedroom apartment with a roommate. We’re paying much less than we should be paying. My family knows the landlord through our business so he gave us a good deal.

Adapting: Elon definitely had a southern touch to it, and the people were very friendly. But I’m from New Jersey. This is where I grew up, and I always wanted to be back here.

City life: I think that there’s always that post-college depression that everyone hits. On top of the “Oh crap” moment of living in the city, knowing I have to start paying my bills, I have to worry about my retirement and filing my taxes. You can’t just skip a class. You’re out of the college bubble. You’re on your own to survive.

 

Sebastian Thiel: London

23-year-old Sebastian Thiel in London. Credit: MWN
23-year-old Sebastian Thiel in London.
Credit: MWN

At age 23, Seb is already getting serious: His entertainment company Upshot produces movies to reach out to discontent youth across the UK. But Seb’s not set for life ­— he just wants to continue building himself.

Career: I left college early to start my own company selling T-shirts, and from there I got into design and then film. That extra time allowed me to build experience and work intensively on different skills:­ editing, producing, directing, ­ and I supported myself with prize money from winning competitions. I developed an online TV channel and that led to directing jobs. It’s mostly freelance work now, which is up and down. But I love what I do,  film is such a powerful medium. I’m still exploring, building a body of work, rather than working toward a specific goal.

Home: I just moved into my new flat with my girlfriend. It means a lot to have my own space after just having a room for a long time, and it was ridiculously hard to get the place as a freelancer. I’m quite house-proud; I need my home to be beautiful. I always say my dream house would be an island like Richard Branson’s.

City life: The only thing wrong with London is the weather. I love it here, ­ it has everything. A lot of nights, I go to variety shows or concerts, and through my work, I can go to private film screenings and premieres, which is really cool.

Technology: Everything I do now came through being able to communicate and reach an audience through the Internet. I wouldn’t have got jobs without people seeing my work online. YouTube has been key to that, and I still use it a lot for tutorials if I don’t know something. I download new apps all the time. ­ One of my new ones will wait for you if you’re put on hold.

Love: I’ve been with my girlfriend for five years so it’s serious. What’s most important to me in a relationship is support, being on the same wavelength and sharing the same goals. And you have to be selfless at times.

Causes: Racism makes me angry. Poverty too, but then I think it’s so much worse in Africa,­ where I’m from [Zambia]­ than here. I don’t know if giving a little money every month makes much difference there, but I do it because it’s better than nothing.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Television

9 things we learned about 'Hannibal' Season 3…

There’s plenty of fall television to be excited about, but the crowd inside the Paley Center for Media on Saturday night only wanted one thing:…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…