I don't want to be a child anymore

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I don't want to be a child anymore

Post by Dannyboy on Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:47 am

Hey guys, I need some advice on some matters here.
For the past 6 or seven years, I have been in school with the ultimate goal of becoming a librarian and right now I'm in my second semester of my Masters in Library Science. While I've been at school, I've been living with my parents.
Anyway, recently I went to meetup for young adults in their 20s and 30s and while I enjoyed myself there, I kept hearing about everyone elses' lives, about how they all live on their own and have full time jobs and I couldn't help but feel immature and inadequate. So I've been thinking, do I really want to continue going to school for my MLIS, a program thats going to keep me working part-time and living in my parent's basement for another 1-2 years?
I know things wont be easy if I decide to quit now: I'm currently 35,000 dollars in debt with school loans (though I suppose that debt could be significantly lessened if I quit now),and I graduated undergraduate with a history degree which means I'm not exactly in high demand as far as the job market goes. However, I do have some library job experience, which might allow me to transition into another role in paper-pushing or something like that. Also, the library that I'm working at does offer full-time jobs that don't require a Masters degree, though they pay less than full on library positions.
I don't know, I really want to finally mature and stop living like an overgrown teenager, but i'm not sure if I'll be able to succeed out there with my current job experience and the worthless bachelors degree.
So, what do you guys think, what should I do?

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Re: I don't want to be a child anymore

Post by Enail on Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:58 pm

IMO, it's not inherently better or more mature to live on your own than with your family. Saving money and pursuing a long-term career that interests you seems like a pretty mature thing to do. Which is not to say that there aren't advantages to having your own place or that it's not worth taking some time to consider whether you're on the right path for you now, but I don't think it's a good idea to weigh "I met some people whose lives seem more impressive than mine" too highly in your decision-making process. For one thing, you're not comparing yourself to the full picture of other peoples' lives - some of the people you talked to might be going into debt to live on their own; others might be wishing they could afford more education or had more family support. You don't see all of other peoples' struggles.

So I'd say you should focus on your own life priorities and values. What would you value about getting a full time job and a place of your own? What would you be giving up to do that? What does "being an adult" mean to you, and why is it important? Where do you want to be in 10 years?  What kind of relationship do you want with your parents?

Whether or not you decide to leave your program, one thing that you might want to consider towards feeling less like a kid in your parents' home and more like an equal adult is, if you're not currently, work on contributing to the household labour like an equal. A big challenge of adulting, imo, or at least something that's been a challenge for me, is being able to recognize all the little tasks that go into keeping a household functional and not a hellhole and to juggle them on a regular basis. And taking on a share of that labour and mental effort for all can be a move towards relating to the other people in the household as adults instead of as parents who assign chores or clean up after you.

If you do think you're going to want to quit your degree, I'd recommend looking for a full-time job before quitting. Job-hunting while studying and working part-time is a heavy load, but  it sounds like it'd be pretty disappointing for you to have given up your degree but still be stuck living at home and working part-time if it takes you a long time to find a job.
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Re: I don't want to be a child anymore

Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:20 pm

My limited experience has been that humans have a tendency to posture, and twenty-to-thirtysomethin's in particular like to brag about all the non-childish things they're up to now that they're adults. As an example nobody asked for, I currently have a roommate who complains about how hard it is to be a Real Adult as a way of either fishing for compliments/congratulations or implying that it's somebody else's turn to do a Real Adult thing like taking out the recyclables, probably both. No doubt I'm guilty of the same or worse, but I have a harder time seeing my own motivations in a negative light. Wink
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Re: I don't want to be a child anymore

Post by eselle28 on Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:57 am

Do you like your program? Do you think you'll enjoy and be good at the position you're training for? Are there realistic prospects of getting a full time job in your field after graduation? Are those jobs you're thinking about taking now ones that either you'd be satisfied with doing on a long term basis or ones that lead into other positions that you'd want to have down the road?

Those are the questions I'd be more likely to pose to someone in your position. Life is long. The economy is very different than when our parents (or, for some of us, grandparents) embarked on careers and expected to work in those fields for the rest of their lives, getting their own apartments when they got their entry level positions and living apart from extended family for the rest of your lives. I'm not even 40 yet, and almost all of my peers have already veered from that narrative in some way, whether it's because they lived with family in school, moved back home for a period after a layoff/divorce/illness, or decided to return to school to pursue a new career in their 30s. That's what's normal now.

Unless your meetup was very unusual, I suspect that you weren't the only person there who didn't check both the "lives apart from parents" and "works full time" boxes. I've had periods where one or the other didn't apply to me, and while I didn't try to hide it from friends or romantic partners, it wouldn't be the first thing I'd mention to new people at a meetup! Generally, people who have jobs that are interesting enough to talk about will mention them sooner in a conversation, and people who are underemployed or not very passionate about their work will mention work later. For whatever it's worth, I'd say that what you're doing veers more toward the former than the latter, or at least I would be interested in talking to someone studying to become a librarian if I met him socially. As for the living independently stuff, I rarely hear that come up unless it's a new, shiny thing for the person in question. Someone who's excited enough about having their own apartment to mention it in conversation might have moved into it pretty recently.

If this is mostly worries about social perception, I don't think you should be so concerned. If you'd like to feel more like an adult and less like a child in your own home, which didn't feature much in your post, I think Enail has some good advice. There are ways to live a fairly adult life in a home you share with your parents. It generally takes a bit of work to get out of old patterns, though.
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Re: I don't want to be a child anymore

Post by Datelessman on Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:46 am

Dannyboy wrote:Hey guys, I need some advice on some matters here.
For the past 6 or seven years, I have been in school with the ultimate goal of becoming a librarian and right now I'm in my second semester of my Masters in Library Science. While I've been at school, I've been living with my parents.
Anyway, recently I went to meetup for young adults in their 20s and 30s and while I enjoyed myself there, I kept hearing about everyone elses' lives, about how they all live on their own and have full time jobs and I couldn't help but feel immature and inadequate. So I've been thinking, do I really want to continue going to school for my MLIS, a program thats going to keep me working part-time and living in my parent's basement for another 1-2 years?
I know things wont be easy if I decide to quit now: I'm currently 35,000 dollars in debt with school loans (though I suppose that debt could be significantly lessened if I quit now),and I graduated undergraduate with a history degree which means I'm not exactly in high demand as far as the job market goes. However, I do have some library job experience, which might allow me to transition into another role in paper-pushing or something like that. Also, the library that I'm working at does offer full-time jobs that don't require a Masters degree, though they pay less than full on library positions.
I don't know, I really want to finally mature and stop living like an overgrown teenager, but i'm not sure if I'll be able to succeed out there with my current job experience and the worthless bachelors degree.
So, what do you guys think, what should I do?

The irony is the dilemma you are going through is one of the hallmarks of the adult experience.

A lot of the "benchmarks" of adulthood which we are told about in society from media or elders are ideals at best, and at worst are marketed baloney. People act as if roommates were a recent thing, whereas there have been non family members living together to split rent since cities existed. In other countries it isn't unusual for adults to live with their parents until they marry, or for more than one generation to live in one house. It is all a matter of perspective.

You're not a child simply because you're living with your parents or are still in school. The Great Recession has caused a lot of people to have to be in a similar boat. Student loan debt is a major hurdle, or decision, for many people. Many people, myself included, had to take jobs which we hadn't planned on to survive once that bachelor's wasn't the cure all to a career as we thought. I still live with my mother too; while part of it is due to her being handicapped, the other is financial.

To paraphrase Doctor Nerdlove, you're comparing your raw footage to the highlight reels of other people. You don't know the struggles that the people at this MeetUp are going through or have gotten through. The stress which could be beneath the surface. Everyone has some, yet few are willing to admit it or show it, especially to relative strangers. Heck, there are things about myself I haven't told people I've known 20 years.

Staying in school to complete your major is great! Pursuing your passion and education is not "child's play". Student loan debt is a real concern, but only you can determine for yourself whether the degree is worth the added debt. I understand feeling anxious around others who have seemed to cross those adult "milestones" sooner than you have. I've been there, done that, never got the t-shirt. But none of that means you're not a grown up. In fact, facing this personal decision and challenge is one of the hallmarks of adulthood.
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Re: I don't want to be a child anymore

Post by DoubtfulGuest on Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:05 pm

Dannyboy wrote:I don't know, I really want to finally mature and stop living like an overgrown teenager, but i'm not sure if I'll be able to succeed out there with my current job experience and the worthless bachelors degree.

I'm not in the exact same situation you're in, but feeling like an "overgrown teenager", and the discouragement that you're not where you want to be professionally...I feel that way frequently. I do have my own place, but I'm barely getting by on what I make at my current job, which is turning out to be more frustrating and discouraging than I'd hoped it would be. I felt like if I just achieved certain "markers" (having my own apartment without housemates, having my own car, etc.) I'd feel like an adult, and then I just found more to worry about. The only reason I don't live with a relative is my location-my job prospects might be even worse if I lived where my parents live, in a small town rather than a small-ish city. So, achieving a certain "marker of adulthood"...doesn't fix everything, because there's always something else to feel inadequate about.

I don't know what to tell you other than you're not alone in having these sorts of feelings, and it sounds you're not stagnating-instead, you're taking steps to be where you want to be. I definitely want to echo what others have said about contributing to the household-there are all these weird assumptions in American culture about how living with your parents is utterly unacceptable after adolescence and is a marker of being a "loser" (I assume you're American?), but it's all garbage-like Datelessman said, some of these commonly agreed-upon "benchmarks" of adulthood are marketed baloney. "Lives with parents" is just assumed to be "bad", without really thinking about why (and whether or not it's anyone's business but the individuals directly involved). There's nothing wrong with living with family as long as you're all sort of treating each other as equal adults. I mean, of course it's easy to say "reject societal stereotypes", when you still may have to deal with the judgement of others, but I really do feel like most decent people are understanding when it comes to stuff like that.
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Re: I don't want to be a child anymore

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