By Bianca Fernandes
After three years of fun, freedom and excitement in college, it all came to a crashing halt with a summer at home that never ended. At one moment, I was 100% independent and making all my own decisions and ruling my side of the dormitory. The next moment I had to be indoors at a certain time, I was sleeping in Batman sheets, and I generally felt like I was 10 years old again. This dramatic change really takes a toll on your spirit. Perhaps journalism wasn’t the best course if I wanted to actually find a career after college.
But I can’t blame my parents for treating me like a child. You see, in South Africa, living with your parents for an extended amount of time is pretty normal and most kids live at home throughout college and move out when they get a job. But I chose to study far away from my hometown. I chose the college life. The full college experience. And my post-college plans were to stay in the city, ideally in a studio apartment with someone sexy to share my free time with. It wasn’t my plan to spend the day with Bruno the dog.
And now I’m left with that horrible empty feeling in my gut that I might not get a job. Being in my demographic and getting a worthwhile journalism job in this country is almost impossible. I dream about moving aboard to find a job I love in a city I’ve only seen on TV. But how do I save up the funds to travel to a foreign land and support myself through months of job searching there?
But nevertheless, I’m not the only one who had to suffer through the extremely humiliating move back into my parent’s house after a taste of freedom that ended too quickly. It seems like a recurring theme in every rom-com series on-air today. Twenty-somethings just aren’t in the position to make money, well, unless you’re Taylor Swift. Coincidentally I just happen to be 22 this year. Aw, irony! I guess T.S doesn’t really know how it feels to be 22 after all.
But what truly hurts, deep down in my bones, is feeling like you just can’t escape your childhood. It’s time to grow up and move on and I’m stuck. Stuck searching for jobs online all day and feeling like the ultimate shut-in. I want to break free. I want to live. I want to be on my own. I want to open my own curtains in the morning. I want to have to rely on my alarm clock rather than my mom. I want to make my own lunch. I want to be struck for cash, but I want that to be my problem and my problem alone. No more pocket money, no more snacks.
College may have set me back a pretty penny, and even though too many kids like me in South Africa are going through the same problem, I am determined to make living at my parent’s house a temporary thing, no matter how permanent it feels. In the process, I hope at least I am building character.