“I’m So Old!” Exclaims 22-Year-Old Recent College Graduate
NEW YORK—Scrolling through her Instagram feed, Rachel Barrett, 22, laments the long forgotten days of her bygone youth. On one picture posted by best friend Katie Tiegen, “katechmeifyoucan95”, from their graduation ceremony at the University of Miami two weeks ago, Rachel comments, “Omg we are ancient *penguin emoji* *praying hands emoji*” and they truly are. She scrolls. The picture creeps off the screen, vanishing, like a grain of sand in the hourglass of life.
At her age-old family home in the West Village, a neighborhood once ripe with vibrant colors and bustling activity, and still ripe with vibrant colors and bustling activity, Rachel tells reporters, “Life is going so fast, you know?” The walls of her parents’ apartment are lined with pictures of the past, remnants from days long ago: baby photos, graduation portraits, a wedding invitation. Pointing to a primitive photo on the cracked screen of her iPad Mini, Rachel exclaims, “I graduated high school basically five years ago. Isn’t that crazy? I’m so ol– Grandpa!! Not now. I’m doing an interview!”
In Waltham, Massachusetts, Kara Ford, 19 years old, discusses her tremendous failure of an existence. “Sunny Pawar was 5 years old when he was cast in Lion. Five! It’s like, what am I even doing with my life?” And the question rings true. Kara lists her greatest accomplishments thus far: learning how to play “How Far I’ll Go” on the piano, starting a custom candle business on Etsy, making the Dean’s List her first semester of college. She is no Sunny Pawar. “I was born the same year as Simone Biles, and my small business hasn’t won any gold medals.”
On the streets of Waltham, Kara wonders what could have been. “It’s been hard, but I’m starting to embrace who I am. After all, age is just a number.” We walk by the Shapiro Center for Senior Recreation. Outside, a group of seniors take part in a pickup basketball game, while others paint in the grass. Kara muses, “Why are we standing here? This place freaks me out.”
Back in New York, sources say that Rachel, still 22, spends her days pondering, pondering how to take advantage of her remaining time on Earth. An Earth that waits for no one, spinning endlessly, traipsing through space and time without purpose. As she once told reporters, “I’m like almost 23. The fact that I’m not an influencer at this point of my life is not okay.”
Image: Garry Knight via Flickr
Mica Unger is a recent graduate of Brandeis University. She is doing okay