with minor edits

When I think about the future, I feel afraid. I don’t know what it holds, but I know that life comes to an end. Everything felt so safe and certain when I was a kid. I didn’t think about things beyond my bubble. I had my family right there with me. College students seemed old and far away, and now they seem young and far away. I say that as a twenty three year old, so it sounds a little dramatic.

I feel like I cannot catch a break. In 2020, I was worried about the pandemic, graduating, and job applications. In 2021, I was working full time and preparing for graduate school along with a cross country move. Now, I worry about doing well in my classes and finding an internship for the summer, and I know that I’ll be preoccupied with the stress of job applications in the fall. I balance this alongside my relationships, my health, and our ever burning world. I’m spiraling. I know that we all are, so I feel guilty if I lean on others. We regurgitate the same words of encouragement and advice to each other, but I do not know why or if we are hoping to see different results.

I realize that I am most bothered by people who claim that they do not care about anything. I feel small and silly when I care so much and the other person cares so little. How is it possible for someone to not care about a single thing? It isn’t. That being said, they bother me more because I can see through them, but they will retort with denial if I say so. In my opinion, not caring is not cool. Cool people care.

Am I happy with this version of myself? What can I change? How do I steady my heartbeat when I am alone? I still believe that people do not change, but I will admit that I feel different, and react differently to situations, at this point in time – in graduate school, in Boston, in the year 2022 – than I did previously.

Are the circumstances in which we find ourselves truly that staggering compared to previous generations? We have always known that the world is not perfect, or even good, on most days, but we continue to feign surprise. I turn on the TVs at the gym every morning and see “Breaking News” flash across the screen, but is the content actually breaking? Is it actually news? I do not want to undermine the gravity of any situation. Sometimes, I just wonder why we did not see any of this coming when we should have (or at least believed the people who did).

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