The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


On the verge of turning 24

November 3, 2023/12a 


The word “birthday” has gradually transformed into a landmark for new achievements and journeys. I vividly recall the excitement of turning 16, finally gaining the ability to drive, and the anticipation of turning 18 to legally become an adult.  

These milestones marked the transition into adulthood, leaving nothing but unwavering certainty and a glimmer of hope. “Happy birthday to you,” they said as I blew out the candle. “You are now 19!” That’s what I remember about my last teenage birthday, the final one when I could innocently celebrate without the burden of “adult” pressures.  

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But those “good old days” have inevitably faded as I approach college and soon step into the job market as a future employee. Most of us envisioned adulthood as a magical realm of freedom, opportunity, and self-discovery when we were kids. 

We believed that, in some magical way, we would have it all figured out by 25 – our dream jobs, the ideal partner, and a clear path to success. However, when you hit “turning 24,” the quarter-life period brings more questions than answers.  

My 24th year is marked by a host of uncertainties as I grapple with daunting decisions: career choices, relationships, and identity. It’s common for individuals in their mid-20s to question their career choices. The job they once loved may no longer bring the same satisfaction. Like any college student, there were nights when I questioned whether my chosen path aligned with my passions and values.  

Things become more intricate when you need to find a balance between pursuing a professional career and nurturing your inner self, including romantic relationships. 

 For young adults, heartbreak is a common tune they proudly sing, and I’m no exception. The question of when to settle down and with whom is a constant puzzle. As an international student, the decision of whether to stay in a foreign country to advance my career or return home for the comfort of my love and family is overwhelming.  

Like the riddle of the Sphinx, the answer might require a personal sacrifice or a broken heart. In your late twenties, peer pressure and societal expectations can feel more intense. Seeing friends on social media achieving milestones like landing well-paid jobs, getting married, or having children can lead to a mix of stress and jealousy.  

However, I believe that becoming an “adult” isn’t all doom and gloom. It predicts a period of growth, exploration, and transformation – a natural part of adulthood where uncertainty can lead to valuable self-discovery.  

Though it may not feel like it at the time, it can be a powerful force for positive change. For me, I feel blessed to have the support of my family, the good friends I’ve made, and my long-distance lover, whom I will always remember as an important part of my life. 

 As a junior student who will soon leave college and embark on a new journey, I will fondly look back on my college life. I’d love to think of college life as a basement party – an ode to foolishness and dramatic love stories, but also to innocent optimism, and personal transformation. It might be overwhelming and sometimes nasty, but it’s an experience that you would never want to end. 

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About the Contributor
Quoc Huy Ngo
Quoc Huy Ngo, Arts & Leisure Editor
Hi! This academic years Arts & Leisure editor is Quoc Huy Ngo. Writing is one of his passions and he has been writing for more than one year. Besides writing, reading is also one of his biggest enjoyments (especially anything about art and the fashion industry). During his downtime, he loves to clean and decorate his space, spend time with friends, or just chill and enjoy tiny, beautiful things in life. Thank you for all of your support. 

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