The existential crisis of being a 19-year-old student


… and some tips on how to solve it

Well, we are officially halfway through the first semester folks, and since I’m a first-year student, I thought to myself “wouldn’t it be fun to reflect back?” Well to be perfectly honest, no. But jokes aside, I was genuinely so ecstatic to join Loughborough University; society has deemed us smart enough to nurture our minds with further fertile knowledge rather than send us off to work in a salt mine. And when I first took my initial steps onto campus, I thought I had entered some sort of strange utopia where supermodels and modernism coexisted into a seamless synthesis of futurism and optimism; until about a couple of days later, when I had one of the biggest existential crises of my life.

Just like anything else in life, every problem comes from a range of sources and it’s rather foolish to boil it down to a single reason; but to save this article from being 20 pages long and getting uncomfortably intimate, I thought it would seem more elegant to centre my thoughts on others instead. I am currently 19 and my birthday is in September, so it won’t be long until my age rhymes with “smelly”, but I digress – everyone else is older! I think I have met a grand total of 5 people that are the same age as me.

I suppose it’s something to get over, which obviously I have, since I’m relaxed enough to write about it in my own overthought, idiosyncratic way of writing. And I understand that age is just a number and it’s rather shallow to think otherwise, but when I’m just a skinny kid fresh from college and everyone else is a confident and experienced 20-something-year-old that looks like a supermodel, I do question my own existence as a corporeal being. I hope my attitude doesn’t sound too hostile, but the point that I’m trying to raise is that, for the introverts that are still feeling the symptoms of these worries, I have an answer!

This may seem obvious but the answer is work – just work and be productive. When you’re down, or just uncomfortable, it’s so easy to procrastinate even the easiest tasks, but just contributing to your work by writing even a sentence adds a great deal of goodness and warmth to the seemingly never-ending coldness of loneliness. And if you’re far better than I am, because you have better intrinsic work ethic then, well, to try and save my own relevance, my other advice would be to feel open enough to communicate with others. I remember despite feeling the positive atmosphere all around the university from all the 20-something year-olds, I felt more reclusive than ever because I literally didn’t recognise anyone and I was anxious that other people would simply crush me in a social context. But truth be told, when I stopped brooding in my room, went out and joined societies (I’m not really a night person), I didn’t meet a single person that hasn’t been nice.

Literally everybody has had to succeed to get here. So in other words, the over-indulgent mean jerks that were there during your earlier education years have been filtered out, everyone else is a variation of you. So, for anyone who’s still rather introverted and reclusive, I want to say that it’s not too late to feel at home. The people here will eventually be your friends, you just have to let them (even if they’re 20-something-year-olds who look like supermodels).

-By Leo Li


About Author

This is Beatrice's third year with LSU Media. In her first year she wrote for Label in both Features and News, her second year saw her take the position of Music Content Coordinator for LSU Media as well as Label Features Editor. Her third and final year with Label sees her take the position of Head of Online, Marketing and Distrubution where she hopes to maximise Label's presence on and off campus.

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