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‘Love & War in Your Twenties’

Two women and a man sitting on the steps of the Supreme Court building.
Courtesy of Sophia Oppedisano

By Sophia Oppedisano

Editorial Staff

Everyone wishes they could be a 20-something again. 

The thing is, you spend every second of your 20s wishing to grow up. It’s a perpetual cliché we hear from any adult that thinks we’re willing to listen - “Oh, it’ll go by so fast! Don’t take it for granted.” 

The idea that these are the “glory days'' is highly overwhelming and, at times, suffocating. Odds are that if you’re reading this, you are enmeshed in the cyclical nature of the day-to-day structure of college living.

Not to mention, the world is awfully scary right now. It’s easy to settle, to cringe away from the doubts that are raised by stepping out of your comfort zone. 

I’ll be the first to tell you, I love being comfy. A cup of tea and a book are among my favorite ways to spend my time. However, I have found that my happiness is often derived from disrupting that comfort. 

When I discovered this, I started playing into my urge to be spontaneous. I surrounded myself with people who had seen more of this world than I have and asked them all the questions I could think of. 

And it took some time, but I got to this point where I understood that I did not want to take my life for granted.

So I took matters into my own hands. 

I got a passport and went to France. I took a highly spontaneous 14-hour road trip to North Carolina alone. I salsa danced with strangers on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I ran around the Dominican Republic learning Spanish on the fly and looking at the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. 

Each experience marks a memory, a story that is unique to me, something that tethered my soul to a feeling of exhilaration. 

Even after all of that, I recently embarked on my favorite adventure - the one that taught me that this world is more vast than I could ever conceive it to be - an impulsive East Coast road trip with my best friends.

We vaguely told our parents our plans, packed our stuff in my car, and left. 

Just because we could.

There are moments from each place that spark warmth in my chest when I recall them. 

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day at a house party in Hightstown, New Jersey, singing karaoke and sitting on the front steps with my best friend while the party continued on in the house. We learned more about each other than I ever thought possible. 

Throwing darts in a dingy college bar in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I hit my first bullseye to win the game while my favorite Zach Bryan song played. 

Frolicking around Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee, drinking too much Corona and watching March Madness over nachos and slow dancing to a crooning live version of “Tennessee Whiskey” in a bar with the man I love.

Driving through the Appalachian Mountains on our way to Washington D.C., eating protein bars and playing question games to pass the time while the scenery rushed by around us. 

I pondered how I had finally found souls kindred to mine. 

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all perfect. We cried, we fought, we were tired and cranky and sometimes the car felt awfully small. But none of us would change a thing if we could go back and do it again.

So, why am I telling you this? 

This isn’t supposed to be easy. Not every day is going to feel like one of your “glory days.” We all want to be happy, to feel appreciated, to feel excitement and know love.

I couldn’t imagine my life without the other two members of my golden trio I took this trip with, but I won’t lie, it took me a long time to find them.  

Being in your 20s is difficult, it is taxing, and it almost always feels unrewarding. 

But I am urging you to take a deep breath and look around you. Happiness and fulfillment live within you. You will find your passions, your people, and your purpose. 

Ask questions, think big, get in the car, and drive. You will find that the world is big enough for you to find your place even when you think you never will.

Besides, more often than not, love and joy always find you when you aren’t looking. 


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