[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e’ve got Jeremih cranked as loud as our petty laptop speakers will go, and we shout, “commit to not committing!” and high-five each other a little too hard.
We’re half-kidding. After all, it has a ring to it and we’re fueled up on angst and desire. But there is a point to it — a truth value that isn’t as bad as it may sound.
When I say commit to not committing, I’m not advocating for hook-up culture. I’m not saying skip all your classes, quit your job because you don’t like getting up early, and hang out in your bedroom avoiding responsibility. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t enter a relationship, or that the commitment of a relationship is anything that should be toyed with.
Rather, I mean that you have every right to stop answering people when they ask you where you’ll be in two years. You have every right to stay single despite the questions regarding your relationship status at every family gathering. You can transfer universities, you can switch jobs, you can move out of your parent’s house, and you can move to a different country.
And more importantly, when you do, you are under no obligation to put your life under a time-frame for the benefit of other people’s knowledge. Essentially, we’re upwards of 20 years old, and there is no requirement stating we have to commit to some kind of life plan right now — if anything, we can commit to the impermanence of our situations, and embrace our ever-changing lives.
There is no requirement stating we have to commit to some kind of life plan right now.
‘Not committing’ has nothing to do with avoiding responsibility, and everything to do with embracing flexibility. We in our twenties are living out some of the most flexible times of our lives, and it’s important to accept the possibility that there are things in our lives that hold us back, and despite our commitment to them, it may be time to walk away.
Young adults are terrified of commitment. We avoid it like the plague, and often try to cover it up with a half-hearted joke. In one of the several communications courses I took, we learned about methods of persuasion — that people feel uneasy about backing out of a purchase if there was some level of commitment involved. School life and career choices are no different.
There is a time and place for commitment. But I think we need to be careful with what we choose to commit to in our twenties, and more than that, I think there needs to be an understanding of the importance of walking away. I don’t want to end up pursuing a career because I felt obligated by a commitment I made to my parents or friends. I don’t want to end up maintaining an unhealthy relationship because I’m too afraid to walk away.
We can be flexible right now. Completely. I don’t think it’s something to be wasted. That’s what I mean when I refer to not committing, but it’s a whole lot easier to just high-five your roommate and toast your wine glasses to being “committed to not committing” than it is to try and explain it. And a lot more fun.