If I could sum up my young adult life in one sentence, it would author J.R.R. Tolkien's famous "not all who wander are lost."
I wandered a lot during my time as a University of Pennsylvania student. I made mistakes that turned into memories. I found love that turned into heartbreak. I blindly pursued a profession (investment banking) before finding my passion (cartooning).
With school back in session, many alumni like myself are reminiscing about our college days. Others are just beginning their college journeys as freshmen, and some are seniors getting ready for one last hurrah.
These years are a time of breakthroughs and breakups. Success and stress. Wherever you may be on that journey, know that you’re not alone. These 14 cartoons sum up many of the life lessons we learn in college and as young adults.
1. There’s only one type of competition you should really worry about.
All illustrations by Jon Youshaei/Every Vowel, used with permission.
2. But don’t stress yourself out. Remember to ask for help.
3. Find friends who push you outside your comfort zone.
4. Finding real friends won’t always be easy…
5. …but it’s always worth it.
6. When it comes to romance, remember that it requires more effort than just swiping right.
7. It takes time to turn a relationship into something special.
8. Learn to have difficult conversations.
9. But try to empathize even when you disagree.
10. Chase your dreams. Not someone else’s.
11. When it comes to finding jobs, don’t be discouraged.
12. Because “no” is just another way of saying “not yet.”
13. You can only study so much. The best way to get experience is to just do it.
14. And keep at it. Success is closer than you realize.
Have a friend who could use this advice? Maybe share it with them.
You can find more of my work at EveryVowel.com.