When Did We Become Adults?

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This is something I’ve been thinking about for the last week or so. Or every time I go on Facebook and see someone else from high school getting engaged.

It’s ridiculous that in just three short months I’ll be done with my undergraduate career and I’ll be in “the real world.” But aren’t we always in the real world? Just because you don’t have a full time job doesn’t mean that you’re not dealing with daily life struggles and obstacles. It’s not like as soon as you set foot outside of your college campus your life is dramatically different (well, it could be in the long term, but in this case, I’m talking about immediately stepping foot).

When you turn 18, you legally become an adult. And when you turn 21, it means that you can go out to the bar and when you show the bouncer your license, for a split second they think you’re 16 – like the picture on your ID that was once your permit picture (but then they let you in because you go every Thursday night at 9:00pm).

The college years are those awkward in-between years where you have absolutely no clue what you’re doing. Part of you wants to be a kid, carefree with no responsibilities, but another part of you wants to have a good job and a cute little apartment (and a dog, if you’re me). You feel like you’re aimlessly wandering through life, like you do when you lose your mom in the grocery store.

Then, before you know it, you’re released from the grips of schoolwork and projects and group meetings, and you don’t know what to do with yourself. What do you mean I won’t have to write a 10 page textual analysis for work? That’s all I’ve been trained to do for the last four years of my college career. And don’t even get me started on personal statements for grad school – mostly because I haven’t done mine yet since I can’t apply until I graduate.

But seriously, when did we become adults? It’s not like we just woke up one day and declared “I am an adult” because, let’s be honest, no 21 year old is going to do that. Maybe it’s just been hiding behind everything we’ve been doing for the last four years. The late nights, too much caffeine, and complete lack of free time were the sacrifices we made, or rather had to, in order to come to where we are today: looking at graduation in the eye.

If you still have no clue what you want to do with your life or you’re wondering if you’ll be single forever, don’t fret: your time will come. Be happy for those couples you’ve known since high school that are engaged, and congratulate friends for finding jobs. This is the time to focus on yourself and determine what you really want out of life. Rely on your social support team of family, friends, professors, and anyone who has helped you out along the way. And whatever you do, don’t compare your life to others; it’ll just make you miserable. You are the shining star of your own life, and it’s okay if you don’t completely understand how to be an adult.

One comment

  1. This post basically spoke to my heart. As a 16 year old college sophomore, this post explains what I’m going through. I’ve actually looked at apartments online, dreaming of getting one haha. Anyways, great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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