Since I was 15-years-old and up until recently, I had been convinced that I had reached maturity and should in turn be treated like an adult. Long before I even turned 18, I had it stuck in my mind that I acted grown-up enough to receive all the benefits and responsibilities that came with adulthood. I wanted to grow up so badly; I yearned to be treated equally to respected adults. It was not until recently however that I think growing up finally happened, and now I’m not sure why I was rushing it so much.
This summer was a turning point in my life. I had my first “grown-up” job. I woke up every day at 6 a.m., drove myself to work and came back home by 6 p.m. I worked full-time for the majority of the summer, dressing up each and every day with my new adult attire and working side-by-side with other adults. I even bought my own car this summer, and now each month I get to put on my big girl pants and dish out another payment for my grown-up loan.
Don’t get me wrong, this summer was great. I love finally feeling like an adult. There is a certain understated feeling of achievement that comes with being able to exist on a day-to-day basis without needing to rely on anyone. I woke up when I needed to wake up, drove around in my car without asking anyone’s permission and paid my bills with my paychecks.
When I moved back to Oswego for the semester the grown-up feeling didn’t go away. For the first time I am not living in a dorm, but in a house in “The Village.” In hindsight, I realize that sharing a bathroom with 30 other people, who also frequently trashed our floor, kept me more in a high school mindset than in an adult one. Now that I live in a house with only four people and have a space to help keep clean, I feel a lot more grown- up; I have to be responsible now. Before coming to Oswego, everyone said that starting college would be the defining moment of adulthood (if there ever could be one). Now having been in college, I would have to disagree. I didn’t feel like an adult just because I moved away and had to learn how to get my card swiped to get into the dining hall. I feel like an adult now that the responsibilities of adulthood have been shoved on me.
It’s great finally feeling grown up, but now there is never going back to being a kid. I don’t miss most things about being a kid. It always upset me to be treated like a child when I felt so much older than one, but on some level it still makes me sad. Kids don’t have to worry about cooking meals or paying bills. But at the end of the day I’m glad that adulthood is here. It won’t always be easy and it definitely won’t always be fun, but it will be much more fulfilling and now my life can reach its full potential, on my own terms.