It happened. I don’t know when, or how, or why it happened (ok, I do know all of those things), but I’m now grownup. I’m just like those people that I looked up to for years, who are out on their own trying to make sense of the world
I was the first of my friends to graduate. Sure, I knew lots of people who walked the walk before I did, but I was the first of my core group of friends. I was out to pioneer into the great unknown of becoming an adult. This included moving to a brand new city (what up New York City), accepting my first real job, finding my first apartment (I missed out on that in college while being a resident mentor), and making grown up decisions (and drinking grown up happy hour drinks).
Sometimes, having adult freedoms are awesome. I can go wherever I want. There’s no homework holding me back. When the clock strikes closing time, I’m out of the office and free to fly away to wherever I choose. I can even eat ice cream in bed. Because I’m a grownup and grownups can eat ice cream wherever they want. Right? Right.
But then there’s the scary things. There’s the bills that just keep coming; the student loans that paid for my education with some of the best faculty in the field of writing and rhetoric; and the financial planning for my retirement in fifty plus years. What 23 year old wants to think about the impending financial crisis, social security, and a 401k? The thoughts loom over me like the terrible summer humidity, seemingly unending.
Sometimes I think about dropping everything and going back to school. School is safe. Sure, there are tests and homework, but I know how the system works. I understand exactly how to meet those expectations and excel. The world of adulthood is different. Not everything is as black and white. Grading exists perhaps as salary increases and good performance reviews.
Change isn’t easy. No matter how much you may think you’re ready for the next stage of your life, there will be road bumps. I miss close proximity to my friends and unlimited meals at Michigan State University’s cafeteria (ok, maybe not in Holmes, but certainly in Snyder-Phillips). But it was time to move up and out to the next stage of my life.
That being said, I’m not giving up ice cream in bed. Grownups. We can eat ice cream wherever we want.