Put on your reading glasses and blow that wisp of graying hair off your face (yes, Mom, I see it, you’re not fooling anybody), because I’ve got some things to say.
I just completed three months worth of college. C-O-L-L-E-G-E. For roughly 90 days I fed myself, I somewhat successfully did my own laundry, I made my own life-or-death decisions when it came to college parties, and I even managed to fit in schoolwork — most of the time.
The point is, I might not have become a fully fledged, mature adult, but three months of newfound independence is like finding out that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny aren’t real all at the same time — you do a lot of growing up, fast.
So, almost-adult to adult, here are 11 things that I want you to know when I come home for the holidays:
1. First and foremost, I get it.
I’m not in college anymore, there are going to be rules again, you pay all my bills — right. I understand. Please, no long speeches. No constant reminding. I’ve been making predictions and inferences since 2nd grade, so believe me, I’m pretty sure I’ve got the gist of what’s going on in this story.
2. I may or may not have transformed into a creature of the night.
Yeah, no, I’d probably go ahead and define myself as nocturnal. In college, everything starts at night, like parties, house meetings, the will to do homework — it’s completely different. So if you find me doing the dishes at 3:00 a.m., it’s not because I was feeling generous, it’s because Netflix got boring and I had nothing better to do.
3. Curfew or nah? Nah.
Now that we got the whole nocturnal thing out of the way, let’s get something straight. I can’t tell you how many times I stayed up with friends until the wee hours of the morning, how many times parties kept me out of the dorm for the entire night, or how many times I went on late night runs to get food. I know that the house is not a hotel, but you have to understand that the night is primetime to hang out with friends or take that random McDonald’s run. So please, loosen the reigns a little. I’ll be quiet, I promise — I’ve got three months of tiptoeing around a sleeping roommate under my belt.
4. I love you, but I love sleep more.
You guys are great, but my b(a)ed and I need some alone time. Keep the door closed.
5. I’m ok! That was just me screaming in relief at the feeling of not having to wear shower sandals anymore.
6. Be a bro and spot me? I’m poor.
I know, I know, I said I wasn’t going to be that college kid. But it’s the holiday season, and I know you guys have missed me, soooo how’s 20 bucks sound?
7. A gift card to Starbucks would make for a great Christmas present.
Put yourself in my shoes. I’m a slightly impoverished neo-adult with a mild-to-moderate coffee addiction, and I sleep all day. Plus, Starbucks has those new red cups — I’m telling you, coffee tastes great with a hint of controversy.
8. Chores, shopping for groceries, driving people around — I got this.
Let me take some extra responsibility. After three months on my own, I want to show you that I can handle it, that I can pass for being a competent adult. So don’t let me slack off and mill about, challenge me to help the family out as an adult instead of a dependent kid. I’ll make you proud, I promise.
9. If I want to go to that concert or party, I’m going to go.
Let’s be real here. In college, if I wanted to go skydiving or bar hopping or sleep over in a girl’s dorm room, I could I have done it, no questions asked, and you guys would have been none the wiser. So if I want to do something fun, I’m truly open to your thoughts and opinions, because your advice is what guides me every time I go out. But I’m not a dumb teenager anymore, so trust me and let me do my own thing, ok?
10. You guys are awesome, but so are the friends I haven’t seen in a long time.
Yes, I know, it always seems like I care way too much about hanging out with friends. But three months is a lot to catch up on, and I’ve missed them like crazy.
11. But no matter what, I’ve missed you so much, and I’m glad to be home.
Even if I’m stubborn, too argumentative, or seem eager to go back to college, you have to realize how good it feels to be home again. There have been so many times in the past three months that I’ve felt unbearably weak and vulnerable and wanted nothing more to call you guys and ask you for your amazing advice, but didn’t do it because I wanted you to think that I was ok. You are my greatest teachers, and I can never thank you enough for all you do for me. I love you.