19 Years Later, And I'm Still Afraid To Grow Up
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Politics and Activism

19 Years Later, And I'm Still Afraid To Grow Up

I am not yet ready to join the real world.

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19 Years Later, And I'm Still Afraid To Grow Up
Maggie Steranko

When I was younger, I couldn't wait to grow up and be an "adult." Now that I am on my way to being an adult, it gets a little scarier the more I think about it. Two years ago I thought going away to college was my first move into the real world, but now I realize it was just an extension of high school. College is not even close to what the workforce will be like. I get long breaks, time off to go home and my parents still care for me like they did when I lived at home all months of the year. As soon as a graduate college, that safety net will up and disappear right before my eyes.

I would like to think that I am ready to have a grownup job and apartment, with a car I am paying for myself, but the notion of that is absolutely frightening. As of right now, I just am living life day to day without any true concern about my future and where I will be in a few years, which is insane. Sure, I have some amount of time before grad school, but I should still be thinking about it an ample amount. But no. I am spending my free time worried about why the boy in my seminar won't answer my messages but talk to me in class instead of brainstorming ways to become a more competitive applicant.

College, while a wonderful time and opportunity, has made me somewhat complacent. For the first two years I was never thinking far enough ahead about my future, and now that I am, it's terrifying. I am suddenly thinking about how in a few years, it won't be normal to come home for over a month in the winter to just relax. I will have a job and a life that does not really involved my hometown and school, where I currently still spend a lot of quality time. Don't get me wrong, I have become a lot better at being away from home, but to give it up almost completely is another thing.

I don't want to not be able to come home and substitute in the classrooms at my middle and elementary school. I don't like, even now, walking into my high school and not even recognizing some of the students. It's weird that some teachers allow me to call them by their first names, when I am barely an adult myself. I am over 12 years older than the kindergarteners, and that is just plain frightening. I govern over an entire classroom of middle schoolers, and they somewhat listen to me. Insane. I am suddenly being held to the standards in place for grownups when I don't even really consider myself to be one. When did I actually start growing up?

I am suddenly filled with doubts about my own capabilities. What if I can't make it in grad school? What if I don't know how to pay bills and manage my finances? There are so many things that my parents still to this day handle for me, and the idea of handling it all by myself one day soon is overwhelming beyond belief. Yes I can do my own laundry and dishes, but I just learned, barely, how to file my taxes. I am not an adult by any stretch of the imagination.

Everything in m life is just somehow moving at a pace I didn't authorize. I still remember middle school like it was yesterday. I remember worrying who I was going with to the end of school dance. Yet now, 6th grade is farther away in the past than me graduating college is in the future. Hopefully someday soon I will be chuckling at this naive 19 year old version of myself's meltdown. But right now, this worry is all encompassing, and I would love for it to go away.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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