My 20th birthday is coming up on the 21st, and I couldn't feel weirder about it. There's no big milestone when you turn 20 because while you're entering a second decade, you can't drink yet. People expect you to be an actual adult, yet, I still feel young at heart.
Even though I graduated from high school two years ago and I'm well into my sophomore year of college, I can't help but feel like I still relate to teenagers. Maybe not the young ones, but anyone 16 or older, I think you're pretty cool and wish that I could still be your age. Turning 20 makes me feel like I have to ditch my young at heart persona and start becoming a more responsible adult.
Going through my teenage years, it felt like almost every age had a milestone. When I was 14 I started high school, 15 I was able to get my permit (but I wouldn't get it until I was 17), 16 I could get my license, 18 I became a legal adult, and 19 I was able to drink in Canada (when you go to a school close to the border, it's a fun little treat). But when you turn 20, it's just a place holder telling you that you're another year older.
I think that turning 20 makes me feel like I can no longer be a kid. People will expect more from me the more I grow older, and there's a big part of me that's not ready for it yet. I still long for the times when I could go hang out with my friends, being carefree about life because we didn't have big adult responsibilities yet. Being in college and living with roommates has helped the transition from teen to adult a little bit, but when I think about the road of adulthood ahead of me, it scares me.
Entering my 20s holds lots of opportunities that I'm excited about, but I don't feel ready for. I will graduate in my 20s, start a new career, get married, and maybe have kids. So far in my 20 years of life, things have gradually happened. It seems that the older I become, the faster things seem to happen. And it seems as though this pattern will continue to happen the older I am.
So as I turn 20 soon, I'll enter into a new chapter, a new decade if you will, of my life that will feel a bit like purgatory. Until I turn 21 and then I'll have access to all the things that adults can do.