Adulthood Approaches

Adulthood Approaches

Or does it?
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What does it mean to be an adult? What does it mean to "grow up?" These are questions that I've continuously asked myself this year.

I am now a college graduate. Even saying that feels weird and I hesitate to believe it. 2016 was the year that I thought would never come. When I spoke about graduating from college in high school, it seemed like a distant future, something that would eventually happen, but to someone else. Now, here we are, I am on the verge of something calling itself "adulthood," and I'm trying to understand exactly what that means. The truth is, while I have a few years of education and experience under my belt, I most definitely feel like a kid.

My friend Maytal and I recently saw a documentary called "How to Dance in Ohio" about a group of young people with autism who, like us, are on the brink of that seemingly infinite period of life known as being "grown up." There is one scene in this documentary where one of the main characters, Jessica, fights with her boss and then sits in the break room, eating a sandwich, and says sadly, "I wish I could talk to my mom." Maytal told me later, "If that's not the perfect snapshot of being 22, I don't know what is." I can't help but agree with her. Rather than feeling "grown up," a phrase that seemingly nods at an ending, a capstone, a finishing of some process, I feel as though I am just beginning. Having finished up with my "education," I feel as though there is so much that I don't know and need to learn. I feel slightly reliant and fledgling. I need my mom and the guidance and wisdom of those who have already been tested. However, I'm also excited to be tested myself. I'm so excited by my insatiable curiosity and the shocking newness of both myself and the world around me. I have heard that being wise is recognizing that you don't know everything. Maybe the definition of adulthood lies along that same axis. Perhaps, being an adult is recognizing your place within a larger whole. It's realizing that you've been gifted a small plot of land in a very large world and it's your privilege to grow what you want on it. Maybe, it's mundane things like learning how to do taxes or doing your laundry every few days instead of every few weeks. Maybe it's a mixture of the two. Whatever it is, I will find out soon as I step into it, just as I do with any body of water, a little timidly at first to check the temperature and then wholeheartedly in a flying leap because, really, the water's just fine.

Cover Image Credit: Caroline Brown

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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