I'm An "Adult," But Am I Really An Adult?

I'm Technically An 'Adult,' But There Are Days Whe I'm Not So Sure

The odd stage of being in college but having to follow your parents' rules and what to do about it.

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The past year and a half has been the most confusing time of my life because I don't know how to be or think because I don't know exactly where my place is in the categories aligned by society. I am an adult and have a job and a bank account, but my parents still pay most of my bills. I just don't know how to exist correctly.

I want to preface this statement by saying that I love my parents and will be eternally grateful for everything they have ever done for me and whatever they will do for me in the future and if you don't believe me read my article, "My Parents Are My Heroes Even Though They Aren't Perfect."

I think that this uncertainty may be the result of being coddled a little much due to my illness causing me to need assistance almost every day from ages three to seventeen.

I legally became an adult in July of 2017, but I still don't really feel like an adult. The only time I remember that I'm an adult is when they ask for identification when I go buy cough syrup. Like, "Ooh, I'm going to buy all the gummy worms in the store but, wait, I can also buy this drug that teenagers sometimes use to get high."

Then there is the issue that every time I go home I don't know how to act. I am back in the environment where I was disciplined into asking for permission anytime I needed to leave the house, but I am the age that society tells me that I can do what I want. Going from having the ability to be out of the safety of your home until the early hours of the morning, then that being ripped away and having to revert back to being in high school and needing the head of the household's blessing to walk the dog after 3 p.m. it's just mind-blowing.

I talk to my friends about this a lot and they all share the same feeling. This stage of life is basically the purgatory of adulthood and it's hard not to fear if you are going to be stuck here forever. It's one of the worst feelings. It took forever to get used to being on your own and being an independent person, and then the school year has ended and it's all ripped away and all of a sudden, you're practically in high school again which makes the entire situation a million times more terrifying because, well, high school (insert shudder.)

My guess is that before you go home for the summer, sit down with your parents and lay out your concerns and allow them to do the same. This situation usually does best in a hostile-free environment. Act like the adult you want them to see you as otherwise, this was all for naught. Then, together come up with some reasonable enforcement that you all feel comfortable with. But, don't forget that is an adjustment for your parents, too. Don't go off on and throw a tantrum the first time they try to stop you from doing something that the mutual rules allow you to do. Stop and remind the parent of this to make sure they understand that this is for the best and continue on your merry way.

Disclaimer: I am not your parent(s), so I don't know that this tactic will absolutely work, but my family and I have used some of these tactics at our house.

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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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