All My Friends Are Getting Married and I’m Still Eating Chicken Nuggets

All My Friends Are Getting Married and I’m Still Eating Chicken Nuggets

What even is adulthood?
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As I grow older into this “not a teen but certainly not an adult” phase of my life, things only get more and more confusing. This is not your standard “hit-11-here-comes-puberty,” or “hit-18-buy-your-first-lottery-ticket-slash-cigarette.” Everyone is taking 19-24/25 at incredibly different paces. Honestly it’s a little frightening. Here are just a few things I’ve noticed are significantly…varied.

1) Housing

Some kids are in dorms. Some are in apartments. Some are at home. Some are probably homeless. And we’re all reaching these milestones at very different times (maybe except for the homeless thing.) For example, I know kids that got their own place right after high school graduation. Some went to dorms, like I did, and moved off-campus their sophomore year. Some people didn’t get apartments/their own place until 22/23. I’m not saying one way is right, or better, or anything like that. But it’s weird seeing your twenty-four-year-old ex-coworker buying their first place as you sit in your first place…at eighteen.

2) Relationships

Why in the hell are some of these kids married? Okay, wait, that sounds really harsh. I don’t mean it like that; if you’re happy and in love and want to get married, great. That’s fantastic. Congrats. But we were dipping chicken nuggets into our mashed potatoes in the cafeteria what feels like just a little while ago. I so often see photos of people I knew in high school getting married, getting pregnant, celebrating their kids’ birthdays, etc. Meanwhile, I’m watching American Beauty alone, eating dry Froot-Loops in my Batman pajamas, resisting the urge to go back on Tinder. (If you’re single, never get on it. You’re welcome.) Do you notice any inconsistencies?

3) Socializing

Okay, I don’t even care if I sound mean: some of you guys went insane. You got three minutes of freedom and you whip out the fake I.D. To be honest, I like partying just as much as the average person. But when I’m living in a dorm and you wake me up at four A.M. because you drunkenly tried to open the wrong door? You very likely have a problem. You’re also breaking the law, but I’m not gonna snitch on you. I’ll let you do that on your own when you pass out on the quad.

Please balance work and fun. You don’t have to drink to have a good night. Eat some ice cream. Watch a bad movie on purpose. Lay outside with your friends and tell them your dreams. I don’t know. Just do me and your liver a favor and lay off on the margaritas.

4) Interaction With Other Adults

I’m talking real adults. Established jobs, a spouse, the whole shebang. This is especially prevalent to me in university where, yes, my T.A. may only be four or five years older than me, but I still feel the need to call them “sir” or “ma’am.” It’s a difficult time when your generation is becoming people of authority and you’re unsure if you have to treat them as such. Another would be talking to older people—some of my peers talk to professors like they’re best friends. They’re totally comfortable, feel equal, and share a mutual respect as adults. I’m still sending e-mails because I’m too scared to piss them off. Yes, we’re all adults here, but you’re still teaching me. Where can I draw the line?

So while we all struggle in this odd stage of post-adolescence pre-adulthood, let’s remember just that. We’re all struggling. I don’t care how established you are. It took a hell of a lot to get there, didn’t it? So be kind to one another; don’t let your friend do something super stupid if you can help it. Motivate one another to get that essay done, or work through that final hour of their shift. We’re all in this together, and yes, please feel free to sing that aloud. Your peers will join in.

Cover Image Credit: http://marccortez.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/young-adults-550x367.jpg

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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The Keys To Success That No One Thinks About

Everyone wants to know how to be successful, but how can you do it?

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No one actually owns them.

That's it. That's all you really need to know. If there is one thing you take away from this article, it is that.

No one really owns the keys to success.

They aren't owned, lost, stolen, regifted, taken by the bank, borrowed, nothing. They aren't exclusive. The keys to success belong to no one and so they belong to everyone. It's a commodity available to the public, yet only some take advantage of the wonderful opportunities it brings.

It doesn't take a lot to be successful. The only thing it requires is a mindset. When you decide you want to be successful, you are accepting a mentality that while where you are might be okay (or it might suck), you want a change. You want something new, something better, and something that you can't gain from being where you are. This realization flips the most important switch in your body to on: motivation.

Now you are ready to go out and get what you want. You will research what it takes, google it until you're blue in the face, and yelp all the reviews of people who have done it before. You find out what it takes, what you have, and the things you need to gain to make it a reality. You figure out the plan and you're driven to carry it out until it is completely executed. It's a mentality that must stick even when the times get rough.

ESPECIALLY when the times get rough.

And also, the best part is, you can make the keys what you want.

If your door looks like making money for your own start up, then all the power to you. If your door looks like the confidence to wear what you want out in public from that day on, then good for you sister. If your door looks like getting into medical school, then get that 4.0 or that 3.9 or whatever you need during that undergraduate career baby. If your door looks like graduating, then get that degree. The only thing stopping you is you and the limits of your imagination. Make it happen. Success is your own. It's subjective.

However, if you came to this article looking for maybe some starter steps to being successful, I can offer those, too.

1. Focus on your commitment and where you're headed

Think about how sweet it'll be once you get where you want to be when the times get rough.

2. Make the journey fun

Make sure you do things you really enjoy along the way when you're struggling.

3. Avoid distractions

If it isn't helping you, it could be hurting you, so keep your eyes open for unnecessary road blocks.

4. Rely on yourself

You are the person who wants to achieve this goal. You are the only person who can really determine whether or not you can get there. Plenty will try to drag you down, but do not let them. Others may help you along the way, but they are not going to carry you where you want to go. You have to want it.

5. Make a plan

Although sometimes things happen that can't be predicted when you first make the plan, having structure is a lot better than winging it. It helps you focus on the end result and also helps it seem much more attainable when you break it down into steps. If you're organized, you'll have a higher chance of succeeding.

6. Don't be afraid of failure

You may come across roadblocks that you can't budge. That's okay. Go back and find a new way to go. Giving up isn't the answer and it surely won't get you where you want to go if you give up the second things look hard. Push on. Persevere. Pick yourself up.

7. Be willing to work hard

You won't get what you want easily. Nothing worth having comes easily. So saddle up and get ready because it might be a long and hard road, but the results will make you glad you took the journey.

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