Dear college students (or almost-college students),
So, you made it. Congratulations on living this long! It’s a real accomplishment! But unfortunately there are some terms and conditions you may not have realized yet.
Like, how you have to do taxes now.
And figure out how housing contracts work.
And sign a lease.
Oh, and don’t forget to create a budget, a four-year plan, and find time for hobbies you enjoy!
Welcome, friends, to Adulthood.
Or at least, quasi-adulthood.
I am consistently caught up in a wave of nostalgia these days. My twentieth birthday came and went, and suddenly I am facing the ridiculous truth of having lived for two decades. I know I am vastly different from the person I was just two years ago in so many ways, but mostly, I still feel like I’m twelve.
I’m just as unsure, awkward, and scared in new situations. I still have zero ideas about how flirting works. Finances are much more mysterious now than they were when my mom was my main source of income. I’m left wondering, will it always be this way?
I used to consider anyone in their twenties a “certified grown up”- but now I see that we are all just as lost as anyone else. At what point does it get easier? Does it get easier at all?
Don’t get me wrong, there are undeniable perks to being a grown-up. Freedom to do what you want and go where you please, weekend road-trips, a sense of self-sufficiency and independence that fills you up whenever you buy groceries or get somewhere via public transport.
But you also miss home, and your parents, and your dog. You miss the safety of coming back from a long day and sitting on the couch with snacks you didn’t pay for, using wifi you don’t have to worry about. There’s no comfort like knowing there’s someone around to pick up the slack when you lose your grip on deadlines and homework. But once you hit college, you have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get it together alone. This is terrifying. Growing up means losing your safety net, and learning the ropes of being a not-terrible person all by yourself.
So here are a few tips of the trade, from one Fake Grown-Up to another.
1. Try your very best. In school, at work, in friendships and relationships alike.
As Ron Swanson would say, don’t half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing. Take pride in your work, don’t accept anything less than what you know to be your best effort. Trust me, you’ll feel better for it.
2. Accept that you can sometimes suck.
Understanding your own limits and failures allows you to forgive others of theirs, and staying humble and open is the easiest way to maintain healthy friendships.If you always put yourself in the shoes of others, you’ll find it increasingly difficult to hang on to anger. Life is way too short to waste it with frustration.
3. Stop taking yourself so seriously.
Take ugly selfies, appreciate things too much, be enthusiastic. It’s ok to nerd out about stuff, and love things whole heartedly. If you don’t have something to be passionate about, what’s the point anyway?
I don’t have much more advice because I’m still wandering around hoping for the best myself.All I can say for sure is enjoy it. I can tell it’s going to be a wild ride.