Incremental Adulting
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Incremental Adulting

How a trip to the symphony helped me realize the truth about "adulting."

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Incremental Adulting
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This past weekend, I went into Boston with one of my best friends Alyssa to see the Handel + Haydn Society perform their first concert of the season at Symphony Hall. They performed Bach Magnificat, a selection of five Bach compositions as well as a piece by Heinrich Schültz. We managed to get incredible third row orchestra seats for around $30 on student discount. It was an incredible experience; the orchestra was so spirited besides being musically phenomenal, and it was truly a joy to listen to and be so close to the action.

But something that Alyssa and I didn't expect was the feeling of "adulting" we experienced during the trip. When we picked out our outfits, we both decided on fitted pants with heels - Alyssa wore wedges, I wore booties. Before the concert, we had dinner at a nearby restaurant and had wonderful, thought-provoking conversation. When we got to Symphony Hall, we went to the bathroom and touched up our lipstick together - Alyssa wore a reddish nude that matched the design on her shirt, and I wore a sheer cherry red. After the concert, we decided to get dessert at the Cheesecake Factory a couple blocks away. On our way there, we spotted a reflecting pool next to some gorgeous architecture right next to the Northeastern College of Professional Studies. We strolled over to take in the architecture and listened to a man playing the guitar by the reflecting pool.

It was in these little moments when Alyssa and I felt an overwhelming sense of contentment - a *happy sigh* kind of feeling. We felt incredibly classy the entire night; after all, we were at the symphony in heels and lipstick. But we also felt very mature. We felt grown up. But it wasn't like we felt that way all day - earlier I had almost made Alyssa late to class by taking too long in the shower (once again, sorry girl). After that I went to Admissions to sign a contract for my volunteer position, and I walked around like a lost puppy trying to find the right room until I finally had to ask someone where to go.

During my trip to the symphony, I realized that maybe being an adult isn't what I thought it was. When I was little, I thought that being an adult was something that just sort of happened, quickly and completely, overnight. I thought that surely once you get to middle school, you become an adult (how naïve I was!). But then I got to middle school and realized that that was absolutely not true, and figured that maybe it happened in high school. That also proved to be wildly untrue. Then I figured maybe it happened when you turned 18. Untrue. Surely, I thought, it must happen when you go away to college and live on your own. Also untrue. I still text my mom for questions about doing laundry and for validation for my studying strategy. I still text my dad for help figuring out anything technology-related. When it comes to handling my student loans, the thought of doing it by myself without the help of my parents is fear-inducing.

So here I've been, in my sophomore year of college, wondering when this elusive adult status will finally be bestowed upon me. But going to the symphony made me realize that maybe being an adult isn't just a snap your fingers, one-and-done deal. Perhaps "adulting" happens piecemeal, incrementally. Perhaps adulting isn't a constant or even a linear progression to being "an adult," but maybe being an adult is embedded in the little things, like going to the symphony and strolling around in heels admiring architecture and talking about life with your best friend.

Maybe us college students should give ourselves more credit when it comes to being adults. There are so many occasions when I think to myself, "Ugh, I'm such a baby!" and have wondered when I would finally feel grown up. But I am surviving - nay, thriving in college, having the time of my life and getting the most out of these precious four years. Maybe taking a 4-hour nap instead of doing homework isn't the smartest choice to make. Maybe eating pizza and fries for dinner isn't the healthiest choice to make. But who ordained adults as sages of wisdom? Who says adults don't fall asleep doing homework and then oversleep for school or work? Who says adults intrinsically and perfectly balance school or work obligations with social life and eating healthily and exercising and relaxing? It's a narrative that teaches us that if everything is not in perfect equilibrium, then we must be doing something wrong, and that is simply not true. Being an adult is not about everything in your life magically "falling into place" perfectly. It's about the little moments of maturity, of self-assuredness, of figuring out how to do something on your own. Cherish those moments as they come, but don't stress if they are few and far between. Maybe there comes a time when those adult moments outweigh the others, but maybe being an adult is an abstraction. Maybe, just maybe, even those we see as "adults" still need to call their moms for help with doing laundry.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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