An unfortunate trait I've learned about myself is that I send to look forward to the next era of my life rather than living in the moment and enjoying the perks of my current situation. For example, when I was in middle school, all I could think about was being a cool high-school student, attending homecomings and proms and having the ability to drive myself anywhere I wanted. As a high-schooler, I couldn't wait to be in college and escape the pressing authority and tight curfews of my parents who still considered me "a child under their roof" while I felt like I was old enough to make my own rules. Even when I finally got to be a freshman in college, I couldn't wait for the day when I moved out of my tiny dorm room and could be like a real adult living off campus..which brings me to today. I am finally in the time of my life that I have been looking forward to-a junior in college, living in a house off campus with zero meal plan, complete independence, and total control of my everyday life.
At first, being an adult seemed like the most fun thing in the world. I had big plans of buying groceries weekly, cooking fun healthy meals every day, keeping my room as spotless as the day I moved in, and possibly even getting a dog. I soon realized that this image in my head was completely unrealistic, and reality hit me--"adulting" is harder than it looks. You can't just leave your dishes around for your mom to clean up after you or stuff the trash to the brim waiting for someone else to deal with it. If you have a cockroach infestation in your kitchen (which did happen to us), it's up to you to figure out how to deal with the problem. Cooking a good, healthy dinner requires spending money at the grocery store, time and preparation, and of course the clean-up process after you actually eat your meal. (Never thought I'd see the day when I would actually miss having a sub-par meal handed to me at the swipe of a student I.D.) In general, running a perfect household is hard, and I soon learned that neglecting to clean up after yourself, do your laundry, or fulfill any of your responsibilities only negatively affects yourself.
Despite the hardships of running a household and becoming more of an adult, how you deal with these obstacles is a great determinant of how you will live your life in the future. No one is making you go to class, study for tests, do laundry, or get groceries. If I wanted to sit around all day and do absolutely nothing, I could. However, doing necessary household things has become less of a hassle and a chore to me, and more of a rewarding part of my life.
Now that I realize just how tough and time-consuming it is to be (somewhat) an adult, I'd like to thank my mom for all of the times she cleaned up after me, put my dishes away, did my laundry, or made me dinner. While I realize that cooking my own food and doing my own laundry is no great accomplishment, it does feel good to be self-sufficient in small ways. Adulting is tough, but the transition from being a dependent child to a self-motivated, independent person is also extremely gratifying.