What's It's Like Being Grown(ish)

What's It's Like Being Grown(ish)

We’re stuck in this awkward gray area, but somehow it works.
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As college students, we’re in this weird stage of our lives where we don’t quite fit into any set demographic. Sure, we do our own laundry and possibly even make our own meals, but ask us how to pay taxes or what a 401K is? Forget it. We’re what I like to call grown(ish).

Being grown(ish) means eating pizza at 3 a.m. because you can and then going to an interview for some uppity engineering firm at 9 a.m. the next morning. It means being able to get into R-rated movies but still choosing Pixar instead. Having to file your taxes in April but only having thirteen cents in your bank account.

See, we’re at the age where we’re too old to enjoy something like prom, but the thought of a real job terrifies us. We’re stuck in this awkward gray area, but somehow it works.

And here’s why it’s so awesome.

1. This is the one time I can go anywhere without any responsibility

I’m old enough where I can travel alone to another country for a month and a half and have it be completely okay. Sure, I may be (very) broke but I can travel and not have to worry about a job to return to or family obligations.

2. Literally, everyone is broke

It’s a weird communal bonding of having only enough in your bank account for a Cookout tray and maybe a milkshake if we’re feeling crazy. You don’t feel pressured to spend money places because everyone is in the same boat. (Except for that one kid who still uses Daddy’s credit card…)

3. We have this desensitization to subpar things

Whether food, drinks, or living situations, we are exposed to the worst of it until it slowly becomes our normality. Thus, we can rough it ANYWHERE. A hostel? That’s nice compared to our dorm rooms. Street food? That’s a luxury—dining halls have given us so much worse.

4. Comfy clothes are everyday clothes

Crocs and pajamas? Now, that’s fashion and I’m HERE for it. Why look nice when you can double your sleeping clothes as your everyday clothes? That’s what I call being fiscally responsible.

5. We’re old enough to own our place but still can’t take care of ourselves

Now, this one is maybe (not so) awesome but it’s extremely funny as an outside observer. We’re still under the mindset that orange juice cures anything. Flu? Orange juice will fix that. A cough? Orange juice. Gestational diabetes? Orange juice. We haven’t quite understood yet that there are other necessary remedies to illness, but maybe we’ll eventually learn.

It’s an incredibly weird time but hey, I’ll take weird.

Cover Image Credit: Rachel Figard

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You May Have Worn The Prom Dress With Him, But I Get To Wear The Wedding Dress

You had him in high school, but I get him for the rest of my life.
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High school seems like the best time of your life when you are in it. You think that all of your friends will be with you until the end, and that you will end up with whoever you are dating your senior year. For very few, that might just be the case. For all others, that is far from true.

You thought that you would marry your boyfriend and you thought that everything would work out how you had always imagined. I don't blame you though. He's great. You wanted everything with him, but you were just not right for him.

I wish I could say that I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I can't. I can't because he is mine now, and I get to cherish him forever. You didn't do that right, and you were not meant to be together. You will find someone too, but I am happy that you were not the one for him.

Sometimes I have issues with jealousy, and I hate that you got all of the high school stuff with him. You got to go to games and support him. It kills me that I couldn't be there for him because I know I would have actually been there wholeheartedly. I would have done it out of love, not as a popularity appearance.

I hate that you got to go to all of the school dances with him. He got to see you all dressed up and probably told you how great you looked. I'm sure you did look great. Prom dresses were always fun to pick out and so colorful. It was exciting to match colors with your date. I am sure you had fun choosing his matching tux to your dress.

I find myself getting jealous, but then I stop. I am getting to match his tux with our wedding colors. I got to go dress shopping in a sea of white, and he doesn't get to know one detail about that dress yet. He will get to see me walk down the aisle and then every day forever. I get to love him forever.

I try to not get jealous of all of the things you got with him because it is all in the past. You had your time, and now I get the wedding. You got to dress up in high school, but I get to dress up for my wedding with him. He may have put a corsage on your wrist, but he will be putting the wedding ring on my finger.

Cover Image Credit: Jessy Scott

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I Expected It To Have It All Together By 22 And I'm Still Far From That

What we expected and what reality actually is, are two completely different things...

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Oh our 20s, how we expected them to be so different. We expected to graduate college at 22, have a career by 23, be engaged by 24, married with a house by 25, kids by 26-28, vacationing with the family by 30, and retired by 60. We expected college to be parties and cute boys/girls. Instead, we got late nights of studying and crying after a job that barely pays for our car, food, dorm, and textbooks. We get no social life and if we do our grades suffer for it.

Our 20s were expected to be all fun but all we got were struggles and stress. I mean I don't know about you but I expected, to have it all together and I'm nearly 23 and far from it. I had all the scholarships and great grades, and I still don't have any type of degree.

Reality hits after 18. Most of us don't have the help of mom and dad anymore. We have to find our way and make a path for ourselves. Sometimes our dreams and goals have to be put on hold for that. The 20s isn't fun. It's about discovering who you are, who you want to be, and where you want to go. Some of us serve our country, some become incarcerated, some of us parents, some teachers, others cops, others travel or study abroad, some dead, some ill, other managers, others homeless, some still living home, and some even addicts.

The weird thing about your 20s is everyone is doing something different, but yet everyone is confused and comparing themselves to others. People feel if they're not doing what others are doing, in their age group then they have failed themselves. What people forget is that with life comes obstacles and sacrifice and everyone's life and situations are different. You are where you need to be right now, for you, and I think that's something to remember in your 20s.

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Another thing about your 20's is you're free to think for yourself now. No more having to follow a religion you dislike or hold back from things you love. The world is literally yours to discover and learn from. Possibilities are endless! I think your 20's are the years you create yourself to the best version of you and build the foundation for your future. Just remember, we all build at our own pace.

Signed,

The lost 22-year old that believes in you

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