"Remember when we were freshman unpacking our bags and boxes in the dorm? How crazy is it that in a year we will be packing to leave Greenville for good?" My best friend asked as I shoved a chocolate chip cookie in my mouth. I giggled a little and with a mouthful, I mumbled, "dude, I'm still in denial."
Part of me feels as if my college years have slipped like sand through my fingers (and that could be because the majority of my freshman and sophomore year was a giant blur-literally- sorry Mom and Dad), but at the same time I know that throughout all the years of partying, endless study hours, blackboard malfunctions, and most importantly the overall journey of college, somewhere along the line I started to mature as an individual more than myself, or my own family could have ever imagined possible.
A conversation at the coffee shop quickly lead us to realize just how much we had changed since our freshman year. Together we started to draft a list of things that we found to be true entering our senior year of college. Who knows, maybe college-aged us 50 years and we are just lame and not fun anymore, but I have a hunch a least a few people out there can relate.
1. Your social media feed has changed.
Social media feeds start changing from partying and going out pictures to people getting engaged and starting 'big girl' and 'big boy' jobs.
2. Schedules with friends have a hard time aligning.
"When are you free?"
"Tuesday and Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon. What about you?"
"Let me check my planner really quick. Hmmmmm looks like Monday and Thursday morning. Then l leave for the weekend."
"Okayyyyyyyy well I'll text you!"
3. Conversations Change.
Getting closer to the real world means getting closer to adulting. The main focus of conversations is no longer what party to pick to go to that night or how drunk your friend was last Saturday. Instead, they may become more of an intellectual thing and there is a lot of talk of the future. What your plans are after graduation is now a common conversation. How scary is that?!
4. You get excited over going home.
I have always loved going home (I mean I live on the beach), but I can remember a phase I went through my freshman and sophomore year when I boycotted going home because I was so caught up in my college life. That phase is sooooo long gone it is not even funny. Also, how can you say no to some home cooked meals?
5. You can't make plans past 8pm.
Maybe this does not apply for the weekends, but weeknights, sorry not sorry you can 100% count me out. I will be snuggled up in bed watching a movie/reading a good book or studying. Usually, within the next hour or two, I will be asleep. Call me lame but it's the truth!
6. Going downtown is no longer a 3 times a week thing.
Hearing the term 'going downtown' gives me anxiety. Flashbacks pop back into my head followed with immediate feelings of regret. It is almost as if the words of 'never again' seem to be floating right before my very eyes in bold bright red letters. Maybe once a month I will go downtown, but even that is pushing it. FOMO (fear of missing out) is no longer a word in my vocabulary.
7. I'd rather pay $100 then go into a crowded sweaty drug-infested fraternity party.
You can catch me licking the bottom of my shoe before I ever set foot into a crowded, sweaty, music blasting, death defying oder, drunk freshman girls, and bad, BADDD decision fraternity party. Sometimes I will wake up in sweats having flashbacks and have to calm myself down and realize it was just a dream. Call me dramatic but I'm not joking.
8. Congratulations, you have finally learned your limits.
How bad you are going to feel Sunday morning plays a big role into your Saturday night. Put the shot glass down. Give it a few minutes, shocker; your drunk go home.
9. Having to file your taxes/ having one or more saving account.
You know that April 15th is more than the third Monday in April. It is tax day! You also have started to build up a good credit score in order to get ready for the real world.
10. You get excited about new household items.
When one of your roommates came home with a new household item. Like dish soap. And comfy toilet paper. Or a vacuum. It's the little things.
11. You are the one supplying your pocket money.
I wish the bank of Dad could last forever, but unfortunately, we can not live off of him till we are 50. Asking for money is no longer a question you loosely throw around because you want to prove to yourself that you can pay for things with your own hard earned money.
12. You and your Mom are best friends.
I know Mom, you always told me to never call you one of my friends because you "are my Mother, not a friend", but let's face it, we are best friends. In high school, I used to think she was just annoying and loved to nag me, but with time we both came to the realization that we are the same exact person and together we have so much fun. A phone call from my Mom is always one of the highlights of my day.
13. You don't Snapchat every time you go to the gym.
No longer are you trying to prove anything to your peers. When you work out, it is not to impress other people and show to the world how good of shape you are in or how motivated you are. You keep it to yourself because by now you've learned a thing or two about staying humble.
14. You start going on dates rather then random hookups.
Nooooo Mom and Dad, I never have had a random hookup!!!!! But a lot of us out there have had plenty. At a certain point you realized that it is a lot more meaningful to get to know someone before you submit yourselves to them. You never know, they could have turned out to be total freaks but your drunk goggles saw otherwise.
15. You get more involved with your faith.
I know I can't speak for everyone, but for me personally my faith is a very important thing. The thought of knowing that He has always had a plan for me when sometimes I don't even have a plan of my own helps gives me a comforting and soothing peace of mind.
I love knowing that God is out there watching over me and that no matter what life throws at me (good or bad) He is always there to turn to, and will never fail to stop loving me- no matter what. How awesome is that?
"Oh, crap there was a test today!?"
You no longer walk into class and are stunned when everyone has a blue scantron out on their desk. By now you have learned what a planner and some highlighters can do for you.
17. High School might be as irrelevant as 2nd grade.
I don't know about you, but I remember close to NOTHING about high school. I feel like it might as well have been 20 years ago. I guess over the course of changing and adulting the memories faded into a blur. It is safe to say for me personally that I have lost touch with more then the majority of my high school friends. With time you learn to let go of the past.
18. There are more questions than answers.
The truth is, a lot of people do not have answers to your questions, especially about the future. You have to be in charge of answering them yourself through trial and error. Tough love, but it is part of growing up.
19. You no longer burn your ramen noodles.
Oh, wait I still burn my ramen. And my pasta. And my toast. And I undercook my meat. (Yes, the following 12 hours were really fun!) Cooking is and never will be my strong suit, but by junior and senior year, must of us have our favorite recipes mastered by now.
20. You no longer have anxiety handing in your I.D.
Congrats! You are 21. No need to stress out about fake I.D.'s or running to the bathroom to scrub the X's off of your hands and chug your girlfriend's vodka soda. Being legal has been more than a relief than I ever imagined.
I know, it is hard to believe and wrap your head around, but the real world is either just around the corner or you are already in it. As much as I wish I could stay young forever and never have to grow up, it is in fact, inevitable. Most importantly, remember that you are not alone. At some point, we all have to grow and change to mature into the awesome individuals we are today.