While surfing the Internet, a blog prompt site asked, “When did you realize that you were an adult?” As a person that has accumulated only twenty years of life experience, I don’t think I have one specific, life-altering moment of newfound adulthood. I wasn’t walking or driving along and then realized that “Hey, I’m an adult.” Nope. It’s been more like a string of instances into adulthood. Let me explain.
In 3rd grade, I thought that I would be an adult when I got into the 8th grade. After all, 8th grade is the top of the middle school food chain. We got to go to lunch first, we got to sit at the table farthest away from the teachers, and we got to wear caps and gowns at graduation. Supposedly, it was supposed to be like high school, only smaller.
When I finally reached the 8th grade, I was certain that I had turned the page marked “Adulthood” and that I was as mature as I thought I would be. I was 14 years old and I knew it all because I was going to high school. False.
High school came and went. When I graduated, I was certain that the day after graduation was the first day of the rest of my life. I had graduated high school and I had to be an adult. Those who didn’t know me were asking what year I was at St. Catherine’s (where my mother attended college) when I was a high school freshman, so by the time it came for real college, I was an adult. I apparently looked the part. Wrong again.
I think that I believed that I was an adult when I moved into my freshman dormitory at my current institution of learning. I was away from home and I had the opportunity to stay up as long as I wanted and participate in other escapades. If I wanted to eat the whole jar of pickles in the fridge, then I most certainly could. I was an adult. However, I was an adult until the first Monday of classes. That was when I realized that I still wasn’t an adult because I didn’t quite know everything. So when did I have my epiphany that thrust me into adulthood? I haven’t yet (If you were wondering).
I used to think that the age I am now (20) was a good age to get married and have about 2 kids. That was when I was 10. Ten years ago, 20 seemed like a lifetime and whole life stage away. Age 2o signified adulthood and maybe even parenting. Now that I am 20, I’m not so sure I’m the adult that I thought I would be. I’m still not for sure if I’m even an adult. I’m still saying things jokingly like “When I grow up I want to be a ______.” However, there might be some truth to that.
I’m not saying that waking up on what I thought was the first day of the rest of my life wasn’t life altering, but it didn’t signify adulthood. I’m also not suggesting that college hasn’t given me a world of opportunity. I will be the first to say that being able to come to a place like Georgetown has been in the top 5 best things to ever happen to me. But I am saying that I don’t think you just “arrive” at adulthood. You grow into it, and one day, when you’re old and wise, you’ll discover that adulthood didn’t just happen, it grew with and around you.
PS – When I grow up, I want to be a teacher/professor/scholarly person/awesome blogger.