Never grow up.
All of your childhood you hear it, yet all of your childhood is spent in ignorant anticipation of doing just that.
Reaching double digits on your 10th birthday, becoming a teenager, getting your driver’s license, being the “big bad high school senior,” going to college and one day having a job and a family and reaching the top-tier status of adult.
All of these lifetime achievements are exciting to think about as a kid, but then it all happens. Before you know it, you’re sitting in your dorm room, one year from graduating college, and you realize that all those events have long passed, and the next step is the culmination of your childhood daydreams: adulthood. All of a sudden, the day you simply could not wait for as a child is here, but it is not as spectacular as you had imagined. The dream now seems more like a nightmare.
You need to get a house and pay for it all by yourself. You need to eat and pay for it all by yourself. If a spouse and kids were part of your plan, you need to somehow find the love of your life if you haven’t already, marry them and get your family started. And speaking of family, remember the one back home that you grew up with your entire life and love so much? Well good luck ever seeing them again. Everything you have ever known comes crashing down, and you can’t help but think of that age-old advice you so foolishly ignored and ask, “Why did I ever grow up?”
Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but the idea of entering into a brand new time of your life can be daunting. I know I’ve spent many a night lying awake freaking out about leaving home, and my cat, forever. But I’ve recently made a step that has helped me calm down. This semester I am living off campus, and I am loving it. Sure, it’s only been a few weeks. Sure, I’m renting a place with my brother. Sure, I don’t have the stresses of a career and family. But that’s okay. This step, as small as it may seem, has already helped me realize that maybe it’s not so scary after all. Finding a nice, inexpensive place to live wasn’t that hard; paying rent and bills aren’t that scary; getting furniture wasn’t that expensive and grocery shopping was actually pretty fun (especially since I got to pick what I bought). Making the move out of a place that has been paid for, whether it’s my dad’s house or a dorm room, and into a place that is my responsibility to pay for and take care of has eliminated one of the mysteries that makes that jump into adulthood so intimidating. I know that renting an apartment in college is not what life is going to be like once I graduate, but if I can rent and furnish an apartment and go grocery shopping, then maybe I can do all of those other things too.
Next time you’re lying in bed hyperventilating because you aren’t ready to move on, just remember: you’ve made it this far and you’ve passed all those other milestones, what’s one more? Keep on forging ahead in life, and try to be excited about it, like when you were a kid who couldn’t wait to reach double digits.