Adulthood is Inevitable



Adulthood looms. I can feel it.

I'm a senior and what Bill Cosby has said is true: college is a four-year suspension of reality. I have recently begun thinking about becoming a teacher, probably elementary school. As I sit in my Milton class, I very much have the feeling that this will never be useful in my life except to make me seem smart in some high intellectual conversation. Those have never really been interesting to me anyway. I would rather be interesting, have fun and laugh than debate Milton's feelings about Catholicism. I have my own feelings about that subject, but most of the time I shut my mouth because I realize I can't ever truly have any influence on someone's deeply held beliefs. I gave up trying in high school.

Perhaps this is another sign of that looming adulthood. It is not that my very passionate views have gone away; I still believe in them, to a fault sometimes. I just realized that I don't like to hear myself talk as much as some people (these are the ones talking about Milton at what could be a perfectly interesting gathering of people). I know what I want my life to be for the most part. As long as the people around me get what I am about, that is all that matters.

But I am an adult for the most part; as of tomorrow, it's official. I will turn 21. So I can sit in a restaurant and drink wine or play trivia and have a beer at happy hour and not be looking over my shoulder. I can use my actual, official license to go anywhere and buy alcohol. I won't say anything about drinking in front of my parents because I've been doing that for a few years.

I wasn't always an adult in college. I did the stupid things; I've skipped my share of classes, but that gets harder as an English major; the classes are small. I'm up to my earlobes in debt on credit cards, but hey, I'm a girl and one can never have too many shoes or clothes. But now I worry about paying them off, interest rates, and actually having money in a bank account if I need it in the future.

I'm so sick of going to classes; I'd eat my syllabi to never have to take another one. I seriously would love to never enter another classroom again (except, of course, the one I would teach in). However, I want a job I love, not one where I would have to harass people over the phone or uses the words, "Paper or plastic?" So I am now preparing to apply to grad school, another two or three years of school and loans piling on to my back. Such is life and realizing what needs to be done to be happy and have security in adulthood.

There are things I still need to learn to be a proper adult. These are things that may take years to master: how to fold a fitted sheet so it is actually a neat square, clean my bathroom on a regular schedule, not just when other people might see it, and putting away clean clothes sometime in the vicinity of when they were actually washed.

But I know I'm an adult by one of the best litmus tests: I listen to NPR! WBFO is one of the quick buttons in my car. Granted, I listen to Shredd and Ragan as well because it's kind of nice to ridicule the world sometimes instead of trying to understand it all the time.

I also jokingly reprimand my boyfriend for not eating breakfast, but it does concern me. I worry these headaches I get are because I'm not exercising enough. I buy Christmas cards after Christmas so I get them cheap to use for the next year. This is ridiculous. I'm doing my mother's job for her.

I am not saying I don't take easy ways out anymore or watch television or go out when I know full well there is work I should be doing. I'm becoming an adult; the responsibility part can come later. When slacking off could mean the difference between employment and unemployment, then maybe I'll resist the urge to take a nap or sit in front of my computer when I have work from my real job to do. Maybe. But hopefully there will always be something in me that says, "Screw it, sleep this time."