Remember when we were eight years old and couldn't wait to hit double digits? Then when you finally did, getting your driver's license seemed light years away, but you literally ached for the day to come?
For me, getting older was the greatest thing in the world, and I simply could not wait to hit my next milestone. Well, now I'm nearing 22 years old and couldn't regret feeling that way more. If life had brakes, I'd be stomping on them with every bit of strength my little body has.
Sure, I look forward to someday starting a family and all that jazz, but for the most part I desperately want to hit rewind. It's not that I'm not mentally ready, I just feel as though I have absolutely no clue what the heck I'm doing.
I don't know how to pay off my student loans. I don't know how to do my taxes. I don't have much money. I don't have a credit card. I don't have a job or my own place to live. Alas, in a little over a week, I will be a college graduate and completely on my own.
To say I'm scared out of my mind would be the understatement of the year.
I'm well aware that if my body kindly decides to forgive me for the fried and liquor-filled abuse I've been putting it through for the past four years, I am less than halfway done with my life journey. I will undoubtedly face many more disheartening challenges down the road. Yet, I can't help but feel that transitioning into the real world is by far the freakiest experience I've had to go through yet.
It doesn't feel real right now, but I'm sure the colossal breakdown I'll have the day of graduation will feel be pretty realistic.
Even just last semester, I was running around like your typical, borderline out of control college student, whose everyday schedule consisted of scenes straight from Animal House and whose biggest goal for the week was actually making it to the bar without puking.
Only months later, though, the idea of eating Chinese food and watching some TLC in my sweats all weekend is much more intriguing than being shoved around the Northside bar having cranberry and vodka drinks spilled all over my head and forced down my throat.
Does this mean I'm growing up? Because as grateful as I am to wake up on Sundays without a pounding headache, I still am not sure I'm ready for this. The problem is, I have no choice. College has chewed me up and is finally spitting me out faster than expected.
The job world has no mercy, leaving me unemployed and obviously, in turn, broke. I'm sure I'm not alone in these worries and struggles, but it doesn't make them any less horrifying.
Everyone always says you can do anything you put your mind to. I'm kind of ready to call bull on that one, because I'm confident I've put my mind, body and spirit into figuring out what I want to do with my life and trying to find a job for the past handful of months, and thus far and am still coming up empty-handed.
Maybe I'm panicking prematurely, but sue me. I've got a mouth to feed and would rather not live in Central Park, training my dog to do walk on his hind legs for money.
I guess in the end I know I'll be fine. I might struggle to get where I want to be for a little while, and may have to scrape the edges for a bit, but eventually things will work out. I simply have understandable concerns in the meantime.
For now, I'll have to make do with what I have, try to smile through the panic attacks and just keep on truckin' until I make it. But just in case, if someday you happen to see me in a New York City subway station playing a ukulele and trying to start a conga line, please, please have a heart and throw me a couple bucks for a cheeseburger.