By Monica Rodriguez | Reporter
When I first started college, I was ready to enter the real world. I thought the horrible seven-hour school days, immature boys and having to follow everyone else’s rules were all in the past. I was ready to set my own schedule and be in charge of my own future.
Little did I know how hard the transition would actually be.
While I’ve always considered myself way too mature for my own age, borderline grandma-like sometimes, if I’m being honest, I found myself being sucked into the typical college lifestyle.
Grocery shopping and running other errands by myself on busy Sunday mornings proved to be more annoying than liberating. Going out during the week instead of just the weekend became the norm.
I thought paying bills, scheduling my own doctor’s appointments and looking for internships or job experience were still way too “adult” for me to deal with.
Now that I’m almost three-fourths done with college, I’m finding myself trying to play catchup with all these grown-up responsibilities.
Phrases like “career fair”, “resume” and “look at my LinkedIn profile” have started becoming a part of daily conversations.
I look for business-casual clothing every time I go shopping. Filling out and highlighting my agenda is one of my favorite past-times and I have a mini panic attack if I can’t check my email for more than an hour or two.
While I expected all of these things to eventually happen, as getting older is obviously inevitable, what I didn’t expect was the internal tug of war of always switching between two different personas: the more serious adult and the normal college kid.
There is a stigma that comes along with becoming an upperclassman that you have to suddenly have your life all planned out for the next four years. If you aren’t engaged by senior year or you don’t have a job the second after you walk across the graduation stage, you did something wrong.
What we forget is that growing up shouldn’t prevent you from giving up your youth. If you need to take a year to travel the world and figure life out before spending the next couple of years behind a desk every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., then do it.
I believe the happiest people are those who are able to keep a sense of joy and liveliness at any stage of life.
Society often makes us feel like we have to put kid things behind us and focus on the future. Yes, growing up does come with responsibilities, but why does that have to mean the loss of enjoying childish habits?
My point is that you shouldn’t have to pick and choose a certain life path. We will never be too old to go on spontaneous road trips, watch Disney movies or make impulsive choices.
So, to all the adults out there who don’t consider themselves real adults yet, don’t feel like you have to let go of your inner child just yet. You have a whole lifetime ahead of you.