Feeling like a grownup


February 25, 2024

For one of my classes recently, I had to write up a personal reflection and present it to the class. We had to read a book and select one of the passages as the inspiration to the reflection. Doing that kind of work honestly felt a lot like writing my blog posts; I did the same kind of reflecting and talked about the same topics, so I thought it might be fun to share a snippet of that reflection on here.

In the passage I chose to reflect on, the author says that being a grownup has nothing to do with age, but is instead it’s a choice to embrace the fear or freedom and to decide and determine your own path (you can find the book here). This struck me as interesting because as a Senior about to enter into the real world, I felt like I would have this overwhelming sense and confirmation that “yes, I’m an adult.” It seems as though this is the cutoff period of my life where I’m meant to have this feeling; I know what I’m doing after graduation and I’m at this turning point, but I haven’t had that moment of thinking, “oh, I’m a grownup now.”

No, instead, I think that sense of feeling more mature and grown up really came over time from small moments and overcoming multiple obstacles over the past four years. From moving across the world on my own for college, learning all the things about living in America that people who grew up here take for granted, juggling social, academic, and personal responsibilities, and figuring out those “adult” things like signing a lease or paying taxes have all been moments where I’ve struggled (and been slightly overwhelmed) and figured it out, and become more of an adult because of it. 

Those individual moments of overcoming those struggles and having the freedom to do so have made me feel more like an adult than signing my offer letter or enrolling in my final semester of college. I feel as though understanding this passage helped me pinpoint exactly why those small moments of overcoming challenges made me feel more of a grownup than these monumental time stamps, because I took the choice to overcome those challenges, decide things, and embrace the fear.

This speech gave me some food for thought; at the end of my presentation someone asked me if I thought that I would feel as much of an adult if I didn’t know what I’m doing after graduation and if I didn’t have a job lined up. I answered yes; I think even if I didn’t have that stability of a job ahead of me, I would still feel like I had achieved this growth from overcoming all of these small struggles. I can pinpoint it exactly, for example, searching for a house for senior year of college, signing a lease, and dealing with the move in (which was an absolute mess) was a moment this past summer where I felt like such a grownup for dealing with these things. I’ve found myself having a lot of these moments recently of figuring out “adult” things like that and having immense satisfaction that I overcame that struggle on my own even though it may not look that difficult to an outsider.

Do you think that it was your stage of life or small challenges that made you feel like an adult? Let me know in the comments.

See you next week,

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