Adulting is Hard

By Amanda Tonoli

Recently, it seems I have turned into an adult. I am dressing the part, attending classes every day since spring break like someone that is responsible and going to work to put in 100 percent of my effort until I clock out.

Yes. The act of being an adult is fulfilling — and exhausting. Just this past Friday I got off work with a free weekend ahead of me and, although I have spent the last few weeks pretending to be sophisticated and mature, I just wanted to run around and scream, “I’m free!” like a child.

What did I really do? On my way home I passed a small flock of geese in the park. I pulled over and I chased them. To do something so ridiculous was exactly the kind of release that I needed … so maybe I’m not really an adult yet.

Often I refer to myself as a fake adult — I’ll be a real one when I graduate. But will I really? The fact that I took so much enjoyment out of chasing a stupid flock of geese in the park tells me that maybe I’m not ready to be a grown up. Are we ever really ready? And do we ever really outgrow chasing geese in the park?

In “9 Easy Steps To Becoming An Adult,” published by The Huffington Post in May 2013, Kelly Brown addresses what is about to be unleashed on us students awaiting our upcoming graduations.

“Right now, colleges and universities all over the country are flinging open their doors and unleashing this year’s crop of optimistic yet confused 22-year-olds upon the world. Welcome to adulthood, young ones!” Brown said. “It is OK — and probably, um, perceptive — to feel really adrift and confused when you’re 22.”

Brown continued that mostly everyone feels overpowered by a wave of new and uniquely frustrating responsibilities. We feel like we missed some lesson that everyone else knows.

I constantly feel like I have no idea what I am doing … ever. Even if it’s something I have been doing my entire life. The second I learn a new, often better, method of completing the same meaningless task I have done a thousand times over, I feel like my whole life was just a lie — tying my shoes bunny-ears style instead of using the Ian’s Knot like everyone else.

“There are things you are just great at, but you never think of because you’re too busy worrying about the things you don’t know or can’t do,” Brown said. “It’s simpler than it looks. And adulthood happens one step at a time.”

I think that’s where I fail at being an adult. I am constantly concerned with doing something wrong, but part of growing up is accepting that there is more than one right way to do something. So what if I throw bacon into the skillet from across the room to avoid grease burns? Breakfast is still being made, right?

I don’t think I have to outgrow chasing birds, watching funny YouTube videos for entirely too long with my friends or competing for the best designed Easter egg with my sister.

So who cares if I never learned how to properly wear makeup or change that tire that I still have to call my dad to change? I know way more than my five-year-old niece that still thinks the toilet paper roll replaces itself and trash disappears overnight. I can curl or straighten my hair without people being worried about me burning myself — most of the time.

Becoming an adult doesn’t just happen overnight, it’s a process. But becoming an adult also doesn’t mean you can no longer enjoy the quaint, simple things of childhood. You just chase geese when there are no witnesses.