Y’all. I think I’m growing up.
As I predicted back in September, this year has been different. I’m in the same apartment, taking classes with the same people, hanging out with my same small group. But something’s changed.
Last year I still very much felt like I was a college kid. Yes, I had one college degree, but I was still 22, living with four other girls (three of whom were still working on their bachelor’s degrees) in a mismatched apartment, hanging out in a college small group full of undergrads, staying up until 2 a.m. procrastinating school work, knowing I had two years of this college life to go before I had to face the real world. All my friends were on college schedule. All my friends were single and loving (?) it.
This year I am still just a 23-year old with four roommates, but I did homework on Saturdays like a responsible person and actually was productive on weeknights (thanks, Mugwalls!). I still have my small group, but it has fewer undergrads (and VERY few underclassmen) in it now, and we’re all starting to learn what it’s like to get up early and work more and go to bed at decent hours. I’m in bed before midnight if not before 11 most nights. I am responsible for another living creature’s life (Shout out to Scout/Scouty-poo/Scouty-pants/my baby… I am not a crazy cat lady despite what my Instagram account might show, I swear). Those four gals I lived with last year? Yeah, all in serious relationships now. Me too, for that matter. I’m thinking about the real world and what happens next. I don’t have another two years of school to hide under. I gotta face adulthood.
And while this is sort of scary, it’s kind of not at the same time. Although the transition has been noticeable and a little jarring at times (Guys. Greg (“the guy”) has a house. Like he owns it. Now he is an adult.), it feels fairly natural, like this is the next logical step in this thing called life.
You stop staying up into all hours of the night wasting time and start having a normal-ish sleep schedule. People pair off and get engaged/married. You actually start using Mint.com to budget yourself because suddenly you’re sort of making a decent amount of money (sort of). That collection of 60 college T-shirts? Yeah, they gather dust in you dresser because it’s business casual every day, and really no one needs 60 T-shirts for the weekends because you actually do laundry at regular intervals instead of saving up three months’ worth and taking it home at Thanksgiving break. (Actually, I can’t lie. I took home a suitcase of dirty laundry at Thanksgiving, but that was only because I am soooo busy with my adult life that I didn’t have time to wash them at school…)
And so it goes. I go to work and work on things mostly unsupervised because my supervisor wants me to feel like a professional. I decide I actually want to buy a solid pair of nude heels that cost more than $20 because I should be making sartorial investments like that now. I drive out-of-town on the weekends and visit my grownup boyfriend for the weekend. I come home and snuggle with my cat and watch TV. (Still not a crazy cat lady.) And I think I’m okay with it. I think, as much as I adored my “college years” and as much as I still adore college students (pretty much majoring in them), I’m ready for the next step.
I’m ready to be an adult, guys! I am! (But I wouldn’t mind my parents still covering my cell bill and car insurance…)