Yes, I’m a little late, but happy October, everyone!
I’ve been living on my own for just under a month, and have certainly done a lot of growing…and shrinking! Weight loss has been going really well, and mental growth has been equally as successful.
Recently, I was invited to an alumni panel to discuss what the road ahead looks like for graduating seniors. I thought I would be the only one on the panel that would be honest about adulthood (or at least my view of it), but all five of us were 100% truthful about our experiences after we crossed the stage at graduation, and I’m confident that we scared most of the students more than we thought we ever could. We all lived alone, and that was a hot topic of conversation.
We were asked to discuss what it’s like to live on our own. Because none of us had room mates anymore, we briefly reminisced about the days of living in residents halls or 8 person apartments because there was always someone there for you, and now there isn’t. When we were in undergrad, we could come home, drop our bookbags down in frustration, and scream at our room mates about the awful day we had, or even celebrate little victories with them. Living alone, I come back to my empty, dark apartment and have no one to share it with. We joked that our social skills have been altered because we’re flying solo – and now whenever we’re around people we just keep talking, because all of our experiences get bottled up inside us. It’s funny to think about, but totally true. Clearly, it’s the root of this blog as well.
A student also asked us, “all of you guys keep saying ‘5 years down the road, 10 years down the road…’ how did you switch to being able to think that far ahead?” It was an amazing question that took me a minute to actually process.
I never realized that I am really living my life day-to-day, instead of looking far ahead. I discovered, and answered, that our whole lives we’ve been working toward a finish line that was right in front of us. Go to high school to get into a good college…go to college to get a job (or another degree and then a job!)…but being in the working world eliminates that finish line. It’s still there in the form of promotions, degrees, or a new job; but it’s just floating. I might get a new job in a year, apply to grad school, or stay where I am, but it’s my choice, which is scary yet amazing.
The panel was intended to ease undergraduate students’ minds about growing up and “entering the real world,” but it also did a lot for me. I felt a lot better after hearing from multiple people with very different experiences that they were going through some of the same problems as me. Even cooking and social lives!
I can’t say that I have this whole “adulthood” thing figured out, and I don’t think I ever will, but I’m getting closer!