Is This Adulthood?


The prospect of growing up is so exciting when we're young. We get to wear what we want, eat what we want, stay up as late as we want (even though getting a good night's sleep is one of the many things that excites me as I've gotten older). And all without the burden of our parents yelling at us for something or another. What a wonderful life that would be. Only in reality, it ain't like that! 

Independence is scary, especially when you take that first step and you're left making difficult decisions about your future, career, finance and social life (if you're lucky enough to have one). The experience of standing on your own two feet when you'd rather close your eyes and hope the ground would swallow you up is a terrifying one. Having said that, independence is a reminder that we can also choose to make decisions regarding our happiness. Living up to our responsibilities may be scary but it gives us the chance to make our own successes as well as failures. 

There is also SO MUCH PRESSURE. I'd never say that facing pressure only comes about when you get older because everyone faces pressure at all different ages. I know I struggled so much during my GCSE exams and even before then I was faced with so much pressure from society to 'dress a certain way' and 'talk a certain way.' It's ridiculous. But I know over the last couple of years that the pressure I've experienced has tripled. It's currently such an important time in my life. I'm in college and I've got so many decisions to make and more options than I could have ever imagined. It's scary and the stress and pressure people of my age experience is often disregarded which frustrates me so much. I know that whenever I'm stressed or put under a lot of pressure, one of the first things my Mum will do is make out that I'm somehow overreacting or I'll get the "we've all been there" etc etc. It doesn't always work that way. People experience different types of stress that are triggered by different things and everyone deals with it in different ways. I know this is going off topic slightly (oops) but I just think that people my age are also struggling and it wouldn't do people any harm to respect that. One of the main sources of pressure at this age is linked to choosing a career and what you want to study. Oh look, another decision to make and I'm still absolutely awful at making them. I know it's possible to change careers and it's almost certain that we'll have more than one job when we're older, but this is still the age that we're expected to at least choose an 'area of work' to go into. That way, we can narrow down what to study etc and the stepping stones to getting the job you want will be set in place. This is stressful enough as it is, especially when you're like me and you constantly change your mind about what it is you want to do. But when you actually go into that career, there is no guarantee that the job you're given is the job you expected. I fear this so much and it's probably why I'm so scared to make decisions in the first place.

'Acting like a child,' because that needs to stop now that you're an adult. What?!?! How many times have you shown an interest in something or said something and have been told to 'act your age'?!?! Of course, becoming an adult means that everyone's expectations of you will change. You'll get the 'look of disapproval' when you make a decision that makes you look childish and inappropriate jokes are completely off the cards but it frustrates me so much when people of my age get told this on a daily basis when there are fully grown adults in this world who could pass for wearing a nappy! I'm so opinionated on certain topics that I'm passionate about but I can't defend the point I'm making without appearing rude and don't even get me started on the whole 'you've got an attitude' problem. Being an adult and facing the pressures of what an adult should be like are very different and it can be so tricky getting the balance right. 

We can't forget the inevitable questions - Are you seeing anyone? When are you going to University? (Notice I put 'when' and not 'are' because of course everyone just assumes that's the right choice to make). Have you got a job? Have you passed your driving test yet? And the little comments and remarks that make my blood boil such as people who barely know you talking about your future wedding that you are definitely going to have with your imaginary children and your perfect job that lets you have three holidays a year. HAHAHAHA. I'll admit though that one thing that I am really looking forward to in the near future is moving away from home. I've never been fond of where I've grown up and even though it'll be tough and a real wake up call when I eventually do move out and I've got to stand on my own two feet, I think it'll be the breath of fresh air that I've craved for so long. I know it'll be a struggle. One thing most of us are guilty of is being so heavily dependent on parents / guardians when we were growing up. Doing laundry, cooking meals, paying the bills... Even though I take responsibility for a lot of those kind of things now, I know that moving out is on a whole other level and it'll definitely take time adjusting. 

When you're growing up, you spend hours daydreaming about the exciting aspects of being an adult but there are so many parts of being an adult that you won't see coming or aren't prepared for. One part of growing up that does make the stress worthwhile is that your experiences force you to get to know yourself better. Being an adult allows you to really come into your own which is so important. I know I hardly qualify to write this post, I've only 'officially' been an adult for 4 months, but I think it's about experiences and your level of maturity and independence that contribute to making you an adult as opposed to your age alone. I just keep telling myself that almost everyone my age will be in the same boat and despite this being an important time in my life, I refuse to let it to consume the amazing times and memories I can have. I think finding a balance is always important as well as being patient. I find comfort in the saying 'everything happens for a reason' and I've been reminding myself of that quite frequently over the last year or so. All I know, is that, the future is terrifying and nothing is certain. So, my new plan is to just take each day as it comes and that means embracing change, no matter how scary that may be.

Anyway, I'm sorry if this post was long and very chatty but I hope you enjoyed it all the same!

Lots of love,
Meg X

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