I remember thinking to myself in years past, "What will it be like to be grown up?"
Honestly, I'm still figuring it out. I'm 23 not 83, and I'd say by that age I'll still be wondering.
But, these years go by so quickly and I'm not sure where the time goes. I'm out of college, kids I used to baby on the bus are in high school, and my niece is somehow already 3, almost 4, and I swear she was a newborn like last week. All of these things I "couldn't wait for" are suddenly springing upon me and I know less than I ever thought I would. Yet, somehow I know more.
Being a certified adult (am I certified? Is there a certification?) is a lot more complicated and weird than I anticipated. The movies make it seem glamorous and my parents made it look easy. If there's a guidebook for this, I'm all ears, otherwise I think I missed out on a very important memo.
As a writer, I like to document things, write them out, create. So, for you, I have compiled a list of 10 things that adulthood has taught me (in my very short time of being a real-life adult).
I think I started catching onto this in college, but man do I like sleeping. I don't know why people decided toddlers are the ones that gets naps. I'm 23 and I am tired and ready for bed by 9:30. Granted, the latest I stayed out in college was like 2:00 a.m. tops so I know I'm a little abnormal, but still! Is this normal? Once you graduate college do you lose the ability to stay awake past the newest episode of Dancing With the Stars? Why does This Is Us come on at 9:00 p.m.? Sleep becomes a very sacred thing the older you get. And I don't even have a baby yet. I can only imagine it goes downhill from here.
2. Look at that Body
I've always been a fairly active person, so I've been pretty lucky when it comes to weight. But, wow, when you get an 8-5 job and you're tired all the time and just want to fix dinner and lay down, does that really take a toll on your body! Before I got this job, we were able to go to the gym and get our fitness on. Yesterday was the first time we went in almost a month. I have never felt to blah and lazy. My get-up-and-go went up and left. You actually have to work at your body. No more eating junk food for dinner and somehow losing weight. Somehow, those days end up so far in the review mirror that you forgot they existed.
3. The Stress is Real
You thought high school was stressful, and then you went to college. You thought college was bad, but then you went to grad school. Do you see how there seems to be a pattern here? It seems to me that as you go on in life, the stress does not disappear all of a sudden. You have to manage it, just as you always have. It doesn't get any easier on it's own, I promise that. You have a job, bills, mouths to feed, pets to take care of, groceries to get, and a list that goes on and on! It's great. So, don't think life is smooth sailing after graduation. It's still work, and it's up to you to make it as smooth as possible.
4. But It Looks So Easy!
Somehow, we have been fooled. Duped to believe that adulting is easy. My parents and grandparents made this whole thing look like a cakewalk. But, if you think about it, you've been a kid most of your life. No one is going to tell you when things are getting bad or how stressed out they've been trying to keep a roof over your head. You're protected from this most of your life until, BAM, they decide you're old enough and now you're stressed for all the years you weren't stressed but should have been. But the cool thing is, one day you'll get to make this look easy, too.
5. Grocery Shopping is The Devil's Work
As a kid, you probably loved the thought of going to the grocery store with your parents so you could throw all sorts of random things into the cart in hopes no one noticed until it was already paid for. But, did you have to make the list? Did you have to plan out meals for the next week or until you went to the store again? Did you have to take breakfast and lunch orders a week before they happened? NO! You had it easy; you just went and had a hay day. I hate going to the grocery store. People are rude and stand in the middle of the aisle and talk when I'm just trying to grab some taco seasoning. C'mon Susan! Take Barbara out to lunch instead.
6. To-Do Lists are Your Friends
Have you ever thought about getting organized, but kept putting it off? Don't do it. In fact, start making lists. All the lists. You'll start making lists for absolutely no reason, but it all helps. Somehow. I make to do lists every day, and half the time I put stuff on it just so I can mark it off two seconds later. It's a great feeling. Being organized is a great feeling. You can't control much in this life, but you sure can make a list.
7. What's a Holiday Break?
This should be obvious. Unless you're a teacher, you probably aren't getting weeks of holiday vacation like you have your whole life. You might get a day off for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and just New Year's Day. Definitely not a month and a half for summer. It's rough, but take it in. Welcome to life.
8. Turn the Clocks for What?
I think I used to like time change. At least Fall Back. Spring forward always sucked. But, wow do I hate it now. Ever since we turned the clocks back, I have expected to love this so-called extra hour of sleep I get, but I am honestly just so confused and that's probably why I go to bed at 9:00 like a grandma now. I move to abolish time change so I don't have to leave work at 5:00 IN THE DARK. If you still love it, cherish time change while you can, because I guarantee it will bite you in the butt when you get older.
9. Take Care
Take care of yourself, because no one else will. No one is going to baby you in the real world (unless you talk to your mom every day like I do), so you have to learn to do it yourself. You're the only person that knows how you're feelings, what you need, and what you want. You come first in this crazy Hunger Games world. Do what you need to do in order to be happy, healthy, and strong (mentally, physically, and emotionally). Self-care is one of the most important things I've learned since I moved out. Now I give that knowledge to you.
10. Turkey Bonus
Again, this might be a thing that's super well-known to most people, but wow did it hit me today. I've always gotten an entire week off for Thanksgiving break. Apparently, that is an insane notion people in West Virginia are privy to and not many others. Man, adulthood makes you learn amazing and terrible things, my friends.
What's something you've learned in adulthood? What's some advice that you wish you would have gotten earlier in life? Let me know in the comments below!