Today, I found myself crying in a car on my lunch break while my fiancé held my hand. Why, you ask. Well, because being a grown up is harder than I ever imagined and I miss the ease of life before I graduated college, moved on my own, and started paying all of my own bills. People always say, “I can’t wait to be an adult,” but really, they have no clue what they’re getting themselves into. And before you say this is just another millennial complaining in a blog post, I suggest you read to the end.)
You see, when you’re in college, all your friends are around you constantly. You’re never alone, and very little effort is necessary to have fun an enjoy life, because there is always free time to do whatever you want (like take long naps). Not to mention, your parents can spot you a $20 any time you’re running low on cash and you get actual breaks from life for extended periods of time. (Christmas break, spring break, summer break!) Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about cooking all of your meals, because the cafeteria, which people always complain so much about, has you covered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
While everyone was off and enjoying break a few weeks ago, I was still working my 8 to 5 job. When my friends want to go out late on a weekday and invite me, I say no because I know if I don’t sleep, I’ll be cranky the next day. Not to mention, our schedules just do not match up anymore, and it’s difficult to find time with everyone.
Being an adult means waking up at 6:30am every day and being in bed by 9:30pm so you’re not cranky. It means paying your own gas and setting up your own doctor’s appointments, which is a lot harder than you’d think. You have to call multiple places and make sure they take your insurance. Not to mention, you have to make sure you can get off of work to go to them in the first place.
Recently, I made the (maybe not so) adult decision to become a dog mom, and it is also extremely hard! I have to wake up at 3am to take my little pup outside and again at 6:30am or he pees absolutely everywhere. He has to be potty trained and I actually have to pick up his messes and feed him. I know what you’re think, duh! Dogs are like babies. They need to be cared for. But people don’t always think about how truly time consuming that will be, because they think about the more important stuff, like how cute the animal is and how much fun they’ll be to play with.
Paying for things isn’t all that it is cracked up to be either. Sure, you get to buy what you want. However, you also have to pay rent, electricity, utilities, etc. Not to mention, you have to keep your fridge and pantry stocked up. It doesn’t magically happen on its own, although I wish it did.
Oh, and laundry! I’ve definitely taken advantage of laundry in my past. Washing machines and dryers are super expensive, and when you finally do have the money to purchase them, something stupid happens, like your car breaking down, and you have to pay for that instead. (I’m super grateful to Brad’s parents for letting me borrow their laundry room any time I need some clean clothes.)
It may sound like I’m complaining, and that’s definitely not the intent. Really, all I wanted to say was a huge thank you, not only to my mom and dad, but to all the moms and dads out there. Now I know why you always have us open our windows when the weather is cool outside and why you ask us to turn off the lights when we aren’t home. I also know why my dad was always frustrated when we wanted dogs, since he definitely did all the hard work in taking care of them (and it is VERY time consuming.) I still don’t understand the magic of a fridge and pantry that is always overflowing with food. (My mom must be a genie.) I also am so grateful for parents who paid for everything as I grew up, and still help out now with things like my auto-insurance and my phone bill. Parents give and give even when they don’t have anything to give, and we don’t always take the time out of our day to acknowledge that.
Being an adult is hard–much harder than I ever imaged. It’s so sad to think about how many times I wished the ease of a younger life away so I could be an adult. It’s not terrible, but it is something to adjust to. I’m glad I had the parents I did, and that I have the adults in my life that I do, because they’ve helped me learn how to be on my own at 22. I know I can pay my own bills, be successful at my job, take care of my puppy, feed and clothe myself, and much more.
So for those of you who aren’t quite at this stage in life yet, I encourage you not to wish it upon yourself, because it will come faster than you know and it takes a lot of adjusting. And to parents everywhere, thank you for what you do for your kids. They may not fully understand and/or appreciate it while it’s happening, but one day, they’ll be sitting in a car on their lunch break and realize just how lucky they are. I know I did.