Grown-up transitions


JESSICA GIANNONEOpinions Editor

There’s something to be said about aging. It’s a rather funny thing. When do we consider ourselves adults? Do we really grow up or just adhere to the social demands of certain ages? We do change, of course. But how much of this progress is attributed to time, rather than certain life experiences and circumstances?
I’ll constantly find myself reciting the Blink-182 chorus, “What’s my age again?” every time I proceed to do something considered less than mature or necessary, given my age at 22. I still take stupid photos and prance around my room creating obnoxious videos. I’ll make a fool of myself in public places from some dumb idea that seemed funny at the time. In the words of my roommate: “We just like to play and drink juice.” There ya go.
These are the kinds of things that make me ask these questions. I don’t know if acting ridiculous is just fun to us, or if we haven’t learned to let go of the whole idea of not wanting to sacrifice a simply funny time for societal standards. There are people who are obviously considered immature, but what, really, is immature?
Do we really let go of our desires, impulses and fantasies as we get older, or just learn to control them? Those “immature” ones are probably some of us who still cling onto whatever joy lingers from earlier days, shameless to public judgment or expected ways of being. To be more specific, do we really stop enjoying Disney movies and playing laser tag? Even video game-playing is child-like, but men over 30 still do it because it is accepted in society (maybe not in women’s households).
You’re considered mature when you contain your giggles, carry on with “adult” responsibilities, change out of your pajamas on a Saturday and fill your time with work and errands instead of leisure and games.
I can’t call myself a kid or a woman, really. I still consider myself so young, yet, a girl at my age is supposed to be sophisticated and independent. I still live at home, and I’m just starting my “big girl” job and career duties, so where does that leave me on the scale of adulthood? Though I am, I feel awkward considering myself an adult.
When I hear “adult,” I think, grown, over 30, full-time job, kids, etc. But none of these things really contribute to the molding of a person; they’re just societal milestones that lead you into believing you’re at that point of adulthood. You’re grown-up.
I don’t even consider my 33-year-old brother far from my level of “being,” but based on those above qualifications, he’s all grown up—almost as much as my 38-year-old brother, who is far from young, though he still doesn’t seem old to me.
It’s weird how a 14-year-old and a 17-year-old can be completely different, but a 20 and 30-year-old can be almost the same, depending on where they are in life. Of course, I sound like a big ball of contradiction.
The point is, I don’t think we can ever really draw that line of when we’re “grown-up.” It’s not a matter of years passing, but what happens during these hypothetical stages of aging. I don’t think we ever grow-up, or fetch far from our childhood selves. We just understand how we’re supposed to act, and feel, and be, and we decide to mold or not to mold (or in my case, mold somewhat).
As a responsible, 22-year-old girl graduating college, starting out into the real world with a belt full of notches from different accomplishments, knowledge and experiences, I can’t picture the part where I let go of my naïve, youthful ways and move onto business.
Again, though, growing up is not one transformation. It’s a gradual, baffling thing that we just have to figure out along the way, and carry on with whatever makes us happy.
There comes a point, obviously, where we have to make sacrifices, change our lifestyles and throw away the Pull-Ups; but that’s only on the outside.
The truth is, we’ll stop drinking apple juice when we feel like it.

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