Friday, August 9, 2013

Welcome to Adulthood

It happens before you know it.  One day, you're taking seven back-to-back shots with no trace of a hangover the next day, and the next you're crying in the bar on your 22nd birthday becuase I don't know about youu, but I'm feeling eighty-twooo.

You see, after 21, nothing matters.  Your life becomes a dismal spiral of desperately trying to find a long-term boyfriend, working 9 to 5, getting married, having kids, getting fat, etc. Your peak is over, and adulthood really does creep up on you.  Here's how it goes...

Social Life
First, you will see a dramatic change in your social life.  Presumably after graduation you get a job.  It could take a few months, but you'll probably move to a new city.  You might know a few people but it's doubtful that that one girl you had a class with wants to hang out every night.  Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make new friends.  Unfortunately, I have not figured that out yet, so for the time being my best friends are Leiutenant Winters (I've started watching Band of Brothers) and the lady at 7-Eleven down the street from my office.

So how do you fill your time?  It's strange, because you no longer want to drink to excess.  Not even on the weekends!  You get home from work and you are TIRED, in bed by 11:30.  Well, you know what they say, early to bed and you'll still hate waking up at 7. 

Matching up the days of the week with an alliteration that entails lots of alcohol consumption is still something people do in the real world, but it is more to be kitschy and less something they live by.  Adults prefer "Hump Day" and "Casual Friday."  But perhaps the end of binge drinking is a good thing.  See it as an opportunity to cleanse your liver and lose that pesky beer belly that appeared halfway through sophomore year.

Remember when people told you that the key to finding happiness in college was the vague, "Join a club!"  It's kind of the same thing, but now the phrase is "Take up a hobby," which is so annoying because what even is a hobby?  Stamp collecting?  Scrapbooking?  Let's be real, everyone always fakes their hobbies anyway.  No one is really a photography hobbyist, they just take pictures on their cellphones.  No one really likes the outdoors, they just like saying they do on their social media profiles.  Regardless, activities that seemed dull back in your glory days now become the highlight of your evenings, e.g. spin classes, scrapbooking, and I suppose for some people stamp collecting.

Shortly after getting my job, I realized that none of my clothes were acceptable for the office.  For the first time in my life, I went in to Ann Taylor Loft.  I bought plain "blouses" with no loud graphic or glitter.  I bought "slacks" that fit less like a bandage and more like a drape.  Within a month, my wardrobe has gone from biddie-licious to boring.  I barely even recognize myself when I go shopping now: all the clothes in Forever 21 just seem trashy now.  What can I say, people change.


22 Going on 82
Yes, this may all seem a little presumptious to you young whipper-snappers out there, but lamenting your age post-grad is just part of a natural transformation and adjustment period.  It's a lot like crossing the threshhold into adolescence: one day you're 10 years old and loving life when your mom says loudly in the grocery store that "you reak of BO" and then buys you your first stick of deodorant.

The fact is that we are all still young, we barely have our first jobs but our whole worldview has changed now that we can't wear leggings and cowboy boots every day.  We know what it's like to not get carded suspiciously at Wal-Mart, AND IT HURTS, OKAY??  You start thinking less about what you're going to do with your stupid weekend that begins on Thursday at noon and more about insurance and paid vacation.

A word of warning: don't go to Target between now and September.  Back-to-school sales are like a trigger and before you know it you're giving that third-grade asshole with all the crayons and gluesticks the stink-eye, or crying and throwing dorm bean bag chairs and extra-long twin sheets all over the aisles.

But you know what, it's not all bad.  Someone asked me if I wish I was going back to college come September, and in some ways, I do.  It's easy to remember only the good stuff, but let's not forget your random freshman roommate or the acute scent of vomit on the drunk bus.  Let me tell you, leaving work and stress behind at 5 p.m. is a liberating feeling, as is not being afraid to check your checking account balance in fear that there isn't enough for even the small bottle of Barefoot. 

Growing up takes time and shouldn't be rushed, and right now I'm just not ready to put JMU Alumni liscence plate holder that someone rudely got me for graduation on my car, OKAY?

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