“I’m in this weird place because I went from being around all my friends all the time to working 9-5 and being tired everyday and having zero social life.”
This statement is usually met with a small laugh, a not so subtle eye roll, or a hearty “welcome to the real world!”
Speaking of, I’ve officially been in the so-called “real world” for a month now. And it is an awkward, adjustment-required place. I’ve traded pregaming for early bedtimes, late night Whataburger for early evening lunch packing, sorority tanks and Nike shorts for pencil skirts and blazers (though, if I’m being honest, the sorostitute getup makes a return appearance everyday after 5 PM).
So far, I’ve hit almost every cliché in the book. I’ve scoffed and/or laugh at a paycheck I initially thought was great but that ended up going towards more taxes than I ever thought possible. I’ve naively apartment hunted, underestimated my budget, abandoned every intention of trying to be social and/or fit by crashing at 8:00 pm, and I’ve milked Dad’s payroll for about as long as I’ve can.
When I was younger and wanted to do something, buy something, or experience something that was dangerous, inappropriate, or just against my mother’s wishes, I was greeted with ever-popular phrase, “Well, when you are working and paying for things yourself, you can do that.” Working and paying for things yourself always sounded a mystical, far-away time that was talked about but that I would never actually experience.
And BAM- here I am, looking at my checking account, ready to turn back time and follow every single one of mom’s rules in exchange for some of that cold hard cash.
Alright, so I’m a bit overdramatic. Maybe even a tad (tad) on the bratty and spoiled side. Honestly, the idea that I’m a real-life, working and functioning adult is still a bit lost on me. I’m half convinced (and half wishing) that come August I’ll be reunited with my friends and resume a life of minimal studying and maximum fun. Instead, I’m fully convinced that come August I’ll be moved in to my new “big girl” apartment, living off my own, hard-earned paycheck, and trying to balance working out, having a social life, and sleeping all among a 40 hour work week.
No matter how many Buzzfeed quizzes I take that tell me otherwise, vent sessions I have with my family about this newfound traffic, or 8:00 PM bedtimes I welcome; I am a grown up. I have more freedom than I will ever have, I’m completely and utterly in charge of what I do, what I buy, and where I go, I have full support of my parents and sister (who, by the way, I will finally have in the same city as me (read: blessing for me, curse for her)), and I’m in the place I’ve been preparing for for the past 22 years.
And despite the shock, THAT place is a pretty awesome place to be.