Learning how to “adult”

The art of learning how to take life in stride

So, graduation is in a month. That means I am supposed to be a real person and start doing real-person things like balancing a budget and filing taxes. I’m supposed to be able to prepare balanced meals for myself and pack healthy lunches to eat in the break room at work. However, I have a problem with this “lifestyle” for a number of reasons.

First of all, what does balancing a budget even mean? It sounds miserable and boring. Just the idea of learning how to do it makes me want to fake my death and seek refuge under a bridge. Second, I currently live off pizza rolls and dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, and transitioning to grown-up people food will be an unbelievably painful experience that I hope to avoid at all costs. Also, the idea of going to work every day without breaks for two-hour long naps at 2 p.m. terrifies me.

Lydia Rogers is a senior English major from La Porte, Ind.

Being a college student has been my entire life for the past few years. The friends I’ve made here are my everything, and at this point they’re basically the very fabric of my soul. I’m also in a bizarre, yet pleasant universe where I have the perfect balance between being independent and structured and living like a reckless child. Yes, classes, exams and homework make me rue the day I was born, but they also have helped me get to know myself and my passions in ways I never thought possible.

Graduating means I have to give that all up and hurl myself into the unknown. I’ll have to leave my best friends and close the door on this chapter of my life forever. I’ll have to get a real job with real co-workers who probably have children and pay mortgages, and they’ll just look at me and think, “Who is this fool? She doesn’t stand a chance. Do you even know how to adult?” And I’ll just scream back, “NO. Help me. What does validated parking mean?”

What if I fail miserably at whatever I try next and become known as the weird girl who violently mumbles to herself during times of crisis? What if I can’t get any job at all and am forced to live under the bridge whether I learn about balancing a budget or not?
Or, what if I turn out to be pretty good at whatever I try to do next and discover something amazing about myself?

Obviously, I suffer from a severe fear of the unknown, and it’s causing me to think about my future in an unproductive way. Many people count down the days until graduation. I, on the other hand, dread it and prefer to deny its existence altogether. But the more I think about it, the more that doesn’t seem right.

Yes, the unknown is scary, but we shouldn’t be afraid of it to the point that it’s mentally crippling. We should embrace it with open arms. After all, trekking into the unknown is how I got to the amazing place where I am today.

Before coming to Xavier, I was filled with terror. I didn’t know if I would make any friends or if I would pass any classes. I was so clueless, I had a legitimate fear that I might become addicted to heroin and have to turn to prostitution to support my habit. Despite my irrational fears, everything turned out fine for me. None of those absurd things happened, thank God, and my experiences have opened so many unbelievable doors.

I’ve realized that the unknown really isn’t that bad and that even though I have been having the time of my life at Xavier, I have to let it go, and that’s okay. It’s time to make room for all the amazingness that’s yet to come.