By Conor Brummell
We all know the story: when we’re young, we want to be older but when we’re older, we yearn for our youth. The circle of life is pretty ironic in that sense, tricking the young and seemingly unwise into thinking that they want to be out of school, qualified from college, working in the big bad world and earning big bucks with a house, family and car of their own.
However, you often hear of people reminiscing on the good old times they didn’t appreciate enough. With age comes the responsibility of other things (that thankfully seem too far into the future for me to worry about) like taxes, full price train tickets and god forbid, Spotify Premium without the student discount. But when do people reach the elusive ‘adulthood’ per se? Is it when we turn 18, and can drink legally and make our own decisions? Or is it at 21, when we are given the key to the front door? Or is it when we can no longer hide behind the student card and must make our own way in the world?
I once jokingly referred to myself as being an adult in a Snapchat I sent to a friend once, to which I received the reply, “When did you start considering yourself an adult?” The truth was and still definitely is: I don’t. Despite being in college and living independently in Galway five days of the week, I still don’t think I’m fully grown up. Sure, I work on the weekends to help pay bills, rent and do grocery shopping but does that qualify me to say I’m an adult? I would say that I’m simply on the bottom rung of the ladder that is life, and that I have a long way to go before I can truly call myself an adult.
We’ve all heard the phrase “You’re big enough, bold enough and ugly enough now to make your own decisions” and whereas I feel like I definitely might be all of those things, I’m still learning as I go along. To become a fully rounded human being I think you need to make mistakes, and make a lot of them, to gain that experience to be the mature adult we all have to be eventually.
However, the fact that I’m only turning 20 this year comforts me enough to know that the mistakes I make now won’t haunt me forever (only make me cringe uncontrollably at times), and that when I maybe feel like an adult at 30 (are you an adult at 30?), that I’ll have the knowledge I need to navigate myself through life.
As much as I might sound like I have a clue about what it means to be an adult, I really am only in the last year of my teens and that terrifies me. With two years of college left and no clue about where I can see myself after my degree, let alone in ten years’ time, it can often feel like time is running out.
No matter how many times we try to battle against the treadmill of life that is time, the sad reality of it is that time will always win, so we literally just have to take it one step at a time. And with each step I take, I’m going to try and revel in my youth and take the advantages that come with it: the carefree attitude I can afford to have, the student discounts (even if Irish bRail have put their ticket prices up once again) and enjoy the fact that I’m still just growing up.
Image: Page DeWolfe & Paul Horner via Flickr