No-one ever tells you that being an adult is hard, that there are challenges waiting patiently around every corner. When I was young, I was ecstatic to be an adult, to have the freedom that my parents had and the excitement over not going to school anymore. Getting up early to put on a uniform I didn’t like. However, I was wrong about a lot of things.
My tiny mind thought that being an adult was easier than being a child and how I’d be allowed to do things that children aren’t permitted to do. Being an adult has its perks, yes, but one can never properly prepare you for the challenges and decisions that come with being a grown up. Here are some moments when it registered in my brain that suddenly, I am an adult.
I remember using an ATM for the first time. I approached it cautiously and I was fiddling with my debit card in my hand. I took my time pressing buttons, making sure I didn’t make any mistakes. I was terrified that one wrong button would result in my debit card being lost forever. I withdrew my money and my card returned safely. I remember turning around with a big smile on my face and I waved my money around happily until I realised that passers-by were probably staring at me. There was also the slight threat that someone could have snatched my euro notes from my hand in a heartbeat so I quickly tucked my money into my purse. I told my nan and mam about it afterwards; it was a minor accomplishment and I felt I had a place amongst the adults, all because I used an ATM.
What’s a TV licence?
A new challenge that reared its head recently; acquiring a TV license. You would wonder why we live in a world where we need a license to have a television, but we do. This one took me to messaging my mam and asking how do you go about paying for it? I wish things like this came with a manual because there’s a lot of things I’m still learning. It’s a simple enough process that you go through in your local post office, but there’s me still thinking that one should not have to pay for a TV license when in reality you’ve just paid for the television itself. There’s no relying on your parents to pay for it this time.
No more child bus fares
Up until a certain age, I used to get away with only paying for child bus fares; mainly because I’m tiny. I have noticed some people try to get away with it nowadays and the majority of the time they do, but it won’t last forever. Trust me. There was a certain pride in getting away with it and you were saving a little bit of money each time, but once you reach a certain level of maturity, you start to realise it’s now time to pay for the adult fare because that is what I am; an adult.
This was a big one for me; a major loss. When I was a child, it was a tradition to take Calpol when I was sick. It was the easiest medicine for me to ingest and the sweet tasting liquid was too good, but when I hit my teenage years and suffered from a bad cold and flu then my precious medicine was taken from me. I had asked my mam could I take a spoon to make me feel better from my bad cold, but the response I got was “Calpol? Sure, that’s for children, you’re too old for that!”. I was devastated and taking Nurofen was not an option. It was a sad day.
Rachel Garvey is a Co-Editor for Features for Student Independent News for the year 2023/24. She works full-time, but dedicates her free time to writing and being involved in SIN. Rachel has been a contributor to SIN since 2017.