When you’re a child, all you can think of is how you want to be a grown up and do grown up things like drive a car and watch television whenever you want. Little problems such as car tax and crappy programming isn’t a concern because the OPTION is there and that’s what it’s all about: options.
When you’re a teenager, you think you’re grown up and life is, like, SO stressful because of all the grown up things you need to handle and all those grown up feelings you’re experiencing that you never felt before. Then you have the thought that you can’t wait to grow up because of your parents, and school and all those things that make life hard when you’re 15 and will disappear when you’re older and as cool as those pictures you see on tumblr. (I still want to be as cool as some of the photos of the people, clothes and houses on tumblr).
When you’re classed as a ‘young adult’ (which is a weird term right? Or is that just me?) you become a little bit terrified of growing up. Mainly because it sounds scary and by this time you realise there are things like tax, terrible pay and lots of responsibilities and you realise you don’t want anything to do with all those adult things. That’s the last real, strong thought you have about being an adult. It makes you queasy and nervous and adulthood does not seem to be filled with the excitement and promise it had when you were five years old.
But then you get to a point as a ‘young adult’ where you’re practically a grown up but still doing the crappy things that young people need to do. The word exams buzzes like a neon light but it isn’t anywhere as pretty as those cool, vintage signs. I am at that stage and I have come up with the top three reasons why being a grown up isn’t as bad as people make it out to be.
You get to do what you want to do
I know most young people nowadays have a lot more freedom than they used to and I know most think they can do what they want anyway so this isn’t a big change. But it is. When you’re a grown up, you answer to your parents out of respect rather than because you have to – it’s more of a habit than them teaching you how to be in life. When you’re a grown up you get to chose how you live your life, what you study (if you do), where you work, what you watch, what you wear, who you talk to and where you go. I mean, the negative is that you can’t really blame your mistakes on anyone else because that doesn’t really cut it but, at the same time, every achievement and every adventure is yours alone.
You get money
Obviously this doesn’t happen as soon as you become a grown up. You’re not handed a cheque and told “congratulations, you’re an adult.” That would be absolutely amazing but no, you get money in exchange for work. Work, when it is a part-time job and not the job of your dreams, will be tedious within the first week but that monthly paycheque will feel like it’s sent from the Gods. It will probably be one of the happiest moments of your life. I’m not even kidding. As a person who is not driven by money, I still remember the excited, joyful feeling I got at 16 when I received my first paycheque.
You never have to do exams
Unless you become a doctor then ignore this. But if you’re a normal person then this will be one of the best things ever about growing up. No more revision, no more frustrating hours spent looking at notes and never feeling satisfied that you know enough. Never having to spend two hours writing as much as possible about everything you can remember on the subject. I. Can’t. Wait.
I mean there’s more obviously. The whole driving thing is pretty cool and the whole following your dreams (career wise and personal wise) is probably the single bestest thing ever about growing up but these, I feel, will apply to most grown ups and grown ups to be.
Growing up isn’t terrifying, it’s exciting and I feel like I am back to my five year old self where the grown up world is thrilling and full of promise. The only awkward thing is that I’m not quite sure when you actually know that you’ve entered the land of the grown ups. Should I expect my certificate of entry in the post?