Adulting is Hard.

A realization hit me today: every chapter of life has a motto of sorts. For my youthful years it was, “Enjoy your childhood while it lasts.” In high school I heard a lot of, “High school sucks,” or for me specifically it started with a squabble back and forth between my parents, turned into all out nuclear war in the kitchen, and then a hand to my shoulder with a, “We’ve all been there, Heather. But you know I just want the best for you”. I still am thanking God to this day that I am over that fun part of life. Moving forward to the undergrad stage, I was constantly reminded by my post-grad school friends that, “adulting is hard” almost as much as I heard others tell me that, “college is the best part of life” when I was in high school.
As a 21 year old girl, freshly out of college, with 6 months of ‘real job’ experience, financially independent, and discovering what life after college entails, I can attest to the title of this post, as well as to what many of my friends warned: Adulting is hard.

Side Note: My computer just underlined the word ‘adulting’ in red, which is essentially it telling me, “Heather you stupid person, the following word is not a word I have stored in this smart ass brain of mine. Change it. NOW”. Without my permission, my computer then proceeded to change adulting to adulating. Oh if only that’s what I was actually trying to say! For those that don’t know what adulting means, Urban Dictionary defines it as, “to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups”. …that’s definitely not the same thing as giving excessive praise.

Anyways, since this blog’s purpose is to document my life, I thought it would be fun to reminisce on three reasons why college has been one of the best parts of my life, as well as discuss why adulting is damn hard.

First, the fun part: Three Reasons Why College is One of the Best Parts of Life

1. In college, you are presented with opportunities to experience new things and reinvent yourself, over and over again.
I was impatient enough to do college in three years instead of the normal four. So while time was of the essence for me, I still made it a priority to get involved and find my true passions. I was very lucky that my university offered many organizations to get involved in. I joined Cultural Ambassadors, advocating for international students and American students to interact more. I also enjoyed dancing for the UNL Ballroom Dance Company.

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Alex and I performing our cha-cha. 12.10.16

I went to a few meetings for Global Friends of Japan, Communications Club, and Hip Hop Dance Club, and while I wasn’t an active member in any of them, those organizations gave me a chance to explore potential hobbies. Through my experiences in college, I restored my love for dancing, and learned that I have the desire and talent to work with the international community, helping them integrate into American society.

2. In college, you are given the opportunity to meet people you would have never otherwise met, every single day. 
I was also very luck that my college had many, many students enrolled. This meant that most of the faces I saw every day would almost always be new. With UNL doing their job at providing fresh faces, it was then my job to take the opportunity to talk with them and develop relationships. A great way to do this is to get involved with organizations and events held right on campus.

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UNL’s Night Market event where students can taste different street foods from around the world. …Definitely not something you can experience in “real life”. Or is it? 4.25.15

Another way I met new people was to break the silence and talk before class. I remember walking into a full auditorium of silent strangers, all with one thing in common, we had registered to take COMM 101 at 2:15PM.  As I sat down in an open seat, shoulder to shoulder with another stranger, I decided to strike up a conversation. I turned to my right and said, “Hi, I’m Heather, what’s your name?” Many of my friendships in college started with that simple introduction, and created great networks for studying, asking questions about the class, and socializing.

3. College, essentially, just isn’t real life. Like at all.
In what world can you dictate the time of day you have to be somewhere (i.e. your class schedule), when you can take breaks (i.e. time between classes), are promised nearly 3 months of break time each year (i.e. the much anticipated summer break), and have no harrowing consequence if you happen to not show up to your scheduled meetings (i.e. your classes) here and there? Only the college world! What about being able to constantly complain about how tired you are, or how your bosses (i.e. your professors and TAs) suck? Only in college!

Now for the not so fun part: Why is adulting so hard?

I have found adulting particularly difficult as it presents the challenge of seeing the same faces  at work every day, as well as doing similar tasks and duties every day. How am I supposed to be excited about monotony, when coming right out of unpredictability?

I think their are several answers to that question.

1. For one, it takes time and patience, two things that I am not used to having. …but I’m working on it! In order to become comfortable with a new environment, one has to observe, be curious, and have an open mind.

2. In addition, I have become accustomed to the yearly goal of: Make straight As, then move on to the next one. And I can proudly say that I have been successful at achieving that goal each year. I have also gotten used to receiving grateful but at times I feel unnecessary, adulation from friends, teachers, and family for my academic successes. For most of my life, I’ve been given a goal and received praise afterward  for reaching the goal. So naturally, abruptly having no defined goal and having no one to pat me on the head kinda sucks.

3. Lastly, I have realized that I have been been looking at adulting all wrong. Monotony is actually stability. And the reasons why college is one of the best parts of life, are also descriptions of my life now, they have just taken new form! For all those young adults out there, I feel we should be looking at our present chapter of life with these mottos in mind:

       In life
1. In college, you are presented with opportunities to experience new things and reinvent yourself, over and over again.
~
I may not be handed a list of local organizations I can join every 4 months, but I can do some research and find something that interests me.

       In life
2. In college, you are given the opportunity to meet people you would have never otherwise met, every single day.
~
I may not be presented with numerous amounts of new people to walk by on my way to work, but I can seek out opportunities to meet new people.

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The first day of the very first “adult job” I have ever had. And the lovely faces I get to see every day at work. 8.1.16

       Life 
3. College, essentially, just isn’t real life. Like at all.
~
How the hell do we define life anyways? This incredible thing called life takes many shapes and forms, and it’s up to the person to create the life they want. Such as my friends and I wanting to spontaneously dance in a parade!

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Sometimes you just gotta join the fun. 8.9.16

Now I am not going to lie, I wasn’t sure what direction this blog post was going to go in, but in wrapping this puppy up, I have found an answer! This blog post has taught me to take a deep breath, and be at peace with where I am at. Who knew writing a blog post could be so helpful?!

P.S. If this blog post helped you at all, you can hold the adulation. Ha. 🙂

Until next time,
Heather Mei

 

 

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