Mom Won't be Around to Make Your Appointments Forever—How to Start Adjusting to “Adulting”

I think my favorite verb that has been invented since I started college is “adulting.” Like my friends and I actively say the sentence, “I don’t want to adult today,” and we all know that it means we just don’t want to have to be a person with real responsibilities. Now, this was all fun and games for a while. Sure, you’re legally an adult when you turn 18 and head off to college (or wherever your life journey takes you), but I feel like you haven’t fully realized you’re an adult. And I’d venture to say that for most of us, at that point, we don’t have to.

My parents would still do a lot for me when I first got to college. If I was in a pinch and needed money they’d give it to me and my mom would still make my doctors' appointments. Hell, I have friends whose parents still do their laundry. But, all of this changed when I left to study abroad and has continued since my return to the U.S. and it’s been quite the adjustment.

Let’s start with cleaning. I’m not a messy person. In fact, naturally, I’m kind of a clean freak and like everything to be put away. I can’t go to bed with a messy room most of the time and organization and decluttering makes me very relaxed and happy. That being said, when I went to London, I was responsible for keeping my room, bathroom, and kitchen clean. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but sometimes you don’t want to do the dishes or wash the bath mat. But no one else is going to do it. You are the adult and you have to be responsible. It doesn’t matter if its raining or snowing; that trash has to be taken out.

Same goes for my apartment now, where I have to keep my room clean and my roommate and I share the responsibility of cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen, but the point still stands that we have to do it. There’s no more cleaning staff cleaning the bathrooms as they do in Warren Towers when you’re a freshman.

Next is cooking. When you have a meal plan and no kitchen things are pretty straightforward. You get hungry and then you go to the dining hall. When I was abroad and now that I live in an apartment it’s not so simple. You have to make your own food (or be prepared to spend a lot of money on take-out and going to restaurants) and that means ensuring your fridge and cabinets are stocked. To be honest, I’m still horrible at this. I was living off cereal for dinner all of last week because I was way too lazy to go to the grocery store. EAT YOUR VEGGIES KIDS.

I’ve learned to always keep the basics on hand, including cereal, milk, bread, butter, pasta, rice, sauce, and a fruit or vegetable of some description. That way, if all else fails you can boil some water and have an easy meal. Pinterest is also great for finding super simple recipes for even the laziest of us students.

Next is just being responsible for myself as a student and a person. When I was in high school, somehow my mom had most of my meetings or sports games memorized and would tell me when things were happening. Or, after school, she’d ask when do you have x,y, and z and do you have homework for this or that. Now it’s all on me to be responsible for my meetings and assignments and it’s still a struggle. I missed an advising meeting last week because I completely forgot about it until I was already 27 minutes late.

Nowadays I keep a calendar on my desk, my computer, AND my phone and the odds of me forgetting things are much slimmer since I update them regularly along with my agenda. But still, I have to make sure I sit down and do the updating or it’s no use. This whole responsibility thing is really piling up.

Finally, I’ve had to learn that I need to deal with my problems on my own. Of course, my parents and my friends are always there for me when I need it and are super supportive. But at the end of the day, if I have an issue with a grade I need to speak to my professor. If I think one of my friends is mistreating me, I need to talk to them. If I have a problem that requires explaining to the doctor, I can’t have my mom call; only I know all of the details of these situations. It sounds dumb, but for me, that’s been the hardest part. We grow up so used to our parents doing things for us and suddenly it's like, “Oh, this is me, this is my role now.”

At the end of the day adjusting to adulting and really being in total control of your life can be hard. Having all the freedom to choose can make things really stressful because you’re the one making all the decisions. You just have to find the best ways for you to do things whether it’s getting a rumba, making a trash schedule with your roommates, or only booking your doctor appointments online through patient portals.

It’s time to pull on our big girl pants and take on the world. That being said, my mom still totally makes some of my doctor appointments for me… baby steps.

 

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