First times are inevitable whether I like it or not, so it’s about time to suck it up and get on with it. Although, in this case, I already have. Moving away from home means a lot of old and new things are going to happen. All that changes are the ways we deal with them. For me, it’s a few minutes of absolute mind-boggling panic and complaining before I pull it together to try and go on. As someone who is very easily over-stressed, it’s very likely these are all just examples of me being overly dramatic and a little bit of a baby, but it’s still nice to have that reassurance that it’s okay to freak out because everybody does.
The worst part is over, it’s only up from here.
Hitting a (parked) car
My first time hitting a parked car (notably not my first time getting into an accident) was more recent than I’d like to admit. In a perfect world, I would have looked both ways while reversing instead of just focusing on the left, but the world isn’t perfect, and neither am I (unfortunately). Luckily, I wasn’t going very fast, and most importantly, I wasn’t alone.
My first time getting into an accident was a few months ago, a little after my 20th birthday. I had been driving home after work, and it was raining hard enough that everything was a little blurry. The Central Florida tolls are too expensive, so I got stuck in heavy backroad traffic, and when I braked a little too hard everything spiraled (literally). I hydroplaned into the back of the car in front of me, but it was over quickly, and everything was handled all at once.
That’s not what happens when you hit a parked car! It’s so much scarier because all the steps are completely gone. Get out of the car: check. But talking to the other driver… exchanging numbers… not an option.
What do we do now? I was so ready to panic. 10 minutes in, I was already convinced I was both going to jail and going to go bankrupt, and I was terrified that @fsubadparking or @barstoolfsu was going to find me and make fun of me. I’m very sensitive; I could never show my face again.
Super-duper lucky of me though, I wasn’t alone! My friends kept it together and helped me go through the usual motions as best we could under the circumstances. My boyfriend told me nicely that everything was going to be okay and that I was freaking out over nothing. We took pictures of everything, left my phone number for them to call, and still made it to our event on time!
Maybe a little late on the game, I didn’t apartment search for the first time until a couple of months into my sophomore year. I don’t know what the usual process is, but my roommate and I looked at two places in person before deciding that after one visit, we could already tell which we wanted. There’s so much that goes into apartment renting though. I think I called my dad five times within an hour. “Does $734 a month sound about right for this dad?” “My utilities are a flat $45 fee, is that normal? Is it too much?” “Are they trying to trick me? What should I be asking them?”
Sure, I was really excited about my first big-girl apartment, but I was also absolutely terrified of getting scammed. I knew I’d be paying rent myself, so it was 100 percent my decision to make, but I didn’t know anything about apartment searching. I still don’t. When I graduate and have to look for a whole new place to live, it’s probably going to be equally as scary, even with this experience under my belt. I don’t even know what’s included in my utilities or how much utilities would be if it wasn’t a flat fee.
Signing that lease and sending it in was nerve-wracking. I was so sure for weeks after that I had just made the biggest mistake of my life. Who did I think I was, trying to be an adult? I swear I’m still 17 (not true, I’m definitely 20). It was crazy, but I did it. I don’t think I got scammed, though I guess we’ll see.
quitting my first job
This one might be a little misleading because I still haven’t quit my first job. I’ve been threatening to do it for a whole year now, but there’s always been a good reason not to. “Oh, you know, my schedule is pretty solid right now.” “I really like all the people I work with.” “Even though all the people I like are gone, I don’t want to go learn a new job.” “My raise just went through; it’d be dumb to quit now.” But it will eventually be time to quit, maybe just not yet (I’m a baby).
Every year I go home for the summer, and I get a job doing To-Go at a chain restaurant near me. My first summer back was Cheddars, and last year it was Carrabba’s, though I had tried to find a job outside of food service.
Quitting my first summer job was scary. The people-pleaser in me hates letting people down, and I didn’t like leaving right as I was getting good. But at the same time, I always went into it knowing I was only going to work there for a couple of months, so there wasn’t ever a reason to get attached to it.
It’s really hard to stay unattached when you’ve been somewhere for almost two years. You even start to love the parts you hate, in a slightly masochistic way. But time goes on, people grow, and you have to take that scary step. Not me though. Not yet. Soon, for sure, when the timing’s right.
Everyone’s experiences are going to be different, but hopefully, it’s a little better knowing that for every small, scary thing going on as you grow up, someone else has probably been equally as terrified.