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All Grown Up! (Unfortunately)

 

All Grown Up! (Unfortunately) 

I want you to close your eyes and allow yourself to drift back in time. Like, way back. Back, back, all the way back to the days of grade school, when the school bell on the last day meant weeks upon weeks of summer vacation. The hot days stretched out like an eternity of sunshine, sprinklers, and the taste of popsicles on your tongue. You had so much free time for running barefoot in the grass and playing hopscotch on the sidewalk! Summer vacation was by far the best part of the year. 

 

Now I want you to open your eyes and realize that you are in your early twenties and are far from third grade. You are in college taking course upon course to earn a degree that will hopefully earn you a career. Gone are the days of learning vocabulary for a spelling test. Now you are learning vocabulary to help you in your field. Instead of carefully keeping track of a few dollar bills that your mom handed you for ice cream, you are in charge of your own money and it’s more than $5. And those lazy days of summer? Forget about it. You are working your tail off to make some money. 

 

If you were like me, you worked. All summer. Part-time, full-time, or overtime. Maybe you were really ambitious at the end of the spring semester (like me), and you thought you could tackle two part-time jobs. And then realized that you had no time. Like, at all. And that it kind of sucked. Even though you had two really fun jobs (like me), you kind of dreaded your alarm clock in the morning. It was so awful waking up at six when your earliest class last semester was at 10:10.

 

If you were lucky, maybe you found some time to spend with friends. A Friday night here, a couple Saturdays there. Possibly even a weekend getaway, if you managed to scrounge up a couple days off from work. Maybe you went to the beach for a week and took some time to relax on the sand and soak in the rays. Perhaps you even went abroad for a while, studying a different culture or even exploring your own! 

 

I am sorry to say this, but this is part of growing up and being an adult. You do not get to hang around all summer and sunbathe, because you have very little time off. You do not get to party every night, because you work at 8 in the morning. You do not get to splurge on movie tickets, because you have hundreds of dollars worth of textbooks to buy (I know, I cried buying my textbooks this semester, too). Hopefully some day, it will be worth it. You will have a stable income and the time and money to do fun things. You will look back onto your college summer breaks and laugh. “Remember that awful job I had?” All the consolation I can offer you right now, from me and all of the other college students with grown-up lives this summer, is that you’re closer to being an adult. Congratulations! 

 

As my mother said to me at the beginning of the summer, “Welcome to Big-Girl Town.”

 

Even though 8 am classes, all-night study sessions, and paper writing is hard work now, push through! There is a whole lifetime ahead of you. 

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