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As college students, I think it’s easy for us to relate on the fact that we’d rather be watching Netflix and vegging out with ice cream rather than doing homework or eating a vegetable or working out or making a doctor’s appointment or paying taxes. Maybe that’s me projecting, but generally, doing responsible things isn’t that fun or exciting.

Not only that, it’s a little bit scary to be on our own and to take complete care of ourselves. I still have my mom come with me to the dentist, and my dad took me to the DMV when I had to get my license renewed (let’s be real I’ll always need my parents — parenting doesn’t stop when your child turns eighteen, people!). Part of that is because it’s scary, but it’s mostly because I have no idea what I am doing.

I partly blame my education for that. Instead of learning how to do taxes or what a mortgage is or how to buy insurance, I can recite the Pythagorean theorem or tell you that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Riveting and important stuff, I tell ya.

But even being in college doesn’t prepare you for the “real world,” as much as I hate the phrase. I’m done with school after this semester, and I constantly feel like I don’t have it together. I have no clue how I’ll find a job or a place of my own or date or make new friends. But I also know that I will. Even though I feel like I’m flailing, these are all things that I’ll eventually have to do one way or another.

For the longest time, I didn’t think I would even be able to do college. But I’m here, having made the best of friends but also feeling comfortable with being independent. Every new stage of life is allowed to be gradual. It took me a while to adjust to college as I’m sure it did for many others. Which is why it will probably take me a long time to feel like an adult. I truly believe that “adulting” consists of faking it until you’re around 45 with a mortgage and young adults of your own. But being an adult has no age marker or big event that signals YOU ARE AN ADULT. I don’t have to have it all together to lead a life outside of college. And I consider that to be a comforting thought. 

Paige Netzel is a senior at the University of Iowa, studying English and Creative Writing with a Cinema minor. Coffee, creating playlists, and gratitude are essential to keeping her going. Check her out on Twitter for some hecka funny tweets or on Spotify for those dope playlists.
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