I always thought that turning 18 would change me in some way. I thought that the day would come and bing, bam, boom, I’d do some dramatic Cinderella transformation into an adult. How stupid and naive was I? For as long as I can remember, I’d been counting down the days until I turned 18.
It was a symbol of freedom and adulthood, a time I could finally be the orchestrator of my own destiny. However, after my first quarter at Davis, I realized my conception of eighteen and even adulthood was so very wrong. I messed up ─ a lot. I made mistakes. I felt small and alone and that confused me. Wasn’t I an adult? Wasn’t I supposed to be able to have better control of my life? The problem was that my idea of being 18 was from the view of 15-year-old me. Now that I’m actually 18, my perception has changed. When I was in high school, I thought that as soon as college came around I’d move out and start a new, independent life away from my family.
However, I still rely on my family, and when I visit home, things are still similar. My high school self would think that’s a bad thing. However, now I’ve realized the comfort in knowing my family is there for me. Nowadays, my home is a place to relax and de-stress; it doesn’t feel like a prison, holding me back from the world. It’s almost scarier now. The world is open to me, and it’s my responsibility to make the right decisions. I have to take initiative in order to achieve my full potential, and not reaching that potential is what frightens me the most.
Before, I could blame my young age for not being able to do everything I wanted at that moment, but now I have no excuses. I can’t be lazy anymore. I have to step up because I’m not an adult ─ not yet. There’s no such thing as a magic age where everything in life is going to work out. You have to continually strive and change in order to reach your perceived standard of “being an adult.”