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This past weekend, my friends and I got ready to go to a dinner. We all brought a home-cooked meal or appetizer to contribute to the “potluck” part of this Friendsgiving that encompassed our lacrosse team and the men’s lacrosse team. Something about going to slip on a nice jacket, while wearing my nice jeans and holding a warm tray of brownies as I walked with my friends to this house for dinner, made me really feel like I was growing up. It reminded me of dinners I would go to with my family, except my parents weren’t here, and I was the one who cooked all by myself.

Since this moment, I have done a lot of thinking about what other things have been making me feel like a grown-up lately: having a big girl job, going grocery shopping and cooking a homemade meal for the rest of the week, driving into Sacramento to renew my car registration at Triple AAA and other niche things that make me feel like I am beginning to take on a lot of random responsibilities in my day to day life. In the moment, a lot of these things felt exciting as I feel like I am beginning to get some independence in my life and really beginning to have control over what I do or don’t do. Having more “adult” conversations with my friends where we talk about what fruit is in season right now, or what layout is the most feasible for our living room, almost makes me tear up with excitement for what other kind of adult decisions I’m going to be making in the future. All that freedom, with no need to consult my parents, is so exciting.

However, when I think back on all these exciting things, I find myself a bit nostalgic for the days when I was young and dependent and couldn’t even pick out a matching outfit for myself. I miss the days when I would live at home and life was simple — now I’m on a different side of the state, away from my family, and lacking time to talk to them. I miss not even having the responsibility of driving when I had to rely on my mom’s schedule to see if I could go hang out with a friend after school. I miss coming home from sports practice to a meal already cooked, and not having to scrounge something together or stick leftovers in the microwave on an empty stomach after exercise.

While I love the new feelings of responsibility, a large part of me is missing the days when no one relied on me, not even myself — when I had other people do the hard things for me and all I had to focus on was waking up and showing up. Now I have to do all that, and take care of myself at the same time. Something about these little sneak peeks into adulthood that I have been getting lately is so thrilling, but also scary, as I feel like I am growing up so fast. I remember waiting on my grandparents to pick me up from elementary school as if it were just 2 years ago, and not 10 years. My whole life I have dreamed of being an adult, from playing “family family” with my friends when I was younger to pretending I was an employee at my dad’s office when I would go visit him at work. But now that it’s happening, it’s so daunting. I’m not ready. I want to be coddled for just a little bit longer.

Shira Blieden is a Genetics and Genomics major at UCD. She enjoys reading, and crocheting, and hopes to pursue a career in genetic counseling after she graduates.
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