Growing up sucks. There aren’t any shortcuts in the long trip from childhood to adulthood. It’s a bumpy road that has never been – and will never be – paved and smooth. Becoming a grownup is a slow process that at times can be more arduous than sitting in the waiting room at your dentist’s office and listening to smooth jazz on repeat with a raging hangover.
I turned 25 last October. I don’t think I’m “old” by any means, but I’ve certainly entered that weird, purgatory-type area between being a post grad and an adult. Surprisingly, or perhaps not surprisingly, going on a weekend bender does nothing to change the fact that I’m not in college anymore and will never be again.
I don’t mean to sound depressing. I just find it funny how much you can learn and grow in college only to be knocked on your ass once again after walking down the graduation aisle. The reality is that there’s no major that prepares you for the rest of your life. You kind of just have to figure it out as it happens, which can be scary, overwhelming, and flat-out confusing.
For example, at 25 years old, my body cannot handle binge drinking like it used to in college. This is a fact, no matter how many times I try to dispute it with various experiments. I mentioned yesterday that too many games of beer pong now mean an awful two-day hangover that makes me feel as guilty as it does sick. Long gone are the days when I’d dominate a pong table for five straight hours and wake up the next day feeling as good as Ferris Bueller did when he sang “Twist and Shout” on the parade float in downtown Chicago.
Unfortunately it’s time to say goodbye to the kid that could party his ass off, put off responsibility, and spend all the money he made on booze and MBTA rides of various kinds to get around Boston University. These days, transportation costs are synonymous with Uber ride receipts. Buying Keystone Light for house parties is frowned upon. Responsibility is kind of mandatory thing on a daily basis.
These, of course, are all funny things. However, there’s nothing easy or comical about saying goodbye to the kid you loved being for so long. I’ve heard a lot of people say they are “so happy” to be an adult and that they “couldn’t have graduated sooner.” Good for you, assholes. The rest of us feel the like rope in the tug-of-war between our former “kid” selves and our future “adult” selves.
Those of us in our mid-20s are coming to grips with this big thing in front of us called the rest of our life. It’s fucking scary. There aren’t nearly as many keggers and themed parties on the horizon as there were when we started college. Instead, there’s college debt, bills, rent, mortgages, insurance, car payments, and diminishing athletic skills. I’m still sore from my flag football game last Saturday and I have another one tomorrow.
While adulthood scares me half to death most of the time, there are some great things to look forward to. Soon we’ll be so in debt that we’ll have to become beloved meth dealers like Walter White and Jesse Pinkman! Kidding.
I had a comforting realization the other day: This is the time in our lives when we learn how to live well. I think up until now we’ve all kind of had fun, done some great things, and have made awesome friends. But now we get to figure out how to make our lives the best possible experiences based on our own unique, specific passions.
Here’s a song to help you get through the rest of the article:
The thing that continues to be frightening is that we’re going to have to work and fight for what we want. However, as adults, we have the fortitude, know how, and resources to do so. If you ask me, that’s kind of cool.
This is not to say that we all of a sudden know everything and are experts in every field imaginable. Some days I wake up feeling like the same, dumb 18-year-old freshman I was at Sleeper Hall in Boston in 2007. All I’m saying is that we’re old enough to understand that most people in the world fake it until they make it. You can’t walk out of college and claim to be an expert in any field and you sure as hell aren’t born an expert in a damn thing.
It’s important to keep in mind that we’re all kind of faking it until we make it. We’re figuring it out as we go. No one should feel like they’re in this thing called life alone. And while it’s time for most of us in our mid-20s to say goodbye to the kids we all were, it’s important to remember there are a lot of sensational things in front of us.
It’s still okay to play beer pong once in a while. Just keep in mind you don’t have to play for five hours. Oh shit, I think they figured out I’m talking to myself.
This post was written by Billy Kirland, co-founder of The Millennial Man.