Much like a Frisbee flying haphazardly across the quad, adulthood can hit you when you least expect it. One day you are going about your life as a 20-year-old, laughing a stupid crude puns, wearing novelty T-shirts, not able to shake the feeling of that last year as a teenager from your attitude. Life seems stagnant, and even as a junior, you still feel small among the bell tower and overpowering school buildings. But then, a month into school, something happens. You turn 21.
For me, this was not a crazy celebration with alcohol, but rather a passage into a new outlook on college life. Suddenly those immature jokes didn’t deserve a chuckle and a feeling of confidence overtook me. I became a helpful resource for the new freshmen I befriended, and couldn’t help but find it amusing when they asked what the “AD building” meant on their class schedules. I started focusing more in class and was surprised at how many pages of notes appeared after just half an hour of lecture.
I began letting my guard down and started making deeper connections with classmates, friends, and co-workers. This all may sound like an after school special of how to live like a stand up citizen with personal pride, but there are more difficult tasks that have led me to my newfound maturity.
Growing as a person means allowing yourself to learn from other people. I have learned from my bosses how to start and maintain lawn mowers, operate and drive a utility vehicle and be a genuine co-worker who listens to their colleagues. And that was just Wednesday. You have to give up some of your feeling of power in order to allow someone else in. People are here to help and being vulnerable and showing your weaknesses can be one of your biggest strengths.
When you are 20 and dealing with the fact that you are now “in your 20’s” you try to act as though you can handle anything and show off your independence. At least that’s what I tried to convey. In reality, asking for assistance is the most “in your twenties” thing you can do. Just because you hold a leadership position does not mean that anyone who tries to lighten your load is incapable of following in your footsteps. You must learn to trust. When you accept that the whole world is not in your hands, the burden lifted off your shoulders gives you the freedom to focus your energy into one kick-butt project.
Being in your twenties means you should try to fall in love with something all over again. Recently I rediscovered how much I truly enjoy the field of journalism. Once you fall into a routine, an action you do every week can seem like a job, something you must do and simply know the mechanics of. Sometimes, it takes someone with a fresh perspective, a smile for every task you dread and a compliment about your skill to rekindle the passion you used to have for your work. Today I held a newspaper in my hands and reveled in the ink on my fingers and the promise of a new creation next week.
Within a month of turning 21, my life has taken a turn and adulthood has come rushing at me with full force. I’ve already grown so much in my work ethic, my studies, and my shocking revelation at how much I can care for someone after such a short time. Somehow I have survived the fear of being “in my twenties.” Adulthood looks good on me, almost as good as my novelty t-shirts.