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Can I please be 22?

February 11th, 2016

 

 

Twenty-two is the hardest age I’ve experienced so far in my “adult life.”

 

I’m a strong believer that 13 years of age is by far the cruddiest age that exists in adolescence. The combination of middle school drama, puberty and coming into oneself is absolutely chaotic. Seventeen is pretty awful too. You’re forced to start thinking about what you want to do with your life—as if you can make a judgement on that at 17.

 

Eighteen was pretty swell. I could finally legally watch R-rated movies—although I’d been watching them at home for years and didn’t see one in a movie theater until I was 20 (“American Hustle,” if you were wondering). I was finally an adult at 18, and had the legal right to let my parents know in full that I was—although I never dared.

 

I’m still a Toys R’ Us kid.

 

Now, I’m 22, and it’s the absolutely worst age I’ve experienced since I turned 18.

 

Honestly, I think Taylor Swift’s idea of 22 is a total sham.

 

Graduation looms not too far in the distance. While many seniors are reminiscing about their undergraduate days, I, for one, am glad they’re almost over.

 

I’m sure I’ll mourn the end of these years at some point, but it has been a ridiculously emotional and stressful whirlwind, and I’m ready for some change.

 

This year has been my least favorite in my short adult existence, and I’ve only been 22 for four months.

 

Oy vey.

 

I think my biggest pet peeve is that it feels as if no one allows me to be 22. My parents seem to be the exception to this, possibly because I’m the fourth of five children and they’ve lived through this whirlwind with my older siblings.

 

I’ve come to realize that professors, older friends, family and others around me all expect me to have some grand game plan for the rest of my life.

 

At best, I can tell you how I’m planning to spend the next four or five years. But please don’t expect me to know what I’m doing when I’m 30, 40 or beyond.

 

And of course, this extends beyond the world of academia. I’ve spent a year being bombarded by people asking when my boyfriend and I are going to be getting married. Some are already planning our nonexistent wedding.

 

It’s infuriating and exhausting.

 

I get it, I should have some sort of general life plan together so that I’m not aimlessly wandering. And I have one, to a point.

 

At the same time, I want to enjoy the time I have left before going into the ever-ominous “real world.”

 

I still think it’s acceptable to lay around binge watching “The Newsroom” and procrastinating on assignments a little more than I ought to (don’t judge, they still get turned in on time). I still think it’s just fine to still be figuring it all out. And yes, I think it’s more than okay that I’m not exactly planning my wedding, especially considering the fact I’m not engaged.

 

I’m young, allow me that.

 

The thing of it is, as much as I am looking forward to the end of my undergraduate education and a change, it doesn’t mean I want to throw all this time away. There’s only so much time where one’s biggest obligation is getting assignments in on time.

 

For most of us graduating in May, life is going to change. It’s inevitable. Whether you’re going to graduate school or jumping on the career path, changes are a’coming. We’ve only got a short time left to enjoy how things are now.

 

So, enjoy it. I intend to.