At the age of 19, I find myself in an odd place between being a kid and an adult. I don’t want to have to rely on my parents but at the same time, there is no way I could be financially stable on my own. Do I act like a kid or an adult? That is a question I ask myself a lot as I continue to tread through college.
My mom always tells me I need to stop working as much and I need to enjoy being a college student. Ok, I guess I can agree with her that I may work a little too much but at the same time I don’t do it because I have to. I work because I genuinely love what I do. I will admit that work can become a coping mechanism for me and way to distract myself, but as I’m growing up I’ve had to learn how to distinguish if I’m running away from my problems or if I am just immersed in my work. When I find myself overworking, I try to take a few steps back and do things that bring me back to my childish nature. I will color in coloring books, go window shopping (yes, I loved shopping as a kid too), or basically anything that doesn’t make me feel like I have to be an adult.
Something that has come up more recently is my pride when it comes to relying on my parents. I feel guilty for causing them any sort of stress because I am so far away from them. There are times when my mom has told me she wanted to hop on a plane within the hour to come be with me. I have learned that I can always rely on my parents no matter where I am and or how old I am. Also just because I’m 19 doesn’t mean they automatically stop worrying about me. They love me unconditionally and will always help me when I am in need. I now don’t hesitate when I feel the urge to text or call them.
Finding the balance between being a kid and an adult also means figuring out how to handle responsibilities. Because I can’t just go home for the weekend so my mom can do my laundry or cook me a meal, I have been forced to really figure out this whole young adult thing. A lot of my friends back home have the luxury of going home for the weekend and get to be pampered. As crazy as this may sound, I don’t want that. I am glad that I’ve been forced to grow up on my own. After coming back home I’ve realized how much I’ve grown over my first year of school and my parents have seen it too. They are absolutely shocked when they see me voluntarily do my own laundry (I do this because I don’t like my sisters stealing my clothes) and when I’m actually on time for things.
I’ve come to realize, no matter how old you are, you will always be a kid. The term adult comes with a negative stigma and is associated with negative thoughts. I think the only way to get through adulthood is to tap into our inner kid every once in a while. If that means having a spontaneous dance party or doing an art project, it’s okay to be a kid! So this week I challenge you, when you feel consumed in your schoolwork or you are stressed at work, let yourself be a kid again and return to your carefree self, even if it is just for 30 minutes.