I’ve embarked on a journey into the realm of adulthood by moving into a flat with my partner and having to commute for hours at a time. Strictly speaking, I’ve been an adult for at least 5 years now. Never felt like one though – and it got me thinking. Where’s the cut off point?
Most teenagers think it’s going to University. They couldn’t be more wrong, when you really think about it – you’re given a flat, told to attend lectures between 12 and 20 hours a week and given free reign the rest of the time… If you want to go out, go out – and if you don’t, then you can stay in and write that essay you were given 3 weeks ago.
Even in second and third year at University, your life is balanced by your student loan, so even when you’re dead broke, you know the money’s coming. And let’s face it, your parents still pay your phone bill, don’t they?
When you think about it, University shows most teenagers and ‘young adults’ how not to live your grown up life – because you don’t have free reign. You will always be hemmed in by bills, rent, and having to work bloody hard (in a job that might not be right for you) to afford those things. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are many people (students included) who know this is true and do what’s needed.
Schools, colleges and Universities don’t teach you how to pay council tax, what the people at the bank are really saying and how not to get fleeced when you buy broadband. I’d like to see this happen to be honest, because it’s hard venturing out on your own for the first time, even when you have the perfect person to do it with. But as much as my partner, James, tries to keep my feet on the ground and take things easy, I’m likely to worry myself to death because the DVDs aren’t in alphabetical order. There’s a reason he calls me ‘Monica’, you know!
I will be constantly fretting and worrying about budgets, cleaning schedules and my pension, even though I’m only 23. I will spend my commutes reading articles on Buzzfeed about how to make my vegetables last longer – and I think this is where being a grown up comes into play. If you’d told me when I was at University that I’d be spending my time wondering about which greens I was going to cook with dinner, I would have tried to persuade you to lighten up, have a beer and go out.
Now, I want to do those things with James, and it makes me happy to know that I can have fresh basil when I want. That’s the cut off point then, it’s all about the mentality, not the age? Then again, if that we’re true my father would still be 15. It’s a tricky one, that’s for sure. As long as you’re happy though, right?
Now if you don’t mind, I have to make a decision between runner beans and ratatouille.