Sophomore or Seventh Grader?
second year jake head
Last week while making a peanut butter jelly sandwich for my pack-lunch, I realized how similar my current life is to the one I had in middle school. Seven years ago, I would have been doing the same thing: making a lunch and waiting for the bus to take me to school. After this initial realization, brought along by the child-like nature of a PB&J, I began to notice other similarities between sophomore year and seventh grade. For instance, I still take the bus everyday, someone is always telling me to do the dishes, I have no idea how to navigate social situations, all of my relationships last less than a month, and sometimes I still wonder what the “big kids” think of me.
It didn’t take long for my playful revelation to become a full-on existential crisis. I began to think about how much I had actually changed in seven years. Frankly, I still have the same insecurities, the same friends, the same eating habits, even the same socially unacceptable fixation with Skyrim. So what is actually different about me now besides my facial hair and lack of braces?
After talking to some of my roommates and classmates, I found they were also questioning their adulthood. As college students, we find ourselves in a bizarre purgatory between adulthood and childhood, not knowing with which one we should identify.
While these questions of immaturity might cause us to constantly question our decisions, I find solace in two things: My parents no longer tell me what to do, and I don’t give a shit about what the cool kids think of me anymore.
Independence, or the fact that we have replaced our parents as the voice of reason in our lives, is somewhat of a comfort in these existentially trying times. Yes, I still am completely dependent on my parents and the federal office of financial aid, but it is comforting to know that I am slowly becoming more self-sufficient. I make my own appointments now, I tuck myself into bed, and I get stuff done without being told to do so. While my daily routine has not changed much since middle school, I keep myself accountable now.
Overall, I think my friends and I are strikingly similar to our middle school selves. Our quirks and interests have not changed much. The difference is our self-acceptance.
Whenever you find yourself in a rut, or a bit down on yourself, I encourage you to think back to how much less secure you were in middle school compared to college. Instead of worrying about being an adult and whether or not you have fully reached maturity, I encourage you to revel in the fact that you have at least made some progress towards adulthood and individuality.