Twenty is a weird age.
At 20, some of the people I graduated high school with are getting married and having babies, while some still live with their parents.
Some people already have real adult jobs with full benefits, and some are still working the same part-time jobs they had in high school.
Some people are finding success in college, and some are in jail or have recently gotten out of jail.
Basically 20 is an “anything goes” age where we’re all just trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
Sometimes I forget that I am 20 and still refer to myself as a teenager, and sometimes I remember that I’m 20 and freak out for a slight second because I’m in my 20s, which means I’m supposed to be a “real” adult.
Although 18 is the age that you’re technically considered an adult, 18 hardly felt like anything different from my other teen years.
Sure, I gained some more freedom and more adult-like responsibility when I was 18 and started college as a freshman, but aside from learning how to do laundry and “cook” by heating up microwaveable meals, I really didn’t take on any other adult-like responsibilities.
Being two months away from turning 21, I thought that maybe I might actually feel like an adult by then.
Judging from what I’ve gathered from my older friends, though, 21 doesn’t seem that much different from 20 aside from the ability to go out to the bars, which I’ve been warned gets less exciting after the first month or so.
Although I haven’t been hit with the adult feeling yet, I can feel it creeping up on me.
It started this summer when I was studying every day and working three jobs.
Summer barely felt like summer between all the stress and being tired all the time, and it was the first time summer wasn’t really fun like it used to be in high school.
My living arrangement for this school year also makes me feel a little more grown-up because I’m not on campus, and it’s a more traditional-style apartment compared to a dorm room. I also don’t visit home as often as I used to, which helps me feel a bit more independent.
My biggest “aha” adult moment came to me Friday with my acceptance into optometry school.
Although I have been anticipating my acceptance, the confirmation itself really solidified the realization that I’m going to be enrolled in a graduate professional program for the next four years, living in a city where I know no one and learning about something that I will practice for the rest of my life.
I’m equally excited and petrified for this next chapter of my life, which I think is what “adulting” is supposed to feel like.
It’s going to be a whole new, scary experience, but it’s something I’m ready for.
I’m eager to get out of the Erie and Crawford County area and for the excitement that comes with finding a new groove in a new place.
It’ll be a big difference moving across the state to live in a bigger East Coast city, but as cliché as it is, I’ve been itching to leave my small hometown for a big city for a while.
I hope that my actual experiences meet or exceed my expectations, but I feel like I’m ready for a change reguardless of the outcome.
Although I still have no idea what I’m doing and what’s going on for the most part, I know that I’m going to figure it out eventually.
This is the start of the rest of my life and I’m excited to see what challenges and opportunities my adult life throws my way.