I Was Completely Wrong About Being a Grown-Up

When I was a kid, the world looked completely different through my eyes. My eyes, sadly, were not much lower to the ground than they are now, so literally it looked about the same, but that’s besides the point. Figuratively, the world looked completely different. Also, I was wrong about a lot of things.

-When I was little, I thought that you couldn’t kiss someone unless you were in a relationship with them. I would watch movies and see actors kissing and wonder how that was supposed to work, since they were often married to other people. I deduced that the only reasonable way this could work was that actors put a piece of plastic or something between their lips, so they weren’t really kissing. I always looked for it when I watched movies. No, I was not sheltered. Yes, I was lacking in common sense.

-I thought that writing a check allowed you to avoid paying money, like an IOU. I always wondered how Mom got away with that all the time. I also thought it was super awesome, and wondered why everyone didn’t use checks. Good thing I figured this out before I had my own bank account.

-I thought that I’d know how to do more things by the time I was 20 (I’m months away) like curl my own hair, have self-control when eating pull-and-peel Twizzlers, and have a conversation with other people without saying at least one thing I regret later. I was, as it turns out, completely incorrect.

-I thought I’d be taller by now. Enough said.

-I thought that 20 was super old, mainly because there was a bank commercial that played often, featuring a little girl talking about growing up. The last few lines were “..when you’re 19, you get glasses, and when you’re 20? That’s when you’re OLD.” I’m almost 20 and I don’t have glasses, nor do I feel in any way like I am capable of being an adult.

-I thought that being the guy who mixed paint colors at Home Depot was the coolest job ever. I have no idea why. It just seemed fun to press all the buttons on the paint mixer machine.

-I thought that being the first female president would be cool, like if I got bored doing whatever else I was doing. I didn’t really realize you have to have some sort of background in public policy, millions of dollars to campaign, and be tall enough to see over a podium. My bad.

-I thought I would marry my junior-high crush, because the selection of men in junior high was apparently all the men I would ever meet ever. I also thought of love as “picking someone.” I didn’t realize mutuality was involved. Surprisingly, I didn’t ever go all “Misery” on someone and lock them in my house or anything. You can even ask Brandon…he’s totally with me by his own choice, though I don’t know if he always wants to admit that.

-I thought that we had two separate stomachs, one for dinner and one for dessert. Okay, I didn’t actually think this. I just used it as an excuse to be full of dinner but still get dessert. I still use that excuse.

What misconceptions did you have about the world as a child?

Xoxo, Taylor

5 People You Need in Your Life During College: Someone Who Makes Growing Up Not Suck

College is limbo. It’s a place between the warm, fuzzy world of our childhoods, where little responsibility and great privilege coincide with the naivete of how good we really have it, and the harsh “real world” that awaits us all. Into the frying pan and into the fire, it seems.

I remember thinking when I graduated high school that after high school, the fun and games were over. Obviously I was crazy, as college has thus far been an amazing experience, but now I find myself looking forward to another graduation with a sense of dread. Oh no. Now it’s really the real world.

When I think of the “real world,” I imagine long hours at work, little time with friends, and the dullness of the corporate American grind settling over me as I become bitter and sad because my parents no longer pay for things and I have to actually learn how use public transportation properly.

Overdramatic? Yes. But I say this to illustrate the point that thinking about life after college is really, truly scary. And sometimes it seems like life after college must suck.

“Wait, I don’t get to live with my best friends forever? I can’t eat at Chipotle every day for the rest of my life? My parents aren’t funding my Starbucks addition anymore? UGH.”

Often times, our examples of the real world are fraught with stressed out people. We see the stress our parents can be under, we see people we know in dead-end jobs, we see how life isn’t all glamorous, and we begin to wonder where the happiness is. Is anyone really happy being a grown-up?

YES. Which brings me to my point: FIND THOSE PEOPLE.

There is nothing that has been more refreshing to me at this point in my life than to see someone whose work is their passion, who is doing something they find meaningful and worthwhile every day. Meet someone like this. They will change your perspective on everything.

It’s especially poignant when you meet someone who’s in your field of study. This Friday, I attended a marketing conference for undergrads here, and I was absolutely blown away by the speakers. One speaker, who worked for Ralph Lauren, was so passionate about marketing and retail. She spoke about the company like it was her child, and glowed when telling the audience about the projects she managed for the company.

This speaker, along with the many others of the day, inspired me. I realized that if I share the same love for marketing that they do, and I pursue it, I too can be a happy grown-up.

Forget the grind. Forget the drudgery. Life after college isn’t all serious.

Find someone who makes growing up not suck.