Oxford Dictionaries defines “adulting” as “the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult.”. This can mean different things to different people; for my friend it’s remembering to take the trash out, and for my sister it’s completing all her business meetings for the week. However, for everyone I've usually found it’s like a cold that slowly creeps up on you. For the most part you don’t realize it’s happening until it’s already begun. This past summer, as I approached an innocent 22 years old, I realized I had fallen victim to adulting.
It all started when I received an email from Klein College saying I had to schedule my graduation advising meeting. I started to freak out a little, Googled cheap flights to Hawaii, then closed my laptop and pushed those anxious feelings aside. “It’s literally a year away,” I thought. I nonchalantly continued with life and moved to my Northern Virginia hometown to start my summer internship at Brotman Winter Fried, A Sage Communications Company.
Within my first two days on the job I was given the task of writing a press release for a race we were putting on, as well as biographies on the sponsors and race committee members. Projects like these and more continued, and I was in shock. In previous internships I had never been so trusted with client work, but at BWF they treated me like an actual employee-not just an intern. The responsibility was a weight I was willing to carry for miles. The truly surprising part of the whole thing was I actually knew what I was doing. It’s interesting to think about all those hours you spend in class not feeling any different or any smarter, but when your skills are tested in the workplace you automatically have this sense of confidence. It seems, despite what you may feel or think, you actually know stuff.
I’ve defined adulting as your willingness to understand and accept responsibilities, but to go further and exceed the expectation you’re given. To some that can mean finishing laundry before running out of dirty socks, and to others it can mean finally getting that job promotion you’ve been eyeing. Everyone has their own version of being an adult, and it will adapt as you get older. Like everything in life it won’t be easy, but I can tell you this much: you will be prepared for it, even if you don’t think so yourself.
Update: Hawaii flights were too expensive so I decided to schedule my graduation meeting. Wish me luck!
This blog post was written by Lailumah Faisal, Director of Mentorship