Ways I Know I’m Growing Up

Everyone always says that leaving home and going to college is a big step in life. It requires young, pimpled, horny high schoolers to transition into mature, well-rounded, horny college students. I’m here to refute that statement. College life during freshman year is pampered. The main lessons involve training to take double-shots of Everclear and learning how not to vomit in a 9:00am class while still drunk from the night before.

Responsibilities don’t really differ from those of home life. Freshmen don’t have to cook, clean, or perform various other tasks that truly separate the men and women from the boys and girls. Now that I’m an upper-classman and living off campus, I have analyzed the ways that I know I’m growing up:

I buy my own food: Buying groceries is actually a great gauge of how mature you have become. Immature shoppers will buy only snacks and forget about the essentials. Shoppers of mid-level maturity will remember that they actually have to eat meals after they try to do push-ups and their arm bones bend like the Air Heads they have been eating for dinner. However, these shoppers will leave out key parts of a meal – for instance, they will buy cheese, butter for eggs but forget the eggs themselves and then attempt to melt Air Heads and use them as a substitute. Finally, the mature shopper will find him/herself trying to decide whether to buy Life or Special K cereal.

I make my own coffee: This is a seemingly simple change, but it comes with unforeseen complications. Getting the right coffee strength is a challenge. Sometimes it comes out weak, and I end up drinking the functional equivalent of dishwater at Starbucks and then passing out in math recitation. Other times, it’s too strong. The coffee looks and tastes like the thick substance that forms on the bottom of a mug that hasn’t been cleaned for weeks.* I end up wired for 20 minutes, and then I crash and pass out in math recitation. Milk also presents another challenge. As a matter of fact, milk will expire. I have found that just because milk thickens after a month does not mean that it has transitioned to half-and-half.

*Note: Coffee mugs must also be cleaned about every three-five uses.

I can invite people over without asking my parents: This one is huge. I can have friends over without permission whenever I want. The downside to this fact is that everyone else in the apartment also has this privilege. You’ll constantly have to deal with your roommates’ study groups, parties, and occult ritual sacrifice ceremonies. Furthermore, you’ll have to clean up after your own parties and/or ritual sacrifices. Nothing says “I’m growing up” like removing a severed head from its perfectly safe location on the mantel because your apartment-mates get angry.

I pay rent: The funny thing about paying rent is that it will slip your mind completely. It is easy to take for granted that you’re living in a functioning apartment until one by one, all the features that made it so nice, like running water, electricity, and not getting eviction notices, all cease to exist. The next thing you know, you’ll have not showered for a week and be trying to find the lease agreement in your room by candlelight when the landlord bursts in and kicks your ass out. Side note: If anyone knows of any openings in apartments near campus, please let me know.

I buy my own toilet paper: This is, hands down, the most important change from kid-life to adult-life. I have grown up so much that I have to think before doing EVERYTHING – including using the potty. Nothing makes a person feel more like a grown-up like sitting down on the throne for the first time as a proud apartment-renter. And nothing makes a person wish they were a kid again like reaching for the toilet paper and finding an empty cardboard tube.


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