You can’t be a teenage girl forever and that’s upsetting

managing editor

As I near the end of my third semester and brace for my next and final semester at TCC, I can only think of one word. Adulthood. 

Sometimes it’s accompanied by an exclamation mark when I fantasize about the idea of moving out. The rest of the time it’s an ellipsis when I shake out my interior-decorating high and realize that it will be the start of my adult life. 

I lovingly refer to myself as a 19-year-old baby. My mom rolls her eyes every time I use it as an excuse for why I’m anxious to schedule a doctor’s appointment or why I didn’t put the dishes away before class.  

My parents and I made a deal that I would go to TCC, save up and then go to university after two years. I was reluctant and, quite frankly, pissed at the idea. But TCC has given me opportunities that I would’ve had to wait for until my senior year at university. And of course, I wouldn’t have met the talented people at The Collegian or trauma bonded with my biology lab group. I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything in the world.  

After this semester, I will start applying for universities and will be apartment hunting in less than a month. The gravity of the situation hasn’t completely hit me yet. I feel simultaneously more and less prepared than my future peers at university. 

I juggled two jobs for my time at TCC, and while this isn’t unique to just community college students, it gave me character – and several breakdowns. I know if I went to university straight out of high school, I would find it hard juggling one job, much less two.  

This will be my first time moving out. And though I know it’s just for the school year, I might be a junior crying for my parents while everyone else got it out of their system freshman year.  

My coworkers at my other job are all older than me. Some by decades and some by four years. In a recent conversation with two of the 23-year-old coworkers, one of them remarked to prepare for my twenties because it’s “all downhill from here.” Lovely.  

I know she didn’t mean to instill fear in me and I’m not, but I’m still hesitant. I feel like 19 makes sense on me. Just like yoga pants. 

I was driving my esteemed colleague and friend Keyla Holmes home after a boba excursion when we got into a car accident. Luckily, no one was injured and all is settled. But it hit me, like the car did, that I had to be an adult. I couldn’t cry in the middle of Broad Street for my parents. Call it an epiphany or epinephrine.   

While the teenage years weren’t easy, I love being a teenage girl. The world doesn’t make sense, yet we still pretend it does. Now the world is making more sense and I’m learning adult things. Like why do cars need so much oil and who let me vote? 

I hope my twenties treat me well or maybe I’ll be twenty-three warning some doe-eyed nineteen-year-old about the horrors that await them. But that won’t be my fault, I’ll be a twenty-three-old baby after all.