Finding Balance

Maddie Coleman, Staff Writer

Although I am a college student, my parents and family still refer to me as a kid. I still sit at the kids table for holidays, I still live under my parent’s rules (sometimes), and I still feel the guilt of being somewhere I know I shouldn’t be despite my 21 years of age. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for that. From the ages of 18-21 will be the most awkward age one could live in besides one’s pubescent years.

Though you are a full-time college student and could be sent to real jail, rather than a juvenile delinquent center, parents will still call you a kid. You are too young to be considered an adult, but too old to be immature. Their expectations of you are to do well in school, while balancing work or sports, and also being a kind human. “Make a difference!” they say, but “don’t you dare sit in the driver’s seat of your Dad’s vehicle”.

Being 21 is hard. Though this monumental age is what everyone looks forward to, one perk does not balance the 12 million other things someone at this age is expected to do. Picture this:

“So, what are you going to do after graduation?” your Grandparent asks.

You begin to sweat nervously because you knew this question was bound to be brought up and you have no idea what the next step is.

“Well I am looking into Graduate school, but I haven’t really decided yet”, you say as you gulp.

“When I was your age there was no Graduate school, there was no college. We went right into work. Graduate school is a waste…”.

You know how this goes, but in reality, no one at this age has ever had it figured out.  Although it has been several years since they were 21, they forget that they didn’t know what they were doing either.

Being the age that I am now, I would like to think I have made an impact on students younger than myself. They ask me typical questions and tell me that since I work three jobs and still maintain good grades while being a full time student, I must have all of my ducks in a row. As wonderful as that would be, they are sadly mistaken. I work three jobs because I am your typical broke college student and I am just trying to, slowly, make a name for myself in this world and build my resume. I do well in school because I have to. The standards in my household have always been high. I keep myself busy because to be successful, one must always be busy.

So next time you talk to a college “kid”, consider the fact that they are hungry, sleep deprived, and need a little guidance here and there. We have made it this far, but we still have a long way to go. Be gentle and kind to us, but make sure we are still working hard. Besides, I would rather sit at the kids table and talk about Santa rather than sit with the adults and have an in-depth conversation about politics.