Opinions: Politcally Correct? Weird days, weird phase

Me in my new adult home, the city of Chicago.

Me in my new adult home, the city of Chicago.

Editor prepares for life beyond high school.

There is a phrase that rattles the rickety bridge that connects between the time capsule of life so far–my room–nestled in the comforts of my parents’ home and the 15 ft x 15 ft dorm room in which I will be squeezing all essentials. The phrase: “I’m an adult.”

For parents this is a phrase from the depths of hell. It is an end-all to arguments about spending the night at boyfriends’ houses, being out past 1:30 a.m. and skipping school on a Friday.

For teenagers it is the end to the coming-of-age story called high school. It’s the realization that soon they’ll be on their own and they will have to make choices for themselves like picking between spending $10 for lunch at Starbucks or Bread Company.

For me, it’s the frustration of being kicked out of the school library for “playing on my phone” when really I was reading the news on my CNN app. It’s the knowing I’ll be five hours away from my parents next year and I’ll have to walk six blocks between classes freezing my butt off with no mom to come pick me up.

I don’t necessarily feel like an adult now that I have turned 18 back in January, but I feel like I should be treated differently. I think it’s the same for most high school juniors and seniors.

We have made one of the biggest decisions in our lives: picking a college. So we feel, having made one of the biggest decisions in our lives, that we are entitled to more respect.

It’s not just senioritis; it’s the innate, instinctive feeling that 18 means adult.

I was raised all my life to make my own choices starting with the smallest things, like choosing and ordering my own food off a menu and making the decision to stay up all night at sleepovers in middle school.

Since all through my life I was granted the liberty to choose my classes and direction, it seems weird that I still have to ask, “May I use the restroom?” and sometimes be told, “No.”

In six months, I’ll be living in Chicago by myself with no one I know. I will officially be an adult even though I am the same 18-year-old I was in high school.

So when do we actually make the magical transformation from teenager to adult? Is it the feeling you get when you can get a tattoo without your parents permission? Or is it the loneliness of being independent at college with no mom and dad?

It is a hard transition between high school and the real world. There are some of us who are not ready to flee the nest and others, like me, who are ready to be in that 15 ft x 15 ft dorm room.

I know I cannot speed up or slow down the time between now and September and I can’t argue with my parents or the librarian because I still live in their world. I have to accept it and take it all in because next year when I’m walking from Wabash to Michigan Ave. in a five degree wind chill my mom won’t be able to pick me up.