Becoming an ‘adult’ is not a transition which comes naturally for some, and it’s the small things in life which make you realise that you may be one of the sorry many for whom this is the case.
It can hit you at any time. In the morning, after pouring too much water into your porridge pot, making a liquid goo out of what should be one of the easiest breakfasts on the planet, or on the phone to British Gas when it becomes clear that actually you have no idea how the energy meter works.
Adult life creeps up on you slowly. First is the rush of youthful adrenaline that comes with the whiff of university freedom, allowing you to fall asleep on the bus at 4am and end up in the mystical, unknown land of the North London suburbs, without mum getting worried that you’ve missed your curfew.
Then the dreaded day descends… its time to cook for yourself. Your stomach is realising that it cannot live off just pesto pasta anymore, and in fact it is pleading with you to give it anything but.
You buy a student recipe book. You flick through that student recipe book, amazed there are so many possibilities you are deemed capable of making. So many new and exciting opportunities. Celeriac? What is that? Is it really edible? You desperately try to follow the recipe but realise there are just to many vegetables to peel… and head back to Sainsbury’s to buy another jar of pesto.
The fateful hour arrives when you take a look at your finances, as any responsible adult would do. Is this a bank error? Has someone hacked my account? Are the first thoughts that come to mind. Unfortunately no, as much as you tell yourself, that’s not the case. What do I have to sell? The pair of jeans I pretend to still fit into? How about my pot plant (which on second thoughts is actually pretty brown and wilted and most likely dead)? My left kidney? No, maybe that’s slightly too far…
The journey into adultness becomes a problem when you reach that strange, animalistic Nash Equilibrium with your housemates, where no one buys adult things like toothpaste and no one acknowledges that it’s an actual problem, and you silently end up not brushing your teeth for a day (3 days).
Things that were once accessible become a fleeting memory of the distant past. Like being able to walk to the third floor of the library without feeling like you’re about to pass out.
Adult life hits you the moment Mary from the careers service gazes up at you with inquisitive, searching eyes and asks the fateful question, “So what is it you want to do with your life?”
It’s when two-day hangovers become a thing.
Don’t get me wrong; there are parts of becoming an adult that stand out in a positive way. Like getting a pay cheque. Then spending that pay cheque on a few beers in the pub and while in the pub booking an impromptu trip to Leeds.
Don’t worry, you deserve to get away for a while, you’re only 2 weeks behind on work.
You begin to ponder the deep, philosophical questions of life, you know, as if you were social scientist or something. Like if all my money is floating around somewhere on the World Wide Web in an online bank account, does it really exist? Is life just one big conspiracy?
Getting to grips with the transition is hard. I empathise, I really do. One day I’m hoping that a clued up LSE grad will write a book on how to deal with these issues. But in the meantime, all we can do is carry on learning.