Growing Up Early

This is a response to this article by burkpkrohe, titled “Signs I’m Starting to Become an Adult.”  I highly suggest reading this blog before reading my response, especially if you’re a recent college graduate.

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I was never a bad kid. Often my mom recalls (mostly to her coworkers) my behavior as a child. I was easy to manage for the most part, I always made good grades. When I actually did get in trouble, I knew I deserved the consequences of my behavior.

When I entered high school, I immediately indulged in its offerings. I dove head-first into the theatre program, and added 12 other student organizations to my repertoire through those four years. I juggled those with a part-time job, honors classes, and that all-too-important social life. My dedication to my school then transferred into college, where I have filled my resumè with even more extracurriculars, an internship, and community service.

In a nutshell, I’d say I’m a pretty good kid. Well, I try at least.

It wasn’t until this past year that an odd realization hit me. As I was cleaning up after an event planners panel  for PRSSA, one of my panel members asked me what I would be doing for spring break. My response was typical: “Oh nothing. Just working and interning. Nothing exciting.”

She was surprised. No plans? No hitting the beach? No stereotypical guzzle-down-drinks-until-your-body-collapses college parties?
Then she said, “Well, you know what? You’re going to be successful.”

That’s what caught me off guard. I never actually thought that  sacrificing of my personal time would actually bring about success. I then realized that I am an adult now, and act as such. I’ve never done anything within the context of “typical” college activities.

So this brings me back to being the “good kid.”
There’s nothing wrong with being that way, but can becoming an adult early on in life be a bad thing?

One thing I’ve heard from a lot of adults is that they wish they would have done more exciting things in their college years. After I graduate next year, will I start to have those same regrets? Will my over-the-top involvement on campus actually lead to my demise as an adult?

All of the signs of growing up burkpkrohe mentioned in his blog, about ties and weddings and super-detailed Facebook privacy settings, apply to me now, before I have even graduated. I do have a professional image to maintain, yet I still want to go out and be a little crazy at times.

It’s a two-sided reality that I have been facing, probably since before I even started high school.
What I need to do is find a balance. Find a way to wear my professional, upstanding student belt during the day, then switch over to the fun and crazy belt in the evening. (Note: I would be talking about the different “hats” I wear, but I get hat hair really bad.)

I want to know how other people manage this, both college students like myself as well as adults in their professional careers. How do you manage your different belts? Do you have your regrets? What would you have done differently?

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One thought on “Growing Up Early

  1. ashley70 says:

    When I was applying for internships and jobs, during the interviews I was always prim and proper. I had my one suit pressed and clean, my hair was perfectly coiffed, I’m sure to enunciate but generally just stay quiet. However right from the start when I’m on the job, I ease it up. My animated faces come out, the really bad jokes are cracked and my funny little cartoons of a dancing kidney bean complete with a top hat and cane somehow make their way onto my papers and notes. It’s inevitable that my true personality will just seep into my professional life and I like to think that’s how I become memorable. Maybe not more valuable but it definitely gets my name spread around.

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