Not Ready To Be An Adult

As of last Saturday I am eighteen years old, and therefore an adult.. isn’t that a terrifying thought? With my little brother and sister starting school for the first time the day before my birthday, I was already feeling a little fragile in the age department, but now I just feel goddamn ancient. I know it’s such a cliché thing to say but it feels like only yesterday that I started secondary school and now I’m finally in my final year, a lot taller, a lot happier, and hopefully at least a little bit wiser. Nevertheless- jokes from mum about how I now have to do my own washing aside- I can’t comprehend the fact that I am now a legal adult and can more or less do whatever I want. In a year’s time I will be moving out (fingers crossed) and having to think about feeding myself and cleaning my own place and paying bills and all those other things that come with being a “responsible adult”.. and that scares me to death.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited to finally be eighteen and everything that entails- this birthday has hands down been the best I’ve ever had as I’ve been lucky enough to have spent time with and been spoiled by the people I love the most in the world. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better start to adult life and I am so grateful. Having friends that are moving out for uni this week has made me long for this time next year when I will hopefully be in the same position; I am so ready to get out of this tiny village in the middle of nowhere and I’m excited for whatever the next few years will bring. Oh, and if you’re wondering why I’ve become so somber and reflective all of a sudden, that’s what adulthood does to you kids. Just you wait.

The Next Stage

As David Nicholls so rightly puts it, “the notion that you can somehow quantify intelligence by some ridiculous, antiquated system of written examinations is obviously specious.” Unfortunately for us, there’s not a lot we can do about that and we’re forced to go through the stress of increasingly harder exams year upon year in order to decide for us whether we are destined to be neurosurgeons or dustbinmen for the rest of our lives. As I’m sure most of you will have guessed, I talk about this because of the dreaded day that has been looming ever closer since the start of summer and is now but two days away; the day on which dreams are realised and crushed- and trust me, that’s no exaggeration.

Luckily for me, I’ve only got my AS results to collect which, whilst still worth half my A level and therefore clearly important, fade into insignificance when stood next to those in the year above whose envelope contains the answer to possibly what their life will look like for the next few years. And that’s pretty terrifying. I know that each year group has a tendency to downplay the importance of the stages which they’ve already experienced, but I would seriously give anything to be back in GCSE and only having to worry about getting my 4 B’s and 2 C’s to get into sixth form, rather than needing ridiculously unlikely high grades to have a chance of getting into any of the universities I want to end up at.

I write this sat on my bed with a mug of tea in hand and university prospectuses spread out in front of me, trying to differentiate between the accommodation prices at this university and the contact hours at that university and entrance grades and module choices and league table rankings and nightlife and things that I never thought I would have to think about for years to come. I still feel about 12 years old even though I turn 18 in less than four weeks, and that’s terrifying. The idea that what I decide in the next few months dictates pretty much what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life is overwhelming to say the least, and no number of open days or prospectuses or “useful” school assemblies on UCAS is going to change that. But whilst it may be terrifying and overwhelming and quite frankly incomprehensible at times, it’s also so bloody exciting. As much as I will miss my school, I can’t wait to get out into the world and experience somewhere a bit more diverse and real than the ‘bubble’ of where I live, which to be honest is pretty much anywhere. I want to get to a big city and meet interesting people and do interesting things in interesting places, and more than the worry or stress, I can’t wait for the future and so should you – it’s an exciting place.