Take time to grow, it’s what our age is for

Vanessa Abplanalp, Editor in Cheif

To me, all of the irony in the world lies in naming a reality tv show “The Real World.”  As it turns out, abandoning the argument of what is or is not real on tv, the world takes a much longer time, now more than ever, to become real to young adults. Today, our “future” is much farther away and a lot more confusing.

I’m on a ship, and I don’t know where I’m sailing, but most young adults experience the same stranded-sailor feeling to some degree, and it’s not all our fault, but our age’s fault.

Part of these lost feelings can be explained by psychology with a phenomenon known as “emerging adulthood,” which means adolescence lasts longer. The essence of emerging adulthood is that adolescents and young adults aren’t becoming independent as quickly, and this includes, according to the American Psychological Association, feelings of being lost about who you are and instability.

On the positive side, we have more time to be kids and prolong that magical time of our lives.  On the not-so-much side, the agonies and confusion are extended, along with adding in adult responsibilities.

There’s a reason many students change college majors after the first year and the age of marriage is near 30 now, according to the New York Times. There’s a reason some 25-year-olds stay at home and the threatened future of living in your mother’s basement is a reality. There’s a reason the teenage years are the most difficult and volatile times of our lives, and our choices, emotions, struggles and perceptions aren’t just us being “young and stupid.” It’s biology and also life transitions mixing in order to make the most free and also oppressive times of our existence.

I haven’t known who I am for at least two years, and I couldn’t tell you who I’ll be tomorrow. I’ve felt a larger range of emotion in the past six months than in the past almost two decades of my time roaming this earth. I don’t feel like I’m doing anything with my life, and I don’t know what I’ll do. Most of the time, I don’t even know if I’m actually hungry or not.

We have time to be adults when we get there.  When we cross the bridge of adolescence, it’s not a bridge to be burned.  We need this time to figure out who we are.  If we’re off the path, that’s the only way we can return to it, or find the true path we want. We need these torturous, wonderful years to form our identities and solidify ourselves and emerge in our own world.