The Transition into Adulthood

We go through changes in our lives constantly from the day we’re born. Just when we think we’re done changing, we’re hit with something that forces us to re-evaluate ourselves as people.

I have undergone so many changes in the past three years that sometimes I can’t even recall what kind of person I was at 17. When I was 17, I used to think that the person that I was, was the person I would be for the rest of my life. I’d just gotten accepted to my first choice of university for a very prestigious program. My life was completely planned out and was going smoothly. I would graduate in 5 years, find a really nice paying job in one of the Big 4 accounting firms, pay off my student loans, and be able to finally travel the world as I have dreamed of doing all my life.

Now I don’t even know what it is that I want to do for the rest of my life, but even though that is the case, I have no regrets and I would say that I am a lot more content with my life now than I was back then. Even though I don’t quite know what kind of job title or profession I’m looking for, at least now I know that it’ll be in a field that I enjoy.

Transitioning into adulthood is an extremely scary thing. Some refer to it as a “quarter-life crisis.” My quarter-life crisis took place in 2 major stepping stones, all of which I experienced failure and had to push myself to get past them.

The first big transition that I went through was moving out and going to university for the first time. During that year, I learned how to live on my own, got a taste of the real world, and discovered what true friendship really is.

Growing up, I never had any best friends. I spent most of my time with my family and never really got to experience all those things that children and teenagers usually get to experience, like having a birthday party with friends, hanging out after school, and going out together. That’s why all the friends I made at my first year of university had such a huge impact on my life. They were my first “real” friends whom I got to do everything with and experience new things with. Even to this day, I still consider them my best friends even though we’re all in different cities now.

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May 2016 (top), September 2013 (bottom)

Transferring to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology was the second major transition that I went through in my life. That was the year that I made the terrifying decision to drop out of university. During that time off, I found myself a full-time office job where I started to save up money to transfer to a different school. That school ended up being Humber College.

The change didn’t stop there. Before my first year at Humber, I spontaneously chopped off 15 inches of my hair and donated it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, an organization that takes donated hair and makes them into wigs for women fighting cancer. I have had long hair for almost all of my life so doing this was a huge change for me. Since I was starting a new school and taking a step towards following my dreams, I wanted to do something to celebrate a “new me.” It took some getting used to, but I ended up loving my new short hair. Not only did I feel more light physically, I also felt a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders mentally. I went through a lot of tough times in the past 2 years, but I was able to overcome them and move on with my life. Now I can look back proudly and say that I made it and remind myself that there is no obstacle that I can’t overcome.

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Appreciate what other people willingly do for you

I am trying to keep this blog as light and positive as possible, but I think it’s important for me to share some realistic life experiences of mine as well. I hope that you’ll think that, even if this post isn’t as uplifting and inspirational as what I usually try to post, that you’ll be able to learn something else from it as well.

So, as you may, or may not, know, I am now moved into my new apartment shared with 4 other girls. You might think, “oh, it’s an all girls suite, it must be super clean.” Well… that’s where you’re wrong. Girls can be just as messy as boys, and I’ve learned that from the past 2 years of living with others. So let’s stop this gender discrimination and look at the truth, shall we?

I have actually been to an all boys suite before, and it was much, MUCH cleaner than ours. They cleaned up the stove after cooking, did the dishes together, cleared the table, put everything back where it belonged. To be honest, I was a little surprised, but also proud of them. And that’s when I realized that gender really has nothing to do with cleanliness.

It’s the effort that someone is willing to put in to keep their living space clean.

After 3 weeks of trying to put up with the mess and dirt in my apartment, thinking things like, “oh, I’m not living here permanently, only for a year, so I shouldn’t stress too much over these things and focus on my studies,” but for a neat-freak like me, I can’t seem to focus when the place is filthy.

So I got down one day and scrubbed down the bathroom, and kitchen. Of course, when I clean, it’s because I want to, and I actually find cleaning very satisfying after I finish, and it helps to clear my mind when I’m stressed about schoolwork, but sometimes I just feel really unappreciated and I feel like I’m the only one who ever cares about taking care of the space I’m living in.

I spent half an hour cleaning the kitchen, and it looks great now, but it saddens me that after a couple weeks, it’ll probably return to dirty state it was originally in, and no one will clean it except me… again.

No one ever thanked me for cleaning anything… it’s like they expected someone else to clean up their mess. Even when they saw me cleaning, they didn’t say a word, or offer to help. They just went back to their rooms and shut the door.

Someone even went as far as to stick a note to the fridge saying, “please take turns keeping the kitchen clean!” without even bothering to clean the kitchen. If you want someone else to help keep the place clean, at least do something yourself before you stick a note up telling others what to do! Remember that phrase, “practice what you preach?”

I don’t do things for other people because I expect a thank you, but at the same time, I am not another person’s own personal maid. If you don’t want to thank me in words, that’s completely fine with me. I just want you to show your gratitude by at least trying to put in a little effort to keep the area I just cleaned, clean.

I am cleaning this place for myself, not for others, and so that is why I will continue to clean, even if it is unfair, and even if I’m the only one who’s bothering to do it.

Sometimes it just sucks when you do something nice for others, and they don’t even notice or care…

Please everyone, take the time to appreciate the things people silently and willingly do for you, because not everyone is willing to do that, and one day, they might not be there for you anymore.

Sweet 16

So for The Daily Post’s post-a-day, they asked us about the person we were when we were 16. 16 wasn’t that long for me actually; only 2 – almost 3 – years ago, but I’ve changed drastically in those 2 years.

When I was 16, as much as I liked to deny it at the time, I was still a kid. I was a kid getting her license for the first time. I didn’t even have a part-time job yet at that time because I was too busy enjoying life, playing video games, going on vacation; I was sheltered growing up, and I was living off of my parents’ money. Why did I need a job, I wondered.

What I didn’t know at the time, was that getting a part-time job was not just for the money; it was for the much-needed life experience that came with it. With my first part-time job working at a restaurant at the age of 17, I learned just how hard people worked to earn money. For some people I worked with, it was for their living. I learned how to be independent, to communicate, and even gained some confidence from working my part-time job. Not to mention I no longer had to ask my parents for money whenever I wanted to buy something. I had my own source of income. For the very first time, I could buy my mom a birthday present with my own money.

The only question I ask now is: why didn’t I get a part-time job sooner?

So at 16, I guess you could say I was a naive, dependent, spoiled kid with big dreams about travelling the world, but I must say, those were one of the happiest days of my life. Relaxing at home with hardly any schoolwork, playing online video games, going to the park, getting 9 hours of sleep everyday… I had all the free time in the world. You never really realize how much you miss being a kid until you start moving towards the real world.

So now, I ask you this question: who were you at the age of 16?

Still a kid at heart,
Emily