Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Instantly Adult

I feel old.

This summer I turned twenty while doing an internship with a government organization. I know, twenty isn't that old. However, the number itself isn't what is making the impact.

Firstly, I drove myself back to school this semester. For the last two years I have never had my own car on campus, and I honestly believed I would not be able to make the nine hour drive from home to school. It's boring, but apparently more than doable.

After spending the summer doing a 9-5 (or longer, depending on the day), working a very limited number of hours a week (15) at school seems like a bit of a joke. In order to feel a bit more normal, I accepted a paid tutoring position with the math department. Working as a group tutor and an individual tutor, that adds at least another 5 hours a week to my workload. Slightly more normal.

One thing that constantly amazes me now is the amount of complaining I hear. I had heard it before, but now I actually listened. For a lot of very privileged people, we sure managed to complain about a lot of insignificant things. And an awful lot of them turned out to be very first-world problems. Huh. On a typical day, I tend to hear at least one complaint about all of the following:
  • Homework
  • Exams
  • Professor's teaching style
  • That green thing in the pasta
  • Lack of free time (see first two complaints)
  • The significant other (there are too many variations on this theme to list)
  • Lack of _________________ (Eg. sleep, food, money, etc...)
There are way too many. I should start carrying cheese cubes to hand out with the whine. Listening to all of this with a sort of  mildly-interested smile, I can't help thinking that we really have an excellent life here.

I get asked for advice a lot. People seem to think I know what I'm doing  - trust me, I really don't. I am just really good at faking competence. I get asked about things in which I truly have no competency - I think it's a family curse, actually. I hope I can live up to the challenge, and perhaps help some of my cohorts to feel a little older than twelve.

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