Senior Reflection: Who decided 18-year-olds were adults?

Claire Bai, A&E Editor

It feels unreal that somehow it’s 2022 and I am indeed 18 years old, about to graduate high school. When did this happen? One day, the world fast-forwarded through time. Everyone else grew up, leaving me in the dust, still the same old me.

People always talk about how much they’ve changed throughout high school. But have I changed? I’m the same scared little kid who’s about to enter kindergarten for the first time, holding on tightly to my dad’s hand, not wanting to let go and walk through those imposing doors on my own. Now, this kid is going to college. This kid is, technically, an adult somehow. 

I have a lot of the same questions, the same curiosity and apprehension surrounding these final steps towards entering “the real world.” 

I worry, will people like me? Will I fit in? Will I have friends? As much as I want to think I’ve moved past these anxieties, I don’t think I ever truly will let go of them. Now, I have more questions than I had as a kindergartener. I worry, what will I do in the future? What do I even want to do? Will I be able to get a job? Will I be able to survive? 

Although I have countless questions, I still feel that same childlike excitement toward my future that I had as a kid. I’m going to be living on my own (in NYC no less) and forge an identity for myself outside of my family. Yeah, I’ll miss my sister, but I can’t wait to meet new people and try new things, as I inevitably make tons of mistakes. 

Though I might not have always made the best decisions throughout my time in high school, for what it’s worth, I did have fun. That’s all you can really hope for, right? That there were moments you can look back on and truthfully say you enjoyed them. 

If you were to ask me for advice, all I can say is that, I guess it’s okay to not be prepared for the future. Let’s be honest, who actually is? Take the time to be a kid. I’m happy with the way things are turning out, so I suppose it’s working for me. Don’t listen to me though, what do I know? I’m only 18 years old. I still have my whole life left to live.