At the end of July, I turned 22. I don’t actually feel 22. (I just felt like getting a Taylor Swift quote in the title)
I’m actually often mistaken for a 16 year old – I think it’s because I do look younger than I am mixed with the fact that I don’t wear make-up and I don’t dress very adult-y. I’m a jeans and t-shirt sort of person. But I’ve finished University and I’m looking for a job. I’m officially an adult no matter how much I don’t feel like one.
Yes, I’ve been allowed to have sex, get married and smoke for 6 years (smoking age actually changed from 16 to 18 when I was 16 but who cares, I don’t want to smoke), I’ve been allowed to drive for 5 years and I’ve been allowed to drink, gamble, go clubbing and vote for 4 years…but due to the fact I don’t overly care about those things, being allowed to do them hasn’t made me feel any older.
This doesn’t make me feel older. It usually just makes me feel a bit bored…
But I admit, I don’t feel the same as I did when I was 18. I have grown up a lot and I think I have changed significantly. Going to University and falling in love are the main 2 things that affected me. At the age of 19 I moved 250 miles away from my parents to live on my own. At the age of 20 I first had sex. At the age of 21 I left Europe to go to Asia for the first time, and it was my first time on a plane without my parents. At the age of 22, if all goes to plan, I should be moving in to my first real flat or house with my boyfriend. All that has definitely made me a different person but for the better. I am more confident, more independent, more sociable (still not very sociable but that’ll never change) and more understanding of the world. I’m not the same person I was 3 years ago…but that still doesn’t make me feel old enough to be an adult!!!
Living in halls of residence and meeting my boyfriend really changed me.
Recently, my Mum revealed to me that she met my Dad when they were 22. I had wrongly assumed that they were around 25 when they got together. I don’t know why but it really surprised me to think that they got together when they were at my age. For me a relationship is an adult thing. I don’t believe many people are old enough for a real relationship before the age of 18, though admittedly there are fair few people who are under 18 and much more mature than many adults. I know I definitely wasn’t ready before I was 18 years old, or after for that matter! Now when I really think about what is happening in my life, with my relationship and with my age…it makes everything seem a bit more real that it did before.
I see all these 13 year old girls dressing up like they are in their 20s and often you can’t tell! You can see why some guys end up sleeping with under age girls, it’s not obvious at all. I’m not condoning it but if a young girl who looks 20 is leading them on, they aren’t going to ask for a birth certificate. These girls often look a lot older than I do. I just think, why would you want to grow up!? Being a teenager is so much fun. I admit, late teens is more fun than early teens – you can do what you want, you can live by yourself, you can have fun and you have no responsibilities. I miss university so much already and I only finished it a few months ago.
Maybe everyone at some point feels like they aren’t old enough for the life they are living…or maybe I am just desperate to not grow up.