And for me, this is a very difficult thing to comprehend. I can’t even fathom that I’ve been alive for two decades. It’s unbelievable that I’ve been around to witness the creation of the Viagra pill, ringback tones, and 10 seasons of Friends.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love birthdays. I love blowing out the candles and celebrating with people I care about, and I even relish all those seemingly meaningless wall posts I get on Facebook. I’m even especially lucky because my friends always seem to make my birthday extra special for me. However, to me, reaching 20 has always meant the end of my teenage years, inevitably turning into the end of my ability to get away with doing ridiculous things.
It’s not that I’m suffering from some sort of Peter Pan syndrome. It’s just that in the midst of applying for internships and putting down payments on a house for next year, I have come to realize that I’m getting older while simultaneously realizing the need to start being more responsible. This is not an exciting realization. It may sound dramatic, but as a college sophomore, the idea of getting older is scary. I keep wondering if I’ve lived the last twenty years the right way. Am I proud of the person of I have become?
Maybe I’m afraid. Afraid to lose myself to a drone existence of living in the suburbs and driving a mini van. Afraid of losing the simple pleasure of screwing up and being able to get away with it. Afraid of losing my youth. And most of all, I’m afraid of not being able to have carefree fun anymore.
But, for my 20th my roommates gave me an ice tray shaped like guitars, an easel, shot glasses, and I spent the first 3 hours of my birthday making tons of jello to be put into an inflatable pool. I also laughed this morning when my history professor said, “France had a sense of we-ness.” So I guess my youth isn’t over just yet.