When I was in school, I used to look at the seniors admiringly… They looked so happy, so free… And that was something I always associated with being grown up. At that point in life, everything important happened once you were grown up. All my dreams, desires and ambitions could be achieved when I grew up…and I eagerly waited for that phase. I used to hate the rules at school. I found it suppressing and longed for freedom. College was my ticket to liberty, I believed. I dreamt up many a castle in the air…lost in the fantasy that once I was out of school, I would enter the ‘grown-up’ territory and then be able to have my fun, do what I want. Once you were grown up, you could pursue your dreams, there would be no restrictions, parents would be more lenient, life would be fun! Or so I thought.
Now, I’m just three months away from leaving college. And I still say “When I grow up, I want to do this and that.” Somehow, growing up just doesn’t seem to have happened the way I expected it to. I admit, college was fun in some ways. I loved breaking the rules, having fun in our ways in such a bullshit place. But it was nothing like what I had in my dreams. I’m not learning what I want to, I’m not bunking too many classes…I haven’t yet found the freedom I thought I would find in college. Anyway, I’m glad I did get to go through so many distinct experiences. 🙂 I know I will miss college a lot. When I consider the idea of going out of college, leaving this safe zone and going out into the world to carve a niche for myself, it does seem really scary. But I’m trying to accept that as another phase I will have to encounter, as part of growing up. I know I will love it; I will enjoy the sheer thrill and unpredictability of the whole experience. Somewhat like how you feel when you step into the water… It does feel too cold initially, but then, as you advance, you begin to enjoy it.
Another fantasy I always had was that I would find my soul mate in college, once I’m grown up, that is. But that hasn’t happened yet. And somehow, I don’t really have high hopes for it anymore. Yeah, good if I do find him…But it doesn’t really matter so much anymore. I have lost belief in all those fantasies, anyway.
Recently, while having a talk with one of my friends, I mentioned something about what I wanted to do once I was grown up. She commented that we are already grown up…as in, we have formed definite perceptions, likes, dislikes and an attitude of our own. I was surprised at hearing that…because I knew she was right. I know I’m grown up, at least according to the standards set by people (read: society). Yet, I do not feel I’m any different from what I was when in school. True, my perceptions may have changed. But I’m still so much the same person at heart. Naive, stupid, dreamy, occasionally displaying bursts of sense… 😀 So, what exactly is growing up? Well, I don’t know, since I haven’t reached that point yet! Though, the weirdest part is…inspite of still feeling so un-grown-up, I notice that I have been engaging in a lot of serious conversations. Conversations that include topics like job, further plans, future, blah blah… Maybe it’s something triggered by the nearing end of college life. But recently, my friends have been talking a lot about all these grown up stuff. So many times, in the middle of these conversations, I have paused for a second to digest the fact that we are actually talking like adults, about serious issues. Wow! And I thought we weren’t there, yet. OK, so are we? See…? Now, you understand what I mean when I say growing up is a weird phrase. It never seems to arrive in entirety, but is always a part and parcel of life…looming in the distance ahead, always in the near distance. 🙂