By Summer Cabrera
Think about the year you turned 18, a year filled with change and excitement for most of us — from all the perks of senior year, to graduation, to college acceptance letters, to the last summer spent with the best friends you knew you would eventually go separate ways with once in college, to finally moving out and embracing the independence that comes with dorm life.
Eighteen was a great year for most of us. Milestones were hit, and no doubt individuality was discovered accompanied by a whole year of little to no responsibilities. Easy classes, free food and the discovery of frat parties were among some of the privileges freshman year of college.
Now think about the day you turned 19. What excited you?
I’ll tell you what excited me on my 19th birthday … nothing.
By sophomore year in college classes got a little bit harder and I felt a little bit older, but for the most part nothing was really different. The “freshman-year hype” is over and you’ve mostly figured out the gist of what college has to offer. Other than that it’s just another awkward age in life between childhood and adulthood. You don’t really feel like a teenager anymore, and certainly don’t want to accept that adulthood is around the corner.
At 19 in college, you basically already feel 21. You feel empowered to show off and use the fake ID that you so proudly purchased in hopes of finally being able to join the crowd every Wednesday and Thursday. You, along with majority of campus adolescents, hold your breath while handing security the fake ID you pray looks legitimate enough to pass at Imperial, El Cortez and hopefully the Wal if you’re lucky enough to have your ID actually scan.
Then comes 20. Reality hits and it’s brutal. Twenty is an age in which I definitely felt older. The big 2-0, halfway to the big 4-0, over the hill. Congratulations, you are now halfway up the hill, except this next half is all downhill (yay!). It is now easy to decipher the freshmen from the juniors at parties. You feel old and outdated; you are no longer willing to sacrifice frostbite to look cute for a party. There is no longer the convenience of free food or the ability to live directly on campus. Frat parties are old news, but the obstacle to get into bars and clubs can be the ultimate struggle at this point in life.
When 20 hits you, the realization that you are no longer a teenager and have to grow up, handle responsibilities, and try and build yourself/a career can be overwhelming. Classes are actually difficult and almost impossible to ditch, and on top of everything your parents now feel you are ready to start contributing to your bills because everything “has to be a lesson.”
To all of my fellow readers that can relate to the dark ages of 19 and 20, have hope, my friends, because we’ve almost made it to one of the most exciting years of our lives. TWENTY-FUN is around the corner, a year of revitalization is near and the excitement felt during the age of 18 is soon returning. Say hello to buying your own alcohol with no fear; bye-bye, Venmo. Say hello to clubs, bars, 21+ pools and the ability to basically do whatever you want except rent a car (because that obviously makes sense)! Say hello to senior year and a bigger and better graduation, the chance to finally prove yourself and your new degree to employers, and the chance to finally reinvent yourself apart from who you were in college. A new dawn is beginning and it couldn’t be anymore anticipated.
Summer Cabrera studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheNevadaSagebrush.