Expectations vs Reality – Adulting

As the sun peaks through the treefall gaps and into the steel frames, she is reminded of the day’s duties flipping to the gentle rusty fans. A blare of reality, she swings across her backpack, grabs a slice of bread and starts pedalling through the busy morning lane. As her wet hair flips to the momentous breeze, she realises the irony between the bustling lanes and the still blocks. She sinks into her thoughts to introspect the teeming schedule, a forgotten dream. 

We walk into college with much aspirations, presumptions and preconceived ideas of college life driven by popular media. As a fresher you are vibrant and full of beans, hungry to explore the overrated and romanticised days of your life. A little into college we drown in the assignments. 

The much anticipated independence feels refreshing – besides, who doesn’t enjoy being their own boss? Little did we know eventually we would crave the comforts of living under parents. Adulting is difficult. Making your own rules also means managing your own bills, doing your own laundry and caring for your own self. Food doesn’t come to your plate and nobody bothers if it doesn’t. To grow is to shift from homework to chores. 

Jumping right out of JEE, some of us scout the choices we have and many of us inadvertently end up where we are. We construct an abstract mental impression and explore the possibilities they open. Sometimes, in reality we start to question the uninformed choices and the bleak instant reality. 

The world is your library. You are no longer fed with information but left to uncover the packages. You yearn for virtuous mentorship and guidance but are left with constant spurn. College instills more life lessons and less science. 

As an adult teen, you are brimming with a certain social energy, an extrovert’s paradise. That very sentence creates an imagery of unbound experiences. It quite doesn’t fit into the puzzle like inside your brain. The noises dull into your panic, you can feel alone even when girdled by a crowd. However, some friendships find their way to be your ‘meant to be’.

“College Romance”, the cliched expectation of every college student, almost always gets shattered to bits. From swiping to flirting and CCD to stone bench, one just dreams of getting what the perfect couple has. Although college might not direct you towards your sweetheart, it does open up a certain dating culture. 

One never fails to get the “new home” chant while entering college. Apart from the luxuries at home, hostel exceeds the expectations one might have. It is where friends become family. The all-nighters, the parties, the deep talks, the long walks, the movies, the midnight munchies, the jam sessions, possessions to cherish. If you are lucky enough, you find your dream college roommate. And yet, at the end of the day, you are reminded you are still on a leash when your parent’s phone buzzes with ‘Your ward has not entered today’s biometric.’

You are proffered with an enormous amount of opportunities but they come with their terms and afflictions. You acquire the treasure of skills and people. College is a reality check preparing you for the real world. 

As the days pass, the invigoration fades and the spirit is sapped by the daunting schedules. There comes a time when you start longing for the hectic school days, when dreams seemed achievable, when the uncertainties seemed tractable and when struggles seemed reasonable. 

Nevertheless, it doesn’t cease to surprise us. You can’t not wake up from a reverie. We earn some stories to tell, just not the ones we imagined.

mm

Nithila Eswaran

A diamond mind

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