I’m a latte drinker by nature. Specifically a tall, skinny caramel latte drinker (occasionally iced), but I’m a latte drinker nonetheless. However, this summer I’ve taken up Starbucks iced coffee (usually with some caramel, seems like I can’t shake the caramel). I felt the need to change it up, and to be honest, this change was mostly motivated by the fact that iced coffee is a hell of a lot cheaper than iced lattes (and don’t lose their flavor as they become watered down, barista tip). While you might see this as a simple change between caffeinated beverages, it means slightly more to me. Like I graduated from vanilla bean frappuccinos to lattes, I have now moved on from lattes to iced coffees (for the moment, at least). To me, iced coffees aren’t just iced coffees either. This transition is mirroring another transition in my life: putting on my big girl pants. That’s right, this summer is my crash course in real adulthood.
It seems like the time between finishing my junior year to feeling more comfortable referring to myself as a “rising senior,” life decided that I needed to gain some real grown-up experience. The first week of summer, I got pulled over because my car inspection sticker was 6 months overdue, which left me with a hefty fine to pay and a trip to the DMV the next day. I made my first rent payment for the house I’m living in for the summer and realized how much groceries actually cost. I’ve been hyperactive about turning off all the lights when I leave a room and refuse to turn on the AC in the 98 degree heat because paying obnoxious utility bills doesn’t sound fun. I got in my first fender-bender in the Starbucks parking lot (where I got an iced coffee, coincidentally enough), which means I’ve spoken to my insurance agent, made a claim and learned what a “deductible” is. I’ve felt the pressure of not receiving a pay check on time, and my roomie and I may or may not have stolen toilet paper from the Villanova admissions office to avoid paying for some. If this isn’t adulthood, I’m not sure what is.
I knew this day would come. I knew that the blissful semi-reality of college would fade once I moved off campus and had to deal with annoying neighbors and large bugs on my own. I guess it’s a good thing. Dealing with these things now–when my parents are just a phone call away and beyond understanding when I damaged my car… again…–can only give me more knowledge for when I (gulp) graduate next year. As much as it sometimes sucks, I’ve found myself just biting the bullet and doing what I have to do. Someday I won’t have to sacrifice so much or worry about money all the time (hopefully), and it will be ten times sweeter because I’ve had to live the poor-college-senior life for a while. It’s a rite of passage really.
But don’t worry, I haven’t lost all my crazy young-adultness yet. I still dance like a fool in the lawn section of a country concert, get excited by summertime fireworks and stay up late for no reason laughing with my friends. And I’m not giving up those things any time soon.
The biggest thing I’ve learned so far? Adulthood is a lot of car problems and feeling broke more often than not. But the crazy feeling of young independence is beyond worth it. Maybe this adulthood thing won’t be so bad.
Here’s to iced coffees (for the time being) & breaking in my big girl pants.