It's official: I can no longer class myself as a teenager. I am now a twenty-year-old, halfway through university, and am absolutely terrified that I am well on my way to becoming an adult. Teenage birthdays meant reaching milestones and being able to do things I couldn't previously. They slowly built up from seeing certificates 15 at the cinema, buying lottery tickets, learning how to drive, being able to vote, and, of course, being able to legally drink alcohol. By turning 20 the law doesn't allow me to do anything new, nor do I need permission to do anything. Whether I like it or not, I am starting to grow up. Or, at least, I am growing older and on my way to becoming - big gulp - an adult. It's difficult to phrase what that means to me, though responsibility is word that rings strongly.
Young people get told to make the most of being young, with family, television, and social media making the top three instructors. It has been preached so often it can now be summarised by four dreaded letters: YOLO. For those who are blissfully unaware of this expression, it's short for you only live once. I don't know about you, but I do not go on Facebook to be reminded of my mortality through girls posting pictures of themselves in a toilet of a club and justifying the bottle of WKD by saying they're living once.
Is it just me who feels massive pressure from this sort of thinking? I sometimes feel that it's wrong of me to enjoy a quiet night in and a cup of tea. What should I be doing instead? Spending every other weekend swimming with dolphins? The thing is, I know I've only one life to live - I just don't really know what to do with it. Society tells me that I need to make the most of being young but they don't really go in to detail of how to go about it.
I thought this year, my first year spent being in my twenties, I should try some things I've always wanted to do but never got round to doing. I feel like I should do something with my life other than my university work or nurse a hangover over the weekend but, also, to borrow from the words of so many others, to try and make the most of being young.
The list so far (in no particular order):
1. Try coffee
2. Go on a road trip
4. Stay up all night and watch the sun rise
5. Hot air balloon ride
6. Volunteer work
7. Read more 'classic' books
8. Start writing a book that I intend to finish
9. Go out for breakfast
10. Travel somewhere I've never been to before (within Europe)
I'll keep working on it and post an update in the next couple of weeks. If you've got any suggestions, please feel to post them. Just keep in mind this is being done on a student budget so telling me to go the Great Barrier Reef or shop in Waitrose will be probably be ignored.