Growing up, I have never considered myself to be an independent person.
But not independent.
I honestly don’t know why, since I tend to do most things on my own and rarely ask for help. It’s just that I prefer having control over what happens, whether it’s deciding what I’ll have for lunch or taking over a group essay.
I have always been aware of this, but it just never clicked in my head: I love doing things alone.
This brings us to the theme of today’s blog: ✨i n d e p e n d e n c e✨.
Before we start, there’s something you should know about me: I have insomnia, so, many of my nights are spent overthinking in my bed while staring at the ceiling. A few nights ago, I was up at 2 am thinking about group projects and having so much work (we’ve all been there at least once!) and my thoughts kind of spiralled from there… so I ended up thinking about life. I am not sure how I ended up with this thought, but realization dawned on me and I couldn’t help but think how I am doing everything alone.
I’m an international student, which means that I turned 18 and within 6 months I was out of my parents’ house and off to a new country… alone.
This means that every morning I wake up and I depend solely on myself.
I get up and cook for myself.
I do my own laundry.
I spend time making meal plans and I buy my groceries (and I carry them, which is waaay more difficult than one might think).
I EVEN MADE SOME CHARTS TO KEEP TRACK OF MY FINANCES.
I know these are all perfectly normal activities and every adult somehow provides for themselves, but I never realised when I had become part of this group. There’s no way I have entered adulthood already… I still feel like a child! In my head, rather than providing for myself, I’m barely surviving in life. I don’t know, I guess I needed this sudden realisation to see that I am an *actual* adult, since apparently turning 20 was not enough for me.
And realising this was really scary, but, at the same time, also kind of relieving. Knowing that despite everything you have been and are still going through, you are still a functioning human you can rely on. As someone who is always super harsh on herself, I want to take this moment to stop and fully appreciate how much university students do. Everyone keeps talking about their college days as “the last glorious teenage years” and, while this is not entirely wrong, this is also not entirely true: yes, we do spend a lot of time partying and enjoying life, but these are also the first years of adulthood. The years when you learn how to cook, how to share a really small apartment with a really high number of people, how to get your laundry to come out of the washing machine perfectly clean and soft. During these years you’ll learn that maybe you don’t need to call your parents every time something goes wrong, because you know how to solve the situation on your own. Finally, you will realise that, although you now have total freedom and no one is going to stop you, you are still choosing to eat real food and not live off candies, chips and snacks: this is when you know you are officially a member of the grown-ups club.
Now we have complete control over everything we do. Or almost.
But that’s okay, we still have time to learn.
Writer: Federica Pastella
Editor: Nimrat Kaur
Visuals: Noor Marwah