Don’t rush to grow up.

Don’t rush to grow up.

The beginning of the next chapter in my life. Photo taken by Jon Gerner.

When I was little and wishing to be older or to be able to do things that I was too young to do, my dad would always tell me, “Don’t rush to grow up, you’ll be an adult the rest of your life.”

I am now slowly starting to realize why my dad would tell me to enjoy being a kid while I could. I am currently a sophomore in college with more expenses, responsibilities and things to do than my little girl brain could have ever imaged all those years ago.

With life coming at me full speed ahead, I decided to get a job to pay for everyday expenses and school since I was living on my own for the first time.

This past summer I moved out to live in Wildwood and I worked five days a week in the mornings at a breakfast restaurant and six, sometimes seven, days a week at night at a bar. Needless to say, I had no time for anything besides work and maybe squeezing in a nap for a couple of hours before heading off to the next job.

The town of Wildwood. Photo taken by Sophia Gerner.

With COVID-19 happening before everyone’s eyes and not really being able to go out anyway, I decided to spend my summer working to save up some money to pay for school and life.

According to Forbes, 50 percent of “young millennials” move back home with their parents after college and student loan debt delays life decisions like buying a home, moving out of their parents home, getting married and having children. I figured these facts were even more of a reason to get a move on.

Normally when school starts, I stop my summer jobs to focus more on my major, but since schools aren’t fully back to normal yet, I’ve been continuing my night job on the weekends. I also babysit my neighbor’s children a couple times a week and have picked up the responsibility of being a classroom coach this semester.

One of the first transitions I had to make was balancing my work life with my school life.  According to TheClassroom, statistics show that students working more than 15 hours a week have a higher failing or drop out rate. I currently work about 25 hours combined on weekends at the bar so this was yet one more obstacle I had to overcome.

On top of all of the everyday responsibilities and never ending stream of homework, my social and family life aren’t what they used to be. With better time management, I have definitely started planning more time for myself, family and friends.

It goes without saying that I’ve started my transition into adulthood with my hands full, but I have a very determined personality and when I put my mind to something, it will always get done. I’ve had to learn how to balance schoolwork and my different jobs and responsibilities all while still having a social and family life.

My planner. Photo taken by Sophia Gerner.

My lifesaver this year was my planner. It keeps me organized and keeps my head on straight even when I start to think I may have bit off just a tad more than I can chew.

My multitasking skills have become better than ever by getting schoolwork done whenever and wherever. The moment I have free time, whether at work, after the kids go to sleep while babysitting, or while I’m on my way out the door, I am constantly pulling out my computer and planner to finish yet another assignment and cross it off my list.

People always tell me they don’t know how I handle and accomplish all these different tasks, but to me, it is to constantly better myself and prove that I can make it on my own.

Anyone can do all the different things I do, but it’s when you put them all together into one life that the balancing act becomes harder than the individual task.

My transition into adulthood isn’t perfect and some may even think it is completely wrong or too much to be doing at once, but I’ve always had big goals set for myself in life. It isn’t enough to aim for the stars unless you back it up with the proper actions. It takes hard work to accomplish whatever you want to achieve in life and I don’t plan on starting when it’s too late.