We can't stop time-this we know.
And now that I'm in college I have found myself hitting all the major milestones that I use to dream about as a kid.
First time in a dorm-check. Moving out on my own-check. Turning 18-check.
This week I turned 21-check. It's hard to believe I've made it this far. Here I am in my third year of college paying my own bills. After all the fantasizing and planning I did in high school, I'll be the first to admit that nothing has gone exactly the way I thought it would. My friends are going through the same thing.
My best friend, Amanda, recently moved into a house her boyfriend, Ethan, bought. They have been living together in a tiny one bedroom apartment for a year now; so this was the natural next step.
They've been overwhelmed with the tasks of picking out furniture, flooring and paint. I went with Amanda to look at different shades of beige and green for the living room, light brown for the bathroom, and anything neutral for the rest of the rooms.
We laughed at the memory of our rooms back in high school. Mine looked like a rainbow had exploded in it. Every bright color imaginable could be found on my bedspread. Beanie Babies lined all of my shelves and I had a huge poster of the Backstreet Boys covering my door. Every move I made was based on an article in Seventeen Magazine.
Amanda's was covered in purple wallpaper with hot pink flowers scattered everywhere. And of course, a hot pink lava lamp to match.
By the looks of the tan and brown paint swatches, our tastes have changed a bit.
For the first time in my life, I feel like an adult.
I'm not sure if it's the horizontal license or the less radical paint that makes me feel more "mature."
College, unlike high school, is the perfect place to find or remake yourself.
It's a chance to get away from the familiar faces of the classmates you've shared your most awkward days with.
Now, the pink lava lamp that you swore would be the focal point of your living room is buried deep in a box with your senior yearbook. We realize that braces aren't the end of the world and we realize we're finally over our undeniable crush on Justin Timberlake.
What we thought was cool then seems silly, dorky or just plain pointless now. And now we realize that maybe our mothers knew what they were talking about and that the only guy a girl can really count on is her dad.
So here's to 21 years of learning lessons the hard way, understanding tough love and realizing that with age comes responsibility.
Editor's note: Chelsey Roath is a student at Northern Michigan University. Her biweekly column on college life in Marquette runs on Sundays. Her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.