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World Mag > WM Winter 2014 edition > The Edge of Adulthood by Kelli Cabell

The Edge of Adulthood by Kelli Cabell

“I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.” – Britney Spears

This is – starting my senior year and recently turning 18 – exactly how I feel. I’ve started to get tired at 8 pm and when I go out, I constantly look at my watch, stressing out about how late it’s getting. Remembering all the work I have to do, thinking about how tired I’ll be if I stay out till 2 am. School is exhausting, especially when teachers start telling you that you’re a role model now for all the younger classes, adding one more responsibility to your overpacked plate, making you feel like you can’t just be you, but have to strive for their concept of perfection. All of a sudden, everyone is watching your every step, just waiting to call you out on being irresponsible or immature. They are forgetting that you’re still young. All you can do is try to keep yourself together and drink coffee like it’swater just to function.


Before, when I was younger, I’d see immense possibilities in front of me. I had plenty of time to think about college and my future. Now I have a few months to think about it and get myself prepared. I think about the costs of things now, like food, dorm supplies, and how expensive college is. How do I do taxes? Could someone teach me how to write a proper signature? Oh god, what do I do at banks? Everything seems so cynical; ev- erything isn’t possible anymore – instead it’s making sure to be realistic. If your dream college is so expensive that even selling your kidney on the black market can’t make a dent in the cost, then forget it. Your dream job is to be a singer? Ha, have fun with finding a job, honey, andgood luck competing with the thousands of other people wanting the same thing.

We’re on the edge of adulthood. We still have a few years ahead of us. We can make some mistakes and get away with being somewhat irresponsible, but with each day you realize how soon you’ll be living on your own. It’s exciting, of course, but out there is the real world where Mommy and Daddy aren’t paying for all your s***. No one is going to spoonfeed you. You want something, go get a job, and don’t even think about being impulsive – you have to think about things in the long run instead of today’s satisfaction. Even relationships seem tainted, no longer can I swoon for high school romances in movies, it all seems like b***s***. Instead I watch Blue Valentine, and cry over how realistic it is, watching as a young romance turns into a 40-year-old couple with marriage issues and a mundane relationship. When did life go from shooting for the stars to hoping for the best? Did it get lost in college tuition and people telling you that your worth is made out of grades? Did things become cynical after the realization that money makes dreams come true, not passion?

I wish I could rip a hole in the space-time continuum and go back to being ten, when I thought anything was possible. The older I get, the more cynical I become, yet others describe it as being realistic. I stress over every grade, having nightmares about getting rejected from everywhere I apply to. I spend my free time studying SAT vocab and wishing that I was an only child, thinking that maybe then college tuitioncould have been more affordable. I’mhaving a midlife crisis at 18 because all my stressing out will most likely kill me at the ripe age of 36. Sadly, I’d be okay with that because then I wouldn’t have todeal with finding a stable career and thethought of marriage and children.


I’m writing this at 1:00 am, knowing that I have school tomorrow, but can’t fall asleep due to the thoughts of impending adulthood coming towards me. I want to hang out with my friends, and take advantage of the last of my teen angst before I wake up and I’m thirty. The prob- lem is that what you do in high school matters, at least that’s what teacherssay. So you find yourself standing at aledge. Still a teenager just wanting to enjoy their youth, yet looking over the ledge at the abyss of adulthood. I don’t know anything about the future. I can try and plan everything out, and work towards a goal that I may never achieve. That sadly is the truth.

Re-published with permission
Cabell, Kelli. “The Edge of Adulthood.”The Underground 4.1 (2014): 24-25.

Disclaimer: The Underground is an unofficial and independent studentled publication that provides a forum for students to find their voice and express their honest and truthful views, but anyone is welcome to submit their writing, art, and suggestions to: <theunderground.aisb@>. For each issue, our goals are diversity, balance, depth, representation, and entertainment.

Read the entire WORLD Magazine Winter 2014 edition here.



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