Today I turn 25, making me officially-officially an adult. At 18, people say you are an adult, but in reality your options are fairly limited to voting and buying lottery tickets. At 21, you can buy alcohol, which is nice, but can’t rent a hotel room.
But once you reach 25…then you are legit. You can rent a car without getting charged extra. You can rent a hotel room without worrying about age restrictions. You can basically do anything. Go anywhere. Be anyone.
All while remaining on your parents’ health insurance for one more year. Because, wouldn’t want to grow up too fast, right? (I’m kiddddingggg.)
I’m excited to turn 25. It means I made it a quarter of a century, quite a respectable achievement if I do say so myself. I’m solidly in my mid-twenties now. (Which, actually, makes me feel quite young, because who says mid-twenties? I feel like you don’t worry about the decades slipping by until you hit your 30s)
It also means my 24th year finally comes to an end. And I’m so okay with that.
It was a strange year for me. Not a bad year. I find myself quite content with the way things worked out. Many good things happened. But also many stressful things.
For starters, I slept on a mat on the floor of a living room for most of it because there was not enough space in the apartment I shared for me to have a bed. I moved into the world of undergraduates and nightly fell asleep to the sound of pounding music, drunken carousing, and the occasional whiff of pot. I gave up my van and a paycheck and learned to be a broke, dependent student again. I limped by on student loans and survived financially only because of my parents’ and Signe’s generosity. I experienced gut-wrenching anxiety for the first time in my life and spent days battling nausea that was all in my head. I struggled to make meaningful friendships and find my footing in the pressure cooker of law school. I spent my first semester back in school wondering daily if I should drop out (and if I did, how I would pay off all those law school loans!) It was a whirlwind.
But so many sweet things happened too. I made it almost my entire second semester without wanting to drop out. I found community in the Federalist Society, the Christian Legal Society, Ridgeway Church, and my AFP network. All the stress and panic about finding a summer job led to three different, amazing internships (and let me tell you, I probably would have dropped out without those internships and their reminders that 1. yes, I am an adult, and 2. there is a light at the end of the tunnel.) I gained mentors and experience and discovered a passionate hatred for the public trust doctrine.
Law school aside, 24 involved reading 124 books, wrapping up a summer in Idaho, standing up in two weddings, seeing old friends, making new friends, flying to Tennessee, white water rafting, moving to Colorado for an incredible, restful, fulfilling summer internship, and becoming an aunt!
My 24th year centered around learning to live in the tension of being not-quite-an-independent-adult but also not-quite-an-inexperienced-student. I didn’t always find the right balance, but I like to think I am ending on a high note. I made Law Review. I am President of my school’s Federalist Society and Treasure for the Christian Legal Society. I was accepted to study abroad in Thailand in 2019. I’ll have my own apartment this fall with an actual bed.
There is a saying about law school: first year they scare you to death, second year they work you to death, and third year they bore you to death. As I look to 25 and the upcoming year, I already feel flickers of anxiety about how crazy my schedule looks. But I’m also excited and eager to take it on. I do not think I will ever learn to love this social place of half-student/half-adult, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can. It certainly affords me many unique opportunities.
Today I turn 25. I’m officially-officially an adult. And maybe in being an adult, I can more confidently be a student, because no matter how it feels, the two are not mutually exclusive. Just mutually challenging. Here’s to one more (hopefully-slightly-less-roller-coaster-ish) year!