Meandering Thoughts on the Eve of My 21st Birthday

I turn 21 tomorrow (today, as of the actual publishing of this post). This post could have been profound, meaningful, or at the very least relevant. But it’s going to be what it’s going to be: a brief tour of the thoughts meandering about my head on this Monday evening.

Sitting in the library of my college, there’s a girl behind me speaking an Eastern European(?) language. She’s being a little loud for the likes of the woman seated across from her, but she takes no notice. And the woman doesn’t do anything more than scowl over at her. 

What does it feel like to be 21? Our society says that’s when we’re legally adults. We can be tried as adults when we turn 18, but at 21 we’re trusted to “drink responsibly” in public places. Funny, our system of rites of passage. We can drive a metal death machine at age 16, but can’t be trusted to make national political choices for another two years. We also have to wait this long before we’re able to decide whether or not that “Edward + Bella 4EVER” tattoo will stay looking good on our lower back for the rest of our lives. At 18, we can apply for an apartment lease, or to be exotic dancers, or buy cigarettes. We can even decide to tie the knot without our parents’ consent.

And then we can’t take so much as a sip of social ethanol until three more years after that. It’s really no sensible system at all.

In some cultures, we’re adults when we’re 13 or when we hit puberty – when our voices and bodies change. For girls, when we start to bleed. In this grand old culture of the U.S. of A., all we have are arbitrary distinctions. One day, you can be sent to juvie. The next day, you can be condemned to death by a jury of your peers. What a mess.

In Taiwan, where my family is from, and in many other countries, there virtually is no drinking age restriction. It may be different from social group to social group, but in public restaurants and properties, no one really gives much mind to how old you are when you drink. And is it a surprise that alcoholism here and in such countries is lower than that of the United States? When will we as a society learn that forced prohibition never sustainably works?

The girl’s quiet now. I feel self-conscious typing so loudly now.

I have nothing planned for this momentous birthday. I hear that all birthdays after this one aren’t even worth celebrating (or lamenting). Maybe the decade birthdays. How depressing. Soon, I’ll be able to go into those places with the NO MINORS signs. “Haha,” I’ll think, grinning from ear to ear, “I am no longer a minor in this society. Fiddle dee dee.”

Whoop di doo?

Seriously, when will the actual feeling of adulthood start creeping into my head? As far as I know, I’m still a kid. I’m still a wandering pup in a big wide world still looking for a warm belly when I can. Just because the invisible law of this country deems me to be an “adult,” doesn’t mean I am one. It doesn’t mean I’ll ever really feel like one.  Society’ll do all it can to pile on bills, taxes, 8-to-5 jobs, and other “adult responsibilities” to trick me into thinking I’m one. Who in our culture is truly mature? I feel like we’re all domesticated puppy dogs – a culture of unrealized wolves. It’s all a farce.

It is just way too quiet now. What is this, a library or something?

Can someone help me contain my excitement?

But look at this, I’m being such a bore, such a yumm yucker. I know I’ll have enjoy myself – if not on my birthday, then later on in life. Christ, I’ve already had a great deal of fun. There’s nothing to complain about (without getting existentially angsty). Being 21 and beyond is going to be pretty all right. Also, the quiet life sounds nice, but even moderation needs to be taken into moderation. The party-hardy and rave scene will never by my regular diet, but it sure sounds like fun to try out here and there like Grandma’s super fatty, ultra salty, so damn bad yet so damn good home cooking. We can be in danger of having too much ice cream, but we can also be in danger of having too much broccoli as well.

Here is where I sigh a sigh of resignation and acceptance. Adulthood’s going to have to be taken just like everything else. One step at a time. And what the heck do I know? I’m still a baby. I still got time to be proven right (but hopefully oh, so wrong. Hopefully.) And I’m going to put this one last thing out there, that no matter how introverted anyone is, they should soak their big toe out in the waves just once [in a while] at the very least. Really, we only live once, as the kids say. And that’s all I my wandering mind has to say about that.

So Happy Birthday, Sigmund Freud, George Clooney, and Maximilien Robespierre. May 6th is going to be a lovely day. Even if it didn’t work out so well for the Hindenburg.

Oh, she’s started talking on the phone again. I don’t feel so bad anymore.

I may have posted this before, but it’s a video worth watching at least twice.

Do you remember turning 21? And if you aren’t yet there, what are your feelings on looming “adulthood?”

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101 Damnations: 101 Stressed Out Ramblings

Because I, like every neurotic narcissistic individual on the Internet, enjoy celebrating mundane trivialities.

Here on Stressing Out College, we kicked off the new year a week late with post No. 100, appropriately about my love of new years resolutions. 100, a round number, aesthetically pleasing, easy to work with in math. Who cares- I’m just making up a reason to post and liven up this place a little bit.

A lot of my previous ideas on this blog lost steam with me and I’ve been having issues rediscovering my inspiration. There’s only so many ways I can say that college and life stresses me out and that some people or institutions are stupid. The only recurring segment that I’ve been keeping up with is the Scrap Paper Poetry, which I’ve actually been rather happy about. A series that I did way back in the third age of this blog was Transportation Tuesday, which I’ll be bringing back. Don’t know why I ever stopped it. Public transportation is loaded with comedic material. And I’ll be starting a monthly series in February reading and reviewing a book from my neglected book shelf, so… we’ll see how that pans out.

But to cut to the real meat of these cojones, what I really wanted to do was plug my other blog: The Big Blog of All the S#!t I KnowWhy everyone should be following me around and listening to what I have to say.

Big Blog of All the Shit I Know Logo

Shameless self-promotion time: While I rant on Stressing Out College about random topics loosely related to school or Monty Python or whatever it is that I tend to write about on here, The Big Blog of All the S#!t I Know is where I share my thoughts on society, civilization, organic relationships, and universal ecology. A bit heavier topics, but not without the sarcastic lightness you’ve come to know and love from me. ((Insert cheesy smile here)) Plus, I tend to swear more there. And they have cookies*. So please go check it out!

And finally, I would just like to say thank you to all my readers (yes, all five of you). Without you folks, I’d just be that crazy-haired chick at your local street corner constantly muttering to herself about how awesome Oscar Wilde and Monty Python are and wouldn’t it be great if education wasn’t so frustrating…

So thank you and let’s make this year even more stressful than the last.

Cheers,

SOS

*Just Internet cookies. Sorry, not sorry.

Writing ’13 Instead of ’14 on My Papers ‘Cause I’m A Rebel… or Forgetful

Congratulations, fellow Stressors. You’ve made it to another calendar year. (So what if I’m a week late. 2014’s not going anywhere anytime soon – unless you’re not reading this in 2014…)

As you can see, I’m back from winter break. I went to Hawaii, spent time with family, and did a bunch of cool stuff that I’m totally not going to talk about here. Instead, what I’m going to bore you with is a rant on… something?

Eyes Close Up - Stressing Out College

Or we could just have a staring contest.

Some of you, like me, have just started back up on your classes for your winter quarter or semester or whatever system you’re on. If you’re not yet back in classes, cherish your moments of non-academic vacationhood or else I’m going to reach through this screen and bitchslap some sense into you.

Bear with me as I get back into the swing of… actually doing stuff.

2014. Is it going to be a big year? A small year? A Napoleonic year? Hell if I know. I do know that I’ll be turning 21 this year and that’s pretty much about it.

As you may remember, I have no interest in resolutions. They’re silly. End of story. I make gentle suggestions to myself that I end up ignoring 97% of. [Gasp, a preposition at the end of a sentence.] So here are my gentle suggestions of 2014:

  • Read at least one unassigned book per month. When classes start, life stops. Leisure time gets replaced by lesion time as I drag my discipline and motivation to study through the dirt behind me. My list of books that I own, but have yet to read keeps growing.
  • Learn a non-Monty Python song on the ukulele. The uke is something I got on a planned whim a couple months ago. It’s very travel-friendly and it has a lovely timbre, but I tend to plateau quickly when learning something like this without an instructor holding me accountable. Damn my laziness. My YouTube muses are not soaring.
  • Take a stroll through the gym. No, no, Subconscious, I know what you’re thinking (paradoxically). It’s not like I’m going to be getting on the elliptical or picking up any weights or breaking a sweat. No, no, no, silly. Just a stroll. I am after all paying some hundred dollars in my student fees for the recreation center. Why not take an innocent, sweatless stroll…
  • Scribble more. This blog has been a good semi-creative outlet. And I’ve found that with activities like NaNoWriMo, I actually do like writing. So maybe I’ll put pen to paper or finger to key more. Maybe.
  • Figure out what the heck I want to do with my life. Ha. Still kidding.

That wasn’t a rant. But it’s good to be back.

Edit: And oh my goodness, Sherlock is back! (If you haven’t watched it because it’s not available in your area yet, e-mail me and I’ll let you know how to watch it on the BBC website now: stressingoutcollege@gmail.com. Shhhh, you didn’t hear anything from me…)

How were your holidays? Got any new year resolutions or suggestions you know you’re not going to keep?