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adulting

Adulting with Natalie Carroll, Maddy Johnston and Vanessa Makuve.

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AVD: Tiredness, responsibility and pressure. What do these means for you in terms of you becoming an adult?

NC: There’s an increase in everything

MJ: Yeah, the pressure is just more once you realise that next year we’ll all be in university and there’s no security blanket keeping you safe anymore. The responsibility of university is looming ahead as everyone is submitting and receiving university applications. It’s draining.

VM: I think that there are things that always exist but in childhood they’re a bit more contained and controlled but when you reach adulthood, they take on a life of their own and you have to learn how to control them yourself. It’s pretty scary.

AVD: What do you enjoy about being an adult?

NC: Making my own decisions, then if it goes wrong it’s on me, there is no one else to blame.

MJ: Being taken more seriously. I’m a 5ft small girl. I’ve experienced events that have matured me as a person and when you say you’re 18, more people seem actually listen to your views and values.

VM: Being able to make reasoned and informed decisions and being able to validate your opinions as people take you seriously.

img_4669Friends are one of the most important parts of your life. The memories you make during the time period are something that will last forever and will have a huge impact on your situation now. It’s great to have people who you know have your back, but you also need to value yourself and your opinions. In the end, it’s your life and you shouldn’t be persuaded to make choices solely on other people’s opinions.

AVD: With the events of this year, Brexit and Trump winning the US election, are you scared about becoming an adult in this new emerging world?

 

VM: Obviously but I’m more scared about my own personal position in the world. Am I becoming increasingly more disadvantaged? There’s a lot I want to do in the world and I don’t want that to be extinguished by the events of the world going on.

MJ: It’s ridiculously surreal that we live in a world where people have voted for Trump as President. And for Brexit to have occurred when the younger generation (who it will affect the most), didn’t want it. But being scared isn’t going to fix anything. I’m taking all the opportunities I can. For example I’m going inter railing next summer before the consequences of Brexit do hit us all.

NC: I guess I’m scared for the wider pattern that humanity will be following as it is seemingly anti-world peace and increasingly more exclusive rather than inclusive. It’s okay for us now because we’re all shocked and appalled by this, we think this it’s wrong, but for people younger than us, they won’t have the then and the now. They’re not going to have that comparison of the different values. It’s not just scary, it makes you realise how grateful you are for your own situation. For example, being privileged, going to a good school you have more opportunities to better yourself or make your own opinion rather than being influenced by the general trends. You’re better informed to make your own decisions.

AVD: How important a role do you think your friends play in your becoming an adult?

 

VM: I think that friends play a pivotal role in you becoming an adult. Their quirks and their tendencies can rub off on you and their advice can help you in making important life decisions. They’re like pillars of moral support and you need that during the changes you’re going through.

MJ: Friends are one of the most important parts of your life. The memories you make during the time period are something that will last forever and will have a huge impact on your situation now. It’s great to have people who you know have your back, but you also need to value yourself and your opinions. In the end, it’s your life and you shouldn’t be persuaded to make choices solely on other people’s opinions.

NC: I think friends are especially important when you’re going through change as you are going through similar experiences so they’re really able to support you but then they can still be your friends if they have differing opinions. If they give you advice, you don’t have to take it or feel guilty for not taking it

AVD: So for you then friends are a key part of adulating but there has to be a line. One has to have their individual thoughts and opinions and it should be supplemented by that of friends rather than supplanted by it?

 

MJ: Yes definitely, it’s so important that you value yourself and your opinions. And the situation we’re in, we have the knowledge and capability to have an informed opinion, that you can truly believe in.

VM: Yeah they don’t make your decisions for you but they are important in helping you make them.

NC: Yeah but I guess you choose who you are friends with and who you want to spend your with time,  so that is naturally going to alter where you draw that “line”

 AVD: If you could go back in time and give younger you advice on becoming an adult what advice would you give?

 

MJ: I would say, stand up for what you believe in. It may seem really scary and difficult at the time but you will regret what you didn’t say. Believe in yourself, because you are probably making the right decision and if it’s not then you will learn from your mistakes. It’s important to value yourself, especially in a relationship. But all those mistakes you make, make you a better person for overcoming them. You deserve to be happy, but your happiness doesn’t depend on anyone but yourself.

VM: That if you feel like doing something that’s against the status quo that you go for it. Because when you’re younger you’re quite encouraged, you feel like it’s a necessity to fit in with your friends but I think that’s part of adulthood, embracing the differences between people and this can bring people together. And to go for opportunities if you get them even if not everybody is doing it.

 NC: I would say to my younger self, to give less fucks. Because it doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with what everyone says, it doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t like your makeup or what you’re wearing or just because you don’t agree with what people are saying, doesn’t mean that you’re beliefs and opinions are less valuable.
img_4628Because when you’re younger you’re quite encouraged, you feel like it’s a necessity to fit in with your friends but I think that’s part of adulthood, embracing the differences between people and this can bring people together.
AVD: Thank you so much for your time.
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It’s a lie

Life behind the fence
Adulating is a lie. For me, adulting was much more than adding a year to my age annually; it was way more than growing taller, or starting to have hair grown on my chin. For me, adulting was something that required more energy, which i was not sure i had, and it came with overwhelming attention, which i didn’t think i could ever fully absorb.
You see, the thing is as a young man you begin to come under constant pressure to be more than you are, more than you think you are, more than you can be, and not because you desire to be more, but because everything around you revolves around being more. Dear young adult, adulting will lie to you that you need to be sufficient and you can never be enough, not by their standards. It is all a lie.
Adulting is a bitter sweet experience. The irony of the paradox is that it is rarely ever sweet, the pressure to mature at a speed you cannot comprehend is where it starts, to be an appearance you cannot keep up with, the little pressure cooker you are enveloped in by your peers, the heat that requires you to be a sexual beast, to have a body count beyond your remembrance and the blood from broken hearts soaking your name and reputation. For young men, adulting is a problem. Social acceptance and financial stability are the things associated with the ideal adult man, and regardless of your pace and personal ambitions, what the world around us cares about is when and where we attain this ideal adult man status, even when we all don’t adult and grow at the same pace. Don’t be afraid to love and don’t be afraid to cry, don’t be afraid to do what makes you happy as a person, because adulting into what they tell you a man should be doesn’t entail all these things. It entails providing and being a pillar, what then happens when the pillar cracks and the house is unstable?
 Young men, don’t be in a hurry. Be calm, cool and collected, be patient and productive, be attentive to your struggle and concentrate on your personal progress. Be deaf to the world and be numb to criticism, give no audience to negativity, cynicism and pessimism. Be deaf, because the women you look to for validation in your age group are looking up to older men in admittance and placing you beside them in comparison. Ambition might allow you adult at a faster pace and level you with the older ones they compare you to, but there honestly is no rush. Other men will tell you, you are not man enough, women too will tell you, but before you prove them wrong. Put your happiness at the peak of your priorities, because when you finally adult, what will matter most, will not be the attention you lost or the friends you didn’t make or the people you couldn’t hangout with. What will matter most are the people who stood by you and made you the man you eventually became. So I urge you, be morally upright and true to yourself, be happy with life and be the type of man you would want your daughters to love. Be to the world what you want the world to be to you, but never forget that the world is wicked and full of evil, do not expect positivity. Be the positivity you wish and desire to experience, do not depend on the society you live in for positivity, you will be disappointed.
Adulting is a social construct, mental illness and depression isn’t. What you need to do is mature and grow at your own pace, and if the pressure to adult is leading towards mental illness and depression, i suggest you get help and professional aid as soon as possible. They’ll tell you men shouldn’t be weak and depressed, it’s a lie.
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