An introduction to adulting

A couple weeks ago, I was asked how old I was. After taking a moment to simply remember the day of the month, I did the inevitable stumbling and mental calculations to process and answer the question.

Just when I was about to say 19, I stumbled again and had to readjust and correct myself to say 20 years old. It was two days after my birthday.

In a matter of 48 hours, I went from being 19 to having to tell someone I was 20. I felt like I just got a hold of being 19 rather than 18 — which I still feel sometimes with the COVID-19 timeline making it seem like we never left 2020.

Now I’m out of my teens and in my 20s. I’m not scared of aging, but I’ll admit that I had to take a second to wrap my brain around having the same first digit age as my cousin who is both getting married and graduating his medical program in May. I’m in the same decade that many of my friends and family members were in when they got their first salaried job, first house and had their first, and sometimes second, kid.

All it took was 24 hours to go from a teen to a 20 year old. Only one minute from 11:59 p.m. to 12 a.m.

It doesn’t help that I can vividly remember moments from years ago and feel like it happened yesterday. Years don’t seem very long if you can still feel like you are a freshman in high school –– something that was about five years ago.

Now I’m trying to really do the “adulting” thing.

Around the same time as the “turning 20 crisis,” my roommates and I started to look for off campus apartments. A first foray into doing the adult thing.

After weeks of procrastination and talk, I contacted a realtor, which led to a Zoom call and visits within a week.

The adult world moves fast apparently, especially when it has to do with the housing market in Boston and trying to find apartments to rent next semester.

We had to come up with a list of wants and needs –– which was actually thrilling –– as well as calculate budgets like how much we’d be willing to pay and how much we’d save compared to on-campus housing –– which was admittedly less exciting.

We looked at two places in person after whittling down from about six options that fit the parameters we gave the realtor. The first place was amazing and, by the time we walked out the door, all of us had already made up our minds that it would be ours. The second apartment left us feeling lackluster after the first place.

Going forward, the finalized budget estimates could be made. You have to include monthly rent, security deposit, broker’s fees, first month’s rent, furnishing and grocery costs as well as a timeline of when everything would be due. Then consider the competitive market and the possibility of another group taking the apartment before we can even sign a guarantor form.

Adulting is stressful.

The day we were getting everything together to just take the listing off the market was one of the most back-and-forth, jumbled days I’ve experienced in a while. It was a matter of getting the real adults –– parents –– on board, making sure everyone approved the budget and timeline, keeping the realtor in the know and informed about all of our questions, and then actually submitting the paperwork and hoping it would go through fast enough.

We hadn’t even gotten to the actual lease yet.

Basically what I’ve gotten from adulting so far is that it’s complicated, fast, competitive, jolting and overall expensive.

But now we have somewhere to live next semester. I just need to get used to telling people I’m 20.

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